Chainsaws are used for all kinds of different jobs, which means there is a wide variety of chains available. If you’re trying to figure out the best chainsaw for you, you should know what a skip tooth chain is used for.
Skip tooth chains are used for cutting large pieces of wood and cross-cutting sections of wood. The gaps between the cutting teeth reduce drag on the chain, minimizing the amount of debris produced. Skip tooth chains can be used with lower-powered saws and longer guide bars, reducing kickback risk.
Let’s learn more about skip tooth chains.
What is the advantage of a skip tooth chain?
There are multiple advantages to skip tooth chains. Skip tooth chains reduce the amount of debris and woodchips that produce from sawing. The gaps between the cutting teeth scoop up this debris and allow it to be released from the chain easily. Other chains have the cutter teeth closer together which can cause sawdust to build up in the chain. This will mean you have to stop and clean out the chain and guide bar more often. Skip tooth chains reduce the number of times you have to do this.
The other advantage is that skip tooth chains actually utilize less power than regular, full chains. Per unit length of chain, skip tooth chains take less power from the motor. This is what allows them to use the longer bars on any motor. This means you can work longer and more efficiently.
There is also less risk of kickback occurring when working with a skip tooth chain. This makes the chain more beginner-friendly. A skip tooth chain is actually a great option for someone with less chainsaw experience. While the cutter teeth don’t dull as quickly as other chains, it is easier to sharpen them yourself. This is great practice for a beginner learning to perform maintenance on their chainsaw.
With these advantages in mind, let’s consider what a skip tooth chain is best for.
What is a skip tooth chain best for?
A skip tooth chain is best for most saw jobs that need a long bar, such as sawing large trees. This is because skip tooth chains on a longer bar will provide a cut with a much wider diameter.
As we mentioned, the cutter teeth also won’t dull as fast when sawing a big job. So you are more likely to get the job done before needing to have chainsaw maintenance done. This is better than other chains that will dull halfway through cutting a big tree.
Skip tooth chains are also great for cross-cutting sections of wood and chainsaw milling. Most sawing jobs that don’t need to be clean and precise can be completed well with a skip tooth chain.
When you shouldn’t use a skip tooth chain
It’s best to use a different chain to a skip tooth chain when sawing material that is narrow or has a small diameter. A shorter bar with a chain like a full chisel chain is better for these kinds of jobs. A skip tooth chain would vibrate more and can be painful to your wrists from trying to hold the saw steady.
Using a skip tooth chain on a shorter bar for smaller materials can feel very rough and grabby. At times, it wouldn’t be practical at all. Consider trying to saw branches that are between 1 and 3 centimetres in diameter. One tooth on a skip tooth chain will grab the branch and yank it. The branch is likely not to cut and you will have repetitive yanking and releasing. In these cases, it’s best to use a chain that has cutter teeth closer together.
Can you run a longer bar with a skip chain?
Skip tooth chains are recommended when using a longer chainsaw bar. Sawing jobs that require longer bars tend to have more debris. If you use chains that have closer cutting teeth, more of the motor’s power will be used.
Skip tooth chains reduce the flying debris being produced and will use less power. This is ideal for long bars because your chainsaw power will last longer. The lesser power will also give you more control over the chainsaw boosting your chainsaw use safety. Plus, you won’t be dealing with as much debris. Also, you won’t need to stop as frequently to clean sawdust off the bar.
Keep in mind that skip tooth chains do cause more vibration through the chainsaw, which can increase with the bar length. Even so, skip tooth chains are one of the best options for longer chainsaw bars.
Is a skip tooth chain different to a ripping chain?
A skip tooth chain is usually different to a ripping chain. A skip tooth chain has every other tooth or more, removed. Hence the name ‘skip tooth’.
A ripping chain is designed to cut with the grain of the wood. This is different to regular chains that cut across the wood grain. They tend to leave a much smoother finish on the cut surface compared to other chains. This is very different to typical skip tooth chains which are very rough in the cutting finish.
But a ripping chain can be combined with a skip tooth chain style. This can be done by removing every second tooth from the chain, you could create a ripping skip tooth chain. This is not a common combination though.
We did more research about skip tooth vs full chisel chains. Check out that and more chainsaw advice in our resources! For quality chainsaws for sale, take a look at our range of Husqvarna chainsaws. We also have plenty of chain saw chains for sale, including full chisel, micro chisel and semi chisel options. We have all the construction and garden care tools you need, have a browse through our Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers online shop!