Stihl produces not only chainsaws and lawn mowers, but also supplies for them. In this article we will talk about Stihl saw chains, their types, labeling, characteristics, comparable to competitors.
Stihl chain overview: labeling, purpose
All Stihl chains are labeled so that they can be identified and determined for which chainsaw models and types of work they are intended for.
The chain model name must indicate its length (number of links), pitch and width. Type is also indicated. Type, this is an internal brand name, thanks to which, company specialists can determine the type and shape of the cutting tooth, the dimensions of the link and connecting elements. The designation can be complete, or it can be abbreviated in capital letters, for example Picco Micro 3 chain, PM3 will be abbreviated.
To an ordinary user, such information, in principle, is not needed, because in order to choose the right headset it is enough to know the characteristics of the chainsaw, the planned volume and types of work.
For convenience of choice, there is an electronic consultant on the Stihl website that automatically generates a list of chains suitable for a particular model of chainsaw.
The service is convenient and understandable, but it has one big minus, chains can be selected only for Stihl chainsaws. If you have a different chainsaw, then you have to search by characteristics and name, which is not very convenient, because the list of models is quite large.
Below we suggest watching a short but interesting and informative video clip about Stihl chains, the process of their production and quality control.
Now we will consider specific models of Stihl chains, their marking, characteristics and purpose.
Picco micro (pm)
Low profile Stihl chain recommended by the manufacturer for use on lightweight chainsaws and delimbers. The peculiarity of the chain is a soft cut, with a reduced return. It has four versions, which differ in the number of links. It:
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro (PM), 1.3 mm (50);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro (PM), 1.3 mm (51);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro (PM), 1.3 mm (55);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro (PM), 1.3 mm (56).
Such a chain can be used on Stihl MC 180, 250 and chainsaws. etc. Recommended retail price from 490 to 550 rubles. The specific price depends on the number of links. Also, the Stihl saw chain can be sold in bays of 50 and 100 meters, riveting can be done using a Stihl riveting machine or similar. Information on how to rivet properly can be found on our website.
3/8 ″ P Picco Micro Mini 3 (PMM3), 1.1 mm
A distinctive feature is the most narrow cut. Abbreviation PMM3. It is recommended for entry-level chainsaws, as well as high-cutters and brush cutters. It has three options:
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro Mini 3 (PMM3), 1.1 mm (39);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro Mini 3 (PMM3), 1.1 mm (44);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro Mini 3 (PMM3), 1.1 mm (50).
It can be used on Stihl МС 170, 180, 211, 230 chainsaws. It belongs to the comfort class, because it has minimal vibration and recoil.
Important: a chain with a width of 1.1 mm must be used with the appropriate tire, otherwise, it will hang in the seat, which will lead to rapid wear on both the headset and the guide bar.
1/4 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.1 mm
Recommended specifically for high-cutters and compact chainsaws, for example, MS 150 TC-E or MS 193 T. It is considered exclusive, because it has a non-standard 1/4 ″ pitch, a narrow and flat design. It has three options, the length of which is 56, 64 or 72 links.
3/8 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.3 mm
This model belongs to the comfort class, and is intended for professional use on light and compact chainsaws. The chain is characterized by high performance, comparable to standard performance, while at the same time reduced recoil, which is achieved due to the low profile. There are several options:
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.3 mm, 50 links;
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.3 mm (51);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.3 mm (55);
- 3/8 ″ P Picco Micro 3 (PM3), 1.3 mm (56).
3/8 ″ P Picco Super (PS), 1.3 mm
Picco Super, according to the manufacturer, is the first chain in the world to have a chisel tooth. Designed by Stihl specifically for forestry professionals. Easy insertion, comfortable vibration and smooth ride. It features a clean cut surface, which is important for those who engage in wood carving with a chainsaw. Execution Options:
- 3/8 inch P Picco Super, 1.3 mm (44);
- 3/8 inch P Picco Super, 1.3 mm (50);
- 3/8 inch P Picco Super, 1.3 mm (55).
Video: How to Pick a Chain For a Chainsaw
It can be used with both professional, semi-professional and household chainsaw models.
1/4 ″ Rapid Micro Spezial (RMS), 1.3 mm
Designed specifically for curly wood cuts. A distinctive feature is the shortened upper face of the tooth, thanks to which the saw does not need to be pressed so that the chain cuts into the wood. It is characterized by high speed and smoothness when performing curved cuts compared to conventional chains having a similar 1/4 ″ pitch. Available in two versions:
- 1/4 Rapid Micro Spezial, 1.3 mm (56);
- 1/4 Rapid Micro Spezial, 1.3 mm (64).
Rapid Micro Chains Series
The Rapid Micro range of chains includes about 10 types, each of which has an average of three versions with different pitch and width characteristics. Rapid Micro Series Chains combine tooth shape with steel quality. They are recommended for use on Stihl chainsaws working in agriculture (semi professional). Short designation RM.
Rapid Super (RS) range
This line is designed for professionals. Of course, no one forbids using such chains on household chainsaw models, but their cost is slightly higher than ordinary chains, for example, Picco Micro 3 will cost much cheaper.
According to the manufacturer, Rapid Super are able to work without sharpening for a long time and their performance is not just high, but extremely high. Such a headset easily copes with heavily soiled or frozen wood. If you look at the options for execution, it becomes clear that this chain is definitely not for light and compact chainsaws. The maximum size for sale is 105 links, which is almost two times longer than the chain on the Stihl MC 180.
Rapid Duro 3 (RD3), 1.6 mm
This line of Stihl chains has an increased resource due to the use of special hard alloys in them. Designed for use in agriculture, i.e. recommended for semi-professional Stihl models. There are a lot of options. Rapid Duro 3 (RD3), 1.6 mm may have a pitch of 0.325, 3/8 or 0.404 inches. The most expensive chain in this line costs about 2500 rubles. and has a length of 66 links.
3/8 ″ Rapid Duro Rescue (RDR), 1.6 mm
This is a special Stihl chain for emergency rescue operations, in our country it has received the nickname "Super Tooth". Due to the victorious soldering on the cutting edge of the tooth, it can saw wood with nails, glass, brick and other building materials. Where the most difficult conditions and the normal circuit prove helpless, Rapid Duro Rescue (RDR) will do everything as quickly as possible.
It has a length of 72 teeth, in other versions it is not available, it is recommended for use on saws for rescue operations, for example, Stihl MS 461 R with a power of 4.4 kW. Price Rapid Duro recommended by the manufacturer from 9060 rubles.
All prices that we announced in the article are taken from the official website of the company.
We offer you to watch a video in which a comparative test of Stihl saw chains is shown. The video is in English, but it shows that in the trunk of the tree on which the cut speed test is carried out, a concrete insert is poured. A regular headset does not even cope with three cuts, while a special one makes more than 10 cuts and remains operational.
Which chain to use for longitudinal sawing
From users of chainsaws, the question often arises: which chain is suitable for longitudinal sawing and whether there are chains specifically designed for these purposes.
At the moment, there are no chains specially designed for sawing a tree trunk along, and most likely they will not appear, because any saw chain can be used for these purposes. The difference between a conventional headset and a longitudinal one is the sharpening angle.
Using a straightening machine, you can make a special headset out of a regular headset that facilitates longitudinal cutting. Information on how this is done, you can find on our website.
Which chain is better than Stihl or Oregon?
It is rather difficult to choose which chain is better, Stihl or Oregon, because they are almost the same in quality. Oregon, like Stihl, specializes in their production and invests in development, constantly improving and releasing new models.
If we compare at the user level, then Oregon is a bit softer, they get dumber faster, but they are easier to sharpen with a file. Shtilevsky. almost all red-hot, the metal is sharpened hard, but holds the edge a little longer.
Interesting. According to experts, the question of the quality of the headset is relative. Many users first use the used engine oil for lubrication, and then they say that a particular model and brand of chain is of poor quality, although the cause of premature wear lies in the metal shavings that are contained in any used oil, even if it has settled before filling.
Causes of a break in the saw headset
Sometimes, while working with a chainsaw, the headset may break. This phenomenon is not frequent, but occurs from time to time. There may be several reasons, the first and most common, it is heavy wear. In the process, the edges rub against the tire, as a result, the metal is gradually erased and the chain, breaking the load, breaks.
Important! The use of high-quality adhesive oils can significantly extend the life of the saw set.
The second reason is the untimely replacement of the drive sprocket and the saw bar or their replacement separately. According to the recommendations given by the manufacturers, the saw set, the tire and the drive sprocket should be changed as a set. This will prevent wear, tension and tearing as a result of increased loads.
Third, this is a marriage when sharpening with a special grinding machine. The machine disk rotates at high speeds and if you adjust the depth of the groove incorrectly or for some reason the working stroke of the machine increases, then a split second will be enough to cut the edges of the connecting link. If after sharpening it is not possible to control its quality and the presence of cut links, then during operation under load, the cut link may break.
Fourth and last, this is a riveting defect. A common cause of chain breaks is incorrect connection or reuse of connecting links. If you have a torn cutting headset, then information on how to connect the chain will be very useful.
Sharpening machine Stihl
In conclusion, a little about the Stihl grinding machine. Today, the USG machine is presented on the official website of the company. Sharpening on the machine works automatically, and feed is carried out manually. The machine is able to sharpen not only the cutting edge of the working tooth, but also the depth gauge, which is impossible to do on competing machines. Read more about the Stihl grinding machine and its operation in the video.
Stihl company produces high-quality chains for its chainsaws and high-cutters, which are popular among both professionals and ordinary users. If we compare the Stihl chains with competitors, they are a little stronger, but more difficult to hand sharpen, which is not very good for ordinary users, because you have to contact a service center for sharpening.