How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last? – What Damages a Chainsaw Chain?

A good quality chain would easily last at least five to six years, without a problem. But this doesn’t necessarily define the life span of a chainsaw chain. There are many other things too.

For example, how well maintained your chainsaw is, and what type is its usage greatly affects the chainsaw chain life. If you take proper care of your chainsaw, the chain and the chainsaw itself could last a lot more than expected.

The chainsaw chain is the part of the machine that does the cutting, which makes it the most important segment of a chainsaw. Over time, chains may get dull, and sharpening them would help most of the time. But, after a point when they can no longer be sharpened, they have to be replaced.

So, basically, there’s no fixed limit to How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last? It greatly depends on the quality of your chainsaw, how you keep and maintain it, and most importantly, how is it being used and for what type of job.

Our article further contains information on different types of chainsaw chains and how long they last.

Are Chainsaw Blades Interchangeable?

No, chainsaw blades are not interchangeable. This is because each chainsaw has its own length, gauge, and pitch for the blade. And only the chains that fit perfectly, can be used.

Are Chainsaw Blades Interchangeable

Different chains have a different number of teeth per inch on the blade, which affects the cutting power and efficiency of the chainsaw. Therefore, chainsaw blades (chains) cannot be interchanged among brands and models.

There’s no doubt that you can get your chainsaw chains replaced easily, whenever needed, but the replacement chain has to be necessarily compatible with your chainsaw model and brand.

A chain from a different brand, designed for a different chainsaw model, it won’t work with each chainsaw.

How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last?

As mentioned above, there is no stamped description of how long a chainsaw chain would last. Usually, most of them work great for straight five to six years, without having any need to get replaced. While some even work for a lifetime. But any of this can’t be true for every chainsaw and every type of job.

A chainsaw that isn’t used in very harsh cutting conditions and is well maintained and properly taken care of, its chain might last forever.

On the other hand, a chainsaw that is very frequently used and must deal with harsh and rough cutting conditions too, won’t last forever by any chance. Its chain would need sharpening often, along with proper maintenance. And upon reaching its limit, it will have to be replaced.

Also, sometimes, the efficiency of your chainsaw chain might be affected by some unexpected damage caused during the cutting process, such as when it badly hits a nail or some other hard metal in the wood. In that case, if the damage is too worse, it will lower the chain’s capability of working efficiently.

But whatever the case may be, chainsaw chains easily last for many years if they’re properly maintained. The exact lifetime can’t be estimated as it depends on the usage, maintenance, cutting conditions, and the damage it must go through.

How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last

Your Chainsaw Chain Will Be Damaged If You Do These Things!

Even though chainsaws are meant for cutting purposes, they are specifically designed for cutting through wood. They can get damaged if used to cut through hard metals, rocks, or any such material.

And so, you have to be very careful about how you use your machine. There are certain things that cause damage to the chain and ruin it. Take a look at these.

  • Not Lubricating the Chain Properly
  • Cutting Through Rocks and Nails in Wood
  • Not Cleaning it After the Use

Not Lubricating the Chain Properly

Using a suitable lubricant to lubricate the chain is extremely important. If you take the lubrication part for granted, you might end up damaging your chain badly due to overheating. Yes, if you don’t properly lubricate your chain, the chainsaw will overheat.

By proper lubrication, we mean using a proper lubricant with just the right lubrication technique as well. People sometimes use sump oil to lubricate their chainsaw chains, but this isn’t a good option, and we don’t recommend using it at all.

The chain and bar oil, which is basically the lubricant for chainsaw chains is the best lubricant for your saws and you shouldn’t be using any other oil. It gets into the chain very nicely and doesn’t leak or slide off.

Cutting Through Rocks and Nails in Wood

When the chainsaw accidentally hits a hard rock or nail that is stuck somewhere into the wood log, it ruins the teeth of the blade badly. Because the chainsaws cut at a very high speed, when they encounter a hard thing accidentally, they’d end up having broken or chipped teeth.

To avoid this from happening, you must look for the nails stuck into the wood log before you start cutting it with your saw. That would save your chainsaw from a lot of damage.

Not Cleaning it After the Use

Improper maintenance is a key factor in having ruined or damaged chains. if you do not take proper care of your saw, you’ll be reducing its life span. Here’s what you should do to keep your chainsaw clean and safe from being rusted.

  1. After the use, clean your chainsaw with a cloth or something and let it dry completely before you put it back. Do not use water.
  2. Don’t store it in an open place. Keep it in a place where it won’t be exposed to sun and rain.
  3. Oil it properly so that it remains properly lubricated and doesn’t overheat.

Different Types of Chainsaw Chains

Chains aren’t of just one type. There are different types of chains you’ll find on the market, based on:

  • Cutter type
  • The arrangement of the chain
  • The addition of specialized features

Different types of chainsaw chains that you’ll come across are:

  • Low Profile Chains
  • Full Chisel Chains
  • Semi Chisel Chains
  • Full Skip Chains

Different Types of Chainsaw Chains

Low Profile Chains

As the name indicates, these are the low-profile chains used in low-profile chainsaws that are not to be used for heavy tasks. They have rounded teeth, which means more safety and are best for people who are new to the world of chainsaws.

Because these chains are designed for the chainsaws that are supposed to be standard use saws, there is less risk of kickbacks with these chains. Hence, making them super safe to use for the newbies.

Semi Chisel Chains

Semi-Chisel chains are one step higher than the low-profile chains. Their teeth are round cornered and are used for cutting softwood. Semi-chisel chains are designed for domestic use and the risk for kickbacks is there.

There isn’t a very high risk of kickbacks due to their design, but the risk is there anyway. These chains do not cut as fast as the full chisel chains do, but they remain sharp for a long time without being sharpened.

Full Chisel Chains

Full chisel chains are the fastest cutters. They are only used in professional chainsaws that have to deal with extreme heavy-duty work under all types of conditions. Their teeth are square concerned and cut through the wood with extreme power and efficiency.

They cut through hardwoods very smoothly yet have an increased risk of kickbacks. Therefore, these chains are designed for professional chainsaws only, which are to be used only by experienced chainsaw users.

How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last – FAQs

How many times can i sharpen a chainsaw chain?
On average ten times but could be more than that too. The number of times you can sharpen a chainsaw chain could be different for different chainsaws. It usually depends on how much your chain wears out and how much metal is removed every time you sharpen it.
When should a chainsaw chain be replaced?
Usually, when the limit for re-sharpening your chainsaw chain is reached, it must be replaced. However, due to very frequent and rough use, if the wear limit has been reached, you should get the chain replaced as soon as possible.
Why does my chainsaw chain dull so quickly?
It may be due to a couple of things if your chain dulls quickly. Make sure you are using the correct file size for your chain by consulting your user’s manual. Additionally, you might be applying too much pressure to the file when you do it. Cutting edges will become thin and dull as a result.



So, for the main concern of our article, a chainsaw chain should typically last for a minimum of five to six years. They can last for more than that too, even for a lifetime as well, if used with care, maintained properly, and avoided from being used in rough and harsh conditions.

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