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  1. #1
    New Member
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    312B , 307SB Cat, 450G Deere, Kubota L5030

    Default What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    I am looking to get some input on what would be the best chain for my saw . I have a 18'' bar 58 x .325. I have used the H30 and H21. They cut good out of the box new, but when I sharpened them on a bench chain sharpener they don't cut any where as good as a new one. But the H21 new did cut better for me then the H30. I am clear cutting 3 acers a mix of hard and soft wood.

  2. #2
    New Member
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    312B , 307SB Cat, 450G Deere, Kubota L5030

    Default Re: What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    I bench sharpened them after they where about half gone to even them out.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2013
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    JD 345/ Kubota Side by/ kubota ??

    Default Re: What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    Sharpening should get you as good or better than stock. Not sure how much you've been sharpening but you also have to set raker height after a couple of sharpenings. I sharpen mostly for friends, and have gotten good feedback on everything Ive sharpened. The way to tell is by the shavings fly after your done. Broad fluffy shavings vs fine dust is what you're going for.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2008
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    Covington, GA
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    JD 870

    Default Re: What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    I hand sharpen in the woods. Hand sharpen in the basement using a vise, reading glasses and a caliper locked down so I get the teeth the same length. The raker height needs to be touched up occasionally but with hand filing it could be 2-5 touch ups before the rakers need some love. I do have a stump vise which works ok to hold the bar but not as nice as a proper Milton vise.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Virginia USA
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    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    Shoot, I was about to reply that a sharp chain is the best chain! As others have mentioned, make sure you are taking down the rakers periodically. Many file guides also include a raker depth gauge. That is critical. You can have the sharpest cutters in the world, but if they are not making contact with the wood, it's hopeless....

    I use Stihl chain, and it's good but harder to file. I also use "on sale" Oregon/Carlton/Woodland/etc.... chains, and they do just fine, and are a little easier to file. Whether it's Stihl chain or not, I touch them up throughout the day whenever I detect the chips are too powdery. Want to see confetti flakes.

    Note the difference between full-chisel (square corner on cutter) and semi-chisel (rounded corner). Full-chisel cuts better, but dulls very easily. I have come to prefer semi-chisel, as it improves productivity -- less breaks for filing needed. If you hit dirt with full-chisel, it's a goner. Semi-chisel is a lot more robust overall and more tolerant of abuse.

    For most ground operations, or when dealing with dirty logs, semi-chisel is the way to go. Full-chisel would be ok for clean wood and felling cuts.

    Finally, do not get hung up on whether a chain is a "safety" chain or not. I always hear people claim that safety chain sucks, but you can only tell the difference when doing plunge cuts with the tip of the bar (that is the only scenario where the safety rakers come into play). For 99% of straight cuts along the length of the bar, there is zero difference in cutting performance with safety chain. In the meantime, it gives you a significant reduction in kickback if you ever do accidentally plant the tip. Unless you are a pro making plunge cuts all the time, safety-chain is just fine, and better for your health!

  7. #7
    Silver Member Bota4me's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Kubota bx25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Shoot, I was about to reply that a sharp chain is the best chain! As others have mentioned, make sure you are taking down the rakers periodically. Many file guides also include a raker depth gauge. That is critical. You can have the sharpest cutters in the world, but if they are not making contact with the wood, it's hopeless.... I use Stihl chain, and it's good but harder to file. I also use "on sale" Oregon/Carlton/Woodland/etc.... chains, and they do just fine, and are a little easier to file. Whether it's Stihl chain or not, I touch them up throughout the day whenever I detect the chips are too powdery. Want to see confetti flakes. Note the difference between full-chisel (square corner on cutter) and semi-chisel (rounded corner). Full-chisel cuts better, but dulls very easily. I have come to prefer semi-chisel, as it improves productivity -- less breaks for filing needed. If you hit dirt with full-chisel, it's a goner. Semi-chisel is a lot more robust overall and more tolerant of abuse. For most ground operations, or when dealing with dirty logs, semi-chisel is the way to go. Full-chisel would be ok for clean wood and felling cuts. Finally, do not get hung up on whether a chain is a "safety" chain or not. I always hear people claim that safety chain sucks, but you can only tell the difference when doing plunge cuts with the tip of the bar (that is the only scenario where the safety rakers come into play). For 99% of straight cuts along the length of the bar, there is zero difference in cutting performance with safety chain. In the meantime, it gives you a significant reduction in kickback if you ever do accidentally plant the tip. Unless you are a pro making plunge cuts all the time, safety-chain is just fine, and better for your health!
    thats some great advice

  8. #8
    Bronze Member traktorz's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Scandinavia
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    Foton FT404 (C490BT1)

    Default Re: What is the best chain for my 550xp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rabcon View Post
    I am looking to get some input on what would be the best chain for my saw . I have a 18'' bar 58 x .325. I have used the H30 and H21.
    Gauge for H21 is 1.5mm, while for H30 it's 1.3mm.

    For the 550XP, I would recommend chains in this order, all with gauge 1.5mm:
    ♦ Oregon 21 LPX Super 20 Chisel
    ♦ OILOMATIC STIHL RAPID Super (RS25)
    ♦ Oregon 21 BPX Micro-Chisel
    ♦ Husqvarna H25
    Foton Europard 404 (tractor) ♦ C490BT1 (engine) TZ04D-404 (FEL) ♦ 26-ETE-18 Bucket (Euro mount, Width: 1.80m, Volume: 0.75m, Weight: 196kg) ♦ LW-7 (backhoe with 40cm bucket ~ 0.048m) ♦ Jinwei Scraper Blade (Hydraulic 180, 250cm) ♦ Pallet Fork (Euro mount, 100cm)

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