Oregon vs. Stihl Chainsaw Chains: Which is Better?

Oregon and Stihl are two companies that have forged prestigious names in the outdoor, lawn, and forestry equipment manufacture. With their manufacturing catalog housing various products, we’ll be reviewing one of the most debated equipment both companies make: chainsaw chains.

The chainsaw chain is one of the essential parts of the machine. It comes in direct contact with the wood, and it is the part responsible for cutting the wood. Using the best chain for your chainsaw would increase the machine’s efficiency, making it easier for you to cut wood and increase the chainsaw’s lifespan altogether.

If you’ve been torn over the debate on which chainsaw chain is better for replacing your original chain, this article is for you. We’ll analyze the pros and cons of both chains and how they match up against each other. We’ll also review the various factors to consider when picking a chainsaw chain.

Oregon vs Stihl Chainsaw Chains

Comparison Table Between Stihl and Oregon chains

Stihl ChainsOregon Chains
sharpnessThe Sthil chains are sharper from the factory. They also hold their edge better.Although they are blunter than the competitor, they are softer and easier to file. 
HardnessThe Stihl chain is harder, meaning it fares better against wear. However, this hardness means that the chains are more likely to be more brittleThey are usually slightly softer, and it fares worse than the Stihl chains against wear. 
ChromeHas a thicker chrome coatHas a thinner coat
Price$87$15 – $31

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Differences between Stihl Chains and Oregon chains

Stihl and Oregon make some of the best chainsaw parts, the chains inclusive. The different manufacturers focus on different aspects involved in cutting to give you a better wood-cutting experience. 


The Stihl chains are much stronger and more durable than the Oregon chains. This doesn’t mean that the Stihl is a better overall chain than Oregon. It boils down to preference. The increased strength of the chain means that the Stihl chain can keep its edge and resist dulling for a much longer time frame than the softer Oregon chain. 


The Stihl chain is more resistant to wear and tear from the friction involved because the steel chains are harder and more durable than the Oregon chains. This hardness gives birth to a different problem for the Stihl chain. 

The harder a metal is, the more brittle it is. This means that the Stihl chains have a higher chance of shattering/breaking than the Oregon chains. The Oregon chains are easier to file, meaning you spend less time filing the chains with Oregon than with the Stih.


Chrome linings on the chains reduce friction between the log and the chainsaw chains. The thicker the chrome lining, the smoother the cut is. The chrome also reduces the chances of wood sticking to the chainsaw chains and reduces wear and tear from cutting repeatedly. 

Stihl chainsaws have a thicker chrome coat on their chains than Oregon chainsaws. This means that Stihl chainsaw chains would last much longer than their Oregon counterparts.

The thicker coat helps the Stihl chains keep their edge for a more extended period, meaning they can go longer periods without needing a file. 


Right now, Stihl chainsaws are pretty expensive compared to the Oregon chains. So, if the price is a deal-breaker for you, going for Oregon might be a better choice. 

The Stihl brand offers a much more durable, slightly more efficient chain but for a much more premium price. The price difference will make most people shy away from the Stihl chains. 

The Oregon chains are not poor, but the company cut some more premium features to keep the price tag on the low end. This is also advantageous for industrial production, where they go through lots of chains in a month. They need to keep the cost of production as low as possible without compromising too much on the quality of output. 

Price per Duration of Use

This is another crucial difference in the industrial production of wood. This term quantifies the cost efficiency of the chains and how durable they are compared to how much they cost. It considers the cost of replacing the item to its durability. 

Although the Stihl chains last longer than the Oregon chains, the price per duration of use is still much better than the Oregon chains. This is because replacing an Oregon chain is so much less than the Stihl chains, which are both still considered highly durable.

Similarities between the Stihl Chainsaw chains and Oregon chains

These Chainsaw companies are considered two of the best in the world. This means they need to have significant similarities that make them great chainsaw brands. When creating great chainsaw chains, you need to have ticked some major foundational boxes. That is where we find similarities.

Oil Efficiency

Both brands have a lubricating feature that ensures that you don’t waste oil when lubricating the chains. The chain linkage is designed such that the oil spreads along its length when applied to a single part of the chain. This means you wouldn’t have to spray the lubricant along the perimeter of the chain to lubricate it. 


The significant difference between the different brands is the chains’ hardness on a foundational level. This difference means the chains operate very differently. A hard chain means it remains sharper for longer and resists dulling over time. However, this also means that the softer chain can be more easily sharpened. This quality doesn’t make one particular better. It is more of a matter of preference. 

The hardness of the Stihl chains allows for a very different problem because the chains are generally more brittle and are more likely to break or shatter if misused. This is hardly a concern because a breakage while sawing wood is highly unlikely.

In conclusion, it all boils down to personal preference and the use case. The Stihl brand is a better option for casual usage where you don’t have a particular monthly quota as they last much longer without a need to file/sharpen. In comparison, the Oregon chains are better suited to commercial production, where the cost of production is a huge factor to consider.

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