Chainsaw Maintenance

Ripping Chain Vs Standard Chain – Which is Right for You?

In the chainsaw landscape, understanding the differences between the ripping chain and standard chain is key to work efficiency and safety. These differences center on the cut angle and the grain direction.

The standard chain, known for its aggression, cuts at a 30-degree angle, excelling in crosscutting and fast, large chip removal. In contrast, the less aggressive ripping chain cuts at a 10-degree angle, designed for slicing along the grain, yielding smaller wood pieces.

These distinctions have significant implications on chainsaw performance and product quality. For instance, when milling lumber, the ripping chain is vital for achieving smooth cuts.


Your choice between the ripping chain and standard chain depends on your specific tasks. The standard chain is best for cutting against the grain, while precision tasks, like plank production from logs, call for the ripping chain. Choosing the right tool guarantees a satisfying and safe woodworking process.

Ripping Chain Vs Standard Chain A Detailed Breakdown

Alright, folks, let’s chop this topic into bite-sized pieces. What we’re diving into today is the sawdust-filled world of chainsaws, specifically, the nuances between a ripping chain and a standard chain.

Ripping Chains and Your Chainsaw

A ripping chain is like that trusty old hunting dog. Not everyone needs it, but when you do, there’s just no substitute. You see, a ripping chain is used when you’re looking to slice lumber lengthways, also known as ‘ripping.’

So, when you’re dreaming of handcrafting that kitchen table from a raw slab of oak, you’ll want a ripping chain by your side.

Ripping Chain Tips:

  • Rip cuts: These are cuts made parallel to the wood grain. If that’s your task, make sure you’ve got a ripping chain on hand.
  • The Right Grind: Ripping chains have a special grind on their cutter teeth, which makes them ideal for these rip cuts.

Standard Chains and General Work

Now, let’s talk about the standard chain, or crosscut chain, as it’s often called. If a ripping chain is that old hunting dog, a standard chain is like your reliable pickup truck, always ready to go no matter what you throw at it.

These chains are ideal for cutting perpendicular to the wood grain. In other words, when you’re felling trees or chopping firewood, the standard chain is your best friend.

Standard Chain Tips:

  • Crosscuts: These are cuts made across the wood grain. When you’re dealing with this, a standard chain will serve you best.
  • Versatility: When it comes to general-purpose cutting, standard chains are the go-to. They handle a wide range of tasks without missing a beat.

Ripping vs. Standard: The Comparison

UseRipping ChainStandard Chain
Ideal UseRipping cuts (parallel to the grain)Crosscuts (perpendicular to the grain)
SpecialtyCraftsmanship work like millingVersatile for general-purpose work
Cutting SpeedSlower, finer cutsFaster, rougher cuts

1: Use a ripping chain for rip cuts, and a standard chain for crosscuts. Easy to remember, right? 2: If precision and clean cuts matter, reach for your ripping chain. 3: For versatile, general-purpose cutting, a standard chain is your go-to.

Best Ripping Chain For Milling


Once upon a time in Oregon, my buddy James, a lifelong lumberjack, shared his golden rule of lumber milling with me: “Your milling job is only as good as your ripping chain.

Pro Tip: Always prioritize quality when buying a ripping chain.

Granberg Ripping Chain

As far as ripping chains for milling go, the Granberg Ripping Chain stands out from the pack. It’s widely recommended due to its high-quality, long-lasting nature. This chain cuts evenly and smoothly, reducing your milling time significantly. But most importantly, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It offers the perfect blend of affordability and efficiency.

Remember: Granberg’s chains are an industry staple, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only good ones out there.

Oregon 72RD Ripping Chain

Next up on our list is the Oregon 72RD Ripping Chain. Oregon, as a brand, is a popular choice among lumberjacks and woodworkers. This ripping chain is known for its durability and precision. It features a special factory grind for making smooth cuts specifically for milling, making it a solid choice.

Special Note: You can’t go wrong with an Oregon chain. Their products are always a safe bet.

Comparing Chains: At a Glance

Granberg Ripping ChainAffordable, High-quality, EfficientRequires Regular Maintenance
Oregon 72RD Ripping ChainDurable, Precise, Special Grind for MillingSlightly More Expensive

What Makes a Good Ripping Chain?


When picking out a ripping chain, consider these key factors:

  • Sharpness: You want a chain that’s razor sharp and stays that way. Nothing ruins a milling job faster than a dull chain.
  • Durability: Look for a chain that can withstand the test of time (and wood!).
  • Efficiency: The less time you spend milling, the better. An efficient chain will speed up your work.
  • Price: Consider the balance between cost and quality.

A good ripping chain is sharp, durable, efficient, and cost-effective.

My Favorite: Still the Granberg

Despite the competition, the Granberg Ripping Chain remains our favorite. Its blend of quality, efficiency, and cost just can’t be beaten.

Remember, though, what works best for one person might not work as well for another. It’s always worth trying out a few different chains to see which fits your needs best. James always said, “The best tool in the world is the one that works best for you.”

Key Point: Always opt for the chain that best suits your individual needs.

Fastest Ripping Chain

Why Fast Ripping Matters?
When you’re buckling down to a day of work in the great outdoors, time is money. Your chainsaw? It’s your trusty sidekick, and the ripping chain is its secret weapon. A fast-ripping chain means more wood split in less time. Efficiency is the name of the game, folks!

Qui<strong><em>c</em></strong>k Tips:
If you’re new to the world of chainsaws, remember, the ripping chain is the part of the chainsaw that does the actual cutting. It’s made up of small, sharp links that tear through wood.

The Stihl Rapid Super (RS)

Let’s not forget the Stihl Rapid Super (RS). Some folks might underestimate this one, but let me tell ya, this chain is a real contender. Known for its durability and high-speed performance, the Rapid Super doesn’t mess around. This baby is designed for professional use and is known for its fast-cutting speed.

Precaution: Always remember, a faster ripping chain is a blessing, but it also demands your respect. Proper safety precautions are a must, including using safety glasses, gloves, and a helmet.

Frequently Asked Question

Do you need a ripping chain for a chainsaw mill?

Yeah, you generally need a ripping chain for a chainsaw mill. It’s designed specifically for cutting along the wood grain efficiently.

What chain to use for ripping?

For ripping, you should use a ripping chain because it cuts smoothly along the grain of the wood with its special angle and grind.

What is the difference between a ripping chain and a cross-cut chain?

The difference lies in their design; a ripping chain is for cutting along the wood grain with its altered angle, while a cross-cut chain is for cutting across the grain.

What is the difference between a skip chain and a ripping chain?

A skip chain has fewer teeth for faster chip removal in rough cutting, while a ripping chain has teeth optimized for cutting along the wood grain.

Key Takeaway

  • Choose a ripping chain for precision milling and smooth, long cuts along the grain.
  • Opt for a standard chain for general cutting tasks, crosscutting, and speed.
  • Granberg and Oregon chains stand out for quality and durability in their respective uses.
  • Match the chain to the task for efficient, high-quality woodworking outcomes.