bell user minus plus bars file-lines cart-shopping magnifying-glass magnifying-glass-plus bag-shopping arrow-left arrow-right angle-down angle-up angle-right angle-left globe calendar star star-half check sliders caret-down caret-right arrow-square x exclamation box pen box-open store location-dot trash circle-play cube play tag lock envelope twitter facebook pinterest instagram snapchat youtube vimeo shopify tumblr tiktok star-empty

FAQ

Payment

Which shipping carriers does AmericanForestry use to ship orders?

At American Forestry our primary carriers are UPS Ground, FedEx Ground, and United States Postal Service, which we have found to be the most reliable residential carriers.

When your order ships we will notify you via email. Included in your email will be a tracking number for your shipment.

We encourage you to track your shipment online or on the phone with UPS, FedEx, and USPS. Be sure to contact us if anything seems unusual with the progress of the shipment. You can also track your packages via your Order Status on AmericanForestry.com or by asking our chat in the bottom-right corner to "Track my order".

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept the following credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. We also accept payment by PayPal, ShopPay, GooglePay, or Venmo. If you decide to use either of these latter methods, you’ll be taken to either the appropriate payment site, where you’ll be prompted to log in and process the  payment. You’ll then be directed back to our merchant website once your transaction is complete.

Does AmericanForestry.com keep/collect debit and credit card information?

Ordering and delivery

Where is my order confirmation?

This is automatically sent to your provided email address or phone number via SMS text when you place an order. If you haven’t received your order confirmation within 24 hours, please get in touch at info@americanforestry.com just in case there’s a problem with your order. Please check your mailbox’s spam or junk folder before contacting in case the order confirmation has been diverted there.

How do I cancel my order?

There is only a short amount of time between when you place your order and when we start processing it. If you contact us straight away after ordering, via orders@americanforestry.com, we may be able to cancel your order before it’s processed. If not, we’ll despatch your order and then you can return it to us if you wish upon receiving it for a refund.

Can I alter my order after payment?

Yes! Please send an email to info@americanforestry.com as soon as possible after ordering with the necessary product details/quantity desired. If we are able to make the adjustments, we'll either send you an invoice to pay for the difference in price if it's higher, OR we will refund the difference if the price is lower.

Sadly, if we've started processing your order in our warehouse, we'll be unable to modify your order. We'll let you know if this is the case for you. At that point, you would need to order a greater quantity or an additional product, please place a new order on our site.

When will my order arrive?

ORDER FULFILLMENT TIMELINE

We offer same-day shipping on all orders (for stocked items) that we receive before 12PM CST. Orders received from 12PM - 2PM CST will be entered into our systems, but may not ship out until the next business day.

When your order ships we will notify you via email. Included in that email will be a tracking number for your shipment. We encourage you to track your shipment online or on the phone with UPS, FedEx, and USPS. Be sure to contact us if anything seems unusual with the progress of the shipment.

Depending on how close you are to the shipping warehouse, your item will arrive in 1 to 6 business days after it leaves the warehouse under normal conditions.

Do you ship outside of the US?

No. On our site, we ship only to addressess located within the US. However, if you are located outside of the US, we may be able to direct you to our eBay store where we are able to ship internationally through eBay's international shipping program.

How much is shipping?

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $100 (IN THE LOWER 48 STATES)

All orders that total $100 or higher qualify for free ground or free freight shipping (exceptions described below). In order to provide exceptional shipping and handling to our customers, we offer $8.99 Flat Rate Shipping & Handling on all orders less than $100.  This fee covers expenses for order processing, handling, packaging and shipping. The flat fee approach allows us to provide quick shipping and a clear, simple checkout without complicated variable shipping and handling charges. 

Please note: Sales Tax is charged on orders shipping to Wisconsin and Washington.  If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, please call us and we will quote you a freight surcharge prior to placing an order. Beware of companies who mask their shipping charges and surprise you with prohibitive shipping and handling fees or oversize charges at the end of the checkout process. Make sure you know the total cost of your purchase when shopping around.

Can I track my order?

Yes. We’ll provide updates at every stage of your order, from the moment you place it, through to despatch and delivery. In your shipping confirmation email(s), you’ll receive tracking reference(s) which you can use to check the progress of your order online.

Returns

Can I return or exchange an item?

RETURN WINDOW TIME

You may return your equipment or other whole goods products purchase within 30 days of receipt for an exchange or a refund of the purchase price excluding our shipping and handling costs.

On replacement parts you have up to 60 days to return your items.

Please view more details for specific returns below:

Unopened Merchandise - You may return "unopened" equipment and other whole goods products and accessories within 30 days of delivery for a refund. On replacement parts (components of equipment or engines) orders, you have up to 60 days to return an "unopened" part purchase for a refund. You will be responsible for both the original outbound shipping & handling charges as well as return shipping charges. Restocking fees of up to 20% may still apply for some items such as engines.

Opened Merchandise - "Opened" products and accessories can be returned within 30 days of delivery*, but will be subject to a 20% restocking fee to cover re-sale expenses. You will be responsible for both the original outbound shipping and handling charges as well as return shipping charges. Opened returns must be in "like new" condition (re-sellable) with all original materials. You are also responsible for returning the product in the original packaging or packaging that is of equal quality to the original. If product has been used the product cannot be returned.

Engine Powered Equipment - Due to federal shipping regulations, engine powered equipment can not be returned once it has been gassed or oiled. If the product has been gassed or oiled, it needs to be taken to an authorized service center for repair which may be covered under the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. For additional information please call our toll free number and speak with a customer service representative who will be happy to assist you.

How do I start a return?

Please contact us at info@americanforestry.com or use our "Contact Us" page to request a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Number and shipping instructions.

To facilitate the process, let us know the "Order Number" that you wish to return AND the reason for returning.

For your information, our order numbers look like this: #AF-1234

In most cases, the buyer is responsible for return shipping charges associated with the shipping label. To expedite your refund, send us the return shipment's tracking number ASAP.

We will refund/credit your payment account within 10 days of receiving the returned item.

My order has arrived but it’s not as I expected. What can I do?

In the rare event that your order arrives damaged or faulty, please take photos of the product in question and email our customer service team via hhelp@yourstorename.com with the details. We’ll respond within 48 hours. If you just don’t like the product for any reason, we’ll gladly accept it back as a return, providing it’s in “as new” condition, in its original packaging with all labels attached.

How long does it take to return an item?

This depends on the carrier or shipping method that you (or we) choose when returning your item. We aim to process refunds within three days after receiving the item into our warehouse, but it can take several days for your bank or credit card provider to process the refund into your account, or onto your card.

What should I do if my order arrives damaged/defective?

DAMAGED/DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS

Please take the time to inspect the goods before you sign the delivery receipt from the carrier. 

Suspect Damage - Sometimes, the outer carton may appear damaged, but the product inside the box is perfectly fine. If you suspect concealed damage, notate “Possible Freight Damage” on the delivery receipt while the driver is present. This way, if you discover later that the product is damaged, the freight claim is less of a hassle.

Obvious Damage - Do not sign for damaged products. If your product arrives damaged, please (1) REFUSE DELIVERY and (2) Call Us Immediately (855-264-6487) so we can process the appropriate claims and coordinate an exchange for you.

Product Operation - We recommend that you operate your product within 7 days of receipt so we can respond to any issues if there are any. If you think your product is defective, don't worry as many perceived issues are common can be resolved easily over the phone.

If your product was recieved damaged or defective, please contact us at info@americanforestry.com to obtain a return shipping label, RMA #,  and shipping instructions. We will refund/credit your payment account within 10 days of receiving the returned item.

Where is my refund?

We aim to process refunds within three days of an item being returned to us. Please note, however, that your bank may take several days to process the payment back into your account. With that said, please allow up to ten working days after posting the item back to us before getting in touch about your refund. We’ll contact you by email to let you know when your refund has been processed.

Saw Chain

★ How to determine if a saw chain loop is compatible with my guide bar?

DETERMINING GUIDE BAR & SAW CHAIN COMPATIBILITY

In order to figure out if the Guide Bar and Saw Chain you plan to use together are compatible, there are (3) key specifications that you must match up: 

(1) Pitch, (2) Gauge, and (3) Drive Link Count

Your bar and saw chain must have the same exact specifications, otherwise they will not work together. Please see the rest of this guide to determine how you will find these exact specifications.

Bar and Chain Compatibility, Correct Fit
Once you have all THREE of these specs determined, use our website's Saw Chain Selector tool to help you find yours and place an order. Use the "Filters" on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down your search results and find exactly what you need (see photo below). 

Saw Chain Selector Tool on American Forestry
Like we mentioned above, once you find the Pitch, Gauge, and Drive Link Count of the chain you need to replace, you're ready to place an order!

FYI, many retailers call out the length of the saw chain (in inches) as a starting point for customers, but please be aware: determining compatibility solely by length is the most common reason we see for incorrectly ordered saw chains. While a saw chain and guide bar may be the same length in inches, the rest of their specs (Pitch, Gauge, or Drive Link Count) may differ, making the pair incompatible.


Again, the only specifications you really need to ensure compatibility are Pitch, Gauge, and Drive Link Count of both your guide bar and saw chain.

★ Where do I LOOK for my saw chain's specs? (Pitch, Gauge, Drive Link Count) - Easiest way!

WHERE TO LOOK FOR MEASUREMENTS ON YOUR SAW CHAIN

If you've held on to the packaging that you received your saw chain within, you can usually find the Pitch, Gauge, and Drive Link Count printed somewhere on it. 


No worries if you don't have your saw chain packaging any more. Your old saw chain may also contain all the info you need stamped right onto the drive links. The specific saw chain type will provide you with the Pitch and Gauge. For your reference, Stihl uses an extra marking on the tooth link to determine size.

Oregon Chain Drive Link CodeStihl Drive Link Chain Code


Please view the different brands’ chain codes, their meanings, and brand-to-brand conversions to Oregon saw chain, below. Once Pitch and Gauge are figured out, all that’s left to do is count and match up the drive links. 

 
Pitch and Gauge by Saw Chain Code on Drive Link

Oregon Saw Chain Conversions by Brand             Oregon Saw Chain Conversions, Continued

Cutter Sequence: what are the differences?

THE 3 MAIN CUTTER SEQUENCES EXPLAINED 

Chain cutter sequence, is essentially the spacing between the cutters on a chain. Don’t get this confused with the pitch of the chain. This is an important distinction

Pitch measures the distance between links, but not all links include a cutter. A chain’s sequence is the distance between the chain’s cutters.

Standard Sequence Saw Chain Diagram
Standard Sequence chainsaw chain
 alternates from left cutter to right cutter, with one drive link in between. This is the most common configuration and works great for most applications.

We call this sequence the default for most homeowner chainsaws.

Offers seamless and smooth cuts due to having the most cutters of all cutter sequence types. 

Oregon recommends this sequence for a 24″ bar length or less.

View all of our standard sequence saw chain here.

Semi-Skip Sequence Saw Chain Diagram
Semi-Skip Sequence chainsaw chain alternates between 1 and 2 drive links, separating cutters. For jobs where neither standard or skip are perfect, semi-skip provides a step between when it comes to amount of cutters and space in between cutters. This allows the chain to be powerful while still producing a decently smooth surface as it cuts. Woodcutters often use this type of chainsaw chain for cutting hardwood.

Consumer users of chainsaws will probably never need to use a semi-skip or skip sequence chain.

Professional or commercial chainsaw operators who use their saws frequently and who use longer bars may prefer a semi-skip or skip chain due to the lesser amount of cutters to sharpen (makes sharpening faster) & its greater clearance for better chip flow (the larger the wood being cut and the longer the bar used, the more important good chip flow becomes). 

Oregon recommends this sequence for a 24″ to 32″ bar length.

View all of our semi-skip saw chain here.

Skip Sequence Saw Chain Diagram
Skip Sequence chainsaw chain cutters are separated by 2 drive links in between. With less cutters tearing through the wood than semi-skip, skip sequence chain experiences less drag and can cut even more quickly. Executes rough cuts without hassle.

They work well with low-power saws and/or saws with extremely long bars. Helpful for the these saws because it takes less engine power to run a saw with less cutters.

Don’t use this chain on small-bar units, as this would cause wobbling and produce inaccurate cuts.

Oregon recommends this sequence for a 32″ bar length and up.

View all of our skip sequence saw chain here.

Cutter Type: what are the differences?

THE 6 MAIN CUTTER TYPES EXPLAINED

Each type of saw chain, has a different shape cutter. Some are more rounded while some are more square. Then you have tall ones, and short ones and narrow ones…

The cutter styles react with the wood differently. There are cutter types that are suited for larger professional chainsaws and others are suited for smaller chainsaws.

Some cutter types are even more dangerous to use, so it is best to make sure your cutter suits your level of chainsaw experience.

There are four main cutter types, which are; full chiselsemi-chisel and chipper. But then there are some variations of these styles on the market - micro chiselchamfer chisel, and ripping - that we also go into detail about below.

Full chisel chainsaw chain
 has squared, sharply pointed cutters that cut wood aggressively. The sharp corners on these cutters allow the chain to move through wood quickly, but are not as durable as other cutter types. It's said that full chisel is the best saw chain for professionals working with hardwood. In most cases, you probably don’t want to use a full chisel chain when cutting dirty or softwood. Full chisel chains lack the safety elements that other chains have, so there is also a high risk of kickback. 

Semi chisel chainsaw chain has rounded cutters, causing the cutting edge to dull more slowly when exposed to dirt and debris. Semi chisel cutters are more durable and can handle dirty, frozen, and soft wood well. While these cutters take a little longer to make the cut, they are said to be a good homeowner saw chain due to the versatility of cuts than can be made, lower kickback risk than full chisel saw chain, and durability in rough conditions. 

Micro chisel chainsaw chain would be considered right in between Full and Semi chisel - it's cutter is just slightly more rounded than the full chisel and have a smaller radius than full chisel. This means that the cutters are less aggressive than a full chisel and won't be quite as fast, but comes with the benefit of a reduce kickback tendency like semi chisel. Also like semi chisel cutters, micro chisel cutters blunt slower, are more forgiving of dirty wood, and provide a smoother cut than full chisel chains. These cutters would be considered perfect for a slightly more experienced homeowner. 

Chamfer chisel chainsaw chain is even closer to semi chisel than micro chisel, but have a small 45-degree chamfer between the plates rather than a radius. These cutters are specifically designed for you to cut both hard dry wood and green timber. Like semi chisel, these chamfer chisel cutters also offer reduced kickback risk. 

Chipper chainsaw chain is another variation of semi chisel, but have an even more rounded working corner. This means that they are even more durable than semi chisel, but also cut slower. 

Ripping chainsaw chain is also another variation of semi chisel, but it cuts at a lower angle - 10 degrees versus the standard 30 degrees. This allows cuts along the wood's grain instead of against it. As a result, ripping chain removes smaller chunks of wood and is less aggressive, despite what its name suggests.

Differentiating Oregon Saw Chain Families

OREGON CHAIN FAMILIES: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES

We understand that the needs of woodcutters – professionals and novices – are as diverse as the terrains and environments in which they work.

Oregon has organized their saw chains and guide bars into product families with key characteristics that different users will value. These product families will ensure that you choose the right chain and bar based on your everyday needs. It will make understanding the differences between our products effortless. Feel free to click on the titles below to see our company's saw chain offerings. 

  • POWERCUT
    The ultimate saw chain for loggers and skilled forest workers who use high performance saws. Full chisel cutters power through timber with speed, efficiency, and precision.
  • SPEEDCUT SPEEDCUT NANO
    Faster cutting performance for wood-cutting professionals who use mid-size saws under 55 cc. Narrow kerf system requires less power to cut through high volumes of wood quickly and easily.
  • CONTROLCUT
    Ideal for wood cutting professionals looking for a fully featured cutting system that delivers smooth cutting and reduced kickback. Easy to maintain saw chain, with a forgiving sharpening profile.
  • RIPCUT SPECIALTY CHAIN
    Ripping chain created specifically for chain-type sawmills. Produces smooth ripping cuts with supreme efficiency to make precise boards and planks.
  • POWERSHARP
    Easy-to-use, precision sharpening system that gives chainsaw users the power to sharpen their chain in a matter of seconds with a simple attachment. Patent protected features make PowerSharp a major advance over other sharpening methods.
  • SCULPTOR SPECIALTY CHAIN
    Easy to maintain and light-weight for optimum maneuverability. It is the perfect tool for carvers, pruners, and any other user who values extra-fine cutting.
  • ADVANCECUT
    Perfect for homeowners or landscapers who occasionally need to cut trees. The low kick-back design makes it easy to get great results, even if you don’t wield a chainsaw every day.
  • VERSACUT
    Designed for landowners and tree-cutting professionals who require a multi-purpose, high performing saw chain. Uses cutters designed for maximum durability and versatility.

Retailer vs. Dealer Oregon Saw Chain (ie. S52 vs. 91PX052G)

Oregon's Retail vs. Dealer Saw Chain

Oregon uses different names and package types for their saw chain depending on whether it's for a retailer (like Lowes or Home Depot) or a dealer (like us, American Forestry).

While the naming and packaging are different for retail and dealer saw chain, the saw chain itself is actually exactly the same.     


Retailer-Packaged Oregon saw chain (Left Photo) is identified by a Letter (S, in this case) followed by the drive link count of the saw chain (52) and comes in "clamshell packaging".

Dealer-Packaged Oregon saw chain (Right Photo) is identified by the Standard Oregon Chain Type (91PX), 3 digits to call out the drive link count (052), and ends with another Letter (customers never have to worry about this last letter). This comes in standard Oregon Saw Chain box (stock photo used - real dealer saw chain box has all of the info regarding specs, compatibility, part #, etc. printed on). 

Oregon Dealer and Retailer Saw Chain Conversions

To recap, the S52 and 91PX052G, that we used as examples above, are both exactly the same saw chain, as you can see in the Oregon retail/dealer chain conversion table above.

In the Oregon saw chain world, S=91PX, M=95TXL, H=20BPX, and so on. 

In most cases, the "Retailer" saw chain will be much cheaper than the "Dealer" saw chain on our website. If you know your standard Oregon saw chain type, then you can determine the retail chain code (by using the table above) to search for the version you need.

How do I measure my saw chain's specs? (Pitch, Gauge, Drive Link Count)

MEASURING YOUR CHAINSAW CHAIN

We'll let you in on a little secret. There are two ways that you can figure out the size of your replacement chain even without access to a product manual: 

  • Measure the chain yourself, using instructions below.
  • Look on other parts of the saw for the measurements, most likely on the guide bar OR on the drive links of your saw chain (easiest options).


HOW TO MEASURE CHAINSAW CHAIN YOURSELF

To find a chain replacement, you'll need to figure out three numbers:

  • Pitch:  the distance between the chain's drive links
  • Gauge: the width of the groove where the chain fits into the bar
  • Drive Link Count: # of drive links contained within the loop of chain

 

MEASURING PITCH

Measure Pitch from Saw Chain
Chain pitch is the length of the links in the chain. To determine the pitch, you'll need to measure the distance between any three consecutive rivets, then divide the result by 2. The rivets are the small, round pegs/studs that hold the chain segments together. Measure from the first to the third, then divide that number in half to get your chain pitch. Pitch is important because the drive sprocket (and if applicable, the bar nose sprocket) of your guide bar must be the same pitch as the chain.

 

The most common measurements of pitch you'll see on replacement chain are 3/8" and .325", but may also be .325” Low Profile, .404”¼”¾”, or ⅜” Low Profile

MEASURING GAUGE

Measure Gauge from Saw Chain

Chain gauge, on the other hand, means the thickness of the drive links of the chain. Your saw chain’s gauge can be determined by measuring the portion of the drive link that fits into the groove of the guide bar, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch. For your reference, normal wear can make it difficult to accurately measure chain gauge on a worn chain. 

The most common saw chain gauge sizes are .043" (1.1mm), .050" (1.3mm), .058" (1.5mm),  and .063" (1.6mm), but may also be .080” or .122”.

 

MEASURING DRIVE LINK COUNT

Measure Drive Link Count from Saw Chain

Count the number of drive links on your old chain loop to get the correct replacement chain. Simply count the drive links around the entire loop of saw chain. The drive link count is the last 3 numbers before the last letter on the Oregon chain part number. 

For Example, 72LGX072G = 72 Drive Links; 18HX078E = 78 Drive Links.

Guide Bar

★ How to determine if a guide bar is compatible with my chainsaw?

DETERMINING GUIDE BAR & CHAINSAW COMPATIBILITY

In order to figure out if the Guide Bar and Chainsaw you plan to use together are compatible, you will need to determine (3) key specs for your chainsaw:

(1) “Required Bar Mount,” (2) Pitch, and (3) Gauge

By definition, replacement bars that are interchangeable with the original bar are those that both fit your saw (bar mount and pitch) AND take the same type of chain (pitch and gauge).

Bar Mount Compatible with Chainsaw


In practice, there are several different mount, pitch and gauge combinations in use - even in the chainsaws and bars of a single manufacturer - meaning most guide bars are mutually incompatible. Please view the rest of this guide to learn best practices of finding this info yourself.

Once you have all THREE of these specs determined, use our website's Guide Bar Selector tool to help you find yours and place an order. Use the "Filters" on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down your search results and find exactly what you need. 

Like we mentioned above, once you find the Bar Mount, Pitch, and Gauge of the bar you need to replace, you're ready to place an order!

★ Where do I LOOK for my guide bar's specs? (Pitch, Gauge, Drive Link Count) - Easiest way!

WHERE TO LOOK FOR MEASUREMENTS ON YOUR GUIDE BAR

Your chainsaw’s guide bar may have all the information you are looking for stamped right into it. It can usually be found near the back of the bar, where it mounts to the saw.

Example of Guide Bar Etched or Stamped Specs        Guide Bar Specification Etching, Engraving, Stamping, Common Location

For instance, in the example above, the chain is 3/8” pitch and .050” gauge with 72 drive links. This, along with the bar mount conversion from above, should be all the information you will need to get the proper replacement guide bar.

★ How to determine my guide bar's specs? (Pitch, Gauge, Bar Mount)

MEASURING YOUR GUIDE BAR

Getting accurate measurements from your guide bar can be tricky, especially if your guide bar has heavy user wear/damage or if you don't have the original operator's manual. In most cases, it probably won't make sense to physically measure.

We would recommend determining the Pitch and Gauge of the guide bar you need by using the saw chain you plan to use (as discussed above in the "Saw Chain" FAQ Category). For your reference, you can physically measure the chain OR find the markings on the chain to determine the Pitch and Gauge.

If you'd like to see the easy way to find Pitch and Gauge on your guide bar instead, see the next FAQ tab down: "Where do I LOOK for my guide bar's specs?"


BAR MOUNT EXPLAINED
 

Most chainsaw bars use a superficially similar arrangement of slots and holes for mounting to the chainsaw body. This arrangement is called bar mount (or tail mount). To be compatible, a guide bar and a chainsaw must have a matching bar mount type

Notice in the photo below the many variations that bar mounts can be oriented. Size and relative location varies between brands and also product lines of a given brand. Sadly, small differences make mounts incompatible: if the holes do not line up, the bar won’t fit or won’t work properly.

Varying Bar Mount Orientations by Brand

To make it easy, we only sell Oregon-brand guide bars. Each chainsaw brand/model will utilize one Oregon bar mount (possibly two, depending if the “old” bar mount has been discontinued/superseded by a newer one). 

Oregon has dozens of bar mount variations that are used to accommodate an array of different chainsaws and brands. Please be aware that even though two Oregon bars may have the same bar mount, they may still differ in Pitch and Gauge.

Please use our Guide Bar Selector Tool to filter our guide bars by Bar Mount, Pitch, and Gauge to make sure you're getting a compatible guide bar. 

Guide Bar Selector Tool on American Forestry: Filter results by Bar Mount, Pitch, and Gauge

Converting Common Stihl & Husqvarna Guide Bars to Oregon

If you are replacing an old Stihl or Husqvarna guide bar, please take a look at our bar mount conversions below to determine which Oregon bar mount you will need for your chainsaw. If your guide bar isn't Stihl or Husqvarna, please go ahead and send us your chainsaw's Brand and Model so we can find it for you.



CONVERTING YOUR BAR MOUNT TO OREGON'S BAR MOUNT
 

Oregon’s bar mounts are indicated by the last 4 digits of the part number (one letter followed by three numbers). For example, the Oregon 200RNDD025 would utilize bar mount D025

Depending on the brand and age of guide bar you use, you'll most likely be able to find your guide bar's bar mount by looking at the part numberguide bar etching, or online using your chainsaw's Brand and Model #. 

***If you have trouble finding this info for yourself, please reach out to us with your chainsaw's Brand and Model. We understand this can get quite confusing and have no problem finding the bar mount required for your specific chainsaw***


COMMON STIHL/OREGON & HUSQVARNA/OREGON BAR MOUNT CONVERSIONS

Stihl Guide Bar

Stihl bars use three types of bar mounts that can be determined by looking at the first 4 digits of the guide bar part #, usually etched into the guide bar itself:

“3005 - small” (converts to Oregon’s A074);

“3003 - medium” (converts to Oregon’s D025);

“3002 - large” (converts to Oregon’s E031 or *E099 specifically for Stihl 070/090*);

Differentiating Oregon Guide Bar Families

OREGON GUIDE BAR FAMILIES: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES

We understand that the needs of woodcutters are as diverse as the terrains and environments in which they work. We’ve organized our guide bars into product families with similar characteristics to help you find the right guide bars for your work.
  • POWERCUT
    For loggers and skilled forest workers who require heavy-duty guide bars. The tough chrome-moly steel body powerfully cuts through timber quickly and efficiently.
  • VERSACUT
    Designed for landowners and tree-cutting professionals who require versatility without sacrificing strength. Switch easily from pruning to felling without changing saws.
  • CONTROLCUT
    Ideal for woodcutting professionals who make precise and smooth cuts during their work day. This guide bar’s lighter weight reduces operator fatigue.
  • DURACUT
    Designed specifically for woodcutting professionals who work in challenging and punishing environments. The ultra high-wear resistant stellite nose and chrome-moly body gives you the power to cut through any challenging terrain.
  • ADVANCECUT
    Perfect for homeowners or landscapers who need a reliable guide bar that is light-weight and maneuverable. The bar is also designed to reduce kickback.
  • SINGLE RIVET
    Designed for homeowners who need a light-duty bar for limbing and pruning. The bar offers users greater control, reduced kickback, and it is reversible.
  • SPEEDCUT & SPEEDCUT NANO
    For woodcutters who cut high volumes of wood. Narrow kerf, light-weight, and ideal for professionals who need mid-sized bars for saws under 55cc.
  • HARVESTER
    A harvesting machine is only as good as its cutting attachments. That’s why discerning users choose Oregon Harvester Bars. Their harvester bars make your wood processing machine rise to its potential - maximizing your cutting efficiency while minimizing your down time.

Saw Chain Maintenance

VIDEOS: How do I sharpen saw chain? (Handheld Files, Bench Grinders, Electric Sharpeners)

SHARPENING YOUR SAW CHAIN

If your saw chain is no longer self-feeding, you have to push on the saw, or the waste material from your saw creates sawdust, it is time to sharpen your chainsaw chain. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen your chain every time you refill gas. 

Please view the video below to see how Oregon recommends sharpening saw chain with files:

Please view our FilesFile HandlesFile GuidesDepth Gauge Tools, and Complete File Kits (includes round & flat file, assembled file guide, file handle, and depth gauge tool!)


Please view the video below to see how Oregon recommends grinding saw chain with their 520-120620-120410-120 Bench Grinders. Please use the video time-stamps to jump to the section of the video that you need. 





Check out all of our Bench Grinders Here.

Please view the video below to see how Oregon recommends grinding saw chain with their Sure Sharp Mini Grinder.



Check out the rest of our Electric Chain Sharpeners Here.

★ FILES (Handheld): What size should I use? What are filing angles for my saw chain?

DETERMINING THE CORRECT FILE TO USE FOR YOUR SAW CHAIN

There are a handful of file sizes that are each meant to sharpen different saw chains, determined by the Pitch of the saw chain. In order to determine the correct file for your needs, you would need to locate the Pitch of your saw chain by using one of the methods mentioned above: finding the code on drive linksetching on bar, or directly measuring the saw chain

Sharpening File Size by Chain Saw Pitch

If you have determined the pitch of your saw chain, this table above can be used quite universally with most brands of saw chain. 

However, there are some key notes to be careful of when determining the right file:

  • Round files go only with round grind teeth. If you notice straight sections and multiple angles on the cutting edge, check the specific filing instructions for that chain model.
  • Regular and Low Profile Saw Chain require different size files. 3/8” and 1/4” Pitch chains come also in Low Profile (Picco) versions, which have lower cutters and take a smaller file.
  • Manufacturer recommendations vary from time to time, meaning it's always worth it to check your specific saw chain’s manufacturer recommendation. ***Sometimes intermediate sizes, 11/64” and 13/64”, are recommended instead of the XX/32” sizes.***


FILE 
SIZES/ANGLES FOR OREGON SAW CHAIN







FILE SIZE CONVERSIONS BY POPULAR BRANDS

Please view the recommended file sizes for common Husqvarna saw chain and Stihl chainsaws, below:

★ GRINDING WHEELS (Bench Grinder): What size should I use? What are grinding angles for my saw chain?

GRINDING SIZES/ANGLES FOR OREGON SAW CHAIN





★ What are the main differences between Oregon's Bench Grinders?

OREGON BENCH GRINDER COMPARISON CHART

Oregon's bench grinders offer plenty advantages over handheld saw chain sharpening. Customers have reported the significant decrease in time it takes to get the job done, meaning more time outside for the real job of cutting. 

Please view this chart below to determine which Oregon Bench Grinder may be the best for your needs.

View all of our Oregon Bench Grinders Here.

Oregon Bench Grinders Compared

How do I keep my saw chain properly lubricated?

SAW CHAIN LUBRICATION

Fill your oil reservoir each time you fill your chainsaw’s gas tank. Make sure that your saw chain, guide bar, and sprocket are always receiving oil from the saw during operation.

Keep your saw's chain-oiling system filled with clean bar and chain oil. Oregon bar and chain oil is specifically compounded to provide extra high tackiness and prevent "throw off" even under adverse weather conditions. 

As a rule of thumb, you should never put used oil or old motor oil in your saw or on your chain. Used motor oil contains metal shavings that reduce the life of your bar and chain. Additionally, lubricating your bar and chain with used motor oil will void your warranty.

How do I deal with cold-weather wear on my saw chain?

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH COLD-WEATHER WEAR

  • Oil
    • Use a lighter weight of bar-chain oil, or dilute bar-chain oil 25% with clean kerosene or diesel oil (you’ll need to use twice as much of the diluted oil) and be certain your chain is receiving oil from the saw.
  • Cutters
    • Keep cutters sharp.
    • Touch up every hour, more often if needed.
    • Do not force dull chain to cut.
  • Bar
    • Turn symmetrical bars over to equalize rail wear.
    • Keep the bar groove clean and oil holes open.
  • Tension
    • Check and adjust often.
    • Keep your chain correctly tensioned.
  • Depth Gauges
    • It's recommended to check the bite of cutters is regulated by the height of the leading portion of each cutter, commonly known as the depth gauge.
    • Check and adjust your cutter's depth gauges at every sharpening.
  • Drive Sprocket
    • Be sure to read the operator's manual supplied with your chainsaw in its entirety.
    • Replace the sprocket after every two chains, or sooner if wear is evident.

Granberg Saw Mills

VIDEO: Milling Tips for first-time users

MILLING TIPS FOR FIRST TIME USERS

Learn from Mr. Erik Granberg, President of Granberg International the tips and tricks to getting the best results from your Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. View all of our Saw Mills Here.

VIDEO RECAP

1. THREE important things to consider before milling. One, does your chainsaw have enough power? (see chainsaw size and power reference chart below). Two, ripping chain is necessary! Three, a first cut system to assist in your first cut. (0:35)

2. Inspect log and debark. Check diameter of log vs the cutting width of mill. Is your mill going to make it through the cut? There may be a section that is too wide. This can be trimmed before milling. (2:00)

3. Mount Alaskan Mill onto bar. Adjust to fit bar. Avoid clamping down on the sprocket nose. Tighten all hardware. The clamping bolts for the bar and end bracket require 10-12 pounds of torque. Tighten evenly. All other carriage bolts use 8-10 pounds of tightening torque. Do not over tighten, this only weakens the bolts. (3:15)

4. Tool kit check. (11:07)

5. Safety Equipment. Chapsgloves, boots, eye and ear protection are required! (11:51)

6. Make sure your wedges are handy! (12:20)

7. Best way to start your second cut. (13:17)

8. Wedging tips while milling. (14:18)

9. What to look, listen and feel for while milling. (14:54)

10. How to exit the cut. To keep the mill from dipping when exiting cut, put a little back pressure on upright handle and support the powerhead. (17:24)

★ What are the chainsaw size and power requirements for Granberg Saw Mills?

CHAINSAW POWER & SIZE REQUIREMENTS

In general, you will need at least 50cc to run our smallest mill (G777). The more powerful your saw, the easier your milling experience is going to be. Consult the chart to see if your chainsaw has enough power to do the job you want it to do. Under-powered saws will take longer to make a cut and may overheat and possibly fail. You will definitely want to use a ripping chain and take your time. Granberg will not take responsibility for damage caused by using saws that are under-powered. We also recommend against using battery or electric saws.

Bar Length and Chainsaw Power Requirements for Granberg Alaskan Saw Mill

Why should I use "Ripping Chain" with my saw mill?

What is Ripping Chain?

A ripping chain is a semi chisel option that’s used on shallow-angle cutters with around 10° cutting angle. It cuts along the wood grain rather than cutting across the pores or veins, which is different from other options available in the market. This speciality chain is used for milling, meaning it can only be used for specific projects where smoother wood surfaces are required. Here are some of the advantages of this particular type of chain:

  • Smoother Finish – Ripping chain cuts along the grain, meaning the chain won't be breaking through and splitting wood fiber that would create a splintered, rough finish. Instead, it takes a shaving of wood along the grain, leaving a smoother surface finish.
  • Semi Chisel – Its semi chisel structure ensures the chain remains sharper for a longer period of time, which has a positive impact on productivity.
  • Resistant to Damage – The chain design gives off less vibration and kick-back, which makes it more resistant to damage, even when you hit debris in the wood. This helps professionals save money as the chain doesn’t need to be replaced as often.


Please view our Oregon Ripping Chain Here.

Please view our Granberg Ripping Chain Here.

How do I find the right Ripping Chain?

CHOOSING THE RIGHT RIPPING CHAIN FOR YOU

Just like any other saw chain, compatible Ripping Chain is found by using Pitch, Gauge, and Drive Link Count.

The easiest way for you to determine your chain information is to look at the bar. Nine times out of ten, the bar will have the information you need, usually in the area indicated below.


If the bar has been used to the point where the information there is unreadable (or if it was never there to begin with), it’s not the end of the world. Inspect your drive link (indicated by the B in the diagram below). It should be marked with one of the IDs in the table below.

If you have a chain manufactured by Stihl, there will be two identifying marks - one on the drive link and one on the raker/depth gauge on the leading edge of the cutter (indicated by A in the diagram). For all other chains, you will only need to check the drive link for the information you need.  

Once you find the drive link ID, you can figure out the Pitch and Gauge - then all that remains to be done is to count the drive links. 


Please view our Oregon Ripping Chain Here.

Please view our Granberg Ripping Chain Here.

Do I have to use wedges with the Granberg Saw Mill?

WEDGING TECHNIQUES FOR USE WITH MILLS

It's important to have proper wedges. Depending on the size of the log you are milling, the weight of the slab or beam may be pinching the chain. Using wedges as you move through the cut can help lift the wood out of the way. Wedge early, wedge often. You can buy some on our website here if you don't have any at home.

A good wedge is at least 6″ long, 3″ wide and tapered from 3/4″ to 0″. Best to put at least 5 in your back pocket or tool pouch. After you cut into the log, about 2 feet, put the first wedge into the beginning of your cut. Then put a wedge in every two feet.

Larger, thicker slabs require more support, meaning use more wedges and tapping them in really well.

Lighter, smaller slabs require less support, meaning use less wedges and giving just a quick tap.

Can I put a larger mill on a smaller bar?

CAN I PUT A LARGER MILL ON A SMALLER BAR?

Yes, all of our MKIII Alaskan mills can be adapted to fit a smaller bar, because the thickness rails have a channel all the way down that will allow the depth post to be moved. So, if you have a 32” bar, you will want a 36” mill (G778-36). The nose end depth post can be adjusted down to fit the smaller bar.

Likewise, if you have a 36” bar at the moment, but are maybe thinking about investing in a larger bar, you can buy a 48” mill (G778-48) and put it on the smaller bar until you get the upgrade.

One consideration you will have to make is although you can put a larger mill on a smaller bar, the mill size itself will not change, so you will need enough room to operate a 48” mill even if you are only using a 36” bar. This is really only an issue in the thickest of brush. If you’re milling in your driveway or front yard, you shouldn’t have a problem.

How do I make lumber with a Granberg Saw Mill?

MAKING LUMBER WITH GRANBERG ALASKAN SAW MILLS

Download PDF Here!

Portable Winch

★ What are the main differences between the Portable Winches you offer?

PORTABLE WINCH COMPARISON CHART

View the spec differences between all the Portable Winches that we offer on our website. Use this comparison chart to determine which Portable Winch is best for your needs.

View all of our Portable Winches here.



Once you determine which machine will work for you, then you can figure out if any of the Accessory Kits will be beneficial to youl

How can I increase the pulling power of my winch?

MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE BY USING PULLEYS

Check out this video by Portable Winch to learn how to add power to your winch setup by using pulleys below:

Please view all of our Portable Winch Accesories Here.

What is the fuel consumption of the Honda GXH-50 engine?

Is there anything I should know about the gas (petrol) to put in it?

Use gasoline without ethanol.

A filled tank means no condensation - air (and therefore space) in an unfilled tank will create condensation, especially in seasons with good temperature variations.

If the winch is not started for an extended period (more than 3 months), this can become problematic.

It's not a bad idea to put stabilizer in gasoline.

When stopping the winch, let the engine run, close the fuel valve and let it burn;

Once done, pull on the starter rope to close the valves (until you feel resistance);

If the exhaust valve is open, air from outside enters the engine, which can cause condensation and rusting of the pistons, which can prevent winch from restarting;

See the Honda engine manual for more details;

Tip: When you fill your tank at the pump, it is a good idea to run the first liter in your vehicle, which ensures to empty the gas of the previous customer...

What is the maximum distance my winch can pull?

Carrying Case Options and Compatibility for Portable Winches

Portable Winch Case Options

Battery Options and Power Capability for Electric Portable Winches

Rope, Lanyards, Webbing

★ How do I determine which rope is best for me?

SELECTING THE ROPE


Selecting a rope involves evaluating a combination of factors. Some of these factors are straight forward like comparing rope specifications. Others are less quantitative like a preference for a specific color or how a rope feels in your hand.

Fiber and construction being equal, a larger rope will outlast a smaller rope, because of the greater surface wear distribution. By the same token, a stronger rope will outlast a weaker one, because it will be used at a lower percentage of its break strength with less chance of overstressing.

Consider the opinion of professional climbers who may have more experience as to how well a rope performs. Consider also the reputation of the rope manufacturer. Are they involved with and supportive of the arborist industry? Do they stand behind their products with consistent quality and reliable service? Buying unproven ropes because they are a little less expensive is false economy and can lead to disaster.

Some things to consider when looking at ropes are:

Construction
Kernmantle rope consists of a central core (kern) of fibers that support most of the load on the rope (about 80 percent). A woven sheath (mantle) covers this core and supports less of the load (about 20 percent). The sheath’s tight weave protects the core fibers from abrasion, dirt, and sunlight. The resulting rope is strong and resists damage, yet is easy to handle.

In laid construction, small fiber bundles are twisted together and combined into larger bundles that are twisted around one another. The “lay” of the rope is the direction in which the strands are twisted. Most ropes are right-laid (strands spiral upward to the right when the rope is held vertically). The lay may be either hard or soft. Hard-lay construction creates a stiff rope in which knots are difficult to set and hard to untie after use. When under a load, these ropes resist abrasion and hold their shape better than soft-laid ropes. Soft-lay construction results in a flexible, easy-to-use rope, but one that unwinds easily and is not recommended for rappelling. All ropes of laid construction tend to untwist when loaded, causing spin and rope kinking. The amount laid ropes untwist when loaded depends on the strength of the lay. Because each fiber may appear at the rope’s surface in several places along its length, the load-bearing fibers are more susceptible to abrasion damage.

Braided ropes have gained popularity among tree climbers because of their excellent knot holding and handling characteristics. Common types include solid braid 12-strand and double braid mantle and core 16-strand. Both types of construction are used in life support climbing lines and in rigging ropes.

Strength
When given a choice between ropes, select the strongest of any given size. A load of 200 pounds represents 2% of the strength of a rope with a breaking strength of 10,000 pounds. The same load represents 4% of the strength of a rope that has a breaking strength of 5,000 pounds. The weaker rope is having to work harder and as a result will have to be retired sooner. Braided ropes are stronger than twisted ropes that are the same size and fiber type.

Ropes used for safety lines, safety straps, lanyards, and climbing lines should have an abrasion resistance and a melting point that is equal to or greater than nylon rope and a minimum breaking strength of 5,400 pounds (24kN). Climbing lines that are UIAA approved and meet the standard for single-rope use are suitable. Smaller diameter rope of less than 5,400-pounds breaking strength may be used to construct slings and prusik loops if the finished product meets or exceeds 5,400-pounds breaking strength. However, the margin of safety will be lower because the smaller diameter rope will have less resistance to friction wear for these purposes.

Elongation
It is well accepted that ropes with lower elongation under load will give you better load control, a big help at complicated job sites. However, ropes with lower elongation that are shock loaded, like a lowering line, can fail without warning even though it appears to be in good shape. Low elongating ropes should be selected with the highest possible strength. Both twisted ropes and braided ropes are suitable for rigging. Twisted rope has lower strength and more stretch. Braided rope has higher strength and lower stretch.

A static rope has less than 20-percent elongation at the breaking strength and less than 2 percent elongation at a working load of 500 pounds. As a rule, these ropes are stiffer than dynamic ropes, which can make knot tying more difficult. Generally, static ropes are more resistant to abrasion and dirt penetration. Principal uses for static ropes include haul lines, lanyards, safety straps or slings, SRT ropes, and rappel ropes. Never use static ropes in situations where a fall could occur, such as with the 4-inch tie-in system, or as a safety line for a belayed ascent. 

A dynamic rope has an elongation of 40 to 60 percent at the breaking strength and less than 10 percent elongation at a working load of 176 pounds. A dynamic rope absorbs the shock of a fall, giving the climber added protection. Principal uses for dynamic ropes include safety lines and 4-inch tie-in systems. Because of their versatility, dynamic ropes are suitable for lanyards and rappelling. They are NOT recommended for haul lines, SRT, and DRT because of their tendency to stretch. 
Semi-static/dynamic ropes fall into the elasticity range between fully static and fully dynamic. Ropes designed for use in DRT climbing systems are commonly in this elasticity range, i.e. from 3 to 4 percent elongation at working loads of 500 pounds.

Firmness
Select ropes that are firm and round and hold their shape during use. Soft or mushy ropes will snag easily and abrade quickly causing accelerated strength loss. Because the fibers are in a straighter line, which improves strength but compromises durability, loose or mushy rope will almost always have higher break strengths than a similar rope that is firm and holds its shape.

Stiffer ropes generally resist abrasion better than more flexible ropes. All ropes may be abraded from within by dirt particles rubbing against the fibers or from the outside by contact with rough or sharp surfaces.

★ How do I properly maintain my ropes?

MAINTAINING YOUR ROPE

Proper use of your ropes, maintaining them, and staying within recommended working loads will allow you to get the most from your rope investment. Working loads are calculated to maximize safety and extend the working life of both climbing and rigging lines. Dirt and grit embedded in the fibers can also significantly shorten rope life. Keep them clean, bagged and properly stored when not in use.
  • Storage

    Proper storage maximizes a rope’s useful life. Store rope in a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to direct sunlight rapidly deteriorates rope fibers. Untie all knots before storage and never hang a rope over a nail, small diameter peg, or hook. Ideally, rope should be flaked or coiled and stored in a rope bag that can be closed tightly.

    Do not leave a rope unattended in a tree. The equipment needs to be closely inspected before each use, and it cannot be if it is left in the tree. Tree sap, insects, animals, abrasion, sunlight, and rain affect climbing equipment, and equipment cannot be monitored or controlled when it is left in the tree. If a tree will be climbed more than once, a utility cord can be left in a position that allows climbing ropes to be easily put in place for future climbs.

  • Working Loads

    Working loads are the loads that a rope is subjected to in everyday activity. They are normally expressed as a percentage of new rope strength and should not exceed 20% for rigging lines and 10% for climbing lines. A point to remember is that a rope may be severely overloaded or shock loaded in use without breaking. However, damage and strength loss may have occurred without any visible indication. The next time the rope is used under normal working loads the acquired weakness can cause it to break. Do not blame the rope, it was simply overloaded and failed from what is known as fatigue.




  • Shock Loads

    Shock loads are simply a sudden change in tension – from a state of relaxation or low load to one of high load. Any sudden load that exceeds the work load by more than 10% is considered a shock load. The further an object falls, the greater the impact. Synthetic fibers have a memory and retain the effects of being overloaded or shock loaded and can fail at a later time, even though loaded within the normal working load range.

  • Cleanliness

    Modern arborists ropes often have 12, 16, or even 24 strands of fiber bundles making up their constructions. Dirt and grit can work their way in between the strands where they act like tiny knives. As the rope flexes, the grit and abrasives can act like tiny knives, cutting away at the strands of the rope from inside. This is why it is important to keep your ropes as clean as possible, especially if you are working in an area with lots of sand or grit. A rope should never be stepped on, driven over, or have other equipment piled on it if you want to keep dirt out.

    A brush tarp or rope tarp laid out at the base of the tree to pile the rope on is a great way to keep it clean. Better still is deploying the rope directly from an arborist rope bag. This ensures that the rope stays as clean as possible, and also helps prevent tangles and snags.

    View our collection of Rope Bags Here.

    Ropes can also be washed, either by hand in a rope washer, by placing it in a mesh rope-washing sack and washing it in a front-loading washing machine with a gentle detergent or Rope Soap, or you can use commercial T-shaped rope washers that attach to a garden hose use tiny water jets to effectively and easily clean ropes. Chemical solvents or abrasive cleaners should NEVER be used on an arborist rope. Always let your ropes dry before storing them to prevent mildew and mold. Rope should only be washed when very dirty. Wash ropes to keep dirt from working its way inside, where it can abrade and weaken internal fibers. 

    New rope should never be washed, rinsed, or soaked before initial use because of the naturally slippery quality that makes it soft and supple. The fibers adjust favorably, depending on use. Washing a new rope tends to remove the natural slipperiness, causing it to become dry and brittle, thereby shortening its life. 

    Drip dry out of direct sunlight; never machine dry.

★ When should I finally retire my rope?

RETIRING THE ROPE

One of the most frequently asked questions is “When should I retire my rope?” The most obvious answer is before it breaks. But, without a thorough understanding of how to inspect it and without knowing the load history, you are left making an educated guess. Unfortunately, there are no definitive rules nor industry guidelines to establish when a rope should be retired because there are so many variables that affect rope strength. Factors like load history, bending radius, abrasion, chemical exposure or some combination of those factors, make retirement decisions difficult. Inspecting your rope should be a continuous process of observation before, during and after each use. In synthetic fiber ropes the amount of strength loss due to abrasion and/or flexing is directly related to the amount of broken fiber in the rope’s cross section. After each use, look and feel along every inch of the rope length inspecting for damage as listed below:

  • Abrasion

    When the rope is first put into service, the outer filaments of the rope will quickly fuzz up. This is the result of these filaments breaking and this roughened surface actually forms a protective cushion and shield for the fibers underneath. This condition should stabilize, not progress. If the surface roughness increases, excessive abrasion is taking place and strength is being lost. As a general rule for braided ropes, when there is 25% or more wear from abrasion the rope should be retired from service. In other words, if 25% or more of the fiber is broken or worn away the rope should be removed from service. With three-strand ropes, 10% or more wear is accepted as the retirement point.

  • Glossy or Glazed Areas

    Glossy or glazed areas are signs of heat damage with more strength loss than the amount of melted fiber indicates. Fibers adjacent to the melted areas are probably damaged from excessive heat even though they appear normal. It is reasonable to assume that the melted fiber has damaged an equal amount of adjacent unmelted fiber. Unlike fiber compression, melting damage cannot be mitigated by flexing the rope. Melted areas must be cut out and rope respliced or the rope must be retired

  • Discoloration

    With use, all ropes get dirty. Be on the lookout for areas of discoloration that could be caused by chemical contamination. Determine the cause of the discoloration and replace the rope if it is brittle or stiff.

  • Inconsistent Diameter

    Inspect for flat areas, bumps or lumps. This can indicate core or internal damage from overloading or shock loads and is usually sufficient reason to replace the rope.

  • Inconsistent Texture/Stiffness

    Inconsistent texture or stiff areas can indicate excessive dirt or grit embedded in the rope or shock load damage and is usually reason to replace the rope.

  • Temperature

    When using rope, friction can be your best friend or worst enemy if it is not managed properly. By definition, friction creates heat, the greater the friction, the greater the heat buildup. Heat is an enemy to synthetic fiber and elevated temperatures can drastically reduce the strength and/or cause rope melt-through. Each rope’s construction and fiber type will yield a different coefficient of friction (reluctance to slip) in a new and used state. It is important to understand the operational demands and ensure the size, rope construction and fiber type be taken into account to minimize heat buildup

    Rope Temperature Limits

  • Volume Reduction

    Rope displaying 25% strand volume reduction from abrasion – rope should be retired from service. Amount of volume reduction that indicates retirement depends on rope construction. Refer to “check list” below:

    Rope Volume Reduce Limits

  • Flat Spots

    Rope displays a snagged strand. If the strand can be worked back into the rope, no need to retire. If not, this indicates a retirement point.

  • Cut Strands

    Rope displays two adjacent cut strands. This rope should either be retired or the cut section should be removed. If possible, re-splice. Number of cut strands that indicate retirement depends on rope construction. See “checklist” below:

    Rope Cut Limits

★ Webbing: what should I know? (Flat Rope, Slings, Lanyards, Straps, ETC.)

Webbing for Arborists

Webbing is a form of flat cordage that comes in many different sizes and types. Wider webbing is generally stronger, but due to differences in construction and materials, width is not always a good indication of breaking strength. It is essential to know the breaking strength of any material used in tree climbing work. The climber is responsible for purchasing webbing that meets or exceeds approved safety standards.

Heavy-duty webbing that is 2 to 3 inches wide is available. Heavy-duty flat webbing may be difficult to handle or tie securely. Tubular webbing is usually stronger and more flexible than a similar width of flat webbing. Quality 1-inch tubular webbing usually has a breaking strength of about 4,000 pounds. This webbing will only meet life-support strength requirements when assembled and used as a loop sling.

Two types of construction are used for tubular webbing:

  1. Spiral structure, also referred to as shuttle loom construction. This type of webbing is suitable for life support.
  2. Chain structure, also referred to as edge-stitched or needle-loom construction. This type of webbing is NOT suitable for life support

Suitable Uses for Webbing

  1. Safety straps for protection points in the 4-inch tie-in system
  2. Safety straps for protection in belayed climbing
  3. Step-up slings or etriers
  4. Utility cordage for attaching and hauling equipment aloft
  5. Tree-crotch lanyard/friction savers
  6. Re-direct anchors in DRT climbing systems.
  7. Light rigging work
  8. Anchors

Care, Cleaning, and Storage of Webbing

  1. Never wash, rinse, or soak new webbing before initial use. New webbing is naturally slippery, which makes it soft and supple. Washing new webbing tends to remove the natural slipperiness, causing it to become dry and brittle and shortening its life.
  2. Dirt will damage webbing over time through abrasion. When necessary, wash dirty webbing in warm water with mild detergent to reduce the likelihood of abrasion.
  3. Avoid heat and direct sunlight when drying webbing.
  4. Before storing, remove knots if webbing is to be retied in different configurations in the future. If webbing is tied in a permanent configuration (such as safety straps and etriers), leave knots in place to help them “set.”
  5. Store webbing in a cool, dark, dry place.
  6. Never store webbing where it can be stepped on or have equipment piled on top of it; this can cause internal wear by grinding abrasive dirt into the fibers or direct damage by abrasion or cutting.
  7. Examine fibers closely for wear. Retire webbing before the surface fibers are worn at any place along the webbing.
  8. Keep webbing used for life support separated from utility cordage. Mark utility cordage so it can be distinguished from material used for life support.
  9. Never use life-support webbing for vehicle towing or subject it to other such abuse.

Advantages of Webbing

  1. Worn webbing is less expensive to replace than worn rope and is more convenient.
  2. Webbing may be used to keep climbing rope away from points of wear and contamination.
  3. Tubular webbing is extremely flexible, making it easy to handle. It is relatively resistant to breaking over rounded edges (such as carabiners and branches), and it generally withstands abrasion well.

Disadvantages of Webbing

  1. Webbing does not have a protected core like a kernmantle rope, so the load-bearing elements are directly exposed to abrasion and ultraviolet deterioration.
  2. Webbing is more vulnerable to cutting when exposed to sharp edges.
  3. Webbing is not suitable for rappels.
  4. Knots in webbing are difficult to untie once loaded.

Lanyards: what should I know?

LANYARDS

Always use lanyards that can be easily adjusted while climbing. Practice adjusting them while still on the ground. Before ascending a tree, master throwing and catching the lanyard around the bole as well as limb-over procedures. Always use the correct type and length of lanyard for the job.

Many types and styles of lanyards are suitable for tree climbing work. These can be divided into four categories:

  1. Belt lanyards or lineman’s safety straps. Belt lanyards normally consist of a wide piece of nylon webbing with an adjustable buckle and a snap catch at both ends. Generally, these are not the best choice for tree climbing because they are awkward to adjust and come in just a few sizes.
  2. Prusik lanyards may be equipped with a snap catch at one or both ends and are adjusted by means of either a prusik knot or other friction hitch. The lanyards come in a variety of sizes and styles that meet almost every climber’s needs. Some styles may be awkward to adjust, but most adjust quickly and easily. The addition of a slack-tending micro pulley to the adjustment system increases ease of use significantly. The versatility of this lanyard has made it the preferred “all purpose” lanyard for tree climbing. Never use these lanyards for primary support when cutting, trimming, or pruning trees because of the possibility that the lanyard might be cut.
  3. Mechanical adjuster lanyards come with a snap catch at one end and a mechanical adjuster that can be moved along the lanyard and attached to the climber’s belt or harness. These rope or cable steel-core lanyards are the easiest to adjust as the adjustment takes place at the climber’s hip D-ring. Safety measures include placing an end splice or knot at the end of the rope to prevent the adjuster from going off the end and keeping the adjuster cam cleared of twigs and leaves.
  4. Cut-resistant lanyards are typically made from cable core rope and are considered cut-resistant. Use of cut-resistant lanyards is recommended when spur climbing and required when cutting, trimming, or pruning in trees. Lanyards made from cable core rope have an eye spliced at one end of the rope that contains a snap catch. Always inspect the steel-cable core before use to ensure that the cable passes around the eye splice and is spliced or crimped back onto itself. The lanyard is snapped into a D-ring on one side of the climbing belt or safety harness and fastened to a D-ring on the opposite side with a Becket hitch, mechanical lanyard adjuster, or friction hitch. When using the lanyard for support, always maintain at least an 18-inch tail on the running end where the Becket hitch is tied.

Care of Lanyards

  1. Fiber and synthetic lanyards
    1. Check knots, splices, and metal parts for defects.
    2. Inspect rope lanyards and retire them when the rope meets the criteria outlined in "When should I finally retire my rope?" above.
    3. Never store lanyards with sharp or abrasive objects.
  2. Steel-core rope lanyards
    1. Remove sharp edges and protruding cable.
    2. Check for weaknesses in the steel core.
    3. Inspect the cable splice for defects.

What's the difference between Climbing and Rigging Rope?

CLIMBING ROPE VS. RIGGING ROPE

Your ropes are, of course, some of your most essential pieces of tree gear. To start from the beginning, it’s important to understand features and specific purpose:

  • Climbing ropes are used to secure an arborist to the tree. These ropes will help you ascend and descend the tree, and are not designed for any other task.

Climbing ropes have a little bit of stretch, unlike lowering ropes which have next to no stretch. This feature is important for climbing, as it helps absorb the kinetic force of a sudden stop in the event of a climber’s fall, helping to prevent serious back injuries, but mustn’t be too great or it would absorb too much energy in the climbing process and cause premature fatigue.

Arborist climbing ropes must be certified to EN1891. This should be marked on the rope, along with a serial or identification number.

See our collection of Climbing Ropes Here
  • Lowering or rigging ropes, on the other hand, are used to lower and move tree limbs or sections of wood. Lowering ropes are not suitable for climbing for several reasons: 
Firstly, they’re not safety certified for such.

Secondly, the composition of the rope is optimized for rigging, not for climbing.

Thirdly, the wear and tear that rigging ropes go through does weaken them, meaning it cannot be relied on as a PPE item.

See our collection of Rigging Ropes Here.

Blocks, Pulleys, Carabiners

What is the difference between a Block and a Pulley?

BLOCKS VS. PULLEYS


There are dozens of pulleys and blocks available for the use of arborists today. However not all are created to the same specifications, and there are many applications which will put high demand on the hardware and for which only certain blocks should be used. While the terms "block" and "pulley" are largely interchangeable, we have divided them into two main groups for clarity:

  • Blocks
    Built for tree rigging, including negative blocking - sustain shock loading a situation where the load free-falls momentarily before being caught by the block. This places far more force on the hardware than normal lowering, therefore only arborist blocks should be used in such situations. Arborist blocks have widened cheek plates to protect the rigging line from abrasion against the tree. Arborist blocks also have an upper sheave to safely attach a rigging sling.

    See our collection of Blocks Here.

  • Pulleys
    Built for many purposes, not ideal for negative blocking - excellent tools for lowering static loads. They are not manufactured to handle shock loading and for these reason are often cheaper than arborist blocks. The relatively narrow cheek plates on a pulley may expose the rope to abrasion, so care should be taking that the line does not rub against the tree when rigging with a pulley. Most pulleys have carabiner holes in the upper body rather than an upper sheave, and so the rigging sling can not be tied directly to the pulley, and a shackle or clevis is necessary for safe operation.

    See our collection of Pulleys Here

What factors should I consider when finding a block/pulley?

Factors to consider when choosing a block or pulley are:

  • Rope Diameter Capacity - Blocks may be safely used with rope sizes up to the max. diameter capacity.
  • Sheave Diameter - The wider the sheave diameter, the less it will reduce the breaking strength of the rope or sling.
  • Working Load Limit (WLL) - Working Load Limit is the maximum load the block is intended to handle. The percentage of breaking strength that constitutes the WLL is different from one manufacturer to another, but is generally 20 -25%.
  • Breaking Strength (Brk Str) - This is the weight at which the device fails under test conditions.
  • Bearing vs. Bushing - Bearings are more expensive than bushings, but are more efficient and are sealed against dirt and sawdust. In practical terms, they have identical strength properties.

Carabiners & Screw Links: General Care & Guidelines

Carabiners & Screw Links: What are the Different Shapes?

4 CARABINER SHAPES

It's important to determine which carabiner shape is most ideal for your own use case. Use the info below to help you decide:

"D", Oval, Modified/Asymmetric D, and Pear/HMS

"D"-SHAPED CARABINERS

Regardless of the oval carabiner’s popularity, many climbers choose to utilize the D-shaped carabiner. Why? This carabiner type can directly carry the load away from the gate, reducing the center’s weight - so a smaller, lighter "D" carabiner can be just as strong as a larger oval. 

D-shaped carabiners are a little bit smaller when compared to oval carabiners. As such, they weigh less. In addition, they boast higher durability and provide a stable balance to your load.

Pros:

  • Solid and durable.
  • Facilitates stable load balance.
  • Strongest shape

Cons:

  • The D-shape carabiner is more costly than oval shaped.
  • It contains a small gate opening, but larger than oval.

 

OVAL CARABINERS

Oval carabiners are the original style. Most individuals or climbers use the oval carabiner because it has a wide range of purposes, though not quite as strong as other shapes. Among the reasons for its preference by many people is its unique elliptical shape, which creates more space to clip your equipment or gear.  

Another advantage of the oval carabiner is it allows you to hold your weight at the bottom of the oval, promoting a steady climb. In addition, the oval carabiner enables you to descend safely- its symmetrical oval shape provides a braking system. It differs from other types of carabiners in that its weight capacity is minimal. 

Pros:

  • Its oval shape creates more space to hold your gear.
  • Its center of gravity provided at the bottom of the oval carabiner maintains a stable balance since your equipment will be intact.

Cons:

  • Relatively small gate opening.
  • Fragile and smooth oval carabiner.

 

OFFSET/MODIFIED/ASYMMETRIC "D" CARABINERS

This type of carabiner is also referred to as the asymmetric D-shape. It is almost similar to the primary D-shape carabiner, only that it is smaller at one end (to reduce weight). Unlike the D-shape carabiners, modified D carabiners come with large gate openings that provide an effortless clip-on. But they don't have as much inside room as similarly sized Ds or ovals. Many climbers utilize the modified D carabiner.

Pros:

  • Decently large gate opening.
  • Easy clip-on.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • It comes in varieties, including straight and bent gates, double and triple action locks, screw locks, and twists.

Cons: 

  • Fairly expensive.
  • Less space and weaker than D-shape carabiners.

 

PEAR SHAPED (HMS) CARABINERS

Pear-shape carabiners are suited explicitly for belay and rappel. Containing a large gate opening, this type of carabiner ensures your gear is safe and secure. Pear-shaped carabiners are used primarily for belaying and rappelling, but also can be used at anchor points for top roping or multipitch climbing. In addition, they help facilitate a stable balance for your load. You’ll sometimes hear these called HMS carabiners, and some are even marked with HMS on the spine. HMS indicates that the carabiner is designed with a wide, more symmetrical top that works well with a Münter hitch.

Pros:

  • Features a big gate opening.
  • Help facilitate a stable balance for your load.

Cons:

  • Costlier and somewhat heavier than most carabiners.
  • Not as strong as D and asymmetric D shapes

Carabiners & Screw Links: Locking Mechanisms

6 CARABINER LOCKING MECHANISMS

Pay close attention to the type of locking mechanism you will need. 

SCREW LOCK (MANUAL LOCKING)

A screw lock gate carabiner requires the user to manually screw the sleeve onto the gate to lock.  

Screw Lock (Manual Locking) Carabiner

Pros:

  • You can manually tighten a lock using screw locks.
  • Easy to use-one can quickly tighten the gate’s sleeve.
  • Screw locks are durable and adapt to the dynamics of the environment.

Cons:

  • Excess friction on the sleeve tends to unlock the screw lock.
  • There is a possibility of forgetting to lock the screw.
  • It needs substantial time to fix when loosening the screw lock against the gate.

 

DOUBLE-ACTION (AUTO LOCK)

Unlocking an auto-lock gate requires two consecutive and distinctive actions. Specifically, releasing an Auto-lock gate requires a rotating sleeve and then manually pushing the lock inwards. Soon after releasing the lock, the double-action carabiner will automatically lock itself. 

Double Action (Auto Lock)

Pros:

  • Auto-lock carabiners are fast and easy to open.
  • The double-action carabiner minimizes the likelihood of forgetting to lock.

Cons:

  • The auto-lock carabiner is a shadow to triple-action auto lock’s security.
  • Tedious gate opening process- you have to loosen or unscrew its sleeve.

 

TRIPLE-ACTION (AUTO LOCK)

Unlocking a triple-action carabiner requires you to follow three consecutive steps. The process requires you to shift the sleeve up and down, manually rotate the sleeve, and then push the lock inwards. Like the double-action carabiner, a triple-action carabiner automatically locks itself upon release.

Triple Action (Auto Locking)

Pros:

  • The automatic lock mechanism automatically shuts itself. 
  • Highly safe and secure.

Cons:

  • Natural environmental conditions like winter or muddy encounters inhibit proper automatic lock function.
  • Inconvenient as it mandates the use of two hands.

 



STRAIGHT GATE (NON-LOCKING)

Straight gate carabiners are a robust and longstanding option, a characteristic that makes them unique. These non-locking carabiners contain a spring-loaded gate that is opened by a single push. A straight-gate carabiner automatically shuts itself and is often used during simple outdoor activities like racking gear.

Straight-gate carabiners are recommended for quick-draw actions. Some of the straight-gate carabiners are inclusive of critical locks to prevent catching and hooking.

Pros:

  • Highly durable.
  • Render rope clipping process easier.
  • Can feature a Keylock-feature, enhancing snag-free clipping.

Cons:

  • Heavier than wire gate.

 

BENT GATE (NON-LOCKING)

Similar to straight-gate carabiners, bent-gate carabiners do not lock and are not recommended for climbing. Their bent shape enables effortless and quick clips, mostly on ropes. They allow for quick-draws at a rope’s end-point.

It is important to note that some bent-gate carabiners brands provide key locking features to avoid injuries and equipment damage.

Pros:

  • Highly durable.
  • Render rope clipping process easier.
  • Keylock-feature enhancing snag-free clipping.

Cons:

  • Heavier than wire gate.

 

WIRE GATE

These carabiners comprise a stainless-steel wire loop gate, which decreases overall weight and eliminates the need for extra parts found in conventional gates. Since they're lower weight, they are also more manageable and more convenient to operate.

In addition, the design creates a wider gate opening. Moreover, these gates are less prone to freezing during cold weather conditions.

Although wiregates don't appear as strong as conventional styles, most are. Also, due to the lower mass in the gate itself, wiregates are less likely to vibrate open during a fall (this is called gate lash).

Pros:

  • Relatively lightweight.
  • Reduce the likelihood of a freeze shut.
  • Reduces the occurrence of gate lash.

Cons:

  • Less durable than bent and straight gate carabiners.

Carabiners & Screw Links: Size, Weight & Strength

SIZE, WEIGHT, AND STRENGTH

SIZE

Carabiners come in a variety of sizes. Large carabiners are typically easier to handle and easier to clip (they have larger gate openings), and they can hold more gear inside. They are commonly used with belay and rappel devices. Smaller carabiners are lighter and take up less room on your rack, but they can be harder to clip.

Gate open clearance, provided in millimeters, is something you may want to pay attention to when looking at the size of a carabiner. This number refers to the width that the gate can open, plus the depth and shape of the bottom of the carabiner below the gate. Generally the smaller the carabiner, the less clearance it offers.

Too little gate-open clearance may lead to your finger getting stuck between the gate and the carabiner body while clipping; too deep a clearance can also make the carabiner difficult to clip. An ideal amount makes clipping the carabiner easy. 

WEIGHT

In general, the less weight you carry with you as you climb, the better. But lighter carabiners are not always best. Superlight carabiners are often smaller, which can make them harder to use when you’re clipping the rope or a bolt. Also, lightweight carabiners often use narrower rod stock, which can mean lower gate-open strengths and shorter lifespans. Narrow carabiners can also cause more rope wear, since the narrow ends can act like edges, biting into your weighted rope as it slides past.

STRENGTH

Carabiners are rated for strength in three directions: lengthwise (major axis), sideways (minor axis) and while open (major axis open or "gate open"). These ratings are typically marked on the spine of the carabinerAll climbing carabiners pass UIAA and CE standards, which means they are plenty strong enough as long as you use them correctly. Gate-open strength and minor-axis strength are where you see the most variation.

Carabiner Markings
Here’s how you might use strength ratings:
 If you’ve narrowed your search to a few different carabiners that will work well for your style of climbing, look at the strength ratings as one of the final decision points. If one carabiner provides everything you need and is stronger than the others, then you might as well go with that one. Keep in mind that smaller and lighter carabiners are generally weaker than bigger, heavier ones, but not always.

Saddles, Harnesses, and Belts

★ Proper fit and sizing for belts, saddles, and harnesses

FIT AND SIZING

  1. Check out the product photos on our listings to see manufacturer-specific sizing guides for saddles and harnesses.
  2. A safety harness or climbing saddle with D rings (positioning rings) mounted at the hips should be used. If a separate spur climbing belt is used, it shall be worn over a safety harness.
  3. Wear the climbing belt or waist band of climbing saddle low on your waist—it should ride on the upper part of your hips
  4. Standard climbing equipment includes two lanyards. Two lanyards are needed to pass limbs and resolve equipment difficulties safely.

General care for belts, saddles, and harnesses

General Care

The following procedure is recommended when checking climbing belts and safety harnesses for broken or rotten stitching, cuts and cracks, loose or broken rivets, and excessive wear.

  1. Using your hands, firmly fold the pliable material and check for defects on the top of the fold.
  2. Roll the fold along the pliable material and continue checking until one side has been completed.
  3. Repeat the process on the other side of the climbing belt or safety harness.
  4. During this process, carefully check all other parts of the climbing belt or safety harness for defects.
  5. Do not store safety harnesses and climbing belts with sharp or abrasive objects; near heat, chemicals (especially acids), chemical vapors, or sunlight; or where the belt or harness may get wet.

What are the safety requirements for belts, saddles, and harnesses?

Safety Requirements

Climbing belts, saddles and safety harnesses shall meet the requirements of ANSI A10.14, or European PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.

Always wear a properly constructed safety harness or saddle designed for rescue and rappel. ANSI Z133.1 8.1.5 states that Type II arborist saddles shall be worn when above ground level. These saddles provide side positioning rings in addition to front point(s) of attachment for rappel suspension rings. A chest harness may facilitate rescue if the climber becomes incapacitated in the tree. If a climbing belt with only side positioning rings is utilized, it must be used in conjunction with a harness that is suitable for rescue and rappel. A light weight rock climbing harness worn in conjunction with a climbing belt would fulfill this requirement.