Skip chain

The new forum needs some traffic!. How many guys are sold on Skip tooth chains? I am. I run skip on all bars over 22 inches. I would run skip on the 20 Inch bars but I have a roll of standard chisel to use up so I run it on the shorter bars. Skip saves a lot of filing time and seems to cut as fast or faster than standard chain on long bars.
For example, full compliment chain is manufactured so that after one cutter there is a tie-strap and then another cutter. Full skip chain is manufactured so that after one cutter there are two tie-straps and then another cutter. Semi-skip is a combination between Full compliment and full skip; it is manufactured so that after one cutter there is one tie-strap, another cutter, two tie-straps, and then another cutter.

So then if one were to identify the three chains by counting the tie straps in between the cutters it would be as follows:

Full Compliment...right cutter, tie-strap, left cutter, tie-strap, right cutter, and so on.
Semi-skip...right cutter, tie-strap, left cutter, tie-strap, tie-strap, right cutter, and so on.
Full Skip...right cutter, tie-strap, tie-strap, left cutter, tie-strap, tie-strap, right cutter and so on.
I bought one today for the big saw. My dad used to do thinning for the Forest Service and swears they are faster than full comp. The guy at the shop said he thought they would cut slower. Less to file anyway, I am exited to try it out. It will get its first use on monday so I'll let you know how it worked. Some timed tests would be interesting. I'll be using it on Spruce monday & Lombardy Poplar on wednesday.


I've used semi-skip and skip chain in the past when working for other people but I've never bought any for my own saws.
I use skip on all my larger saws such as 28" and bigger .It does cut quicker. I also use Full chissle one my larger saws as well.

Tom, it rips through soft wood like butter. I also feel it cuts faster through hardwood less drag, less wood , since I'm primarily cutting hard wood.

Mark I used to file all Chissle by hand ( square File )for years before I bought a a silvy Grinder.I was tought to file square when I was about 14. Saves my tons of time now, using the grinder. Only draw back is, they tend to dull quicker if you hit abrasive material or something hard, and it takes more time to file them . I quit using 404 chain and went to 3/8 quicker and less wear on the bar.Actually, they hardly sell the 404 in are area anymore.


I agree on Skip tooth chains. Excellent for larger saws.
Hows that silvy Grinder work out? Do you find yourself going through chains faster with the grinder? Has anyone used the PFERD Sharpening systems? They work great... Sharpens by hand.. Has the round file and flat file built together so therefore sharpens the tooth while taking the raker down at the same time. Theres also Depth and guide rails and angle linement to get a consitent cut every time. The best Ive seen to minumize the amount of chrome taken off per sharpen.

I floss the cutters then mark the inside of the first cutter to be sharpened with black marker so I can see where the wheel is removing material.
You can visually match that up with the cutter on the opposite side so both get the same amount removed.
Just barely touch the wheel to the cutter, you can always move it into the wheel a few thou at a time.
Try to be consistant with the vise and cutter placement in the vise.
Good light and magnification helps you see what's going on.
Just use the grinder to touch up the chains every now and then.
Tom ,
I love the Silvy grinder. Sure saves me alot of time . keeps my angles consistant and tooth size the same. When I filed chissle by hand , I didnt have that consistency. It cut well , but not like a grinder can do .

I dont find myself grinding through alot of chain either. Infact I feel like I grind less off the tooth then when I did it by hand.

Mark , is your grinder a stationary head ? or can it articulate.



Participating member
The best filing aid I've found is a little (1.5"x1.5")plate with 2 rollers on it that keeps the file from getting too low into the gullet. So it keeps the gullet correct and makes it easy to keep all teeth equal and symmetrical. Rip Tompkins showed it to me. For years I used no guides etc. and about 75 to 80% of the chains were great but the balance of the filing jobs gave inconsistant results and/or would get real tempermental as the teeth got toward the end of thier life. Turns out that indeed without a guide I wasn't able to keep all the teeth (gullets) equal and of the correct height and shape.
So Cal
I like semi skip or full skip on longer bars (24 inch and up).

The other thing I like is changing the drive sproket - I run an 8 tooth when I am using skip chain. It seems to cut faster than the 7 tooth with full compliment... /forum/images/graemlins/afightee.gif
I used to be a logger out west in Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. On the Left coast you can go into every mom and pop chainsaw place and get Skip tooth chain. Now, I am in the virgina area, here they prefer to sell the RS chain, the RS is good as a round file chain goes, but the full skip is a flat or goofy file chain. The full skip seems to stay much sharper for longer and only needs to be touched once every 2-3 tanks. Not so with the round, it just doesn't like to stay sharp, I find myself carrying at least 5 extra chains for each of my 5 saws... do the math, that is 25 sharp chains a contract.
When running the full skip I have found that a solid bar makes more sense then a sprocket nose, because the chain seems to travel faster sprokets fail quicker. Of course the one time I prefer the full comp chain is as a tree saw chain. I like the anti-kickback qualities just a bit.
The kickback associated with full skip chain is much greater of risk when allowing my grounds people to use them. Everyone always wears chaps, but they also get classed in dealing with kick back.

On a different note, I have really enjoyed all of the pics of the recent and not so, jobs others have done. Keep on doin' it right! It makes me be proud to be a climber when I see this stuff done by other pros.

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