1/4 Vs 3/8 Chainsaw Chain-Differences between Features & Applications

Harvesting firewoods, cutting firebricks, or even pruning isn’t easy. No Siree. 

We will need the best chainsaws there to make the chopping much easier. Turns out, it doesn’t save only the efforts of our biceps, but also our time. However, 1/4 Vs 3/8 chainsaw chain can be a trending topic for chainsaw lovers as they are mostly engaged with these tools.

The 1/4 chainsaw gives a finer and cleaner cut with tiny teeth. So we can say it is a user-friendly chainsaw and does the job with simplicity. 

On the other hand, the 3/8 chainsaw is a perfect tool to work in a high production environment. Within smaller displacement chainsaws, the 3/8″ stands out in rough cuttings.

Now, which chainsaw can be our best bet? Read more to know about it.

Features1/4 chainsaw3/8 chainsaw
Recommended for38 cc Engine50 to 100 cc Engine
Good forOccasional useGeneral use
Cutting resultsClean and smooth cutsFaster cuts
Capacity of holding powerLessHigh

1/4 Chainsaw

1/4 Chainsaw Chain

No doubt, the 1/4 chainsaw offers clean and smooth cuts with smaller and sharper teeth. And on an occasional basis, we don’t want a heavy chainsaw, right? In that case, the 1/4 chainsaw can be your best pick as it is extremely lightweight and portable.

Make sure you are using this chainsaw on the objects that are small in diameter since it can’t withstand over 38 cc. Moreover, you may have to use carving bars with narrow tips while cutting with a 1/4″ chainsaw. 

Due to the very tiny edges, the chains are less likely to bog down. The short size of 1/4 chainsaws makes it easier for us to hold and cut comfortably.

Most often, we love to prune trees and rely on sturdier chainsaws even if it can be done with a simple chainsaw. 

You must be thinking that the 1/4 chainsaw would be a perfect alternative to these traditional saws. Yes, you got it right. In these types of periodic and random needs, 1/4″ can do the best job.

3/8 Chainsaw

3/8 Chainsaw Chain

It’s never enough praising the 3/8 chainsaw. Be it general use or occasional use, the 3/8 chainsaw rocks in every situation. 

It suits objects with more horsepower because of having a heavy-duty chain. Also, its larger teeth are another reason to work on a higher horsepower. 

Although the 3/8 chainsaw is lower in weight, it is always best in strength and flexibility. Again, its cutting speed is up to the mark which saves lots of our time. Hopefully, you have known that the 3/8 chainsaw is much tougher than any chainsaw. So durability is also in its instinct. 

As it is going to last longer, you are not going to have any hassle in using this chainsaw regularly. In fact, the larger teeth are going to make the sharpening convenient for you to.

The 3/8 chainsaw can withstand from 50 cc to 100 cc and finally give outstanding results. You will feel like your cutting session has been done in a click because of its superb operating performance.

1/4 Vs 3/8 Chainsaw Chain

1/4 Vs 3/8 Chainsaw Chain: Best Comparisons

So far, we have known what the 1/4 chainsaw and the 3/8 chainsaw exactly are. Now we are going to see what are the differences between these two alternatives. Instead of beating around the bush, let’s have a look at them:

Convenience (1/4 chainsaw wins)

Both the 1/4 chainsaw and 3/8 chainsaw are convenient in their own way. For instance, the 1/4″ is short in size and low in weight, making it suitable for use. On the other hand, the 3/8″ has a faster cutting speed which is also a reason. 

Not only that, the larger teeth of 3/8 chainsaws are easy to sharpen and can cope in a high-production environment.

Overall, the 1/4 chainsaw is more simple to handle because of its lightweight properties.

Cutting speed (3/8 chainsaw wins)

Large teeth of a chainsaw are the main reason for fast cutting. They catch grip instantly and go deeper in every stroke. On that regard, the 3/8 chainsaw wins the session. Having large and sharp teeth, the chains have increased the cutting speed. 

Conversely, the 1/4 chainsaw has shorter teeth which may lack behind in fast cutting. For simple tasks like- pruning trees, limbing, tree felling, etc the 1/4 chainsaw is always the best. But it is always less than the 3/8 chainsaw in speed.

1/4 Vs 3/8 Chainsaw Chain

Handling power (3/8 chainsaw wins)

The handling power of 3/8 chainsaw has always been better than the 1/4 chainsaw. It has a 0.375″ pitch which leaves no stone unturned while handling huge amounts of power. 

The main cause for requiring this much horsepower in a 3/8 chainsaw is its heavy-duty chain and larger teeth. Similarly, the 1/4 chainsaw comes with short teeth and delicate chains that somewhere fail in handling more power.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common chainsaw chain size?

Majority of chainsaws use 0.058″ (1.5 mm) and 0.050″ (1.3 mm) chain gauges as a low profile size. Contrastingly, the most uncommon gauge chain sizes are 0.063″ (1.6 mm) and 0.043 (1.1 mm).

What’s better .325 or 3/8 chain?

The 3/8 chainsaw is better than the .325 chainsaw because of its durability. Though the .325 chainsaw is faster and smaller, it may not be the best choice for everyday use. Besides, it won’t last as long as the 3/8 chainsaw. So yeah, the 3/8 chainsaw is better than the .325 chainsaw in every term.

Is more teeth on a chainsaw chain better?

A chainsaw with more teeth results in smoother cuts, whereas a chainsaw with fewer teeth results in faster cuts. Also, how fast you feed your materials and how fast your chainsaw is turning differs in the quality of cutting.
So it completely depends on what type of outcomes you want. Fast cutting or smooth cutting. On that basis, fewer teeth or more teeth of the saw blade can be beneficial for you.

What does 3/8 mean on a chainsaw chain?

While measuring a pitch by yourself, measure it from the middle of the given 3 rivets on your chain. So now you have got a number, that you need to divide by two. If your chain has a 3/8″ pitch, the measurement in between these three links will be .75″. This number will come after dividing .375″ (3/8″) by 2.


All being well, the 1/4 chainsaw and the 3/8 chainsaw serve incredibly in various applications. Like- bucking, limbing, felling, and many more. 

In the comparison of 1/4 Vs 3/8 chainsaw chain, the 3/8 wins the crown. It is quite evident that the 3/8 chainsaw comes with better efficiency, strength, and durability. 

However, the 1/4 chainsaw is not inferior either. Certain works like pruning, limbing, and other random tasks require 1/4 chainsaws. But for a super-fast performance, the 3/8 chainsaw should get your back every time.

5/5 - (6 votes)

Johnathan Brewer

Hello, I’m Johnathan Brewer, a professional woodworker and power tools salesperson. I’ve worked with top interior designers and architects of the city. With an experience of 11 years in this field, I can suggest the best tips for bigger DIYers. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. I specialize in restoring, repairing, designing, and decorating. There are even some great woodworking tactics that I’d love to share with you. With that information and suggestions, you can do really good professional work in a very short time.

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