It is not necessary for anyone that uses a saw to also have carbide chain saw chains, but for many people that work in difficult conditions or with stubborn materials that need cutting these chains really make a difference. For those needing the cutting power of carbide there are few alternatives and a carbide chains saw chain really performs under conditions where a standard chain may quickly fail. Homeowners, rescue crews, loggers, and professional firefighters all can benefit from these long lasting chains.

Just as there is the right tool for the right job in any situation, this applies to chain saws, too. Users needing to cut muddy, dirty, sandy or frozen timber will find that a normal chain just won't cut it. Carbide can perform under conditions where other chains bog down. Firefighters use them for rescue because of the chain's ability to rip through studs, wiring, ductwork, nails and other hidden structures in walls and ceilings. Many departments use them exclusively for roof ventilation since carbide chain saw chains can easily cut through shingles or asphalt roofing and the underlying wood.

A carbide chain is a durable performer, but not indestructible. The old adage about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link really applies to these carbide tipped chains, too. The carbide is tough and can hold its edge, but it can still only work as long as the silver solder that holds the carbide in place doesn't fail. It should always be used and stored properly.

This is not to say that there are not disadvantages to carbide chains saw chains. They are more expensive than a standard chain. They can easily cost four to five times as much as a standard chain depending upon brand, size and style. Carbide is strong but brittle and can flake and shatter if hit against metal or used carelessly. Many users complain that carbide chains cut slower than a standard chain, too. Carbide chains are not recommended for green or fresh timber. They will not perform as well as a standard chain in this type of wood. These chains are also prone to kickback. This is possible with every chain, of course, but some users feel the carbide chain kicks more often. Lastly, while carbide chain saw chains can be sharpened it requires a special diamond tip wheel, which can also add more expense to the maintenance of this chain.

A carbide chain saw chain can be a real asset, but only if truly needed. Wealthy homeowners sometimes are lured by the price and think that they must be better for every application, but this is not true. Just as a titanium chain saw bar has the right place and time, so does a carbide chain. If it is used, it may require higher rated chainsaw chaps or chainsaw pants as protection over a standard chain. The casual user will be fine with a standard chain. For those who need reliable cutting power under poor cutting conditions the carbide chain is well worth the extra investment. For those that need them carbide chains are available at nearly any major do-it-yourself store and there are many carbide equipped saws and chains available for purchase online. Many of the top manufacturers offer them including Stihl, Oregon, Husqvarna and Rapco.