Standard ANSI roller chains and O-ring roller chains are both valuable tools in the world of power transmission. While standard chains offer affordability and suitability for specific applications, O-ring chains provide superior performance, longevity, and reduced maintenance in demanding environments. Understanding the differences between these two chain types empowers you to make informed decisions for your unique needs.

Standard ANSI Roller Chains

  1. Design and Construction:
    • Standard ANSI roller chains are traditional roller chains without any additional seals or O-rings.
    • They consist of inner and outer plates, rollers, pins, and bushings.
  2. Lubrication Requirements:
    • Require regular external lubrication to maintain smooth operation and prevent wear.
    • Suitable for applications where periodic maintenance and lubrication are feasible and economical.
  3. Applications:
    • Ideal for environments where the chain is exposed to regular maintenance schedules.
    • Commonly used in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and material handling.
  4. Benefits:
    • Cost-effective due to simpler design and lower initial purchase cost.
    • Easy to inspect and maintain with regular lubrication intervals.
  5. Limitations:
    • Susceptible to premature wear if not properly lubricated and maintained.
    • Not suitable for applications where frequent lubrication is impractical or challenging.

O-Ring Roller Chains by Nitro Chain

  1. Design and Construction:
    • O-Ring roller chains feature special O-rings between the link plates.
    • O-rings serve as seals that retain lubrication inside the chain joints and keep contaminants and abrasives out.
  2. Lubrication Requirements:
    • O-ring chains reduce the need for external lubrication as the O-rings retain internal lubricant.
    • Suitable for applications where regular re-lubrication is difficult or impractical.
  3. Applications:
    • Recommended for environments where contamination (dirt, dust, etc.) could impact chain life.
    • Ideal for applications in harsh conditions, outdoor environments, or where regular maintenance access is limited.
  4. Benefits:
    • Extended chain life due to reduced wear on critical components like pins and bushings.
    • Improved resistance to environmental contaminants, leading to lower maintenance costs over time.
  5. Limitations:
    • Higher initial cost compared to standard ANSI chains due to added O-ring seals.
    • May not be necessary in applications with easy access for regular maintenance and lubrication.


  • Choose Standard ANSI Roller Chains for applications where regular maintenance and lubrication are feasible, and cost efficiency is a primary consideration.
  • Opt for O-Ring Roller Chains by Nitro Chain in environments where maintaining optimal lubrication is challenging or where contamination control is crucial for extending chain life.

By understanding these differences, you can select the chain type that best suits your specific application needs, balancing initial costs with long-term maintenance requirements and durability.