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The following are simple steps on how to measure chainsaw bar length. The real bar length is actually different from a chainsaw’s bar measurement. It is important to know the bar measurement when you want to replace a chain or to purchase a replacement bar.
The bar measurement articulates the chainsaw’s efficient cutting length, and not the complete bar length that is in actual sense a bit longer by a few inches than the actual cutting length.
Therefore, apart from a tape measure, you need to consider other factors to determine a real bar length. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the chainsaw length is equal to the cutting length.
Measuring a Chainsaw Bar – Step by Step Full Guideline
The first thing to do when measuring chain saw bar length is to turn off the chainsaw and to unplug of the spark plug this is an essential step that you cannot afford to forget. Turning off the saw before any work on the chainsaw will ensure you are safe.
Take the distance between the tip and the protruding point at the chainsaw’s casing using a tape measure. If the measurement is a fractional or uneven, round it up to the nearest even number. What you get is the measurement of the bar; 16, 18, and 20 inches are the most regular bar measurements bur another measurement can be gotten.
On a flat surface, stretch the chain and locate the drive links or lugs as they are referred sometimes. The links are visible on the lower side of the chain, and they clutch the drive cog resulting in powering off the chain; take note of the quantity on the chain of the drive links. When the chainsaw lays on a flat surface, it makes it easier for the tape measure to extend and record a more accurate measurement.
Firmly pull the tape to make it align with the tooth located at the outermost part of the chainsaw nose. Take the measurement and record it to the nearest whole inch; the number normally falls between 12 and 20 inches.
If you have doubts about the measurement you have taken, you can take the measurement again. This number is the measurement of the chain and not the cutting length of the bar.
Use a suitable socket or wrench to remove the metal or plastic casing. After removing the casing, it will reveal the covered part of the bar, which is the part to be measured, which is the complete bar measurement. Assess the number of drive links together with the number you got before; their sum is the length you need when you want to replace the chainsaw’s chain.
After figuring out the chain length, you can now use the length to replace any worn-out parts. The numbers of lugs or drive links are what makes up the chain, which in turn append to the cog. Please note that the nose socket and the chain should have a similar pitch.
The following is a table that shows the size of the chain and what they are suited for:
|Pruning Trees||Limb Removal||Tree Felling||Firewood Harvest|
|8 to 16 inch||Preferred||Suitable||Not Suitable||Not Suitable|
|16 to 18-inch||Preferred||Suitable||Suitable||Not Suitable|
|18 to 20-inch||Suitable||Preferred||Preferred||Suitable|
|20 to 24 inch||Not Suitable||Suitable||Suitable||Preferred|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best chainsaw bar length?
There is no ideal chainsaw bar length. The length of your chainsaw will depend on the size of the piece of wood you intend to cut. However, the average homeowner can buy a 12 to the 14-inch blade to prune bushes and small tree branches.
How is chain measured?
When measuring chain saw bar length, take the distance between the tip and the protruding point at the chainsaw’s casing using a tape measure. Take the measurement and record it to the nearest whole inch; the number normally falls between 12 and 20 inches. Assess the number of drive links together with the number you got before; their sum is the length you need when you want to replace the chainsaw’s chain.
Can you change the bar length on a chainsaw?
Most of the chainsaws in the market function with up to different bar sizes. The guide bars are measurable in length, starting from the top of the chain bar to the heels that have various sizes from 14 to 40 inches. Your operator manual will indicate the sizes that can be used on your chainsaw.
How do I make my chainsaw chain smaller?
Shortening the length of a chain is possible, but it reduces the efficiency of the chain. Shortening can be made by removing some of the links. However, this needs to be done at the saw shop as it requires a special rivet installation tool. However, the troubles that come with this are not worth the trouble; it is better just to buy a shorter chain.
In conclusion, it is good to have a well-fitted chainsaw hence the need to have it done by a professional. If you wish to adjust the length of your chainsaw go ahead and measure it then consult a professional to do it for you or follow the steps above to do it on your own. Also, make sure that you use the correct chainsaw for the right job to avoid accidents and endangering your life.
For example, the ideal bar length for home use is 12 to 14 inches. 20 to 24-inch chains are ideal for cutting mature trees and big chunks of firewood. With the above steps, you can now try out the process on your own as is something that can be well done, and it will turn out good if you are keen on the step. With this s professional will only come in to confirm that your job is well done