How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar

Aug 21, 2018 | Blog

One inevitable experience that you will have when you own a chainsaw is the need to replace certain components of your equipment. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. You might assume that you just need to drive to the store and pick the replacement piece that appears closest in appearance to the one that you currently have, or that you can simply ask the dealer for the best bar and chain that they have, regardless of the size that is required.

However, the purchasing process goes beyond than those concerns and questions, since you need to find the required measurement of your equipment and be certain that it will fit the unit that you are going to operate. Several chainsaw manuals would indicate the necessary replacement sizes for your bar and chain; however, you can gauge this on your own with basic tools. If you have the correct dimensions of your bar and chain, it will guarantee the effortless operation of your chainsaw.

Measuring the Chainsaw Bar Length

measurement-millimeter-centimeter-meter-162500There are standard sizes for your chainsaw bar which begins from the 10 inch blade to the 42 inch bars. However, the usual sizes of the bar length are at 16, 18, and 20 inches. When measuring your bar length, you only need to have a tape measure on hand.

If you wish to measure the size of your bar, you must first locate the spot where the chain enters the casing. If you are not sure about where or when to stop your measurement, you should note that the end of the bar length is at the furthest point of the blade from its casing. Once you have determined all these points, you are now prepared to quantify your bar length. Moreover, once you have the exact bar length of your chainsaw, you can now easily find a replacement guide bar for your equipment.

Measuring the Length of your Chainsaw’s Chain

metric-cmIn addition to determining the bar length of your chainsaw, you should be able to measure your chain’s pitch, gauge, and drive links, too.

The first step is to lay your chain on a flat surface and locate the chain’s drive links or the chain’s lugs. You can now begin to add up the number of all the drive links on the chain.

The chain’s pitch is the space between your drive links. In order to determine the chain’s pitch, you can start by measuring the distance between whichever 3 consecutive rivets you choose. If you are not familiar with rivets, they are the round studs that clasp the segments of your chain collectively. Next, you should be able to measure from the center of the first rivet until the center of the third rivet and divide it by 2. The resulting quotient is the size of the chain’s pitch.

For a simple computation of the chain pitch, this is a shorter formula:

Chain Pitch = [distance between 3 consecutive rivets] / 2

chainOn the other hand, the chain’s gauge is the measurement of the thickness of the drive links. You can confirm this measurement by using accurate calipers and checking the width of the drive links. The following are the possible sizes of your chain gauge: .043″, .050″, .058″, and .063″. If you add up the pitch and gauge, you are now able to determine the size of your chain, while the size of your chain pitch plus the number of your drive links is the indicator of the length of your chain.

You are now prepared to purchase the replacement components for your equipment once you have the necessary measurements to your chainsaw’s bar and chain.

John McDonald

Chainsaw Expert for

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