How To Measure Chainsaw Bar

Without the chainsaw a small steel and the main part of the tool, the machine is totally useless. The sharp chain rotates around the oval-shaped guide bar and gets power from the main motor.  The guide bar keeps the place for the chainsaw and plays a great deal for chainsaw’s role. Therefore, it is required to measure the bar to fit the chainsaw accurately around its surface. Also, depending on the measurement of blade and chainsaw the machine’s efficiency depends.

Here, this content explains how to measure your bar, chain, and 3 necessary chainsaw chain numbers. It also explains what numbers and measurements are required to match with chainsaw and chain and how to find them. In addition, there will be information about chainsaw types and features.

 

Why should you measure Chainsaw?

It’s obvious that a clean and well-oiled machine run well. But, it must ensure that the parts line up and fit tightly. Any loose fitting reduces the efficiency of the machine. For instance, chainsaw can’t run if it is an over-sized chain and the bar doesn’t fit appropriately. Therefore, you have to choose the fittest bar and chain. And you have to know what chainsaw can handle and which fits with bars. So, you must measure chainsaw to get the best performance of the machine.

  3 chainsaw chain numbers for right size    

As a chainsaw user, you must know the three measurements to match the accurate size to your chainsaw. Such as-

  • Pitch
  • Gauge
  • Number of drive links

How to measure Pitch?

The pitch describes how closely chains are linked to each other. But it does not account the number of links are present and the total length of the chain. The equation to measure the pitch is-

Pitch= distance between any 3 rivets/2

As it seems complicated measurement, most chainsaws display pitch measurement on the user manual. In the market following pitch sizes are available (expressed in inches)

1/4″, .325″, 3/8″, 3/8″ low-profile, and .404″.

3/8″ pitch chains are the most well-known pitch size. But 3/8″ low-profile pitch chains are considerably more common than typical 3/8″ chains. 3/8″ low-profile chains regularly fit chainsaws whose guide bars are 18″ or shorter in length. Thus, a homeowner may own this chainsaw.

Whereas, .404″ pitch chains are commonly larger. For that, professionals like rescue worker or even firemen can use this. Here, the greater pitch makes the more aggressive cutting.

Tips: Even if you don’t find the pitch on the user manual, just remember to measure the mid-point of 3 rivets on the chain and divide it by 2.

 

Gauge Measurement

The parts of chainsaw fit into the saw’s guide bar and at the bottom part are known as the drive links. Gauge measures the thickness of the drive links.

It is essential to match the correct chain gauge. Thus, the chain will fit into the guide bar accurately. Chainsaw chains are available in the following gauge measurements (in inches):

.043″, .050″, .058″, and .063″.

Here, .050″ is commonly used gauge. Like the pitch, usually on the user manual, the gauge measurement is displayed. And it’s better to find out measurement on the user guide. However, if you have a pair of calipers, measuring will be a cinch. It’s recommended to take the saw to a shop for gauge measurement.

 

Number of Drive Links

If the drive links are not already known, it’s better to count to get the right chainsaw. As length measurement is determined by a combination of pitch and the number of drive links. But, generally, the number of links are not displayed on the manual. So, it is to be counted manually.

Measuring Your Bar

In case you’re looking for a replacement bar for your chainsaw, you need to determine the measure of your bar.

To find the “length of chainsaw bar”, you’ll need to measure the front of your chainsaw to the longest distance to cutting tip. Once you’ve gauged, round to the closest inch to get your called length.

And, finally, you can enter that estimation into the Bar and Chain Selector Tool to find the correct bar replacement for your chainsaw.

John J. Rayburn
 

John J. has been a Saw, woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and saws.

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