Whether you are replacing the bar or chain, figuring out how to measure a chainsaw blade is crucial to ensure a perfect fit. If you lost the product manual for your power tool, our helpful tips should help get you the right results. But, before we start, let us define certain terms to help you understand the details to focus on.
What Is Called Length of the Bar or the Effective Cutting Length?
The effective cutting length, or called length of the chainsaw bar, refers to the distance from the tip to the base of the blade of the power tool. You can use a tape measure to determine this span. Plus, you need this measurement in inches.
You will not find a whole-number result from your measurement in most cases. Consequently, rounding off to the nearest inch of the upper bound is essential. For instance, if you get an odd number reading with a fraction less than half, you must record the length as the next whole even number.
What Is True Length?
The true length is the span of the entire bar: from tip to base, before it is installed on the chainsaw body. To determine your chainsaw blade length, you will need to remove it by unscrewing the bolts that keep it in place. Afterward, remove the chain and use your measuring instrument to check the dimension. You do not need to round off the distance as with the previous measurement.
Measuring a Chainsaw Bar and Chain
1. Determine the Chainsaw Bar Length
When you measure a chainsaw bar, you need to consider the called length and true length. You need to place the instrument on a flat surface to determine the different spans. Remember, you should not remove the chain for the effective cutting length, as this will skew the actual length you will read.
2. Assess the Chain Pitch
The pitch refers to the span between one drive link and the next. Once you identify the rivets, count three of them, then measure the distance between the first and the third. Afterward, divide the reading by two. Additionally, you need to place your tape measure at the center of the rivets to obtain an accurate reading of the chain pitch.
Typically, a large reading means there is more space between consecutive rivets. A chainsaw chain with a larger space can cut through objects much faster, while the converse points to a power tool geared for light work. If you are looking for more powerful chainsaws, check out the best ones under $500 or our selections for the most reliable models under $300.
3. What Are the Gauge Sizes?
The bar groove on your chainsaw allows the chain to remain secured on the blade while running. The chain gauge is a measurement of the groove. If you are replacing the cutting parts of the power tool, this measurement is crucial to ensure the right fit.
Nevertheless, it can be tricky to obtain the measurements as the distances are pretty small. Thus, you might find yourself straining to see where the cutting teeth of the chain fit on the blade. If you are struggling to see, you can place coins within the slot, and the one that snuggly fits lets you know the gauge.
For instance, a quarter means a 0.063 gauge while a dime fits in a 0.053 gauge, and a penny tells you it is a 0.058 gauge. If you have to force the coin into the groove or it leaves some space while there, you need to use another kind. After all, getting accurate readings will help you find the right chainsaw chains.
4. How Many Drive Links Are There?
The chain measurements of drive links affect how the cutting part goes around the base and tip of the chainsaw’s bar. Whether the mechanism functions smoothly is determined by the reading you get. So, when you measure a chainsaw bar, remember to count the drive links after removing the chain from the power tool.
Alternatively, you can loosen the chainsaw chain and manually spin it around when counting the links. It helps to use a felt-tip pen to mark the starting point since the process can get confusing if you cannot remember which link was the first one. Plus, it would be best to redo this measurement to ensure you have the right figure.
Whether you are replacing the chainsaw bar or chain, getting the right measurements is crucial to ensuring the right fit, your safety while operating the power tool and effective cutting. The different data points required are essential when you no longer have the manual. In addition, the process is far from rocket science; hence an adequately graduated measuring tape and a keen eye are enough to find the best replacement parts. Alternatively, you can peruse our curated list of reliable chainsaws for people on a budget.
Featured Image Source: Flickr.com