Is your chainsaw starting to seem dull and not perform as well? Looks like it's time to replace the chain. In order to do this, you will need to know the length of both the chainsaw blade as well as the length and size of your chain. If you've checked out the manufacturers' charts, they might seem a little overwhelming. But it really is pretty simple once you understand what's involved in the length of the blade and chainsaw chain.
In order to replace your chain, you'll need to know the size of your chainsaw bar. Some companies, like Oregon chainsaws, make it easy for you and actually include the size of the bar as part of the model number. In the case of Oregon saws, the first two numbers of the ten digit number stamped on the motor end is the length of the bar.
Don't have an Oregon chainsaw that easily shows you the length of the blade? Then here are some tips for figuring it out yourself.
How Do You Measure A Chain Saw Blade?
You may wonder how do you measure a chainsaw blade. To determine what size your chainsaw blade is, you need to measure starting from where the bar comes out of the casing all the way to the end of the bar.
The blade and the bar are two names for the same thing. They both refer to the long portion that extends from the motor casing that carries the chain and is used for cutting.
Manufacturers were kind enough to standardize the chainsaw blade lengths into two-inch increments. The most common sizes are 16, 18, and 20 inches although the full range goes from 10 to 42 inches! When you measure your blade, round up to the nearest 2-inch measurement if needed.
Measuring A Chainsaw Chain
In order to measure the chain on a chainsaw, you will need to know the number of drive links as well as the pitch of the chain.
The number of drive links actually determines the length of the chain. A drive link is simply a tooth on the chain. The pitch of the chain will also affect the size of the drive links.
To determine the pitch of the chain, simply measure the distance between any three rivets on the chain and then divide that amount by two. The chain pitch must match the pitch of the drive sprocket and also the bar nose sprocket. You will find the pitch stamped on the drive link.
As an example, a 1/4" pitch chain might have 52 drive links and be 2.17 feet in length, while a 3/8" pitch with 52 drive links would be 3.18 feet in length. So the pitch affects the drive link size which affects your blade's length.
If you have any questions, the manufacturer of your chainsaw or anyone who makes chains should be happy to help you figure out what you need to know.
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