They worry that without an original equipment manual to look up chainsaw bars and chains that came with their make and model, there won't be an easy way to replace them.
There has to be some easy way to find out what bar and chain came with or belong on your saw, or even better, what bar and chain will fit on your saw. Fit is the catch. It doesn't really matter what it came with, because there are often alternatives to put on for different reasons: different types of sawing; different seasons; different types of wood; and what have you.
So, is there such a bar and chain chart, per se? Why yes. Yes there is. I'll tell you about it in a moment. It's important that you read on though. Replacement chainsaw bars and chains don't have to take a science degree to figure out. Let's look at how to replace one or the other.
Replace a Chainsaw BarSay you want to replace a chainsaw bar. Go ahead, say it. Okay, now maybe you don't know what bar is or was on your saw. Maybe you need to know how to figure out what is or was on it. Maybe you don't care, and just want to know what other chainsaw bars your saw can handle. If your intent is to change the size of the bar, then that will require a new chain also. Replacing both the bar and chain is an entirely different, easier, scenario I'll cover in a moment.
If you just want to replace one or the other, and specs aren't stamped on the bar, then sure, you will have to measure a couple of things, but only if you're just replacing one item — either the bar or the chain but not both. If you want a replacement bar, and want to keep using the existing chain, then yes you'll have to measure its length, and then you'll have to measure the groove part of the bar where the chain will fit in and grab.
To measure the chainsaw's bar length, you'd measure from the front of the chainsaw to the furthest cutting tip on the chain. Round that measurement to the nearest inch and that's your "called length".
But wait, there's more! The gauge of the chain and the groove in the bar have to match. To determine the chain gauge, you have to measure the width of the groove in your chainsaw bar where the chain fits.
With those chainsaw bar measurements, you can replace a chainsaw bar to match the chain you are using.
Replace a Chainsaw ChainSay you want to replace a chainsaw chain. Go ahead, say that too. Alrighty then. Now you're playing along. If you don't know what chain you are running, and you are definitely keeping the existing bar on there, then get out your tape measure. If the chain size that suits the bar is not stamped on the bar itself, then you'll be measuring the chain's pitch and gauge, and counting the drive links.
Do your Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor grunt now.
Okay, don't worry, it's not that bad. Remember I said you won't need a science degree? You won't. You will need that tape measure though.
Measure the distance between the drive lugs on the chain. That's the Pitch. To find a chainsaw chain's pitch, measure the distance between any three consecutive rivets and divide by 2.
Next, is the Chain Gauge. That's the drive link's thickness where it fits into the bar groove. Gauge has a lot to do with the strength of a chain's drive links. Remember that the gauge of the chain and the groove in the bar must match. To find a chainsaw chain's gauge, you have to measure the width of the groove in your chainsaw bar where the chain fits.
You'll also need to know the number of drive links you already have on the old chain. Remove your chain and count 'em.
That's how to change just a chainsaw chain or bar. Measuring is involved.
Replace a Chainsaw Bar and Chain - BothIf you're replacing both the bar and the chain, you might have options. I previously said this is the easier scenario as far as fact finding and steps you'll have to take goes.
In this scenario, all you have to do is check the online chainsaw bar and chain chart. It's really just a selection tool that will show you what is available for your make and model that we carry at HLSupply. You may find that the saw you have can handle different bars and chains.
Happy sawing, and as Red Green says, "If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. Keep your stick on the ice." (Google it!)