It’s one of the questions that every chainsaw owner asks themselves. What length bar can my chainsaw handle?
Install too much bar for your saw and you’ll overwork your saw or, worse yet, tear it up. But how much is too much? This article will give you the guidelines you need to make a wise decision about your chainsaw bar selection.
Around the Home Chainsaws
The typical “around the home” chainsaw is a lightweight, but versatile, saw that runs around the 40cc range. These are great saws for everything from keeping trees trimmed to cutting firewood for a cosy winter blaze.
A saw of this size will typically come with a 14-16” bar standard. It can handle anything up to a 20” bar but anything longer and the saw is just pulling through too much wood for that 40cc engine. I would also only suggest using a 20” bar on a 40cc saw if you plan on simple cross cutting. If you intend to rip anything, the saw will bog down if you’re using a 20” bar.
For anything smaller than a 40cc engine, a 20” bar is really too much.
If you’re serious about your wood cutting, you probably own a saw that’s more in the 70-90cc range. For saws of this caliber, you can go as high as a 24” bar. A 24” inch bar will nicely handle trees 30” in diameter.
I’ve heard of guys using a 36” bar on a 70cc saw, but, again this will depend on the type of cutting you’re doing. If you strictly cross cut (and you keep your saw sharp), you might get away with it. However, if you feel the need for a 36” bar, I would also suggest you get a 90cc saw. It’s a lot more money up front, but you’ll probably save in repairs in the long run.
Chainsaw Bar Selection
Your chainsaw is like any piece of equipment you own. Work it extremely hard and it will need repairs or die earlier. However, if you’re reasonable about what your saw can handle, it will last you a long time.