How Well Do You Know Your Chainsaw Bar and Chain?
You’re in the garden preparing logs for firewood or you’re out on job and you start to notice that your chainsaw just isn’t cutting as efficiently as it once did. The shavings produced have started to turn to sawdust and this is a big sign that your chain is ready for a sharpen. Any chainsaw is only as good as the condition of the chain – we know it sounds cliché, but it is indeed a fact that as your chain ends up dragging through the wood instead of cutting, it’s causing increased wear and tear on your chainsaw engine.
Other tell-tale signs that your chain has lost its sharpness can include, putting more pressure than usual on the wood, difficulty in achieving a precise cut, the chainsaw starts to smoke despite the chain being well lubricated. The machine may even pull in one direction resulting in a crooked cut, the chain has hit debris or dirty wood, and this could have blunted the cutting teeth. If you experience any of these signs, then it is time to sharpen or even replace your chain!
Regular chain filing will keep your chain in tip top condition, little and often is the key.
To select the correct filing kit, you will need to identify the chain pitch. This will determine the size of files used together with the correct settings to enable the round file to fit snuggly up and under the cutting tooth. As the cutting teeth are set at an angle, you will also need to lower the depth gauge. Our filing kits provide you with all the tools and instructions to enable you to correctly sharpen your chain: - https://www.worldofpower.co.uk/chainsaw-filing-kits.html
We also offer a chain filing service in case you are not feeling confident to tackle this yourself. Our technicians will inspect your chain to confirm that this is suitable for sharpening – you can pop into our Buxton showroom to book your chains in, or we offer a postal chain sharpening service: - https://www.worldofpower.co.uk/chainsaw-sharpening.html
However, do you know how to identify the correct chain if you preferred to replace this instead?
Your chainsaw bar holds a range of information which is useful to you when you need to purchase a new chain or replace the bar. This data is generally etched into the bar, as shown on the below image and should remain visible throughout its life but can be subject to wear.
The above image highlights all the important information required to ensure that the correct chain is being used on your bar.
.325relates to the chain pitch, yours may be 3/8P; 1/4P; 3/8 or .404.
1.3mm/0.05” is the groove width - where the chain will run around the bar, again your chain should match the groove width on the bar.
74x refers to the number of drive links required on your chain.
18” is the bars length.
As a rule, chainsaws are sold with their recommended bar length, however you may be able to purchase an additional bar and chain of a different length to suit your cutting requirements. The power output of your chainsaw will determine the range of bar sizes which are suitable to use.
You should not use a different chain pitch than what your chainsaw came with, as the bar and chain supplied match up to the sprocket on your saw. It may be possible to change the sprocket on your chainsaw if you wish to upgrade to a different chain type – you should seek advice from your registered dealer, or this information may be supplied within your user manual.
Different manufacturers will have different fittings on their bars, so you cannot assume that a bar made by a separate company will fit your chainsaw. If you aren’t sure we recommend you contact us for assistance.
The World of Power website offers links to view quick reference guides for matching up the right bar and chain combinations for a selection of Husqvarna and Stihl chainsaws: -https://www.worldofpower.co.uk/husqvarna-bar-and-chain
However, if your chainsaw isn’t listed here, if you know the pitch; groove width and number of drive links you can contact the World of Power customer service team who will be able to advise the correct chain needed to fit your guide bar. Our chain technicians can make chains up to suit most bars even if you didn’t purchase one of our chainsaw brands, if you are able to provide us with the three important specifications (PITCH; GROOVE WIDTH AND NUMBER OF DRIVE LINKS) – your user manual should list this information if you are unable to read it on your guide bar.
Do you know how to count your chains drive links?
The drive links are the pointed metal pieces that sit in the groove of the bar, to count them, it is best to mark your starting link with a marker and start counting them along the length of the chain. Continue to count until you reach the one you have marked and write this number down.
It is also recommended that you frequently turn your bar to allow for even wear. It is good practice to do this each time you remove your bar and chain to clean your chainsaw and bar of sawdust and debris. This will prolong the life of your bar. Also using a suitable tool, for example the Stihl guide bar leveller https://www.worldofpower.co.uk/stihl-5605-773-4400-guide-bar-maintenance-tool.html remove any burrs from the bar.
Another handy tip is to always keep the box that was supplied with your new chain, as all the important information is listed on there as well as the filing requirements. You can then easily find the correct chain via our website or pop into our showroom and purchase the correct chain for your saw.
So you don't have to be an expert as long as you keep a note of your bar and chain information from the get go, we will be here to help keep your chainsaw and it's accessories in tip top condition!