Jump to content

Chain saw bar length?


Gearclash
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well there you go, answers all over the board. I'll throw in 2 cents worth.

A year ago I bought an MS362 with a 25" bar. I already had an MS250 with an 18" but it wasn't big enough to get through the big trees. Love the 362 but kind of wish I would have spent the extra for a 442 so I could run a 28 or 32" bar. Having said that, once I get the Silver Maples that require that much bar on the ground, I'm going to put a 20" on the 362 because it is nose heavy.

I use the 250 as much as possible just because it's lighter. Recently dug Dad's 345 Husky with 16" bar out of the shed, I like it! Wish I had one of those top-handle saws.

Buying the 362 when I did was probably more dumb luck than anything else as it earned it's keep after that wonderful derecho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t use my saws much compared to most of you. I have a Stihl Farm Boss, 290 I believe, with a 20” bar. That’s plenty big for what I’ve ever needed. Since most of what I do is cleaning small trees out of fences or trimming off limbs I bought a 180 with 16” bar. Much lighter for carrying up and down the fence line. Really what I should have is a small top handle saw like Sandhiller pictured.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of variables as others have pointed out.  We've been cutting hedge posts out of a very large old fencerow this winter, as well as a fair amount of firewood.   I've been packing a Stihl 311 with 20" bar and a battery powered Milwaukee saw with 14".   That's a really nice combo for anything up to about two feet in diameter.  And I like doing the cruddy work with the smaller, cheaper chain, plus that little saw is a lot easier for the kids to handle if they're helping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess we're a little OCD. We have a multitude of saws we run for different jobs with different bar lengths. 18 inch to 28 inch. 6 different saws.

20201207_154619.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Stihl 170 with 18” and a Stihl 044 with 28”. Both are great saws. It seams that I like the bigger one so I don’t have to bend over to limb with. Only problem is it’s heavy and loves fuel. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use my 660 Stihl with a little 20 inch bar most of the time unless I am cutting big stuff,  then I go to the 28 inch bar.  Most of the time I use the 20. Lots of power available for either bar. I run full tooth semi chisel chain with the rakers cut down a bit more than usual so I get lots of big chips.  Mostly all hardwoods around me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having lived on a chainsaw through a few hurricanes I would say hands down a 20in. bar with a spare 25in. for big cuts or to cut the 20in. out when it gets pinched.

 

Have used a 28in. a few times for huge cuts, way to much bar to throw around unless needed.

 

Really all depends on your condition, age, strength, Stihl have the ES Light series bar which is a game changer as it is light weight yet strong. I will take balance over length, when you can simply set the bar into wood and it drops through the cut like a warm knife in butter you got it made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/20/2021 at 7:12 PM, Gearclash said:

Looking for opinions on chain saw bar length.  What have you found to be all around most handy?  I have a Husqvarna 450 now with a fairly short bar, 18” maybe?  Not a nice handling bar.  We’ve had an old Husqvarna Rancher 61 sporting a 24” bar at the dairy and that has been a real productive rig for quite a few years.  Seems that 24 is easier to walk through cut that doesn’t make it all the way through a log, and tends to cut straighter than the short bar.  Makes it easy to finish the cut from the other side.  Would a longer bar yet be better or just more clumsy?   In all these years the 24” has been adequate to cut everything we needed cut.  I thinking to buy a second saw rather than put a longer bar on the 450 I have now.  

Edit to clarify, I don’t own the 61 with the 24” bar.  Belongs to the dairy/my brother.  

I think it would be hard to beat a 50cc saw with a 20" bar if you only had one chainsaw.   

 

I bought several years ago a Cub Cadet 5018 (50cc 18" bar) really cheap new in box on ebay.   I quickly bought a 20" bar and it made a really nice saw out of it.   I actually use that saw quite a bit. 

I have a smaller Stihl saw with I think a 16" bar and a Stihl 371 (I think) with a 24" that I use for bigger stuff.  

 

I got a great deal on a little top handle Echo saw that was the bees knees for trimming and fence line work, but gave it to my best buddy as he had wore his out.   I'd like to find another one now! :) 

 

But as I said in my first sentence, if you only had one saw, 50cc and 20" bar seems to be a good general combo that you can cut bigger stuff, but also isn't so big akward you can't use it for an extended period and not be completely worn out.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Answer is buy more saws.

I run a 12" on little 194t trim saw.

16" on a 028 super 

18" on a 260 pro

20" on a 034

24" on a 461 magnum. 

 

I have trouble keeping the 24" out of the dirt as well. 

If I had to pick one size and 1 saw to keep around for good I think it would be my 18" bar on the 260 pro. It has enough to run the 18" bar pretty good and weight is low enough I dont mind cutting tops up with it. With a good sharp chain I can keep the rpms up high enough to really throw some chips on bigger log.  I always default to my 461 while blocking up big trees for the speed and power. By the time I get a big tree down and blocked up I'm low on gas so I take a breather and grab my 260. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For about 25 years the only saw I had was a Homelite XL925 with 20" bar. Then as age started catching up with me, I bought some others to be able to better match the saw to the job. I have an 044 with 20 and 28", but rarely use the 28. An O28 with a 16 and several small saws with 14's. A 20 on a good size engine would be what I would want if I could only have 1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...