What you Need to Know Before Ordering a Chainsaw Bar
Before ordering a replacement chainsaw bar, you will need to know a few measurements and details, such as mount pattern, bar length, chain gauge, and chain pitch.
Many chainsaw bars will have this information stamped or engraved into them, but in the case they do not, we have created a guide below to help you figure each out.
How to Measure Chainsaw Bar Length
If you are looking to replace your current bar, and cannot tell what the length is, you can find the bar length by using a measuring tape or ruler and measuring the CUTTING length, which is the length from approximately 1” past the bar mount (towards the tip of the bar) to the very end of the bar. Once you get this measurement you can round it to the nearest whole number.
There is one exception to measuring like this, and that is for the double-ended SawMiller Bars, as they are measured in overall length, instead of cutting length, see this post to learn more about milling bars: https://www.cannonbar.com/chainsaw-milling/
If you are looking to get a different length bar for your chainsaw, we have created a chainsaw power to bar length guide below to help you decide the best length:
CHAINSAW POWER in Cubic Centimeters. SUGGESTED BAR SIZE in Inches.
Less than 25 cc 10 to 12”
26 to 35 cc 12 to 16”
36 to 45 cc 14 to 20”
46 to 60 cc 16 to 24”
60 to 75 cc 18 to 28”
76 to 90 cc 20 to 32”
91 to 100 cc 24 to 36”
100 to 115 cc 26 to 50”
More than 116 cc 28 to 84”
This power to bar length guide is to be used a general reference only.
Please check your owner’s manual or contact your saw manufacturer to determine the minimum and maximum lengths of bars that can be used on your specific saw.
Cannon Bar Works is not liable for saws damaged as a result of using inappropriately long or short bars.
With this guide, you can use our BAR FINDER (link) to find all of the lengths offered based on the chainsaw mount pattern.
How to Measure Chain Gauge
Gauge refers to the measurement of the chain’s drive link where it fits into a chainsaw bar groove. Various chainsaw chain gauges are .043”, .050”, .058”, and .063”.
You can use a caliper, ruler, or measuring tape to measure the thickness of the portion of the drive link that goes into the groove of the bar, or to measure the width of the groove on your existing bar.
While measuring the chain/bar gauge, please keep in mind that the chain will wear and become thinner over time, while a bar groove will wear and become wider over time.
Unlike the chainsaw mount pattern and chain pitch, the gauge is not dependent on the chainsaw itself. As long as the gauge is available in the correct pitch, and both the gauge of your chosen chain and chosen bar match, you can use various chain gauges on one make of chainsaw.
How to Measure Chain Pitch
The pitch of the chain is the distance between drive links. This is determined by measuring the distance between any three consecutive drive links and dividing that number by two. You can find this by using a caliper, ruler, or measuring tape along with a calculator. Various pitch options for chainsaw bars are ¼”, .325”, ⅜”, and .404”. The drive sprocket, chain, and the bar tip must all be the same pitch.
There are many different mount patterns available. These patterns depend on the size of bar studs and location of oiler ports on different chainsaws. In a previous post, we provided details on the different chainsaw mounts available with measurements: https://www.cannonbar.com/bar-mounts-and-adaptor-plates/
We also have a Bar Finder on our website that helps you find the correct mount pattern for your chainsaw: https://www.cannonbar.com/barfinder/
If you have any questions regarding bar length, gauge, pitch, or mount patterns please call us at 1-888-604-9990 or email email@example.com
Cannon Bar Works Chainsaw Bar Maintenance Guide
Chainsaw bar maintenance is extremely important to ensure that you are getting the full life out of a new chainsaw bar. Maintenance is often overlooked and if the bar is not properly maintained, it can cause damage to the chain, decrease saw efficiency, and can be costly.
Most chainsaw bar problems are caused by incorrect chain tension, improper chain sharpening, poor operating techniques, accidents, or lack of lubrication.
Cannon Bar Maintenance Tips
- Ensure the chainsaw chain is properly-tensioned and check this regularly, as the chain will stretch as the chainsaw runs. A loose chain will cause damage to the bar directly behind the bar nose and heel, as it will not pull itself straight after rounding the tip or drive sprocket. A loose chain is also prone to jumping off the bar which is not only dangerous but can cause severe damage to the bar, the chain, the drive sprocket, and the nose sprocket.
- Also ensure that you do not over tension the chain, as this can cause damage to the chainsaw’s crankshaft bearing, the chain, and the chainsaw bar sprocket nose assembly.
- How to check for proper chain tension:
- Make sure the chainsaw is turned off and the chain is cool.
- Put a pair of gloves on.
- Try sliding the chain by hand along the top of the bar. The chain should feel snug, but be able to slide freely.
- Attempt to pull a drive link away from the sprocket nose. The drive link should not be able to come away from the nose.
- Pull a drive link away from the bottom of the bar. This should be possible and the chain should snap right back into the groove when released.
Nothing will negatively affect the life of your bar more than improperly filed or sharpened chain.
It is vitally important that the top plate angles of the right and left cutter teeth are filed to exactly the same angle which is usually about 30 degrees. Check with your chain provider to be sure because the angles can vary depending on what type of wood you are cutting and whether or not you are cross cutting or ripping with the grain.
It is just as important to make sure that the depth gauges of the chain are set at the correct depth. If the depth gauges are taken down too low then the cutter teeth become very aggressive which will cause rapid wear on the bar rails.
We highly recommend that you use a bar mounted filing guide to ensure that your chain is sharpened properly. We also recommend that you use a depth gauge tool to make sure your depth gauges are set to the proper settings.
Bar Oil and Lubrication
- Bar and Chain Oil reduces friction between the guide bar and chain, resulting in less damage to both. Always ensure that your chainsaw has bar and chain oil, and fill it up every time you refuel.
- Use high quality Bar & Chain oil. The bar and chain oil supplied by the saw manufactures is always a good choice. Never use used motor oil, it is loaded with metal particles and will cause your bar to wear out prematurely.
- Frequently clean the oil hole on the chainsaw bar and the chainsaw itself to ensure that the bar and chain are getting an adequate amount.
- Cannon’s replaceable sprocket tips are greased before they are shipped out to dealers and end-users. We recommend that you keep the sprocket tip lubricated by adding grease to the tip every time you refuel. Chainsaw grease guns are great tools for this.
- If your saw has been in storage for a while be sure to slide the chain around the bar a few times prior to starting the saw. This will pre lubricate the rails and chain groove to prevent dry starts.
Other Tips and Tricks
- Always dog your chainsaw into the tree when you are doing wedge work while falling to prevent unnecessary vibration and pressure on the chainsaw bar. We often see bars cracking at the rails a couple of inches away from where the chainsaw dogs are due to the stress that vibration causes to the bar.
- Every time you remove your chain to sharpen it, we recommend that you also clean the chainsaw bar groove and oil holes out with a groove cleaner or narrow screwdriver, and flip your chainsaw bar to ensure even wear on both sides of the bar.
- Change your drive sprocket on your saw every three chains. Do not run a used chain on a new drive sprocket and do not run a new chain on an old drive sprocket.
- Do not use your bar as a lever to pry, twist or lift the wood you are working with. To do so could cause the bar rails to crack or the bar to bend.
Regular Bar Inspection and Maintenance
- Chainsaw Groove Cleaner, or Narrow Screwdriver
- Flat File, and/or Bar Rail Dresser
- Sprocket nose grease gun
- Bar rail closer
Inspecting a Chainsaw Guide Bar for Wear
It is important to regularly inspect a chainsaw guide bar for any damage, excessive wear, chips, pinched rails, bends, and knife-edges. Below are some steps to follow to inspect your bar for damage and maintain it to extend the life:
- Ensure the chainsaw is turned off and remove the bar and chain from the saw.
- Clean the groove and oil holes with a chainsaw groove cleaner, or narrow screwdriver to remove any debris.
- Place the bar on edge, both top and bottom. If the bar will not stand up by itself then the rails are no longer square and will need to be repaired with a bar rail dresser.
- Check to see if the bar rails are spread apart with a straight edge. If they are then you can use a bar rail squeezer to roll them back together.
- Closely inspect the rail wear, paying special attention to the area just behind the bar nose, then turn the bar to inspect the heel. The tail, or heel, of the chainsaw guide bar will get narrow with use. Compare the width of the heel to a brand new bar, and check how shallow the rails are. If you can see that the drive links have rubbed along the bottom of the groove at the heel, it is time to replace the bar.
- File knife-edges and burrs along the rails down with a flat file or bar rail dresser to help prevent any chipping.
- Inspect the bar for bends by holding the bar level with your eye and look down it as if you were looking down a gun. If you do find any bends, inspect the rails along the area of the bend for cracks. Once there are any cracks along the rails it is time to replace the bar.
- While you are inspecting for bends, also look for pinched rails or twists in the bars. If there are any twists in the bar it is time to replace the bar.
Thin and Low Rail
Cause: Chain is leaning over, or operator is forcing dull chain to cut.
Solution: Time to replace the bar. Make sure chain is not dull or leaning.
Worn Bar Rails
Cause: Rails are worn and groove is shallow.
Solution: Time to replace the bar.
Wire Edge Rails
Cause: Normal bar wear.
Solution: Use a flat-file on the edge of the bar rail to remove the wire edge and any burrs.
Chipping Where Bar Meets Sprocket Tip
Cause: Loose chain or continuous pressure to the area.
Solution: If the chipping is mostly on the tip, replace the tip and dress the bar to match the nose. If the chipping is severe on the bar, replace the bar.
Section Broken Out of Sprocket
Cause: Various causes such as irregular operation, loose chain tension, or throwing chain.
Solution: Replace the sprocket tip.
Blue Discolouration on Bar Rails or Sprocket Tip
Cause: Nose or bar rails were likely pinched, causing extra friction.
Solution: Replace tip if just along the tip, replace the bar if it is along bar rails.
How to Choose a Cannon Carving Bar
We offer a large variety of carving bars to choose from, from lengths of 8” up to 28”, and in various gauges, and tip sizes. It can be overwhelming as a beginner or novice chainsaw carver to figure out which bars to purchase. We have developed this guide to help you in your decision making.
All of our carving bars are crafted from a custom alloy steel with a welded cobalt alloy tip. Our carving bars are “hard-nose” bars, without a replaceable tip, or sprocket nose.
We manufacture our carving bars in four different tip sizes: Dime, Quarter, Toonie, and Arbor.
Dime Tip Carving Bars (CCD)
The Dime Tip Carving Bar (CCD) has a nose diameter of ¾”, which is the size of a US and Canadian Dime (currency). This is the smallest radius tip that we make and it will accommodate ¼” pitch chain in .043 or .050 gauge. Dime Tip Carving Bars are available in lengths of 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, and 16”, all in our “C1” universal mount. Dime Tip bars should only be used on chainsaws under 40CC.
Available Part Numbers:
Quarter Tip Carving Bars (CCQ)
The Quarter Tip Carving Bar (CCQ) has a nose diameter of 1”, which is the size of a US and Canadian quarter (currency). This bar will accommodate ¼” and .325” pitch chain in .043 or .050 gauge. Quarter Tip Carving Bars are available in lengths of 8”, 11”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 20”, and 24”, in our “C1”, “H1”, and “S1” mounts. Quarter tip bars should only be used on chainsaws under 50CC.
Available Part Numbers:
Toonie Tip Carving Bars (CCT)
The Toonie Tip Carving Bar (CCT) has a nose diameter of 1⅜”, which is the size of a Canadian Toonie (currency). This bar will accommodate ¼”, .325”, and ⅜” pitch chain in .043 or .050 gauge. Toonie Tip Carving Bars are available in lengths of 12”, 14”, 16”, 20”, 24”, and 28”, in our “C1”, “H1”, and “S1” Mount. Toonie tip bars should only be used on chainsaws under 60CC.
Available Part Numbers:
Arbor Tip Carving Bars (CCA)
The Arbor Tip Carving Bar (CCA) has a nose diameter of 1⅝”, which is the same size as our “SuperMini Bar” tips (SuperMini Bars have replaceable tips, while Carving Bars have a welded cobalt tip). This bar will accommodate ¼”, .325”, and ⅜” pitch chain in .043 or .050 gauge. Arbor Tip Carving Bars are available in lengths of 11”, 14”, 16”, 18”, and 20”, in our “C1”, “H1”, and “S1” Mount.
Available Part Numbers:
All of our carving bars are available to accommodate .043 gauge and .050 gauge chain.
The .043 gauge bars are slightly thinner/narrower kerf and are only suitable for chainsaws that have a displacement of 40 CC and under.
.050 gauge is recommended for saws over 40 CC.
Because our carving bars do not have a sprocket tip, you do not need to specify what pitch of chain you are using when ordering a bar. Instead, you will just have to make sure that it is one of the recommended pitch options for the tip size, and that your chain pitch matches the drive sprocket pitch on your chainsaw.
Bar and Chainsaw Combinations
We asked some of our sponsored carvers to tell us what their favourite carving bar and chainsaw combinations are, along with any advice they have for beginner and novice chainsaw carvers.
All beginners should start on a 12” Dime Tip Carving Bar, which is a perfect bar to learn on – you can do it all, within reason.
I use an 8” Dime Tip Bar for detail and small cuts on an Echo CS 361.
For my bigger detail saws, I use an Echo CS 501 P with any bar up to 20”, running ¼” pitch chain, mostly Dime and Quarter Tip.
For blocking, I use a 20”, 24”, or 28” Toonie Bar on my Echo CS620P.
For bigger block cuts, I use an Echo CS800 with a 36” SuperBar.
“I run three different saw/carving bar combinations, all running ¼” pitch, .050 gauge chain.
The primary here is the Husqvarna 543 XP with a 20” Quarter Tip Cannon Carving Bar. The reach of this bar allows for more depth in the carving and gets you into those otherwise “hard to reach” areas. The Quarter Tip gets the carver real close to the detail work, and some block-out work can be done with this combo also.
Next in the group is a Husqvarna 550 XP, with a 20” Toonie Tip – this is my “take no prisoner” block-out combo. Here chain speed is kept up, backed with power, giving smooth accurate cutting, allowing the carver to get a rhythm and flow going. Having the 20” gives the opportunity to cut a good-sized plane in one breathe. This gets your project moving.
Third, the Husqvarna 543 XP running a 12” Dime Tip bar. Here is my detailer, this gives nice control, especially in tight areas where high precision is needed.
For the Husqvarna 240 and 120 mark-2 beginner carving saw, I chose the 16″ Dime-tip carving bar to give the beginner the best of both worlds, having the reach to give more options (i.e., more depth, some block-out), and allowing for detailing as well.”
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-888-604-9990, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find the correct bar part numbers for your chainsaw, please use our Bar Finder:
To find dealer near you, or online, please use our Dealer Locator:
March 25, 2020
To our Valued Customers,
We would like to inform you that Cannon Bar Works Ltd. is still fully operational, all be it with a reduced crew, and will remain so as long as our employees are safe in the workplace, or until there are any government-enforced closures.
Forestry products (lumber, pulp, paper, and wood fuel) have been defined as “Essential Businesses” in some areas and we will continue to do our part in supplying saw chain guide bars to as many of the forestry, tree service, rescue/firefighting, and Essential Businesses as we can.
Many of our dealers have temporarily closed, or have shut down their storefront and are currently offering curbside pickup or delivery. If you are in need of any Cannon Bars and cannot get them from your local dealers, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com, or 1-888-604-9990.
Thank you for your continued support. The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, and we will all get through this together.
Stay strong and stay safe – “for this too shall pass”.
Cannon Bar Works Ltd.
Chango of I Do Carve exclusively uses Cannon Bars for his chainsaw carvings. He has recently launched an online chainsaw carving course and is selling carve-ready chainsaws. These chainsaws are converted to 1/4″ pitch, come with a 16″ Cannon Dime Tip Carving Bar, felling dog, two loops of chains, a bar cover, and a discount for his course.