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Bar & Chain Recommendations

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by linckeil, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. linckeil

    linckeil ArboristSite Lurker

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    i recently picked up a used husqvarna 455 rancher in great shape. stock 20" bar and chain is 3/8" pitch, .050" gauge, and 72 drive links.

    what is the best all around bar and chain combo for this saw? i live in the northeast and will be using it primarily to cut firewood, but will also be used to drop trees now and then. it will see a combination of hardwoods and softwoods.

    is there a different pitch/gauge/drive link combo that will get the job done more efficiently than the stock chain? and what about narrow kerf bar/chains? should these be considered? what do you recommend?

    thanks.
     
  2. Evan

    Evan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    stihl RSC is what i recomend turns it into real firewood fire house
     
  3. mikefunaro

    mikefunaro Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Is there anything wrong with the current bar?

    I would just stick with 3/8 on that saw, at least until you totally wear out the bar or unless it's already badly bent, etc. If you want to maybe think about .325 that's a possibility--stihl ships their equivalent (ms290) a lot of the time with .325 chain.

    Many will say that .325 cuts a little faster but 3/8 holds its edge a little longer. 3/8 also seems to be getting increasingly more commonplace on all saws.

    I'd just pick up a few loops of RSC, or RMC (semichisel) if you're doing any cutting in dirty wood, or buy some woodland pro from baileys on the cheap, especially if you're buying anything else from them anytime soon.
     
  4. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think the more interesting and relevant question would be this: what is your current bar/chain combo NOT doing for you? If it's getting the job done and you're satisfied with its performance, leave well enough alone.
     
  5. DMShaver

    DMShaver ArboristSite Member

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    18" bar with 3/8" chain would be a good combination. 20" is a bit large, but as long as you are not using all 20" all the time, it will be fine.
     
  6. linckeil

    linckeil ArboristSite Lurker

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    the current bar is bent, and the chain is toast - so i can't make a fair judgement on how well it works.

    since i'm replacing both the bar and chain, i wanted to see if any combination other than stock would work well for this saw.
     
  7. GASoline71

    GASoline71 Mr. Nice Guy (Moderator)

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    What you're usin' now is a good setup... I would replace it with exactly what you have.

    ...so... how did you bend the bar? Bars can be straightened. :)

    Gary
     
  8. J.W Younger

    J.W Younger Tree Freak

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    I have a 257 huskys with a 3/8 chain 18" bar that will stop the chain if you ride it any. I bought this saw used and so far I don't like it. I'm also wondering if this is the right b/c for this thing.
     
  9. linckeil

    linckeil ArboristSite Lurker

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    thanks for the input so far....

    i bought the saw last week with the bar and chain as is.

    i can get it in 3/8 pitch, but .058" gauge versus .050" gauge. does a larger gauge mean a stronger chain? does it also mean a larger kerf?

    what do other 455 owners like on their saw?
     
  10. Wishie22

    Wishie22 ArboristSite Operative

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    Depends on your needs.

    The Rancher 455 usually run a 18" or 20" bar (can run 16" or larger bars than a 20" (with full-skip)). They seem to hold up pretty good with the 3/8. 3/8 will pull a larger chip and do seem to hold an edge longer than a .325. Grandpa's current preferred saw, he use to be a strictly stihl man till last year (Anti-vibe and decompression spoiled him). They may have a odd size spark-plug (IMSMR).

    I personally run smaller bars on my saws.
    couple of examples:
    limber/backup bucker 16" bar .325 pitch semi-chisel .63 gauge chain on 026 (48.5 cc)
    bucker/faller 20" bar 3/8 pitch full chisel .50 guage chain on 7900 (79 cc)

    Felled and made 22" white oak & 20" red oak cookies with the 026. Takes a little longer but will get the job done.

    Had to laugh when I pulled up on a buddy using a :chainsaw: 350 husky, all his cuts were hooked & burnt (no backup chain or file & he was being stubborn). He was trying to buck up some firewood and I was watching him smoke the bar & chain (literally he had to replace them after that outting). Broke out the 38cc Pulan 3/8 pitch chain 16" bar, and dug in. Just simply having a sharp dressed chain, we were loading up the trucks and having a beer 30 min later. We still laugh about it. The 350 Husky is all he needs for the way he runs his landscaping business (w/ files, backup bar & chains).

    Sharp chain with correct filed rakers is essential for cutting, along with a well running lubricating machine.
     
  11. Wishie22

    Wishie22 ArboristSite Operative

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    You might want to also ask what they recommend for a sprocket/rim & drum system.

    Listed on Baileys
    Fits Crankshaft Diameter .500 (1/2")
    Drive Sprocket Bearing DSB 11893
    Rim Spline Size Small 7 tooth (RSS)

    http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdetail.asp?item=ORF 513472&catID=1833
     
  12. mowoodchopper

    mowoodchopper Polar Bear

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    I would go with an 18 or even a 16 on a 455 with 3/8! I also think 325 would work good with an 18. Mine had a 18 with 3/8 It was okay but did run out of power quite a bit!
     
  13. Honkie

    Honkie AboristSite Guru

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    I would go 3/8 carlton chisel on a 16 incher.....
     
  14. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    Mine ran 20" bar and 3/8 RM OK, but bogged out way too easy, and I ended up using the 18" bar 80% of the time.

    Leave the spur as it came from the factory.
    The poor thing wont spin fast enough to take advantage of going one less, and it lacks the power to deal with one more.

    Crank the oiler all the way open, slap a new bar and chain(Stihl chain is the winner for holding an edge) on it, and go cut with it untill it pukes.

    Adjust the carb to run a smidge rich if you have room left on the limits, or it will get hot in long cuts is about the only tweak I can think of.

    If ya just cut with it, and don't obcess over Saws, and never run a pro saw in the same class, it should keep you happy for many cords.

    I beat the crap outta mine, and cut a LOT of wood with it.
    Plumb wore it out, low compression now, but still cuts.
    It owes me nothin.

    I hope yours serves the same.

    Stay safe!
    Dingeryote
     
  15. willsaw4beer

    willsaw4beer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yep, or just use the bar that you have already.
     
  16. kdub

    kdub ArboristSite Lurker

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    whoa...deja vu, this looks like my post of a day or 2 ago. I also got a smokin deal on a 455. Chain is toast, bar is ragged. I had the same questions, today I put a stihl RSC chain on it but havent tried it yet. Still want to replace bar and possibly spur. I'm not sure my oiler is working well either.

    Anyway sounds like we're runnin parallel.
     
  17. kdub

    kdub ArboristSite Lurker

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