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Minimum chainsaw bar length

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by flashhole, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What determines the minimum chainsaw bar length for a particular saw. I can easily understand running out of power for long bars. My question is specific to a Husky 55 Rancher. The manufacturer states suitable bar lengths are 13" - 20". What would prevent a 12" bar from working just fine? I want a short bar for this saw to use while pruning my apple orchard. I find a lot of 12" bars available on evilBay, not many 13" bars at all. I can't imagine there are "rules" for minimum length as long as you match pitch and gage with the proper chain length but I don't know for sure if this would present a problem.

    Your thoughts and opinions?
     
  2. jeepyfz450

    jeepyfz450 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can run as short a bar as you can find as long as it matches your mount and sprocket.
     
  3. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    I think that the answer is going to be in the mounts. Saws that run 3/8's and .404 chain tend to be larger and most people do not want a 20 pound saw with a 12" bar when an 8 pound saw with a 14" bar will do the trick. Unless you are a machinist you will not find one as there is no demand to justify the cost of tooling and manufacture.

    Unless there is an absolute need for chain speed, why are you going shorter?
     
  4. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That makes all the sense in the world to me.
     
  5. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I already found one that will work with my saw so that is not an issue. I understand your point though. I want to go short to make the saw as handy as I can when I'm up in the rat's nest of branches in the apple tree. I've been using an 18" bar the past few years and it is unweildy at best.
     
  6. russhd1997

    russhd1997 Innocent By Stander

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    For your intended use I think you need a smaller saw to go with that short bar. A Husky 55 is kind of heavy for working in trees.
     
  7. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Compared to the 460 it is pretty light.
     
  8. ale

    ale ArboristSite Operative

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    If you want a short bar go for it. Like a few have said, your pretty much limited by the mount pattern. Most stuff for a 55 starts at 16" in both .325 and 3/8 especially in a "pro" type RSN bar...unless you live in Europe. They have a much better selection on the short bars.
    Laminated and lighter weight bars are easier to find from 13"-16" in that mount pattern.
    good luck
     
  9. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    Given that you are up in the tree and probably not tied off, I think that you would be safest with a top handle saw that you could more safely use with one hand (while holding on with the other). Using a bulky saw like a 55 is only inviting danger.
     
  10. woodyman

    woodyman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can put as small a bar as you can find just so the mount is the same.If you go longer than the max recomended your oiler may not lube it enough.On my ported Husky 44's I run a 13" bar and love it.You can get a Tiger 13" bar from Baileys for $6.00 which is the same as the Carlton on my white top 44 and should be the same mount as your 55.



    [​IMG]
     
  11. SkippyKtm

    SkippyKtm The Lorax, my FIL rip...

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    That's a sweet lookin' 44!:msp_wub:
     
  12. woodyman

    woodyman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. sheepsmoke

    sheepsmoke ArboristSite Lurker

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    first post here fellas, that said I believe this falls under the logic of "it's not that you would, but you could"...090G with an 18 inch bar...not exceptionally efficient but what could you not pull through with that:D The mechanics are correct to do it so why not. in the words of a USMC major whose name slips my mind..."Sometimes it completely acceptable to kill a fly with a sledgehammer"
     
    SkippyKtm likes this.
  14. Dan_IN_MN

    Dan_IN_MN Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I believe bsnelling (Brad Snelling) has a custom made bar that’s around 6 inches or so (just because he could). One thing to keep in mind…the shorter the bar there’s less cutters to do the work, so they might get duller faster….

    I think the post about using a top handle saw is a good one!
     
  15. SkippyKtm

    SkippyKtm The Lorax, my FIL rip...

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    I have an 090 with a 14" bar...


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Is there something wrong with that!?:laugh:

    BTW, welcome to Arboristsite!!;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  16. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    [​IMG]

    First time I have seen someone use a stirrup for a D ring on a saw...
     
  17. Agoraphobia

    Agoraphobia ArboristSite Member

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    Cool new way to start a saw. Tack store here I come! Where do you mount the saddle and are spurs preferred, neccesary, optional?
     
  18. dwraisor

    dwraisor AboristSite Guru

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    It was explained to me not to go to short to prevent over revving the saw. If you go below the recommended length there may not be enough load on the saw, and as such you could rev it past the the limits of the engine. Same reason you should never reva a power head w/no b&c attached.

    That said you can do it. Just don't hold it WOT for any long periods of time.

    Of course like the others here a top handle would serve you better. You are likely on a ladder in the orchard as fruit trees really can't support someone int eh tree... You are in tight quarters and could be working w/ the saw at or above head level. A top-handle is designed for his type work.


    dw
     
  19. turnkey4099

    turnkey4099 Tree Freak

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    Man! A husky 55 with a 1" bar would be unweildy up there. Cruise garage sails, craigs list, etc and get a small top handle. I used to have long ago and far away an ?XL2? the smallest homelite made - great for pruning, my neighbor recently found one that runs like a top at a garage sale for $10.

    Harry K
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  20. stderr

    stderr ArboristSite Operative

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    An old-school husky 35 would probably fit your budget nicely. If you can find a later model one, they have electronic ignition, and a chainbrake. They are incredibly light and can be used as a top-handle or a regular saw:

    [​IMG]

    This one has a broken chainbrake handle, which has been replaced. It also has a 16" bar, but I see no reason you couldn't put a 12" on it. Hmm, maybe I should take my own advice. :)
     

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