When you’re looking up chainsaws, there’s quite likely to be a few words that sound big and confusing, and make you just want to yell ‘just tell me how good it is’ at your computer screen.
However, despite how scary these words look, in reality, most of them are quite easy concepts to grasp once you get your head around them.
Today, PowerOfTool.com will be looking at the two which you probably see the most often. These are bar length, and CC. Both of which do require a small degree of mathematics, but if you paid attention in school, they’ll be easy to understand.
What is Bar Length?
As the name suggests, the bar length is the length of the bar. And just in case you don’t know, the bar is the long thing that you wrap the chain around. Upon reading this, some of you might think that you can just take a tape measure to your chainsaw to figure out to bar length. This is incorrect.
A large fraction of the bar length is actually hidden within the chainsaw itself, this means that only the cutting length is exposed.
Hiding some of the bar makes sense as doing so ensures it’s perfectly secure.
What Bar Length is right?
So what is the right bar length for you? Well, that all depends on what sort of jobs you’re trying to do. If your bar is too small, it won’t be able to cut through the wood that you need to. But if it’s too large, it can be difficult to control.
- If you want to do some light work, such as trimming and pruning, the bar should be between 8-16″.
- If you want to cut down a small tree or remove large limbs from a tree, the best bar length would be between 16-18″.
- If your task is to cut medium sized trees, perhaps after a storm, then an 18-20″ bar length would do the best job.
- And if you’re hoping to cut down larger trees, then get yourself a 20-24″ bar.
Bar length is incredibly easy to understand, and even if you don’t know too much about math, you can still figure it out.
CC, on the other hand, is not quite as easy. It’s figured out using a special formula.
What is CC?
CC stands for cubic centremetres, and it’s related to the power of the engine. The more CC a chainsaw has, the more powerful the engine, therefore, the easier it will be to do the job that you want it to.
There’s a special formula to figuring out what the CC of any engine is. You’re unlikely to need to figure this out, as it will be in your chainsaw manufacturing guide.
0.7854 x Bore2 x Stroke x Number of cylinders.
Do you remember the expression A=πr2? Well, another way of figuring out the area of a circle is by multiplying the Diameter2 by 0.7854. This is needed as all engines have cylinders which have circles on either end.
To put it quite bluntly, the bore is the width of one of the cylinders. Essentially, the diameter of one of the circles on the cylinder. Just make sure you square it (times it by itself).
The stroke is just the length of the cylinder. From one of the circles, right the way up to the other circle.
Number of Cylinders
No engine has just one cylinder. If it did, that cylinder would have so much power, that it would actually make the chainsaw dangerous to use. If you’re working out the CC, you’ll also need to multiply by the number of cylinders in the engine.
Which CC is right?
As you’ve probably figured out by yourself, the power of the CC depends on the job that you want to do. If you’ve got a light job, you’ll need a lower CC, whereas if you have a bigger job that you need to do, it’s best to use a chainsaw with a higher CC.
A small job might be felling a small tree, trimming, or pruning. For such a task, you don’t need to go over 30cc.
Moderate jobs such as cutting an average tree, or turning that tree into logs, its best to use one at about 40 cc.
For cutting large logs, or cutting down very thick tree’s, you’re probably looking about a 50cc chainsaw.
Which is more important? Bar Length or CC?
That’s a very difficult question to answer as both of them are things that you need to consider when selecting an appropriate chainsaw.
Bar length is important as it will determine how easy the chainsaw is to control, and how thick the wood can be before it’s too much. You don’t want a chainsaw that can’t cut through the wood, but you also don’t want one that’s just going to create a splintery mess and is difficult to control.
CC is important as it determines the power of your chainsaw. Too powerful as it can be dangerous to use, you wouldn’t want to use a 50cc saw when you just want to do a bit of trimming.
However, not powerful enough and it won’t be very efficient, as you won’t be able to cut down trees as quickly as you should be able to.
But overall, bar length is probably more important as a chainsaw with a low cc can still do the job, just not as fast.
Bar length, is just the length of the bar; including the part that you can and can’t see. Anyone with a tape measure can figure it out.
The CC, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. You need to remember the special formula…
0.7854 x Bore2 x Stroke x Number of cylinders.
But both of them should already be given to you by your chainsaw company when you buy the saw.