Chainsaw Bars, Guage and Pitch
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    rtgt's Avatar
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    Chainsaw Bars, Guage and Pitch

    Given that I have accepted my new affliction....

    The original bar on my Stihl MS290 was 20". Used a .050 gauge, 3/8 pitch chain.

    The newer bar I have for it is also 20" and 3/8 pitch but .063 gauge.

    I understand I have to stick to 3/8 pitch because that is what the gear pitch is.

    So, what is the difference between the .050 and .063 guages?
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    Ortimber's Avatar
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    The drive lugs are different thickness. A .063 chain will not fit on a bar designed for a .05 chain. If you do the opposite, the .05 chain would fit in the bar slot, but it'd be sloppy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ortimber View Post
    The drive lugs are different thickness. A .063 chain will not fit on a bar designed for a .05 chain. If you do the opposite, the .05 chain would fit in the bar slot, but it'd be sloppy.


    So, what is the pro/con to the gauge thickness? Is one better than the other and why?
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
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    Seems to be regional. Most MS 290 FarmBoss around the Great Lakes region are sold with 18" .325P .063G bar n chain. 3/8P .050G is usually sold with MS 362 PRO saws. And then Husqy does .325 .058G on their 50cc saws. I've run them all. No difference noticed in respect to chain gauge. Husqy vs Stihl though, quite a difference!

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    Quote Originally Posted by XSKIER View Post
    Seems to be regional. Most MS 290 FarmBoss around the Great Lakes region are sold with 18" .325P .063G bar n chain. 3/8P .050G is usually sold with MS 362 PRO saws. And then Husqy does .325 .058G on their 50cc saws. I've run them all. No difference noticed in respect to chain gauge. Husqy vs Stihl though, quite a difference!

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    Hi, I've had both saws and liked them both. The Husquvarna was a higher revving engine but it didn't last as long as the Stihl. The Stihl has lasted longer but I found that the chain would sometimes stall. What are your observations? I am thinking of buying another Husqy and would be interested in what others have to say. I'm comparing 20" saws.
    Last edited by NotYourGrandfathersDeere; 05-03-2019 at 10:24 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgt View Post


    So, what is the pro/con to the gauge thickness? Is one better than the other and why?
    The gauge is only the width of the drive elements of the chain, which also make up a major portion of the riveted assembly.
    If you have a powerful chainsaw and run long bars or course pitches such as 404 a lot of power is exerted from the rim sprocket onto the width of the drivers on the chain.
    You could imagine that the wider the drivers the less wear will be exhibited under high load conditions.

    I have read of guys speculating about the oiling characteristics of .050 vs .063 but I can't wrap my head around differences.

    As stated, there seem to be regional preferences and around me with my Stihls, 325 is .063 and 3/8 is .050
    Never broke a chain but .063 would probably be better for my 72 and 92 cc powerheads, but it's too late, I already have 4 spare chains for each bar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotYourGrandfathersDeere View Post
    Hi, I've had both saws and liked them both. The Husquvarna was a higher revving engine but it didn't last as long as the Stihl. The Stihl has lasted longer but I found that the chain would sometimes stall. What are your observations? I am thinking of buying another Husqy and would be interested in what others have to say. I'm comparing 20" saws.
    I think 20" is too much for the MS 290 farmboss class saw, that's what I run on an MS 362. I've made a few cuts with a neighbor's 562 XP 20" head to head with my MS 362. The Husqy is faster through the cut, but not enough for me to make the switch. Husqy has some poor design elements that are too much to overcome for me for a faster cut. I have owned both MS 261 16" and 550 XP 16" for about 4 years. The cut speed between the two is too close to call, but the build quality of the Stihl is so much better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotYourGrandfathersDeere View Post
    Hi, I've had both saws and liked them both. The Husquvarna was a higher revving engine but it didn't last as long as the Stihl. The Stihl has lasted longer but I found that the chain would sometimes stall. What are your observations? I am thinking of buying another Husqy and would be interested in what others have to say. I'm comparing 20" saws.
    20 inch is a bit of a grey area.
    Some folks will run that on 50cc saws and in harder woods fully engaged they may struggle with power. Also a longer bar on small powerheads can make them slightly nose heavy effecting handling. It does make for a little less bending down with a longer bar for reach though.

    Typically I think you would enter the 60cc range with a twenty inch bar but they will weigh more.

    I have obviously trended Stihl for a variety of reasons but I would also feel very confident with Husqvarna or even an Echo product.
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    The length of the bar is not a useful data point without including the size of the engine. I run a 20" bar on an MS660 sometimes and sometimes on an MS362 and those are vastly different saws with vastly different capabilities.
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    Trying to wrap my head around the "regional differences". The only conclusion I can arrive at is due to the regional differences in the type of wood being cut.

    FWIW, I bought the saw when I lived in the PNW. MS290, 20" bar, 72 links, 3/8 pitch, .050 gauge.

    When I bought a second bar I lived in Tennessee. The dealer didn't have a .050 gauge bar that fit the saw, but did have a .063.

    If I understand the earlier post, the .063 chain is just stronger, and probably overkill for my 290.

    So is the pitch the aggressiveness of the cutter? .325 being less aggressive, 3/8 (.375) being more aggressive, and .404 being most aggressive?
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
    Z915E
    XUV560

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