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Small Saw Big Bar???

Post in 'The Gear' started by redRover, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. redRover

    redRover New Member

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    For cutting up the tops of trees and limbing, is it possible to run a big bar of around 26" on an MS260 type saw? An MS201 (not a T model) would be even better, but Bailey's doesn't sell bars that long for small saws.

    Obviously, this wouldn't work very well if you tried to bury the bar in a 20" tree, but for limbing and cutting small branches of tree tops that don't require splitting, up to say 4" diameter, it would give you extended reach and save your back from having to bend down all the time.

    Kickback is a bit of a concern, because it would involve a lot of cutting with the nose, rather than keeping the branch up against the dogs, but I don't think that would be a super huge issue, both because of the limited power of the saw, and the fact that people use pole pruners to do similar things. A pole pruner would also work, but the minimum reach on those is too long for what I'm trying to do, which is basically to trim and limb downed trees without developing a semi-simian posture, and keeping weight down.

    Balance would be pretty nose heavy, but I think that the reduced weight of the powerhead would make up for this, especially if the saw is not a top handled saw and the bar was a reduced weight one.

    Does anybody have any experience or feedback on this? The only performance downside I can see is that you would have more bar-chain friction, and possibly might run out of oiling, but again, it's still basically just cutting a 4" branch, with the remaining 20" of bar hanging in the air.

    Alternatively, has anyone tried to cut down a pole pruner to the right length?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

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  2. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    So. MD
    If your saw is "small" then it is probably designed to run a narrow kerf bar and chain. Most 20"+ bars will have the wider kerf 3/8". The sprockets will be setup different and usually do not work. with that being said, you could try a sprocket change as well to accommodate the larger chain/bar.

    Personally I think this is not a good idea. If you have a small saw it should be light and easy to handle. Sounds like you need to check your technique and bend more with your knees than your back.

    If you have a dead tree with a bunch of limbs, try going after it with an axe to knock the small limbs off. Ive found this can be faster than running a saw
    (unless your this guy )
    redRover likes this.
  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    A chainsaw is a tool of compromise. That's why many of us have more than one.

    Some folks run a 20" bar on a 50cc saw for reach, but those saws are best suited for 16" bars in terms of balance when limbing and of power when buried.

    A 20" bar is perfect for most tasks with my 6' height. 60cc saws are a great match for 20" bars, but many of them are a little on the heavy side for a long limbing session. A 24" bar starts to become a little too long when trying to get in and out of eastern hardwood limbs.

    If I had to limit myself to one saw (gasp!), my 361/20" would probably make the cut. A 562XP/20" also would would be under serious consideration.

    New 50cc saws like the MS261 and 550XP are somewhat breaking the mold by being strong enough to pull a 20 incher.
  4. Snotrocket

    Snotrocket Burning Hunk

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    For cutting up tree tops you need a saw buck not a longer bar.

    A saw with a 20 inch bar is plenty of bar for the overwhelming majority of firewood burners.
  5. redRover

    redRover New Member

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    I should add that I already have an 036 QS for felling and bucking, though I hope to move up to a 441 or a 661 next year, and mostly cut large(ish) eastern hardwoods in New England. I'm not looking for a one saw solution.

    What I'm looking for is a limbing saw that has good A/V and will take a long enough bar that I don't have to bend down very far (at 6'3" this is a fairly serious consideration for me). Power isn't that much of a concern, because I have a bigger saw for that, and if all else fails my brother has an 084, though it's rather beastly to start cold, even on warm days, so that doesn't come out very often.
  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Here you go:

    jeff_t, redRover and MDFisherman like this.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I can't find the discussion and video, but I think there is an odd 24" bar or two in .325 pitch that will fit a smaller Husqvarna bar mount. Searching....
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  8. redRover

    redRover New Member

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    He can practically cut his whole wood pile without moving! !!!

    That's awesome, but perhaps a bit of overkill, if you believe there is such a thing as overkill.
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    The main problem with long bars on smalls saws is not the power, it's the oiler. They don't put out enough oil for longer bars.
    Fifelaker and Jags like this.

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