Chains are not measured by stretching them out on a bench and squinting down a tape measure – chains are identified by PITCH, GUAGE and NUMBER OF DRIVE LINKS [no – not the cutting teeth – drive links and you’ll know the difference by even a cursory look at the chain ID link above].
Bars likewise are not measured the same way – manufacturers give them a set ‘length’ which is generally the sticky out bit that comes out of the chainsaw [not including the mount unless in the case of large double ended milling bars which are the exception to the rule and measured end to end].
Chain sharpening is key – if you cannot use a chain and have it cutting well until the cutters are so small they end up getting knocked off – you have plenty to learn. Watch, research, rinse and repeat. Read our article on chain sharpening by clicking here – often people get caught up in different angles and techniques – but the principles are always the same.
If you are serious about correct maintenance of your bar and chain work your way through the Oregon manual [click here] and after that check out the Stihl equivalent [click here]. Using a chainsaw for 20 years [badly] does not qualify you as an experienced user – so be the change, make the difference and keep educating yourself about these valuable yet dangerous tools.