How to Measure Chainsaw Bar and Chain Length | Easy Guide
Whether you need to order replace chainsaw parts or are looking to pick up a new chainsaw with a specific bar length, you might at some point need to take measurements to determine the right tool, blade, or chain for your given model. Like most tools, chainsaw components are simple enough to measure when you know the right points to measure between.
In this article, I’ll guide you through how to measure a chainsaw bar, covering everything you need down to the exact measurement points and size guides.
What Is Chainsaw Bar Length?
The chainsaw bar is the main component of the device. It consists of a flat metal bar with a rounded end encompassed by the chain. Standard bars range between 8 and 24 inches. To find out the exact length, you might have to get out your tape measure and take precise measurements yourself.
Bar length varies based on the tool’s purpose and the overall size of the device. Different bar lengths will allow you to complete various tasks and may accommodate different chain sizes, too.
Chainsaw Blade Bar
A chainsaw’s blade bar is the part that holds the chain in place. The blade itself is not the component that does the cutting but rather the part that guides the chain to cut. You can purchase either a standard or carving bar, depending on your needs. Either way, each bar comes with some components you’ll want to note before taking your measurements. These parts include:
Your bar blade may seem lengthy, but when you go to measure it directly, you’ll find that the length you see is not the measurement you’ll get. Instead, you must take the measurement of the cutting length rather than the full device length. This means you will not include the nose, mounting slot, nose sprocket, or tail when taking measurements.
What Is A Chainsaw Bar Measurement?
This measurement, as mentioned previously, is not the length of the device itself but the cutting length. Measuring the chainsaw in its entirety will not give you an accurate cutting length because you will have non-working pieces factored into your measurements.
Measure the cutting length instead to get an accurate reading of the bar’s usable length. The cutting length is the amount of bar that sticks out from the chainsaw’s hub. This length is the chainsaw part that moves and cuts.
How to Measure Chainsaw Bar Length
For a standard chainsaw, you can expect the cutting length to be between 14 and 30 inches. Keep these numbers in mind while you measure. If you own a standard chainsaw and get a number far off from the average, you probably didn’t measure correctly. But, before you get to that point, conduct the following steps to measure your chainsaw bar:
Setting Up – Safety First
Before you begin measuring, designate a flat, even surface to work. Set the chainsaw on it and ensure that you power off the chainsaw to prevent any possibility of the tool turning on accidentally.
Once you’ve assured your safety, you’ll need to grab hold of a tape measure.
Measure From the Nose to the Mounting Slot
To measure the cutting bar length, take the tape measure and start near the bar’s mounting slot where the chain bar meets the chainsaw body. Run the tape measure from the chainsaw body along the length of the bar blade out to the end of the blade nose.
This is the length of your chainsaw bar blade if purchasing a replacement bar.
If you find that your bar length is not a round number, you will need to round the length up to the nearest inch. For example, a bar that measures 19 1/2 inches will actually be a 20-inch bar.
Full Length Measurement
If you don’t want the cutting length measurement but the actual full length bar measurement, you will need to measure from the tip all the way to the bar’s tail end. To do this, you need to remove the bar from the chainsaw handle.
Unscrew the bolts at the blade’s base. Remember: this step is only necessary when measuring the bar’s full length and is unnecessary for cutting length measurements.
In this case, you do not need to round the measurement up when measuring the full bar length.
How To Measure A Chainsaw Chain
Measuring a chainsaw chain is a bit more complicated than measuring a blade bar. Instead of unhooking the chain and using a tape measure to gauge the length, you have to take measurements of the chain pitch and gauge.
I recommend looking at your chainsaw and its user manual first. You might find listed measurements for the chain. However, these listed numbers may also be hard to find, rubbed off, or printed too small to read. If so, you’ll need to measure the chain yourself.
Measuring the chain is easiest if you remove it from the chainsaw completely. Once off, you can lay it flat on a surface or maneuver it in your hands as needed to figure out the measurements for the pitch.
Ultimately, there are two factors to consider when figuring out your chainsaw’s chain size: its length and depth. Both factors determine whether or not the chain is suitable for a specific tool. If the chain is too long, it will not fit tightly enough around the bar. Similarly, if the chain isn’t long enough, it won’t fit around the bar.
You also need to figure out the chain gauge and pitch measurement, as these will determine whether or not the chain can affix to the bar regardless of length.
You can liken the chain gauge to chain thickness. specifically, the gauge is the thickness of the groove where the chain fits the chainsaw blade bar. You can’t use a tape measure to figure out this size because the measurement will be too small. According to Bob Vila, however, you can easily determine a chain’s gauge with some spare change.
Compare the chain’s groove width to either a dime, penny, or quarter. A quarter equals a.063-inch gauge, a penny equals a.058-inch gauge, and a dime measures a.050-inch gauge. Whichever your chain groove looks closest to gives you your estimated gauge.
If you don’t want to spend time estimating your chain gauge or have a hard time comparing it to the coins, you can reference the chart below for estimated measurements:
The chain pitch is the distance between the links on the chain. You will notice the circular divots that follow along the length of the chain. Three of these together divided in half equals the pitch.
You can measure this by lying the chain flat on a surface and straightening it out into a line. Align the chain with your tape measure, paying close attention to the links. Line up three links with the measurements noted on the tape measure, and then divide that number in half.
It’s important to note that, when taking this measurement, you should line up the markers on the tape measure with the center of the links.
Pitch sizes include the following measurements: ¼”.325”, ⅜,” and.404”. The ⅜-inch pitch is the most common.
It’s best to keep these measurements in mind when measuring. If you get a number close to one of the previously mentioned measurements, round to that number for accuracy.
How To Put A Chain On A Chainsaw
You don’t need to hire a professional to have a chainsaw chain measured and reinstalled. You can do it yourself with relative ease. Whether you’ve removed the chain to take measurements or have a replacement chain you want to install, you can follow these steps to do so correctly.
Remove The Side Plate
If you’re starting with the chain off, you don’t need to worry about this step because you should have already removed the side plate. If you are not, remove the side plate from the chainsaw. Taking this piece off will give you access to the tool’s tension screw and other main components.
Release The Tension Screw
At the base of your chainsaw, you’ll find the tension screw. This screw is what keeps the chain tight and secure around the bar blade. Use a screwdriver to relieve some pressure. In doing so, you give yourself more room to fix the chain instead of having to strain to fit the chain back on the blade.
Do not loosen it all the way, though, because you might lose the screw or loosen the blade too much to provide stability for the chain.
Thread The Chain
Very carefully, take the chain and thread it on the blade bar. The edge of the blade bar is sharp, and the chain tips can be sharp, too, so it’s best to take your time during this step. Attach the chain to the device starting at the base.
Affix the chain around the clutch drum — the feature at the base of the bar. Make sure that the drive links hook into the mount sprocket securely as you thread. From there, you can work the chain up and around the blade’s nose.
Align The Blade Bar
Since you’ve loosened the tension screw, the chain should hang slightly off of the bar. Lightly pull the bar from the nose outward to apply some tension. In doing so, the chain should fit more snugly on the blade bar. During this step, make sure that the bar fits onto the adjustment pin to ensure correct alignment.
Replace The Side Plate
Once you’ve aligned the blade bar and affixed the chain, you can replace the side plate. Replacing the side plate will cover up the exposed blade bar area and provide stability to the chainsaw. Screw in the bolts to attach them but be careful not to secure them fully, keeping some wiggle room.
Tighten the Tension Screw
After completing the previous steps and double-checking that you’ve attached the chain correctly, you can tighten the tension screw back to its original state. Tightening this screw will secure the chain to the blade bar.
Tighten The Side Plate
Finally, you can secure the bolts on the side plate completely. In doing so, you complete the chain replacement and can use the chainsaw as intended.
What Size Chainsaw Do I Need?
Before starting any project that requires a chainsaw, you will need to figure out the size best suited to the task. Instead of buying a standard chainsaw, consider the size of the chainsaw as it relates to the various tasks you can complete. This will help you make the best decision for your wallet and safety.
Smaller chainsaws range between 6 and 10 inches. These chainsaws are best for small, less complex jobs, such as pruning bushes or shaving off small branches.
Since the branches you’ll deal with during these projects only amount to a couple of inches thick, give or take some inches, you won’t need an extremely long or powerful chainsaw to get the job done. In fact, you might not even need a chainsaw at all.
Medium chainsaws measure between 12 and 16 inches. Chainsaws of this size are best for larger, more intensive tasks, such as cutting small trees or cutting logs for firewood. If you plan to cut logs, you’ll more than likely need to lean toward the larger end of the spectrum, depending on the wood’s thickness. The same goes for cutting small trees. Either way, make sure you scope out the wood’s depth beforehand to make sure you size your chainsaw correctly.
Otherwise known as a standard chainsaw, a typical large-scale chainsaw measures between 16 and 18 inches. These chainsaws can handle more intensive projects with their large size, including cutting down medium-sized trees of adequate thickness.
For even more complex tasks, you may want to purchase an extra-large chainsaw. These devices measure a minimum of 20 inches. They allow you to cut through trees in one fell swoop.
However, before purchasing one of these chainsaws to tackle large tree removal, you might want to consider hiring a professional first as they are more equipped to handle the task.
When To Replace Chainsaw Chain
Depending on how much you use your chainsaw, the chain should last anywhere between five years to a couple of decades. However, it’s best to know the signs to replace the change before it’s time. Look out for the following signs to gauge when you need to replace your chain.
Debris Thickness And Texture
One sign that your chainsaw’s chain needs replacing involves looking at the threads it produces during use. If you use the tool and notice fine, sawdust-like debris plumes, you probably need a new chain. A chainsaw should produce larger, more noticeable rough threads during use.
If you notice sawdust, your chainsaw is likely acting more like a sander than as it’s intended.
Another sign that you may need to replace your chain is if your cuts are not accurate. It’s probably fine if this happens occasionally, but if you continually make inaccurate cuts, it’s more than likely because your chain needs replacing.
Going hand in hand with the device’s cutting precision is its pull. If you notice during use that the device pulls in one direction — resulting in crooked cuts — you need to replace the chain.
Every now and then, you should check your chain’s teeth to gauge their condition. This sign is especially vital to pay attention to if you use your chainsaw to tackle tough materials. Damaged chain teeth will not be sharp and might be missing tips.
In this case, you will need to replace the chain sooner rather than later because the teeth play the most crucial role during use.
As you use your chainsaw, you may notice how turning the machine on creates a natural pull. If you use your chainsaw and see that the effect is lagging or find yourself exerting more pressure than usual, it’s a good idea to consider replacing the chain.
Smoking is more often than not a bad sign when it comes to electronic or motorized devices. If your chainsaw starts smoking while you use it, you might want to consider replacing the chain or taking your device to a professional to look at.
This might not be cause for alarm if you recently lubricated your chainsaw and the chain is fairly new. If that does not apply to you, then you should look to the chain as the cause.
Chainsaw Sharpening File
Sometimes, when using your chainsaw, the chain’s teeth will dull after continued use. If you notice signs of haggard teeth, you don’t always have to completely replace the chain. You will only need to replace the entire chain if the teeth are irreparably damaged. Instead, if the teeth look a little dull, you can purchase a chainsaw sharpening file to brighten them up.
However, much like how your chainsaw size needs to fit the task at hand, the chainsaw sharpening file needs to accommodate your chainsaw size. If you have a small chainsaw with a thin chain, having a large sharpening file will not work to sharpen the teeth correctly.
File Size Chart
Use the chart below to gauge the size of the sharpening file you’ll need to fit your chainsaw size.
|Pitch||Gauge||Sharpening File Size|
|.325||.050”/1.3mm ,058”/1.5mm||3/16” 4.8mm|
FAQs Chainsaw Bar and Chain Length
What Can I Do To Extend My Chainsaw’s Lifespan?
Lubricate your chainsaw regularly to keep it in pristine working condition for longer. Lubricating will keep the machine well-oiled and working properly.
Do I Need To Detach The Chain From The Blade Bar When Measuring The Bar Length?
No. It’s not necessary to remove the chain during this process, especially when measuring the cutting length. If you need to measure the actual length (which involves disassembling the bar from the machine), the chain might come off, but you don’t need to actively remove it yourself.
Final Thoughts On Chainsaw Measurements
When measuring a chainsaw bar, it’s important to err on the side of caution and follow the above steps. By properly disassembling, measuring, and putting your chainsaw back together, you should get an accurate measurement of your chainsaw.
How To Measure Chainsaw Bar? A Comprehensive Guide
Chainsaw is the best buddy of all the DIY lovers and forest workers. Undoubtedly the tool is a powerhouse if it is running well. But, with repeated usage, the saw can wear out, especially the cutting part: the bar and chain! That is why replacing both parts becomes necessary, but finding the correct replacement size is equally important. If you don’t know how to measure chainsaw bar, this article is for you!
To measure the length of the bar, hold the saw up and use a ruler scale or tape for measurement. Always measure the bar from the tip of the chain to the point where the chain enters the chainsaw covering. And round up your measurement to the nearest even number.
Remember that there are two types of measurements effective cutting length and true length, which is the actual bar length. Therefore, you should measure the true length when you are going to replace the chainsaw bar. Continue to read and learn how to measure chainsaw chains in detail here!
How To Measure Chainsaw Bar?
The chainsaw bar is a metallic part that extends from your tool’s body and is involved in the cutting process. Also, the chain wraps and revolves around the chainsaw bar. With continuous use, the bar can get damaged, and you can feel the need for replacement.
But before you buy a new chainsaw bar, it is crucial to find out how long bar chainsaw is! So that you can find the right-sized chainsaw bar for your cutting device! There are two types of chainsaw bar sizes; cutting bar length and true bar length:
- Cutting Bar Length: The cutting bar length defines how far the bar sticks out.
- True Bar Length: The actual bar length defines the full size of your chainsaw bar.
If you don’t know how to measure chain bar length, here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure chain saw bar. You can find the actual bar length by following the steps mentioned here.
How To Measure Chainsaw Bar Length: True And Cutting Bar Length
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to measure a chainsaw bar. Through this method, you can find both the cutting bar length and the true bar length of your chainsaw. So, let’s head towards it without wasting another second!
Step 1: Unplug The Spark Plug
Before you move to measure a chain bar length, don’t forget to unplug the chainsaw spark plug. This way, you can assure that the chainsaw won’t start while measuring the chainsaw bar.
Place the chainsaw on the ground or a flat surface and ensure the handle is face up. Now, find out the screws holding the cover of the chainsaw. You can loosen these bolts with the help of a wrench or a screwdriver.
Also, you will find the black wire, which will be plugged into the circular port under the chainsaw casing. Pull out that wire. It will disconnect the power supply to the spark plug. Don’t measure the length of the chainsaw bar if this wire is connected to the plug. In this way, the chainsaw can get started anytime. The position of these bolts can differ depending on the model or type of chainsaw you have!
Step 2: Measure The Chainsaw Bar Cutting Length
The cutting length of the chainsaw is also known as the usable or effective length. Most of the chainsaw’s average cutting lengths are 14-inches or 36 cm, 16-inches or 41 cm, 18-inches or 46 cm, and 20-inches or 51 cm!
Chainsaw Bar Codes Explained. Know Before ordering new Chainsaw Bar
For the measurement, place the end of the measuring tape at the point where the chainsaw bar enters the body and extend the tape till you reach the tip of the chainsaw bar. Record the bar size and round it off to the nearest possible even number, and this is the cutting length of your chainsaw bar.
Note: For instance, if the cutting length of your chainsaw bar appears 35 cm or 13 5⁄8 inches, you can round it off to 36 cm or 14 inches.
Step 3: Remove The Chainsaw Bar
To find the actual length of the chainsaw bar, you will have to remove the clutch cover. There will be two nuts on the right side of the chainsaw. These nuts are responsible for holding the chainsaw clutch cover, unscrewing them with the help of a chainsaw wrench, and taking off the chainsaw bar.
After removing the nuts, slightly take off the clutch casing. It will expose the covered part of the chainsaw bar. Gently move the chainsaw bar in the forward direction before you pull off the chainsaw bar. This action will release the bar from the clutch.
Also, don’t forget to lock the chainsaw brake if your saw has one. Otherwise, you will face difficulty in removing the chainsaw bar! Don’t forget to wear work gloves, as the chain is on the bar, and you can accidentally hurt yourself.
Step 4: Measure The Chainsaw Bar And Find the True Length
Put the measuring tape at one end of the chain saw guide bar and extend it to the other end of the chainsaw bar till its tip to get the true length of the bar. Lastly, round off the measurement to the nearest value, which will be your saw’s true chainsaw bar length. For example, you can convert the 16 1⁄3 inches or 41 cm into 17-inches or 42 cm.
The standard chainsaw bar lengths vary from 8-inches to 24-inches or 20 cm to 61 cm. remember that the actual bar length will always be longer than the cutting bar length. If you feel confused about the measurement, you can also get help from the chainsaw chain replacement chart! Along with the size, you can also get to know the type of chain you need for your saw from the chain measurement chart!
How To Measure A Chainsaw Chain: Step By Step Guide
Now that you have learned the right way to find the chainsaw bar length, let’s move and find out how do you measure a chainsaw chain. As you know, the chainsaw chain sizes vary depending on the type and model of your chainsaw, so you will have to measure the chain size of your saw before you buy the one for your tool! You can follow the under-given steps if you need to find the chainsaw chain length:
Step 1: Remove The Chainsaw Chain
Before knowing how to measure chain size, don’t forget to remove the chainsaw chain from your saw, as it will make the chain measurement easier. For this purpose, you will have to find and remove the two nuts holding the clutch cover. These nuts will be located on the right side of your tool.
Once you have removed the clutch, you can easily access the chain. Pull the bar towards your side to release the tension. Try to be gentle. Now, grab the chain and carefully unloop it from the clutch. A Clutch is a cylinder where the bar connects to the chainsaw.
Note: Don’t forget to wear work gloves when working with the chain. The gloves will protect your hands from getting damaged by the chainsaw teeth!
Step 2: Measure The Chain’s Pitch: Distance Between Three Consecutive Rivets
Now it’s time to measure the chainsaw chain pitch. For this purpose, first put the chain on the ground or a flat surface. In this way, you can easily see all the rivets. Rivets are circular metal pieces responsible for holding the chain links together.
With the help of measuring tape, you can easily measure the length of the chain. For this purpose, place the measuring tape at the edge of any rivet and pull the tape till the third rivet. Now, divide the measurement by 2, which is the chain’s pitch.
For example, suppose the distance between three consecutive rivets is 1.9 cm. In that case, you can divide it by 2; resultantly, 0.95 cm will come out to be the pitch of your chainsaw bar. Usually, the pitch is mentioned on the right side of the chainsaw bar. Also, you can get help from the chainsaw size chart if you are a bit confused about the chain size of your chainsaw!
Step 3: Use The Caliper To Find The Gauge Of The Chain
The gauge defines the thickness of the drive links that fit into the chainsaw bar. To find the gauge, put a drive link between the jaws or caliper and slide the jaws close to each other so they can grip the drive links. Now, you can check the measurement on the caliper to find the gauge.
If you cannot measure the gauge, you can also find the gauge measurement on the side of the chainsaw. The standard gauge can be of different sizes like 0.05 inches 0r 1.3 mm, 0.058 inches or 1.5 mm, and 0.063 inches or 1.6 mm.
You can use the dime, quarter, or penny if you don’t have the caliper. Slide any of these into the chainsaw bar’s groove and check which fits snugly. If the dime fits in, then the gauge is 0.05 inches. In the case of the penny, the gauge will be 0.058 inches; if a quarter fits in, the gauge is 0.063 inches.
Note: The drive links are the pointed metallic pieces inside the chain.
Step 4: Find Out The Number Of Drive Links The Chainsaw Chain Have
The last step is the measurement of the chainsaw drive links. The links are the pointed metal pieces that are present on the inner side of the chain. Put the chain on the ground and mark a dot on one of the links with a permanent marker.
Now, count the number of the drive links starting from the one you just marked and continue along the chain length. You will have to count till you find the drive link which you just marked. Write down the number of the drive links.
The number of drive links is also mentioned on the side of the chainsaw bar, labeled as DL (drive links). The chainsaw chain identification charts are available; you can also get help from them if you face difficulty finding the length of the chain. And, this is all how to measure chain saw chain!
How To Measure The STIHL Chainsaw Bar?
One of the important parameters of the STIHL chainsaw guide bar is its size measured in inches or centimeters. The highly recommended chainsaw bar sizes are 11-inches, 12-inches, 13-inches, 14-inches, 15-inches, 16-inches, 17-inches, 18-inches, 19-inches, 20-inches, 21-inches, and 22-inches. If you want to replace your chainsaw bar and are confused about its size, you can also get help from the STIHL chainsaw bar size chart!
Remember that the small-sized chainsaw bars are used for simpler jobs. For instance, you can use a chainsaw as a delimber to cut the non-thick boards if it has a bar of 11-13 inches. Due to the bar’s small size, you can accelerate the circuit at the highest speed and finish your tasks quickly.
Mostly the chainsaw operators use bars of 14-16 inches. It is because these chainsaw bar sizes can be used to cut the firewood and the saw as the delimber. The chainsaws with bars of 18 to 22 inches can be used to cut the thick trees while harvesting the firewood. The chainsaw with long bars is used in semi-professional, professional, and highly powerful chainsaws!
So, when selecting the STIHL chainsaw bar and chain for your tool, always pay attention to the shape of the chainsaw bar. The amateur saw with narrow and flat chainsaw bars is recommended. These bars never give back a strike and are safer to use, especially for beginners.
Also, you can get a lightweight bar for your chainsaw, which allows the users to work and control the chainsaw canopy, even on the roof of the house. The lightweight bars are made of two steel plates and are fastened with polyamide. The bars with interchangeable heads are also available. These bars would be an excellent choice for your heavy-duty tasks! Again, to select the best and right-sized bar, you can check the STIHL chainsaw chain sizes chart!
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to measure chain saw bar of a STIHL chainsaw:
- Step 1: Remove the chainsaw casing which is covering the chainsaw blade. Just behind the casing, you will find the chain and bar.
- Step 2: Now, pull the chain from the bar. It will release the tension from the chain.
- Step 3: Pull off the chain from the chainsaw bar and check whether the chainsaw bar needs to be repaired or replacement is necessary.
- Step 4: For the measurement of the chainsaw bar, place it on the ground surface and use the measuring tape to find the length of the chainsaw bar. Always measure the length of the chainsaw bar from the start to the end.
- Step 5: Convert your measurement to the nearest number, and that’s it. You have fined the chainsaw length!
If you have trouble measuring the chainsaw bar, take the saw to a nearby local hardware store or consult the STIHL chainsaw chain chart. You can learn about the required bar size for your tool from the STIHL chainsaw chain size chart.
How To Measure The Husqvarna Chainsaw Bar?
You can easily measure chainsaw bar size of your Husqvarna chainsaw. But before you move on to know how do you measure a chainsaw bar, don’t forget to turn off the chainsaw by removing the spark plug. It will prevent the accidental starting of your chainsaw. For the measurement of the bar size, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Place the measuring tape’s end where the bar emerges.
- Step 2: Pull the measuring tape to the end of the bar on the opposite side. Read the measurement and note it down.
- Step 3: Lastly, round off the measurement to the nearest possible value. For example, you can convert the 14 7/8 inches into 15-inches.
- Step 4: To expose the entire chainsaw bar, remove the nuts to remove the cover from the chainsaw’s body.
- Step 5: Stretch the measuring tape from one end of the chainsaw bar to the other end on the other side. It will give you the exact or actual bar size. It will be about 2 or 3 inches larger than the cutting bar size you measured in the last steps.
Chainsaw Sizing Guide
Having the right-sized chainsaw can make cutting easier and safer for you. Remember that the sizes of the chainsaw can vary depending on the chainsaw type, making them suitable for different cutting projects.
Mostly, the chainsaw bar sizes vary from 12 to 20 inches, but you can also have a chainsaw with a bar size of 72 inches. The professionals use chainsaws with long bars as they are difficult to handle, and only a professional can handle them. The longer bar also increases the weight of the chainsaw significantly.
When you are going to select the chainsaw, don’t forget to check the chainsaw chain size guide. The chainsaw chain chart will give you a better idea of the sizes. Also, the experts recommend buying a chainsaw with a bar at least two inches longer than the thickness of the wood you will cut. Let’s have a look over different types of chainsaws and know about the available bar sizes:
i. Electric Chainsaw:
The electric chainsaw has small-sized bars, usually about 14 to 16 inches. You can easily use these tools for felling the small trees in your backyard or felling/cutting medium-sized trees.
ii. Gas-Powered Chainsaws:
The gas-powered chainsaws usually have bars of 16 to 18-inches. These chainsaws are the best option for felling medium-sized trees. But, if you have to cut large-sized trees, you can buy a chainsaw with bars of 20-inches or longer. You can use these saws easily to cut firewood.
iii. Battery-Operated Chainsaws:
Most battery-powered chainsaws have bars of 16 to 18-inches which are perfect for felling small to medium-sized trees.
iv. Small-Battery Operated Chainsaw:
These chainsaws are pretty small in size. Most of the small-batter powered chainsaws have bars of six to nine inches. These saws are the best choice for homeowners who can use such tools to prune small limbs!
Chain Measurement Secret
Now that you know how to measure a chain saw bar, here is a secret. The chainsaw always has almost all the measurements you need to know to buy the chainsaw replacement for your saw.
You can find all these numbers or measurements at the end of the chainsaw bar hidden behind the bolted cover. To know these measurements, you will have to take off the blade. Once you have removed the cover, you will find a small printed set of numbers close to the end. It includes everything you were looking for.
For instance, you will find something like 3/8″ 72 1.3mm/050′. The number shows a 3/8-inches pitch, 72 drive links, and the gauge is 0.05 inches. You can take these numbers to the nearby hardware store and get the best chainsaw bar!
How To Find The Chainsaw Chain Size On The Chainsaw Blade?
If you want to know about chainsaw chain sizing quickly, you can find all the required information at the lower end of the chainsaw bar. In most of the chainsaw models, the manufacturers mention:
- Number of the drive links
- The thickness of the bar
- Steps of the chain
- Length of the bar
- Also possible, you may find a reference regarding the chain recommended by the manufacturer!
You can select a brand other than the manufacturer, but you must know the chain’s number of links, thickness, and pitch for this purpose. (The thickness and pitch of both new and old chains should be the same). If you cannot find these details on the chainsaw guide bar, check them in the tool’s instructions or the chain’s packaging!
When You Replace The Chainsaw Bar?
The chainsaw bar can easily get damaged from areas you commonly use to cut, including the lower edge. The experts recommend turning the bar on both shoulders so it can get damaged evenly!
With time and use, you will feel that the burrs have been created on the chainsaw bar, which you must file down. These burrs can easily damage your tool if you don’t file them. Therefore, you should file the chainsaw to equalize the two sides of the grooves.
For the maintenance and long life of your tool, inspect the chainsaw regularly. Normally, the depth of the sliding guide decreases slowly. But if you are using the chainsaw excessively, it can result in uneven wear, which only needs replacement!
To check whether or not the chainsaw bar needs replacement, follow these steps:
- Put your finger on the chain after placing the saw on a flat surface
- If the bar is swinging heavily, replace the chainsaw blade.
- Now, place a ruler between the bar and the external sides of the teeth. If a gap is created, the chainsaw chain is in perfect condition. Otherwise, you will have to replace it!
If you want to keep the saw in good condition and want to use it for a long time, follow the under-given precautions:
- Always check the chainsaw tension before and after you use the chainsaw. It will keep your chainsaw safe from unwanted wear and tear.
- Sharp the chainsaw teeth on regularly.
- Try to cut the chainsaw straight, and never push your saw towards any side (either right or left).
- It is also crucial to adjust the lubricating oil according to the type of wood you are going to cut.
- Use the chainsaw blade for cutting. You cannot use it as a hammer or lever for felling the trees.
Never Guess The Length Of Your Chainsaw
As you have learned how to measure chainsaw bar; therefore it is recommended never to guess the length of the chainsaw bar. If you get a replacement based on your assumptions and guess, you will get a chainsaw bar that is not meant for your tool. Ultimately, you will damage your tool because of a wrong decision and can get yourself injured.
Hopefully, this information has guided you best, and you will never wonder how to measure chainsaw chain length. So, instead of guessing the length and making the wrong decision, try to take some time and get the right measurements!
How To Measure Chainsaw Bar: Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Chainsaw Do I Need?
It’s important to have the right size chainsaw for the job at hand. If the saw is too small, it won’t be able to handle the work. If the chainsaw bar is too big, it will be difficult to control and cause serious injuries. So, how do you know what size chainsaw to buy?
The bar is the portion of the saw that extends from the handle and contains the chain. The length of the bar will determine how big of a tree or log the saw can cut. Chainsaw bars come in a variety of lengths. The most common sizes are 16″, 18″, 20″, and 24″. For most homeowners, a 16″ or 18″ bar is sufficient. You’ll need a saw with a longer bar if you plan on cutting larger trees or logs.
What Do You Mean By The Chainsaw Bar Numbers?
The first number is the length of the bar in inches, while the second is the gauge, or width, of the saw chain. For example, a 16-inch bar with a 0.050-inch gauge would be written as 16-0.050.
What Do You Mean By The 325 On The Chainsaw Bar?
The 325 on the chainsaw bar refers to the pitch of the chain. The pitch is the size of the gap between the drive links on the chain. In this case, the pitch is 3/8″. It is a common size for homeowner saws.
Can You Put The Different Sized Chainsaw Bar On Your Chainsaw?
Knowing the size of your chainsaw bar before ordering a new one is essential. There are two ways to measure a chainsaw bar. The first uses a tape measure, and the second uses a ruler. If you have both of these tools available, it is recommended that you use the tape measure. It is because it is more accurate than using a ruler.
First, find the center of the bar to measure your chainsaw bar with a tape measure. Then, measure from the center to the outermost edge of the bar. Do this on both sides of the bar. Once you have these measurements, you can order a new chainsaw bar the same size as your old one.
If only a ruler is available, you can still accurately measure your chainsaw bar. First, find the center of the bar. Then, measure from the center to the outermost edge of the bar on one side only. Once you have this measurement, you can order a new chainsaw bar the same size as your old one.
Will A Bigger Chainsaw Bar Be Better For My Saw?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. It depends on what you’re looking for in a chainsaw bar. A bigger bar is the way to go if you’re simply looking for more cutting power.
However, a smaller bar might be a better option if you’re looking for a more maneuverable saw. There are a few things to consider when deciding the size of the chainsaw bar you need.
- The first is the type of wood you’ll be cutting most often. A smaller bar will be fine if you’re only cutting softwoods. However, if you’re cutting hardwoods regularly, you’ll need a larger bar to get the job done.
- The second thing to consider is the size of the trees you’ll be cutting down. A smaller bar will be fine if you only cut down small trees. However, if you’re regularly cutting down large trees, you’ll need a bigger bar to ensure the job gets done correctly.
- Lastly, the type of saw you have. A bigger bar is probably the way to go if you have a standard chainsaw. However, if you have a specialty chainsaw like a carving saw or a pole saw, you might want to stick with a smaller bar. It is because the larger bar can get in the way of the blade and make it difficult to maneuver.
Is It Safe To Run The Chainsaw Without Bar?
Yes, it is safe to run the chainsaw without the bar. However, doing so will significantly decrease the chain’s lifespan and may cause a kickback. Additionally, the saw will be less effective at cutting.
It is important to regularly measure the length of your chainsaw bar to ensure it is still effective. Depending on the model of the chainsaw, the bar may need to be replaced every few years.
How Long Should A Chainsaw Chain Last?
Most people don’t consider the length of their chainsaw chain until it needs to be replaced. But if you are like most people, you probably don’t want to be replacing your chainsaw chain very often. So, how about when it’s time to replace your chain?
Consider the below-mentioned points when determining the lifespan of your chainsaw chain.
- First, you need to consider how often you use your chainsaw. Suppose you only use it for occasional yard work. In that case, your chain will last much longer than if you’re a professional logger who uses your chainsaw daily.
- The other thing to consider is the type of wood you’re cutting. Softer woods will dull your chain much faster than harder woods. And if you’re cutting dirty or sandy wood, that will also shorten the life of your chain.
- You need to take into account the maintenance of your chainsaw. A well-maintained chainsaw with a sharpened and lubricated chain will last much longer than a neglected chainsaw with a dull and dry chain.
So how long should a chainsaw chain last? It depends on how you use and maintain your chainsaw. But if you take care of your chainsaw, you can expect your chain to last several years.
What Size Chain Do I Need
Many chainsaw operators used to look for “how big a chainsaw do I need.” So, if you also need to know “how big of a chainsaw do I need, count 3 rivets on the chain and find the distance between them from the Centre point. Then, divide the measurement by 2. It will give you the right chain size you need to buy!
Can You Use Any Blade On Your Chainsaw?
The answer is a big no! The chainsaw bar length varies depending on the type and model of your tool; therefore, you can choose any size of the chainsaw bar for your saw. There are different factors that you should consider when you are buying a new chainsaw bar for your tool. If you know how to measure a chainsaw blade, measure the chainsaw bar of your tool before you buy a new one and get a bar that perfectly fits your chainsaw!
How Can You Select The Chainsaw Bar?
Remember that all the chainsaws have different chainsaw bars. Therefore, when you are going to replace the one, follow the instructions mentioned in the chainsaw manual. Also, buy the one which the manufacturer has approved. Remember that the attachment surface of your new chainsaw bar should be compatible with the chainsaw casing. Otherwise, you will ruin your tool!
Are Chainsaw Chains Universal?
The chainsaw chainsaws are not universal. Also, you cannot fit any chainsaw bars on your tool. The chainsaw chains have specifications you must consider when buying a new chain for your tool. You can use the chain of another brand if the sizes of both chainsaws are compatible. But you cannot fix the long chain on your chainsaw.
Conclusion: How To Measure Chainsaw Bar
The chainsaw bar is an important part responsible for felling the long trees. But what if the chainsaw bar gets bent or wears out? In that situation, you will have to find a replacement meant for your saw, but before that, you should know how to measure chainsaw bar to get the right size for your tool.
For the measurement of the bar, you can use a measuring tape. Measure the size of the bar from the tip of the chain to the point where it enters to saw casing. Lastly, round up the reading to the nearest even number. That’s it!
Hopefully, this way, you can calculate the bar size and find the right bar replacement for your chainsaw!
What Size Chain Saw Do I Need?
They’re the ultimate mothers of destruction, but before you make a purchase you must ask yourself — what size chain saw do I need?
Choosing the correct machine mass and capacity can save you money, boost safety, and ensure that your powered cutting tool can cope with your most common projects.
This article gives you an in-depth explanation of the sizes of chainsaws — and how to make the correct purchasing decision.
How You Measure a Chainsaw
Before we get down to the chainsaw size you require — it’s important to understand how these brawny beasts are measured.
And, it’s not as simple as checking the dimensions of a door or piece of lumber — as there are generally four different ways of gauging a chainsaw:
The most basic method and easiest concept to grasp. Look at any manufacturer’s spec sheet for a particular saw model, and it will describe the tool in terms of its length, width, and depth — usually in inches, but sometimes in millimeters for those weird continental types.
This is the traditional procedure for assessing chainsaw size — heat guns are measured in watts, hammer drills in blows per minute, and chainsaws in bar length.
The bar is the distinctive metal plate on which the chain is mounted and spins around — and can range anywhere from 10 to 30 inches.
Cubic Capacity (cc)
The cubic capacity is the grunt behind the machine.
Consider it the same as your automobile. If someone asks you how big is your car engine, you don’t respond with — oh, it’s about 36 by 44 by 28 inches. Well, unless you’re my wife, I guess.
Instead, you’d proudly declare you’re the owner of a 6.8 liter — or 6800 cc — monster.
Chainsaws can be judged in the same terms — well, at least the gasoline-driven models. Their petrol motors range from about 32 cc up to an eye-watering 120 cc.
Wattage and Voltage
Although chainsaws are traditionally gas-powered, the market is now awash with both corded and battery-driven electric models. Often providing more convenient operation for casual users and home DIYers — as there’s little risk of fire, no trips to the gas station, and less chance to chop off your hand — they are measured in both watts and volts.
How Big a Chainsaw Do I Need?
Now you understand the four methods by which chainsaws are gauged — how do you know what metric to use to ascertain the correct sized machine for your project?
CHAINSAW BAR LENGTH. What size bar is right for your chainsaw?. How to choose a chainsaw bar.
In short, how tough is your target material?
Thick hardwood tree trunks naturally demand more grunt than a few sticks of light kindling, so you naturally will need a higher-powered machine. The lowest brawn machines are the battery models, electric corded units have a little more muscle, with gasoline saws the most powerful.
For light pruning work and branch trimming, a cell-driven or mains lead electric machine with either 20 volts or 10-12 amps — such as the DeWALT DCCS620P1, will be sufficient. For medium thickness branches and small tree felling, opt for a 15-amp electric or 40 cc gasoline machine. And for seriously large tree chopping or milling (making trunks into planks), go for a 60 cc chainsaw — like the Husqvarna 460 — or above.
This is the point where the bar length comes into play.
If it’s too short, you will not be able to chop or cut wood in a single pass — not only increasing your workload, but it can also lead to splitting and imperfect shears.
Furthermore, there is also a chainsaw bar length v cc consideration. You need to ensure that the bar is suitably lengthy to tackle the wood size, but also that the engine grunt is sufficient to power through the density of the material. Naturally, larger diameter timber is tougher than smaller.
Here’s my brief guide to timber grades and the most suitable bar dimensions. The basic rule of thumb is — choose a bar that’s at least two inches larger than the wood diameter:
Limb Pruning – 6-Inch to 10-Inch Bar
If you’re just tidying up your garden with light trimming of hedges and shrubs with thinner branches — a 6-10 inch bar is ideal. That said, if the twigs are less than a couple of inches in diameter — don’t be lazy, just get out your manual handsaw.
Branch Removal – 8-Inch to 12-Inch Bar
Slightly more substantial timber branches on small to medium trees require a longer bar. To ensure an effortless single pass, utilize a chainsaw with an 8-12 inch bar.
Felling Smaller Trees – 12-Inch to 14-Inch Bar
Chopping down insubstantial trees and larger shrubs require a longer bar — usually around 12-14 inches. Bear in mind that some more stubborn flora, such as Camelia and Sambucus, will need at least a 45-50 cc motor to fell.
Splitting Logs for Firewood – 14-Inch to 16-Inch Bar
Dry, thick, and dense hardwood logs can be challenging. Always ensure they’re sufficiently secured before the address, and use a 14-16 inch bar with a gasoline motor unit.
Felling Trees – 16-Inch to 20-Inches
The mother-of-all trees may require the mother-of-all chainsaws — even the biggest powered cutter may need more than one pass to fell a mature tree. Unless you’re a pro or seriously experienced amateur, I’d leave the chopping down of massive timber to the specialists — if you don’t want the trunk crashing down on you or your house.
Level of Experience and Strength
If we were in a bar drinking beer, and we began to ponder the three most dangerous power tools in the world (we’d already exhausted our conversations on politics, football, and the waitress’ pert breasts) — I’d declare they are the chainsaw, the chainsaw, and unsurprisingly, the chainsaw.
Sure, pointing a hammer drill at your knee or testing the temperature of a heat gun on your skin can cause some nasty damage — but they aren’t going to remove your head. However, a toothed, spinning blade rotating and screaming like a banshee a few inches away from your precious body could mean accidental decapitation or the loss of a valued limb.
If I were to give you just one piece of life-saving advice in this article, it would be this:
The best size chainsaw is determined by what you can safely handle.
You need a machine that’s suitably dimensioned and weighted for you to wield, without fatigue, for extended periods. If your arm strength begins to flag during operation, this can be extremely hazardous.
Furthermore, if you’ve never operated a chainsaw before, don’t go for a gasoline-driven machine with the grunt of a JCB and a bar that’s longer than your entire body.
Genuine novices should start with a low-voltage, small bar, cordless model. Then step up to a longer bar corded machine — and finally, when you have confidence and experience, only then should you go for a gasoline unit.
What Size Chain Saw Made Simple
I know what you’re thinking. You came here for some straightforward advice on selecting the correct-sized chainsaw, and instead, I’ve made matters worse by introducing you to a multiple of metrics and a cornucopia of considerations.
Worry not. Here’s my simple chainsaw size chart for choosing the perfect unit for the job:
Why Can’t I Just Choose the Longest Chainsaw?
Sure you can. Buy the biggest, beefiest, longest, and heaviest chainsaw possible — safe in the knowledge that whatever your project, nothing is going to be too challenging for your mammoth machine.
Just don’t complain to me via email when your bank balance is zero and you’re short in the hand department to the tune of one.
If nothing else, buying a unit that’s way over-specced for your project is a waste of your hard-earned dollars. There’s little point having a chainsaw that could bring down General Sherman in one pass — if your gardening jobs merely involve chopping a few twigs.
The bigger the machine, the harder it is to wield and maneuver. Furthermore, longer bar units increase the risk of kickback and vibration.
Instead purchase a unit that’s suitably sized for your anticipated project, within your experience capabilities, and within your budget.
Selecting the perfect sized chopping machine saves you money, ensures rewarding project results, and can prevent accidents.
When choosing your chainsaw, ensure that the bar length is suitable for the diameter of your timber. Check that the engine grunt is sufficient to tackle your target material’s density, and that its dimensions and weight are within your handling capability and experience.
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this article, and found the information informative, interesting, and educational. And, if you have a friend or colleague you believe would also benefit from this What Size Chain Saw Do I Need discussion — please feel free to share!
Small, Medium, Or Large Chainsaw FAQs
Q: What Is the Best Chainsaw Size?
It depends on your projects. Ensure that the bar length is suitable for the diameter of your target timber, and that the engine grunt is sufficient to tackle the density of the material.
Q: What Is the Best Size Chainsaw for Home Use?
If you’re a casual home user or novice operative, I’d recommend opting for a cordless electric machine with a versatile 12-inch chain, such as the BlackDecker LCS1240.
Q: What Length of Chainsaw Do I Need?
Ensure that the bar length of your chainsaw is at least two inches longer than the diameter of your target material. This will allow you to cut the timber in one single pass.
Q: What Size Chainsaw Do I Need to Cut Firewood?
For small kindling, a six to 10-inch chainsaw bar will be sufficient. For more substantial firewood logs, consider a more generous 14 to 16-inch bar.
What Size Chainsaw do You Need?
Chainsaws are highly versatile tools that allow you to fell trees, prune branches, cut up firewood and even clean up after a serious storm. Many people enjoy using chainsaws, and some people take great pride in owning several models of varying sizes.
However, if you are a chainsaw rookie and you are considering buying one for home use, you may well be asking yourself the question, what size chainsaw do you need? Should you just buy the biggest one you can find? Or are there advantages to choosing a smaller model?
Here, we look at these questions and more to help you choose the right sized chainsaw for your needs.
If you want a preview of some of the things we’re going to be talking about, here’s a good video that explains some of the points we’ll be mentioning.
How do you measure the size of a chainsaw?
Before we talk about choosing the right sized chainsaw for you, let’s think briefly about how we measure the size of a chainsaw – because it’s not quite as obvious as it might seem.
One way to talk about the size of a chainsaw is the length of the bar. The bar is the part the chainsaw chain spins around, and it is measured from the tip to where it enters the body of the chainsaw.
Chainsaw bars are not fixed and can be changed for longer or shorter ones, but when you buy a chainsaw, you will be told the length of the bar it comes with. Chainsaw bars for home users are usually within the 10”-20” range, although they can sometimes be longer or shorter.
Another measurement to look at in a gas chainsaw is the size of the engine, stated in ccs. The bigger the engine, the more power it can give you, so this is another useful number to look out for.
Why not just buy the biggest one you can find?
Some people might be tempted to simply buy the biggest chainsaw they can afford. After all, a bigger chainsaw can handle more jobs than a small one, right? Well, not exactly.
While a big, powerful chainsaw with a long bar might allow you to cut bigger trees, there are also disadvantages to having a chainsaw that is too big.
Bigger chainsaws are heavier and more difficult to handle, meaning if you are not used to using a chainsaw, you will quickly become fatigued. Using a chainsaw with tired arms and when you start to lose concentration is a bad idea as this is when accidents can happen.
Large chainsaws are not easy to maneuver, making them less suitable for smaller, more detailed work. Bigger chainsaws are generally more expensive, too, so if you buy a chainsaw that is way bigger than you need, you will just be wasting your money.
Having a huge beast of a chainsaw might be good for your ego, but the best advice is to resist the urge to buy one that is too big and to choose one that is more suited to the work you need it for instead.
How to determine the right length of chainsaw for you
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right size of chainsaw, so let’s look at each of these in turn now.
Type of work you need it for
The first thing you need to consider is the type of use you are buying your chainsaw for.
If you are a casual home user who only needs it for light-duty work like trimming small branches or general pruning work, a less powerful chainsaw with a shorter bar will be enough. For this kind of work, something of around 14” will be enough.
If you need a chainsaw for medium-duty work – jobs like cutting down smaller trees, for example – something in the 16”-20” range would be a better pick.
If you are looking for a chainsaw for heavy-duty cutting – including felling larger trees – 22” and above might be more suitable.
Diameter of wood you need to cut
An important factor to take into account is the diameter of the wood you will most often be cutting. The usual guideline is to choose a chainsaw with a bar that is two inches longer than the diameter of what you need to cut.
For example, if you need to cut a tree that is 10” across, you will need a chainsaw of 12”.
Note that chainsaws can still be used to cut trees that have a larger diameter than the bar – you can cut from both sides, so the diameter you can cut is effectively almost doubled.
However, it is much more practical to be able to cut with just one pass, so it’s best to choose a chainsaw that is big enough to cut the trees you most commonly cut without the need to cut from both sides.
Your chainsaw experience
You should also consider how experienced you are in handling chainsaws. Chainsaws are probably the single most dangerous tool you can own, and using one that is too big and powerful for your experience level can increase the chances of having an accident.
For this reason, chainsaw beginners should opt for small, less powerful machines at least until they become more proficient in using these dangerous tools.
Your physical strength
Similarly, if you are not strong enough to wield a large chainsaw, it can also create dangerous situations. Choose a chainsaw that you will be able to use comfortably without becoming tired.
Type of saw
You should also think about whether you need a gas-powered chainsaw or perhaps an electric chainsaw or battery powered chainsaw. Since these chainsaws are usually lighter and more manageable, they are often the best choice for the casual home user.
The final word
As we have seen, it is important to choose a chainsaw that is the right size for the work you need to do. A chainsaw that is too small won’t be up to the work but one that is too big might be too heavy for you and could even be dangerous.
Consider carefully the work you need your chainsaw for and choose one that is appropriate. Calculate the diameter of the wood you need to cut and add 2” to work out the best length of bar – and try to avoid buying a chainsaw that is much bigger than you need.