How to Measure Chainsaw Bar- The Value of Proper Measurement

Nothing screams power and utility quite like a roaring chainsaw.

This potent tool, used for everything from tree felling to carving intricate sculptures, is as versatile as it is formidable.

Welcome to a guide that will help you understand ‘How To Measure Chainsaw Bar.’

Measuring the chainsaw bar can influence your cutting capacity and safety while handling this powerful machine.

So if you’re an avid DIY enthusiast, forestry worker or even a curious homeowner who wants to know more about their chainsaw’s anatomy and functionality, buckle up!

We’re diving into the nitty-gritties of this often overlooked but essential aspect of your trusty lumberjack companion.

Importance of Measuring Your Chainsaw Bar

Without a doubt, ensuring the accurate measurement of your chainsaw bar is an essential factor in achieving optimal cutting performance.

Misjudgments about this critical component can lead to undesirable chain movements or even hazardous recoil incidents, posing serious safety risks on both the operator and others around him.

It’s not merely about safeguarding; precision also ensures seamless compatibility between the chain and the bar, thereby increasing your tool’s overall lifespan.

Moreover, knowledge of your chainsaw bar size also influences how smoothly you can execute tasks ranging from pruning branches to chopping firewood or even crafting artistic woodworks.

Matching your chainsaw bar with a suitable chain guarantees effortless operation while maximizing productivity—a valuable benefit underappreciated until experienced firsthand. So start measuring today—your safety and efficiency depend on it!

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a chainsaw bar size is the wood density you’ll be dealing with regularly.

For materials that are harder or denser, longer bars and matching heavy-duty chains can make this seemingly difficult task much simpler.

It’s comparable to selecting the most appropriate tools for any job; without them, more time and effort may be wasted than necessary.

Chain tension also comes into play, as operating your chainsaw at an incorrect chain tension can result in poor cuts, excessive wear on your saw’s drive system and even failure of chain operation altogether.

Understanding how each component works regarding safety features should likewise not fall into neglect.

Requirements for measuring Chainsaw Bar

To accurately measure a chainsaw bar, you will need some simple yet essential tools.

  • A flat surface is the first requirement, where you’ll lay out your chainsaw firmly for precise measurement.
  • Next, a metal tape rule or more preferably a digital caliper can be used to deliver an accurate measurement result as it directly reads in inches and millimeters creating less room for errors.
  • Apart from that, owning cleaning materials such as compressed air and brushes could also be very handy during this process.
  • These tools help in removing any accumulated sawdust particles or rust on the bar that may distort the measurement readings. Thus, these equipment not only enhance precision but aid in maintaining good chainsaw health as well.
  • After ensuring all the required tools are within reach, carefully clean your chainsaw to ensure that no dirt or rust particles can influence the measurement results. Some of these could be deeply lodged in between links; hence, such a thorough cleaning is essential.
  • Before taking any measurements, it’s vital to confirm that your chainsaw has cooled down completely and is switched off for safety purposes.
  • Now, using your digital caliper or metal tape rule measure from the tip of the bar to where it emerges from casing housing. Note this value as ‘A’. This method provides you with an exact measurement called length which might differ slightly from cutting length.
  • Next is measuring gauge i.e., thickness of drive link where it fits into guide bar groove which aids in determining type of chain needed for replacement if necessary.
  • Use calipers on end view while being careful not to touch edges then note dimension as ‘B’.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Measure Chainsaw Bar

In order to optimally maintain and replace components of your chainsaw, it’s imperative that you know how to precisely measure the chainsaw bar- a task that not many are familiar with.

Not only will this broaden your knowledge about the equipment you’re working with, but also help enhance its lifespan.

Firstly, what you’ll need is a tape measure.

Start measuring from the front edge of the chainsaw body towards the tip of the chain itself – this gives you what is referred to as ‘cutting length’ or ‘called length’.

This measurement can be trickier than expected because it’s typically rounded up to an even number in inches.

For instance, cutting lengths like 14 ½ inches or 18¾ inch are usually rounded up to 15 and 19 inches respectively.

Knowing these minor nuances while measuring your chainsaw bar can make all the difference between efficient operation and unwarranted troubles down the line!

Secondly, bear in mind that ‘true bar length’ actually refers to complete casing length – from one end right through to another but called length is more fundamental since major manufacturers base their specs on this particular aspect.

Knowledge indeed is power – especially when it saves time, resources and gives accurate results! Remember accurate measurements equate throughout usage & prolonged life for your trusty wood-cutting companion.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring Chainsaw Bar

A common error many people make when measuring a chainsaw bar is neglecting the importance of obtaining both the ‘cutting length’ and the ‘true length’.

The cutting length, often effectively visible to the naked eye, is considerably shorter than the true length.

Many DIY folks erroneously consider these two synonymous which leads to buying incorrect replacements.

It’s of critical significance to also measure from the tip of your chainsaw blade down to where it meets or inserts into the powerhead- that’s your ‘true length’!

Another oversight pertains to not accounting for chain wear during measurements.

Over time, chains elongate due to constant tension and friction incurred during operation. This means if you’re replacing an old bar with a new one using just chain measurement as reference, your fit might be less than perfect!

Thus, adopting a ‘minus two rule‘ – under which you subtract two links from your current chain count before shopping for a new bar– can circumvent potential fitting flaws while ensuring optimum performance!


In conclusion, accurately measuring a chainsaw bar is crucial not only for its maintenance but also for enhancing the efficiency and safety of your chainsaw operations.

Always remember to measure from the front of the chainsaw, not from the body, to the tip of the bar. Knowing how to determine both the cutting length and true length will help you make informed decisions when purchasing replacement bars or chains.

It’s an easy task that requires little more than a tape measure and basic understanding. So take the time today to ensure your chainsaw is properly equipped and maintained; it’s a simple step towards safe and effective woodcutting.

Do not neglect this simple process as it can lead to better performance and a longer lifespan for your equipment.

So, grab your tape measure, take a few minutes, and ensure you know your chainsaw bar length today – it’s a small step towards safer and more effective use of your tool.


Q: What is a chainsaw bar?

A chainsaw bar, also known as the blade, is the long metal part that guides the chain to cut through wood.

Q: Why do I need to measure my chainsaw bar?

Knowing your chainsaw bar length is important for safety reasons, and it helps when you need to replace either the chain or the bar itself.

Q: What if my measurement isn’t exact?

Chainsaw bars are usually sold in even sizes, so if you get an odd number or fraction, round up to the nearest even number.

Q: Do different brands require different methods for measuring their bars?

No, regardless of brand, you should be able to use same method of measuring from where it enters casing to its tip.

Q: Can I fit any size chain on my measured chainsaw bar?

No, each specific bar size requires corresponding chain size for safe and efficient operation.

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