Chainsaw Bar Length: How To Choose The Right Size

James Lawson
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When it comes to cutting wood safely and quickly, having the right size of chainsaw bar is essential. Take, for instance, Jack, a professional woodworker. He was recently tasked with cutting down a large tree in a tight spot. Knowing that he would need to make a precise cut, Jack chose a chainsaw with a bar length of 18 inches.

This gave him the maneuverability he needed to make the cut without hitting any obstructions. Choosing the right size of chainsaw bar is not only important for safety reasons, but it also affects the speed and accuracy of your cuts.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different factors to consider when selecting a chainsaw bar, how to measure your chainsaw bar length, and the best size for the job. We’ll also provide some safety tips to keep in mind when working with chainsaw bars.

Understanding Chainsaw Bar Lengths

Figuring out the ideal length for your sawing needs can be a tricky task – but understanding the various measurements of a saw will help you make the perfect pick.

Generally speaking, the length of a chainsaw bar is measured in inches and is one of the primary factors in determining the overall power of the saw.

Chain maintenance is also an important factor to consider, as the bar length can affect how easy it is to keep the chain sharp and in good working order.

When selecting a chainsaw bar, the size of your saw and the type of job you plan to use it for will help determine the power selection.

Chainsaw bars come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 8” to 36”.

With longer bars, you can cut deeper and larger pieces of wood, but it will also be heavier and less maneuverable.

On the other hand, shorter bars are lighter and more maneuverable, but you won’t be able to cut as deeply or as wide a piece.

Ultimately, choosing the right size chainsaw bar for your needs is a balance between power and portability.

As such, it’s important to consider the various factors that will affect your choice, such as the type of work you’ll be doing and the size of the saw.

Factors to Consider When choosing a chainsaw bar

When it comes to selecting the perfect fit for the job, there’s no room for guesswork; you must consider the many factors that go into making a wise decision. To ensure you make the best choice for your chainsaw bar length, consider the following:

  • Fuel efficiency: Longer bars require more power to run, which can cause the fuel to burn faster and reduce the overall efficiency of the saw.
  • Chain tensioning: The chain tensioning must be adjusted more frequently with longer bars, as the chain can stretch and become loose over time.
  • Saw weight and balance: The weight and balance of the saw should also be taken into account, as a heavier saw will be more difficult to maneuver and a bar that’s too long or too short can throw off the balance of the saw.
  • Type of wood you’ll be cutting: Finally, the type of wood being cut should also be considered. Harder woods may require a longer bar for more efficient cutting, while softwood may require a shorter bar.

By considering all of these factors, you’ll be able to choose the right size chainsaw bar that’ll provide the best performance and fuel efficiency for your cutting needs.

Measuring Your Chainsaw Bar Length

Knowing the correct size chainsaw bar for your needs is essential – but how do you measure it? To accurately measure your chainsaw bar length, you’ll need to remove the bar from the chainsaw.

Start by disconnecting the spark plug, then remove the bar-retaining nuts and washers.

Once the bar is removed, clean the bar and check the chain for any wear and tear. If the chain is damaged, it should be replaced before continuing.

Next, measure the bar from the tip of the nose to the end of the bar and make sure to measure it in inches. You will also want to check the bar for etchings and markings that indicate the bar length. If the bar is not marked, measure from the center of the bar where the chain sits, to the end of the bar.

After you’ve measured the bar, you can use this measurement to select the right chainsaw bar for the job.

Choosing the Right Chainsaw Bar for the Job

Finding the perfect chainsaw bar can be tough, but with a little know-how, you can make sure you get the job done quickly and safely!

When choosing a chainsaw bar, it’s important to consider the type of tree you are planning to cut and the maintenance tips that you need to follow to ensure the bar’s longevity. A bar that is too short may not be able to reach the center of the tree, and a bar that is too long may cause the chainsaw to become difficult to handle.

It’s best to choose a bar length that is appropriate for the type of tree you are cutting. For example, for a large tree, a 20 inch bar is ideal, whereas for a small tree, a 12 inch bar should suffice. Before selecting a chainsaw bar, be sure to double-check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the type of chainsaw you have. Doing so will help ensure that you select the best bar size for the job.

With some careful consideration and the right bar length, you can easily cut through trees of any size.

Safety Tips for Dealing with Chainsaw Bars

You’ll want to be sure you’re taking the necessary safety precautions when dealing with chainsaw bars, so you can get the job done safely and efficiently.

To stay safe when working with chainsaw bars, make sure to:

  • Wear protective gear such as safety glasses, ear protection, and a face shield

  • Ensure that the chain is properly tensioned and sharp

  • Be aware of kickback from the chainsaw and take steps to minimize it

The chain should be tight enough that it prevents the chain from coming off the bar but loose enough that it is easy to move up and down the bar.

It’s also important to check the chain for sharpness and wear before each use. The chain should be sharp enough to easily cut through the material, but not so sharp that it becomes dangerous.

Lastly, be aware of kickback from the chainsaw, which can occur when the chain is misaligned or the bar is not deep enough. Make sure to take steps to minimize kickback, such as using a low-kickback chain and keeping the bar level with the material.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of chainsaw bar for a beginner?

Ah, the noble chainsaw, a tool of tremendous power and great responsibility. If you’re a beginner looking for the best chainsaw bar, then you’ve come to the right place.

It’s important to keep safety in mind when using a chainsaw, so opting for a bar with a low kickback chain is the best option for a beginner. Additionally, be sure to pay attention to chain maintenance – a sharp chain will make cutting easier and safer.

The length of the bar will depend on the type of job you want to do, but a 16-inch bar is a good starting point. With the right safety precautions and maintenance, you’ll be able to wield your chainsaw like a pro!

How often should a chainsaw bar be replaced?

You should replace your chainsaw bar periodically to ensure the longevity and performance of your chainsaw. Generally, it’s recommended that you replace your chainsaw bar every two years, or after every 300 hours of use, whichever comes first.

Additionally, you should routinely inspect your chainsaw bar for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, dents, and other deformations. Regular chain maintenance, such as sharpening and oiling, will also help extend the life of your chainsaw bar.

How do I sharpen a chainsaw bar?

Sharpening a chainsaw bar is important for chain maintenance. To get the best results, you should use a round file to sharpen the cutting teeth. This allows you to remove the smallest amount of material while still maintaining the cutting angle.

To begin, place the file in the gullet, or the gap between the cutting teeth, and push it forward while applying light downward pressure. Rotate the file each time you sharpen the cutting teeth, maintaining the same angle and pressure.

Finally, use a flat file to remove burrs or rough edges. Then, use a file guide to ensure that the cutting teeth are all the same length. Following these steps will help ensure that your chainsaw bar is sharp and secure.

What type of chainsaw bar is best for cutting thick branches?

When it comes to cutting thick branches, it’s important to choose the right type of chainsaw bar. Not all chainsaw bars are the same, and buying the wrong one could be dangerous.

You need one that’s designed for the job, so consider purchasing a bar with a large length and width. For added safety, look for one with anti-kickback features that can reduce the risk of injury.

When in doubt, consult with an expert to get the best advice on buying tips and safety practices for using the chainsaw bar.

What is the difference between a short bar and a long bar?

When it comes to choosing the right size of chainsaw bar, there’s a big difference between a short bar and a long bar.

Short bars require less chain tensioning, are lighter and easier to maneuver, and offer better control when cutting branches and other materials.

Longer bars provide more power, allowing for larger and thicker branches to be cut quickly and easily. However, longer bars also require more chain lubrication and tensioning, making them more difficult to control.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider the type of project you’re undertaking in order to select the best bar length for your needs.


Congratulations! You’ve now got the knowledge and tools to choose the right chainsaw bar length for your needs.

With the right size, you can make sure you’re using your chainsaw safely and efficiently.

As ironic as it may seem, a chainsaw bar that’s too big can actually make a job take longer and be more dangerous.

On the other hand, a chainsaw bar that’s too small can make the job impossible.

So, take the time to make sure you get the size right the first time for the best results.

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