The long, flat part that sticks out from the chainsaw’s body and guides the chain while in use is called a chainsaw bar. For a chainsaw to be used comfortably and safely, picking the right bar length is essential.

The easiest way to measure what bar you have on your chainsaw, is to check on the side of the bar, near the chainsaw body to see if it’s written there;

Check chainsaw bar length by the length written on the side

Tools Required

You will need a measuring tape or ruler, as well as a flat surface to sit the chainsaw on, to measure the chainsaw bar.

Steps to Measure a Chainsaw Bar

Using your measuring tape or ruler, measure the length of the bar from the point where it attaches to the chainsaw body to the tip of the bar. Be sure to measure the entire length of the bar, including any protrusions or curves in the design.

Measure a chainsaw bar with a measuring tape

The normal length of a chainsaw bar is between 8 and 42 inches, with 12 to 20 inches being the most typical length.

Consider the type of cutting you will be undertaking when selecting the bar length for your chainsaw. Shorter bars are more appropriate for smaller operations and for people who want a lighter, more manoeuvrable chainsaw, while longer bars are better for larger trees and thicker branches.

Whilst you can easily change the length of bar (and chainsaw chain), remember that longer bars may need a more powerful (and unfortunately heavier) chainsaw, due to the extra length of chain and power required to run properly and cut efficiently.


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