Chainsaw Bar Length Guide (2024)

One important thing to consider when purchasing a chainsaw is the length of the bar. The longer chainsaw bars are more powerful but also heavier and more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

A chainsaw is a tool that has many uses. It can be used to cut down trees, clear land and much more. The bar length of the chain saw will determine what type of cuts you can make with it and how big those cuts are.

If you have a large yard, then this might not be an issue for you, but if you frequently need to cut branches that are close to your house or other obstacles, then it would be wise to purchase a chainsaw with a short bar.

A shorter chain bar will likely make less noise than one with larger teeth because there are fewer teeth per inch on the blade and they’re closer together (more efficient).

How to Choose a Chainsaw Size

A chainsaw is one of the most versatile and powerful tools a homeowner or farmer can own. It’s essential to know which size chainsaw you need before purchasing one because it will determine how fast you’ll be able to cut through wood, as well as what kind of tree branches you can cut down.



You’ll want to consider these factors when deciding on which size chainsaw to buy:

  • What type of trees are in your yard? Taller trees require a larger chain bar (length)
  • Do you have access to an electrical outlet near where you plan on using the saw? Cordless models offer more mobility without the hassle of dealing with tangled cords
  • How much time do you spend cutting down trees/branches in your yard?
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If you are wondering how to measure your chainsaw, then here’s a quick tip? Simply take a tape and carefully run it from the tip of the chain at its furthest end on the bar over, past where the guide bar enters the engine housing. If the measurement is an odd length, just round up or down like 14″, 16″ 18″.

Choosing the Right Size Chainsaw

Chainsaws can come in different sizes ranging from small handheld models to large commercial grade saws. Choosing the right size of chainsaw will depend on what you intend to use it for.

You have to consider what you will be cutting, how often will you use it and do you need a self-propelled model?

There are two types of chainsaws; gas-powered or electric. Gas-powered is more powerful but requires fuel and has fumes that may not be safe for your lungs. Electric models are usually less powerful but safer for the environment.

Chainsaws should be at least 2 inches longer than the thickness of whatever branch or tree is being cut.

Chainsaw blades are made to fit a certain length and width, so it’s important for you to know how long your saw blade needs to be before going into uncharted territory with one that may not suit the task well enough.

To cut through a tree with a 10 inch radius, the blade of your chainsaw should be at least 12 inches. This will ensure that you can make one simple pass and chop it down easily without any risk or hassle.

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Best Chainsaw Bar Size

Choosing the right chainsaw bar size is a crucial part of your chainsaw purchase. There are many different types of bars for each type of cutting, so it is important to know what you will be doing with the saw before buying one.


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For example, if you need to cut through hardwood trees then get a bigger diameter bar than someone who cuts mostly firewood or small brush because they will not need as much power in their saw.

To make sure your woodcutting tasks are done safely, you need to know the right length of a chainsaw blade for each task at hand.

Trimming Brushes and Pruning Hedges (6″-10″)

The chainsaw is often the go-to power tool for rough cutting, but it also has a place in some delicate work. For branches as thin as two inches, or less than an inch thick there’s no better way to cut them down than with the help of a chainsaw!

A chainsaw with a 6″-10″ bar is the best choice if most of your needs involve pruning smaller trees or thinning out dead limbs.

Cutting Back Small Tree Branches (10″ – 12″)

One of the most difficult parts when it comes to cutting back trees in your yard is removing branches. This can take a long time if you use hand tools, but luckily there are many ways to streamline this process. If your guide bar is too short then it will be very hard for you to make quick work of these tasks and it will become more frustrating as time goes on!

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Small tree branches are usually under 10” thick, so your guide bar should be 10″ to 12” long.

Felling Small Trees (12″- 14″)

A 12″ to 14″ chainsaw blade on your chain should work great in felling small trees unless you are looking at cutting down some really thick ones.

Splitting Firewood (14″- 16″)

When splitting firewood, it is important to know what size of chainsaw you should use. If your log does not exceed 16 inches in length or width and the tree had a diameter no larger than 12″ then most likely a 14-16 inch chain saw will do just fine!

Medium Trees (16″- 20″)

A big part of chainsawing is choosing the right blade for your job. If you’re looking to cut down medium-size trees with a trunk size of under 16 inches, then a larger chain saw around 16″ – 20″ will be perfect.

Large Trees (Over 20″)

The skilled professionals that use chainsaws for a living know how to safely handle large trees.

If you have chainsaw experience and can safely handle a larger chain saw, get one with at least 20″ blade length so it won’t catch on or contact anything while working in close quarters around obstacles like power lines or buildings.