What Size Of A Chainsaw Do I Need To Cut Down A Tree?

If you’re asking yourself the question “What chainsaw do I need?”, then it is important to know that the answer depends on a lot of factors; including the tree’s size, your experience, your physique, etc. Once these factors have been figured out, it becomes quite easy to know the chainsaw size “you” need to cut down a tree.

If you are a homeowner with small trees on your property and you need to cut them down, then there are several electric-powered and battery-powered chainsaw models that are appropriate for the job. Those are perfect because they come with smaller 10 to 14-inch bar lengths.

However, if you are faced with larger trees, then your chainsaw tree cutting will need to be with a chainsaw bar length of over 14 inches. This article will help you learn the various chainsaw sizes and the tree size they can handle.

You will also understand what type of chainsaw has the right power to pull off certain jobs.

Bar Length

The bar length of every chainsaw is important for two reasons- It determines the size of the chainsaw and the kind of task the chainsaw can take on. A longer chainsaw bar will effectively cut down trees with large diameters.

This means that if you are faced with trees such as birch, oak, spruce, etc. with diameters of over 30 inches, you might want to get a chainsaw with a bar length of at least 20 inches.

10 Things To Consider When Buying A Chainsaw

Aside from the bar length, another important thing to take note of if the engine. To tackle big trees, you need as much power as you can get. And if a chainsaw has the required bar length but a fairly weak engine, the job of tree cutting can be very tasking.

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How To Determine The Right Size for Chainsaw Tree Cutting

As earlier said, you can not determine the right chainsaw size that will work for you without answering certain questions. You need to ask yourself, what size of trees do I want to cut down? Do I have enough experience to handle any and every type of chainsaw?, Do I have the muscles and strength to wield any kind of chainsaw?

These questions represent the factors that should be taken into account when choosing the right chainsaw size. When you can answer them, you’re well on your way to knowing and choosing the right chainsaw size for cutting a tree.

1. The diameter of the wood to be sawed

The size of a chainsaw whose limit is cutting down a tree of about 10 inches in diameter is definitely not the same as that can fell a tree that is 30 inches thick. Hence, if you wish to cut down some small trees in your backyard, or trim some branches, then electric and battery-powered chainsaws with smaller bar lengths will serve you just right.

Of course, if you are facing a huge tree, you will want to consider getting a gas-powered chainsaw with an engine of 45cc or higher.

2. Your experience as a chainsaw user or handler

Chainsaws are probably the second or third most dangerous machine to own, and this means your experience level can either increase or decrease the chances of you having an accident.

For safety’s sake, your experience as a chainsaw user is probably the most important factor to consider before choosing a chainsaw.

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If you are new to using chainsaws and you have a huge tree you would like to cut down, my advice is that you leave it to the professionals. I cannot stress the risk involved in using a powerful chainsaw as a new user. If you are a beginner, a chainsaw with an 18-inch (or less) guide bar is suitable.

3. The physique of the chainsaw user or handler 

If you are not strong enough to wield a giant chainsaw, do not buy one. It would be very dangerous to get a chainsaw whose weight you cannot bear; such could lead to a fatal accident. It is best and safe to choose a chainsaw that matches your weight and one you would be able to use comfortably.

What Size Of A Chainsaw Do I Need To Cut Down A Tree?

The Correct Chainsaw Sizes For Cutting Of Trees

Trees come in different sizes hence will require chainsaws with appropriate sizes to bring them down. It is quite unreasonable to attempt felling a large tree with a 25-inch diameter using an electric-powered chainsaw with a 14-inch bar length.

The logic is simple- the bigger the tree, the bigger and more powerful the chainsaw should be. For instance, cutting down small trees in your yard or garden will require a chainsaw of about 12 to 14 inches, depending on the thickness of the tree trunk.

For such small trees, simple electric and battery-powered chainsaws will get the job done.

When cutting down medium-sized trees, you will need a guide bar or blade between 16 inches to 18-inches. In this context, medium-sized trees are those that are about 14 to 16 inches in diameter, hence, the need for slightly bigger chainsaws.

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Cutting down larger trees is a task that requires more experience and meticulousness. It is safe to say, this work is best left for the professionals. However, if you have experience with chainsaws and can safely handle the larger ones, you will need a bar length that is at least 20 inches.


A tree can be felled easily and quickly when done with the right equipment. An electric or battery-powered chainsaw can effectively and effortlessly take down a tree with a small diameter.

Homeowners sometimes find themselves needing to cut down a few small trees around their property. For such jobs, chainsaws with around 14-inches bar length will get the job done.

However, for individuals who have large trees growing around and are good with handling some heavy-duty chainsaws, I would recommend using a gas-powered chainsaw. It doesn’t matter if you are a forestry professional, as long as you are capable, a chainsaw with a 16-20-inches bar length will do.