How to Measure A Chainsaw Bar And Know Your Chainsaw Size

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Measuring a chainsaw bar isn’t complicated, but it needs to be done right.

As with everything involving chainsaws, the right part needs to be in the right place for everything to go safely and smoothly. The bar and chain is certainly no exception.

Whether you need to replace your chainsaw bar or you are just interested in what size it is, here’s how you do it!

How To Measure Chainsaw Size

how to measure chain bar

The first thing to know when it comes to chainsaw bar length measurement is that it’s almost always given as an even number.

For example, you won’t find 13, 17, or 21-inch bars, only those which are 12, 16, 20-inches long. As you get into long chainsaw bars, there are a few odd-numbered options (like 59″ bars for example).

However, the measurement is always rounded up. For example, a bar that measures 17 inches from body to tip would actually be classed as an 18-inch bar.

The ‘chain bar length’ also goes by a few different names:

  • cutting length
  • effective cutting length
  • or simply, length

When someone says they have a chainsaw with an 18-inch bar, they are talking about this measurement.

How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar

how to measure chainsaw bar

This is my Husqvarna chainsaw and it measures 19.68 inches (or 50 cm) from the powerhead to the tip.

This measurement is taken from the tip of the bar to where the bar meets the chainsaw body. It’s not the entire length of the bar if it were to be removed from the saw and measured end-to-end.

The end-to-end measurement of the chainsaw bar is called the true length. This tends to be a couple of inches longer than the effective length.

If you need to know what size chainsaw bar your machine is running it’s best to check the manual. If you know the model number it’s more than likely the chainsaw manual is available online.

However, it might be the case that you got your chainsaw secondhand or you’re not sure if the bar has been changed.

When buying a new bar, either:

  • bring in the old one to the store (still attached to the body if necessary)
  • use the chainsaw manual
  • check the bar itself for the measurements
  • measure it
  • ask advice in the many great FB groups

The chainsaw bar itself, more often than not, will have the bar length displayed on it, along with other measurements.

The chainsaw chain direction is with the cutter facing the tip when viewed on the top of the bar.

Chainsaw Bar Measurements

measure husqvarna bar

Nearly all chain bars will have the size written on them.

The Husqvarna chain bar pictured above has a number of measurements relating to both the bar and chain measurements.

From left to right the measurements are:

  • 10 inch/25 cm bar
  • 1/4″ pitch
  • 0.050″ gauge

Often these measurements are etched rather than merely printed into the chain bar. Even if your chainsaw has seen a bit of use you should be able to distinguish these markings.

Chainsaw Bar Length

How do you measure a chainsaw bar?

From the tip to the body – that’s all there is to it.

When in doubt, take your saw to a local dealer and get their advice. Or, remember the Facebook chainsaw groups if you are ordering a chainsaw bar online.

Stay safe – we don’t need anymore chainsaw accidents!


Chainsaw Chain Direction – Don’t Get Your Chain On Backwards!

The Best Chainsaw Safety And Training Courses: Online And In Person


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