There are plenty of long chainsaw bars out there, the longest of which are designed to be used with two chainsaw powerheads. However, there are some very long bars made for regular use as well.
The longest chainsaw bar for a single chainsaw powerhead like the 121cc Stihl MS880 is 59-inches, which is also the longest bar Stihl produces (for the US, at least), but there are guys who run longer bars on it for milling. Some will run up to 72″ on it.
Anything over a 36-inch bar is considered long and only the most powerful professional chainsaws are suitable for these lengths. Also, it’s best to know what you’re doing before attempting to cut with a long bar, as there are risks involved.
Longest Chainsaw Bar
The 880 pictured above has a 41-inch bar on it, though as I mentioned, guys regularly use it with 72″ bars. A 72-inch bar is the longest bar that is commonly found for chainsaws, though they are not readily available.
The longest bars on Amazon, for example, is this 51″ Forester bar for sale or this 42″ Oregon bar. Though Amazon isn’t necessarily the go-to store for specialist chainsaw equipment, and other big box hardware stores generally only sell up to 24-inch bars, if that.
The best place to buy large chainsaw bars is from your local Stihl or Husqvarna dealer, or from a Cannon Bar Works dealer. Cannon sells bars up to 108 inches, including 96″, 84″, and 72″. They can even make custom bars for those needing something special.
Cannon Bar Works
Cannon bars are made in Canada by Cannon Bar Works and are famous for being of excellent quality. They are said to have the hardest-wearing bar rails compared to any other chainsaw guide bar manufacturer in the world.
They have long chainsaw bars going up past 100 inches, but they are few and far between. After 72″ they tend to be double-ended bars (for use with two chainsaw powerheads), which are another beast altogether. The most common long chainsaw bar lengths are 36″, 42″, 51″, 60″, and 72″.
Here are the types and lengths of bars Cannon has to offer:
- Milling bars:
- Cannon SawMiller – 44 – 96 inches
- Chainsaw bars:
- Cannon SuperBar – 16 – 84 inches
- Cannon SuperMini – 12 – 20 inches
- Cannon DuraLite SuperBar – 24 – 36 inches
- Harvester/Slasher bars:
- Cannon Harvester – 17 – 55 inches
- Cannon Slasher – 44 – 96 inches
- Carving bars:
- Cannon Dime Tip – 8 – 16 inches
- Cannon Quarter Tip – 8 – 20 inches
- Cannon Toonie Tip – 14 – 20 inches
- Cannon Arbor Tip – 16 – 20 inches
- Specialty bars:
- Cannon Beaver Bar – 27 or 33 inches
- Cannon Carpenter Bar – 20 or 24 inches
- Cannon Pruner Bar – 10 or 12 inches
Cannon Bars are considered the best by most pros, and while they’re not the cheapest, they tend to outlive cheaper bars made by other companies.
Some recent comments online in about Cannon include this one from Mason:
Finally grabbed a 32-inch Cannon Bar yesterday. I don’t know why I didn’t get a better bar sooner, what a difference.
They are the absolute cat’s meow of saw bars… they don’t come cheap but with proper maintenance they are going to work for a long freaking time!!! Dang good metal!!!
And Dan said:
No matter how good Cannon bars are, don’t try chucking a 55″ Harvester on your 391!
An alternative brand to Cannon that also makes long bars is GB Titanium Bars. They have 50″, 56″, 60″, 64″, 72″, 84″, and 87″ bars that are also well-reviewed. Granberg bars (famous for the Granberg Sharpener) are another option. They make single-ended bars up to 84″, alongside much longer double-ended bars.
Long Chainsaws Uses
Chainsaw bars of extreme length are generally used for three primary purposes:
- Felling large trees
- Chainsaw milling
- Bucking big logs
Large trees can be of substantial diameter, often far too large for regular-sized chainsaws. The long bars allow for the tree to be cut down more efficiently, reducing the risk of the tree falling in an unintended direction or before the logger is ready.
Chainsaw milling is the process of using a chainsaw to cut a log lengthwise into lumber. For this process, a long chainsaw bar is often needed, especially for wider logs. The long bar allows the chainsaw to cut through the entire width of the log in one pass. This is particularly useful for creating slabs out of large logs.
Lastly, those who process a lot of firewood will also often have large bars on hand for bucking large logs. You can generally get anything done with smaller bars, but a long bar on the right chainsaw will get things done faster.
Best Chainsaws For Long Bars
Not just any chainsaw can be used with a long bar, it needs to be a professional series saw.
Besides the MS 880 (and 088/881) which we’ve already mentioned, other chainsaws that are commonly used with long bars include the Stihl 090, 070, 066, 660, 661, 500i, and 720. The MS 881 is the biggest Stihl chainsaw currently in production.
There are many other chainsaw brands that also make saws powerful enough to be used with long chainsaw bars for milling and felling large trees. Another example is Holzfforma Chainsaws which are clones of the best Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws which are made in China and sell for a fraction of the price of the real thing.
Longest Chainsaw Bars
Those are the longest and largest chainsaw bars!
We hope you’ve learned something and found what you’re looking for, but please leave a comment down below if we’ve missed something. While I haven’t personally used a chainsaw bar over 42″, I have a good friend with a very large bar on his 881 and it is on my to-do list to try it out.
If you’re not sure how long your chainsaw bar is, this is how to measure a chainsaw bar. For most tasks around the home or farm a 20 – 24-inch bar is going to be ore than enough. It’s only when you’ve got a big tree to come down or you want to mill up a fine log that you really need a long bar.