How to Measure Chainsaw Bar? [Step by Step Guide]

To measure the length of the chainsaw bar, you have to measure it from its front end to the cutter’s closest end of the body of the saw, round this measurement up to the nearest even number in inches.

For instance, a bar that measures 18 3/4″ will have a total length of 20″.

Why do You have to Measure a Chainsaw Bar?

If you maintain your chainsaws (including Stihl Chainsaw, best Miter Saws), they can last for years, and this applies to gas-powered models, battery-powered and corded chainsaws.

However, bars can become worn out and in need of replacement from time to time.

In case you decide to fit a bigger or smaller bar onto your chainsaw, you’ll have to understand the dimensions of the bar you’re currently using to figure out what size you need for a replacement.

In either of these situations, you’ll have to know the length of the bar you’ve got and, therefore the chain that goes with it.

A bar that’s too long for your chainsaw will cause the machine to struggle and using the incorrect sized chain may cause the chain to fly off, potentially causing a severe injury.

Also Read: Best Miter Saw Stand

How to Measure A Bar Manually

Measuring a chainsaw bar is very simple and you can do it with just a simple measuring tape.

You would measure the bar from the tip of the chain to the end where the bar enters the chainsaw body or casing.

If there’s no chain on the bar, just add half-inch to the measurement to compensate. Then you should round your measurement up to the closest even number.

For instance, 14.5″ and 15″ would both be counted as 16″ since you would like to round both up to 16. This is known as the “called length” or sometimes the “useable length”.

Steps for Measuring A Chainsaw Bar

measure chainsaw bar infographic

Many people make the error of assuming the length of their chainsaw bar is that the same as the cutting length.

However, this is often not the case. Measuring a chainsaw bar is more labor-intensive than simply learning a tape measure.

Step 1:

Begin by turning off your chainsaw. Then, unplug the plug. You’ll access the plug by eliminating the carburetor box on the rear side of the chainsaw.

This will be done by removing the bolt that holds it in place. Doing this ensures that the chainsaw doesn’t accidentally activate while you’re measuring.

Step 2:

Now, align the tip of your tape measure with the mark of the chainsaw where the bar emerges. Steady your chainsaw by placing it straight across a flat surface. This may make it easier to increase the tape measure and get an accurate measurement.

Step 3:

Pull the tape measure tightly so that its lines up with the farthest tooth of the chainsaw nose. Note the length and round it up to the closest whole inch. Most of the time, this number will fall somewhere between 12 and 20 inches.

If you’re unsure of the measurement, repeat the method multiple times.

Step 4:

Now, remove the plastic or metal casing. This will be done using an appropriate wrench or socket.

After you remove the casing, the covered portion of the bar is revealed and can be measured. This provides you with the complete bar measurement.

Step 5:

Reattach the casing and ignition plug exactly like it was before.

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When to Exchange Your Bar

Bars can last for several years. Replacing them is labor-intensive and numerous people have their chains professionally serviced when it’s time to exchange a worn or broken part.

It’s important to notice that chains that are bent or loose can often be repaired instead of replaced.

How to Find the Information on The Bar?

Of course, there’s usually an easier way to find all the knowledge you would like most of the time, these figures, are going to be stamped on your bar.

You only got to check the bar, usually on the brink of where it’s mounted, to seek out the pitch, gauge, and length measurements you would like.

Deciding How Long A Bar You Would Like

An issue associated with bar measurements is deciding how long a bar you would like. You’ll need to consider this when buying a replacement bar.

The usual guideline is to understand the diameter of the wood you most frequently have to cut then add two inches.

For instance, if you most used measurement to cut trees with a diameter of 10″, you’ll need a bar of 12″. This provides you an adequate bar to affect trees of this size comfortably and with only one pass.

Remember, it’s possible to chop wood with a diameter of just about twice the length of your bar by making two passes and cutting from each side.

However, this is often longer consuming and, while it’s fine from time to time, isn’t practical if you’ve got to try it more often.

Always Use the Appropriate length For the Chainsaw

Choosing the proper length of the bar for your chainsaw is vital if you would like it to run efficiently and ensuring you’ve got the proper length of the chain will assist you to operate your machine with the minimum risk of getting an accident.

Check your manual or bar for the measurements but if you’ve lost the manual and there’s nothing on the bar, you’ll have to measure the bar and chain manually yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you regularly use a chainsaw, learning the way to measure the bar is an important skill. Fortunately, this task must be performed once. Once you’ve got that information, you’ll easily purchase replacement parts.

Investing in a quality saw and properly maintaining it can extend the lifetime of your tools and money. Nevertheless, if you need to buy replacement parts, you must know about the measurement of the chainsaw bar.

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