How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar? [Quick & Easy Ways in 2023]

We all know that a chainsaw is a powerful tool for wood cutting, but it’s important to use the right size chain for your bar. This guide will teach you how to measure chainsaw bars and determine the correct chain size.

With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to choose the best chain for your needs and keep your saw running safely and efficiently. Moreover, you will get the answer that how to tell chain size and what is the best all-around chainsaw bar length. So, let’s get started!

Are our Chainsaw Chains Universal?

The chains that are used on a chainsaw might have different widths, but any type of saw can recognize them. If you see a certain number on your saw’s bar and chain, look at the text below it for more information about what kinds of blades would work with your tool.

Chainsaws use their own specific kind of chain, so it’s important to match the size of the chain with the front of your tool.

Are our chainsaw chains universal

If you have a chainsaw that doesn’t require a bar, you can choose from many different kinds of blades based on your needs. A lot of modern saws come with a pre-mounted guide around them to help you easily determine what blade would work best for your tool.

How to Measure Chainsaw Bar Length?

After buying a new chainsaw, you might be confused about how to choose the best chainsaw bar length. This is not a really complicated task, but you do need to know the basics of how to size your chain.

You need to look at the front of your chainsaw’s dive bar and find a number printed on it. Most modern saws have a sticker on them with the size of their chain printed on them.

If your bar already has a chain attached to it, you might need to look at the part of the drive bar where the chain connects to find this information.

How to Measure Chainsaw Bar?

After knowing the size of your chainsaw’s dive bar, it is time to measure chainsaw bars. Usually, we measure a bar by following things:

  • Chain pitch – Width of one chain link
  • Depth gauge – Distance between two grooves on a guide bar or tip of a blade
  • Number of drive links – Piece that connects the saw chain to the drive bar

How to measure chainsaw bar

Let’s talk about them one by one.

Chain pitch

The first thing that you need to measure is the width of a single chain “link.” It should be somewhere around 3/8,” but it might vary a little bit depending on your chainsaw model.

If your chainsaw has a different size, you can use the measuring scale on the guide bar or measure a couple of links and divide it by 2 to get an average width.

Depth gauge

If you want to cut down a tree, you might need more cutting power than your chainsaw’s default length will give you. For example, if your saw has a 20″ length, you will only be able to cut a tree that is less than 20″ in diameter.

To increase the cutting power of your saw, you can install a more extended guide bar on your chainsaw by following these steps:

1) Loosen up all the screws which hold your chainsaw’s handle together. Be careful when removing it because there might still be some leftover debris lodged in your saw.

2) Remove the drive cover and put it away so you can access the drive sprocket and starter cord.

3) Unscrew the nuts which hold your bar onto the tool, and remove it. You might need to use a screwdriver because these wingnuts are usually locked in place for this part of the process.

4) Unscrew the bolts that are holding your chainsaw’s bar assembly together. Keep them safe because you will need to use them later when assembling everything back together.

5) Install a longer bar on your chainsaw by putting the nuts back onto the bolts and tightening it with a screwdriver or any tool that feels convenient.

Number of drive links

There are many chainsaw varieties that you can choose from, but for the most standard sizes, the number of drive links will always be between 20 and 22. If your saw has more or less than this number, it may not work properly with your device.

How do you Measure a Chainsaw Blade?

You can simply take some measurements and then choose the replacement blade that would fit your chainsaw.

How do you measure a chainsaw blade

Depth gauge

It is also essential to measure the distance between two grooves of the guide bar or the tip of a blade. Usually, there is one more groove on each side of it, so it means you need to measure twice. For example, if the distance is .325″, then you need to buy a blade that has a depth of .325″.

Number of drive links

The last step in measuring the chainsaw bar is to count how many pieces are connected to each other. Of course, it also depends on your chainsaw model, but usually, most models have around 10 drive links. In this case, you need to buy a 10 or 12-chainsaw blade as well as a number of drive links that would go with it.

How many drive links are on a 20-inch bar?

If your chainsaw has a 20-inch bar, then it would have 10 drive links. You can use the same guide to buy a replacement blade for your saw, and it means that you need to buy at least ten pieces and keep in mind the number of drive links that are already used by your saw.

How to measure chainsaw bar – FAQs

How do you measure a 3/8 chain?
A 3/8 chain can be measured using a tape measure. Simply wrap the tape measure around the desired object and read the measurement where the two ends of the tape meet.
What size tree can a 14-inch chainsaw cut?
A 14-inch chainsaw can usually cut a tree that is up to 12 inches in diameter, and larger trees will require a larger chainsaw.
Can I change the bar size on my chainsaw?
Yes, you can change the bar size on your chainsaw. The most common bar sizes are 16″ and 18″. To change the bar size, you’ll need to remove the blade guard, chain brake, and chain catcher. The chainsaw will also need to be properly adjusted for the new bar size. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to adjust the chainsaw for a different bar size.
How to tell chain size?
The links in a chain are usually measured in inches, and there are 12 inches in a foot. So if you have a chain that’s 20 links long, it would be 1 foot and 8 inches long. You can also use a caliper to measure the thickness of the chain and then convert it to inches.
What is the best all-around chainsaw bar length?
The best all-around chainsaw bar length is 16 inches. 16 inches is the perfect size for a chainsaw bar because it provides a good balance of power and maneuverability, and it’s also a great size for most cutting applications.


Our Verdict:

Don’t hesitate to invest in a good chainsaw bar replacement device. You can choose from trustworthy manufacturers like Oregon or Stihl, and be sure that you’ll get the best quality available on the market.

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