What Size Chainsaw Do I Need? – Our Buying Guide

A chainsaw is a powerful tool that assists you in many tasks like cutting and cleaning. You can cut trees, trim branches, split firewood, and clean the small bushes and weeds. There are a variety of best Chainsaws brands that are available in the market

Different brands make chain saws in different sizes and different functions. People usually find it very difficult to choose the chainsaw that is best suited to their needs but we are here to help you out in this regard. Read this article carefully to know all about the Chainsaw. 

Basic things You Need to Know about Chainsaw

When you purchase a chainsaw, the first thing that must be considered or I must say that are essential are the length of the bar and the size of the engine. Every chainsaw has different functions depending on its size and bar length. The parts of the chain saw are as follows but for a detailed study you can read out article on Parts of Chainsaw.

Length of the bar

The metal tongue-shaped protrusion from the handle is known as the bar. When the blade is rotating, it is what it revolves around. Its size comes from 12 inches to a whopping 42 inches. The size of the bar determines the working of the blade. The larger the blade, the heavier it would be, and will perform heavy-duty tasks like cutting and falling off big trees. Tiny chainsaws are only meant for the tiniest of pruning operations. Most people who purchase Chainsaw for homes have a length of 12 to 18 inches. 

Basic things You Need to Know about Chainsaw


The size of the engine depends on the size of the blade. The heavier the blade the heavier would be the engine. The engine comes in different cc (cubic centimeters) sizes. The larger the number, the more powerful the gas engine is. Gas-powered chainsaws normally have engines between 30 and 50 cc, with the larger engines paired with larger bars for the toughest jobs.

Chain Saw Sizes for Different Purposes

The chainsaw’s size is mostly determined by the bar’s length. If you have some heavy task to do, you need a heavier or bigger blade. For example;

If you want to cut trees in two passes with a chainsaw having a smaller bar, the engine needs more power to do the job. As a longer chain requires more power to run correctly, the length of the bar and chain dictates the size of the engine. The chainsaw is heavier and more difficult to manage because of the higher vibrations caused by the larger engine, bar, and chain.

Check Out: Types of Chainsaw

1. The use of a Chainsaw

Firstly determines what you need because it will enable you to choose the size that will meet your needs the most effectively. Ask yourself, whether you simply want to prune some limbs or will you be removing major trees. Are you clearing overgrown vegetation or felling trees for fuel when you use it?  All these tasks depend on the size of the engine you are going to use. 

Mostly, a chainsaw with a shorter bar of 14″ or less is sufficient for simple house maintenance, trimming, pruning, and chopping down broken tree limbs. 

A longer bar, perhaps 16 to 20 inches long, will be required to cut down small trees, and thick branches, and clean up storm damage, making the job simpler and safer. Whereas a larger bar is recommended to cut large trees but because of the heavier engine it will make more vibrations and make you tired sooner. 

Professional tree cutters use larger bars, starting at 20 inches and upwards, because they can handle heavy workloads and big trees. Its massive and powerful engine is a result of the long bar, which raises the risk of fatigue and kickbacks. In order to reduce the risk of injury or property damage, large trees must be handled cautiously. If you are unsure about taking on a project, consult a professional.

2. Size of the Project

The size of the chainsaw you need will depend on the diameter of the thing you are cutting, which is an additional element to the first. Using a chainsaw that is too tiny will make your project more difficult, whether you have little trees that could provide a safety problem or are just cutting and pruning branches. 

Size of the Project

If you choose a chainsaw that is too tiny or even too large, it will be harder and riskier to complete the assignment, regardless of whether you have small trees that could pose a safety risk or are just trimming and pruning limbs. It’s advised to estimate the diameter of the trees you’ll be cutting frequently and select a chainsaw bar that is two inches longer.

3. Your expertise

No matter the scope or magnitude of the project, you shouldn’t attempt to take on a challenge if you are unsure of your ability. Consult with experts for guidance and advice. No matter how big or tiny the tree is, both are a threat to your safety and the safety of your property. 

Trying to control a powerful tool that is too big if you haven’t used chainsaws before will just enhance the likelihood of any accidents. However, because of their potential for danger and the need for careful handling, small chainsaws still need to be treated with respect. Since safety is the most crucial factor, choosing the best chainsaw for your needs requires striking a careful balance between power and your own capabilities.

How big should be a chainsaw for cutting trees?

The first question that comes into your mind when you decide to purchase it is what should be the size and how big it should be.  If you’re new to chainsaws and are thinking about purchasing one for home usage then have a close look at what possible purposes you would need this chainsaw. 

There are suggestions for cutting trees, which is one of the most common jobs you could desire a chainsaw for. You should consider the typical width of the tree you’ll work with, just like you would with any other project.

The good news is that operating a chainsaw is more comfortable than using a wood axe, and you won’t need a huge tool for the job. A 20 to 22-inch chainsaw will typically be adequate for cutting trees. 

Read Out: Best Chainsaw for Firewoods

Chainsaw File size Chart

Simply, the sort of chainsaw file you require directly correlates with the size of your chain pitch. The pitch will increase as it gets bigger, which will result in higher cutting teeth. In turn, this means that a larger file will be required the higher the teeth. Measure the space between three rivets to determine your chainsaw pitch if you are unsure of it.

Additionally, it’s critical to realize that, if the cutting teeth are not the same type, you can require various files. Chainsaw chains can be cut with a variety of chisels, and each sort of chisel calls for a particular kind of file.

Here is the File size chart:

Chain pitch Round file diameter
1/4″ 4.0mm
.325 4.8mm
3/8″ 5.2mm
.404 5.5mm
For a detailed study read: Chainsaw File Size Chart

What Size Chainsaw Do I Need – FAQs

What is a good size chainsaw for a homeowner?
A good size chainsaw for homeowners is 12 to 18 inches. This size is accurate for daily small tasks as it is easy to handle and manage things properly.
How do I choose a chainsaw size?
It depends on the size of the task you want to deal with. For home usage, you can use a 12 to 18 inches chainsaw whereas for cutting large trees you could use a 20 to 24 inches chainsaw.
How big of a tree can a 20-chainsaw cut?
A 20 inches chainsaw can cut approximately 36 inches of trees. You can read the article on the best professional Chainsaw.
How often does a chainsaw chain need to be sharpened?
An instrument that is often used will require regular sharpening to prevent the blade from becoming too dull. A chainsaw may only require sharpening once a year if it is infrequently used. After aggressively cutting through the wood for three hours, a chainsaw blade will typically keep its edge.
What size chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?
For an Alaskan Mill, the recommended size of the chainsaw must have a 70cc engine.
What is the most common chainsaw size?
The most common chainsaw size is 12 inches to 18 inches people mostly use it for the household.



Chainsaws are very useful in many cases. If you are using it for household usage, I would recommend you purchase a chainsaw that is 12 to 18inches long. Whereas if you want to use it for large assignments like cutting off big trees and cleaning the storm garbage. We have discussed this in detail and I hope it will be very helpful for you in determining the size of the chainsaw that you need.

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