How to Measure Chainsaw Bar? 4 Quick & Easy Tips

A chainsaw has been quite a wonderful power tool used in the cutting of firewood. However, to get the best and maximum out of it, you need to have proper knowledge about its components. If you are using the wrong chain with an inappropriate bar, you will certainly increase the risk of accident for you – and compromise the life of your chainsaw as well. So, to add in the life of your chainsaw along with reducing the chances of accidents, it is necessary to learn to measure chainsaw bar.

Bear it in your mind that every bar or chain does not fit every chainsaw, rather you must have an appropriate part that matches all requirements of the model you have. Usually, longer bars are suitable for chainsaws with more powerful motors, and shorter bars are perfect for tools with low-powered motors.

Let me explain it to you with an example; many gas chainsaws operate with bars that have lengths up to 84 inches – this is because their engines have a greater throttle to offer. While electric chainsaws are mostly observed to have 14 to 20 inches bar – again, the reason is power provided by the engine, and electric engines are unable to offer the power required to support a big-sized bar.

In the same way, not all the chains fit every chainsaw and bar – this factor necessitates finding how to measure a chainsaw chain; otherwise, it will not be a support assembly to help you with cutting firewood.

Measuring the Bar of Your Chainsaw

It is not a problem to measure your chainsaw bar – you can do it by following simple steps.

All you need to know is to have basic knowledge of all components of your chainsaw.

Meanwhile, to go altogether accurate in the measurement of your chainsaw bar, it is recommended to separate the blade and chain from the chainsaw.

This is how, you will not only be able to measure the bar of your chainsaw more accurately; instead, it will also allow you to ascertain if there is any serious damage to the blade of the chainsaw.

How to Measure Chainsaw Bar

Coming to our topic of the day, let us start with how to measure the chainsaw bar:

1. Separate the Protective Housing from Your Chainsaw 

Before you start with the main job, it is unavoidable to remove the protective housing from your chainsaw that covers the blade and protects the user. You can do this by opening the nuts near the handle of your chainsaw. Once you have done this, you will be able to clearly see the components such as chain, bar, drive brush and etc.

2. Remove the Chain from the Bar 

Having removed protective housing from your chainsaw, now you need to remove the chain from the bar. For this purpose, reduce the tension in the chain by moving the nut or screws anticlockwise with the help of a wrench or screwdrivers. Pull the chain from the grooves of the guide bar unless it reaches the drive sprocket. Now, pull the chain further from the drive sprocket, and get it off the bar completely.

3. Thorough Inspection of Chainsaw Bar

Once you have removed the chain from the bar, you must conduct a thorough inspection of the chainsaw bar. Check if the is any damage that cannot be left unnoticed or cannot be repaired, and change the bar right away. This inspection will help you prevent serious consequences that might erupt due to a damaged chainsaw bar.

4. Measure the Chainsaw Bar 

After complying with all the above-mentioned steps, now you are ready to measure the bar of your chainsaw. Put it on a flat surface, and measure the length of the bar with the help of a scale. The length must be measured from its tip to the end.

This is how you can accurately measure the chainsaw bar. But the task is not over yet, instead, it involves the measurement of the chainsaw chain too to ensure the perfect working assembly.

When to Replace Chainsaw Bar?

The guide bar of the chainsaw is one of the most fundamental parts of this tool. Bar sustains a massive amount of friction and heat due to the chainsaw chain that spins around it. With persistent use of your chainsaw, there comes a time when the bar gets worn out, and it becomes impossible to keep using it further for cutting purposes. 

So, it is inevitable to know when to replace your chainsaw bar – it may be tricky to ascertain because bars are made up of tough materials, and it is close to impossible to tell at first glance if they are fit for the job or not. Following are some common signs that indicate the need of replacing the chainsaw bar with a new one: 

1. Bent or Damaged Bar 

Bent or damaged bars are clear signs that you need to replace them. Bending of the bar is a common problem that occurs when you are using the same bar for a very long time. You can check your bar for bending by removing protective housing, and separating the bar from the chainsaw by opening the bolt that keeps it attached to the body of the chainsaw. 

Meanwhile, if you see that there is a broken rail edge on the surface of the bar, again you are in desperate need of replacing your chainsaw bar. 

2. Wiggling of Chain Between Grooves 

The wiggling of the chain between the grooves of the chainsaw is another indication that tells you about the need for the replacement of your chainsaw bar. This wiggling of the chain between grooves might also be caused by common problems such as a loose chain; but if the chain is tight enough, and wiggling happens still, you need to change the bar of your chainsaw. 

3. Tilted Edge of Blade 

When blades of a chainsaw bar do not point straight-up even after they are titled at the right angle – it is an indication that you need to change the bar. To make it confirm, take a ruler, put it straight on the bar, and press it against the side of the chain. If there appears a gap between the bar and ruler, it means that there is no problem with the blade or grooves, and the only option is to buy a new chainsaw bar. 

And if there is a space between the ruler and the bar, grooves or blades might get worn out, and you can check them properly before you buy a new bar. 

Therefore, if you come across any of these three signs in your chainsaw bar, get it replaced with a new one.


If you own a chainsaw, and you often use it to cut firewood, you must know to measure the chainsaw bar and chain. These are necessary things to learn because you might face such a circumstance when changing the bar or chain will be the only option, and it is only possible when you yow know how to do this.

It can be handy to understand, but I assure you that you will find it extremely easy when you will start applying the aforementioned method to measure the bar of your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q1. How long a chainsaw bar should be?

the length of the bar is associated with the type of the chainsaw. For instance, if you are using a heavy-duty chainsaw, it will most likely be using a long bar. On the other hand, if you own an electric-powered or battery-powered chainsaw, the bar of your chainsaw will comparatively be of shorter length. Meanwhile, you can always consult the user manual of the chainsaw to know about the compatible lengths of bars.

Q2. How to take care of the chainsaw bar?

Taking care of the bar of your chainsaw is in your best interest; otherwise, you may need to spend a considerable amount replacing the bar of your chainsaw. To take care of the bar of your chainsaw, you should check it properly for any kind of bend, wiggling of chain between grooves and tilted edge of blade.

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