What Size Chainsaw Do I Need? For Pruning, Cutting Large Woods

With a bunch of options, you might be baffled, “what size chainsaw do I need?” The choice might be confusing to make, as there are a number of factors to consider in the nature of the use of the chainsaw tops among all. Whether you are planning to buy or rent a chainsaw, knowing what to look for in it seems an inevitable step to getting the job done nicely and safely.

Chainsaws have been inherently scary and dangerous tools – finding the right chainsaw for the job means that it should be optimized to perform the duty in terms of power, and must be able to be operated safely for that specific job. For example, it will never be a prudent choice to use the most powerful chainsaw to cut up the limbs of fallen trees.

What Size Chainsaw Do I Need

Choose Right Sized Chainsaw

Sometimes, you may not be clear about the massive variety of landscaping tasks, and corresponding tools that can perform the job rightly. Some of the landscaping tasks may appear likely to be done using a chainsaw – but that might not be true, and some other tool can surely be more suitable. Therefore, it is necessary to ascertain if you truly need a chainsaw for the job or not.

Once you are certain that the chainsaw is exactly the tool you need, you better abide by the following tips to choose the right size of the chainsaw.

Basics of Chainsaw

To better understand the use of the chainsaw for corresponding jobs, it is necessary to know about the basic parts of the chainsaw. Both of the followings are mandatory parts of any type of chainsaw;

1. Engine 

The engine is a fundamental part that is responsible for rotating the chainsaw chain on the guide bar. Technically, the power of the engine determined by the Cubic Centimeter (CC) – the greater will be this power, the improved will be the capacity of the chainsaw to deal with heavy-duty jobs. Usually, gas chainsaws have an engine that runs between 40cc to 70cc – and an engine that possesses greater capacity than this isn’t commonly used unless there is a considerably heavy-duty job.

2. Bar Length 

Bar length is a component around which the blade spins. Bar length starts from 12 inches, and then after successive increments of 2inches, it reaches the maximum length of 42 inches. Bar length is very important when it comes to deciding the size of a chainsaw because it is directly associated with the nature of the job. Usually, bars with lengths from 12 inches to 18 inches are used with electric chainsaws – capable of doing the small-scale job only.

On the other hand, bars with greater lengths than 20 inches are used with gas-powered chainsaws specialized for tough tasks. Typically, the effective cutting length of the bar is a bit smaller than the original length of the bar.

What Should be the Size of my Chainsaw? 

Once you know the power of the engine, and the bar length of your chainsaw – now the most important thing that will determine the size of the required chainsaw is the nature of the work you are doing. Here comes a good rule – the thumb rule which states that the diameter of the cutting tree shouldn’t be more than twice the length of the bar on the chain.

For instance, if the diameter of the tree is 40 inches, then the bar with the size of 24 inches will be perfect to get the job done.

So, for your convenience, I will categorize the size of chainsaws based on the nature of the job, and jobs are usually categorized as light, medium, heavy-duty and professional-grade jobs.

1. Light Job (Which Chainsaw is the best for Light Job?) 

The light job involves pruning or cutting small branches of trees of the softest woods. For this type of work, electric chainsaws seem to be the most appropriate. With the bar length of 14 inches to 18 inches, and with the engine of 30cc to 40cc power, you can easily cut down small saplings, and small limbs of fallen trees.

Meanwhile, due to being light in weight and easy to carry, electric chainsaws are also preferable to cut small branches at a height.

2. Medium Job (What Chainsaw is to be used for Medium Jobs?) 

If you are a homeowner and looking for a good chainsaw to manicure your garden, you need a chainsaw that can cut trees or logs. For this purpose, you need a chainsaw whose bar length ranges from 14 inches to 20 inches, and the displacement of the engine remains between 40cc to 50cc. Ideally, 16 inches chainsaw would serve you best. Again, electric chainsaws appear to be a good choice to make.

Remember, these chainsaws aren’t powerful enough to be used consistently for hours – these are good for medium-sized jobs only.

3. Heavy-Duty (What are Recommended Chainsaws for Heavy-Duty Tasks?) 

Heavy-duty tasks aren’t to be done by a beginner or someone who does not know the proper use of a chainsaw. Typically, heavy-duty chainsaws are possessed by professionals and those who have enough experience in dealing with this giant tool.

If you have a task like bringing down a large hardwood and converting it into quick firewood, you need a chainsaw with a bar length of 20 inches to 24 inches and an engine with a displacement of 50cc to 60cc.

Get cleared that these chainsaws aren’t suitable for small or medium-sized jobs, and it also becomes necessary to put on all chainsaw safety gear while working with this type of chainsaw.

4. Professional-Grade (Chainsaws that are to be Used by Professionals Only) 

Pneumatic chainsaws are a perfect example of chainsaws used by professionals only. Such chainsaws have bar lengths from 24 inches to 42 inches, and the displacement of the engine might range from 60cc to the required capacity.

Most of the time, this type of chainsaw is used in the construction industry to cut stones, and in the metal, industry to cut metals. However, it is also used for highly-specialized landscaping jobs. This chainsaw is suitable for professionals only.

Final Words

Now, you are clear about the size of chainsaw you need. So, before you buy a chainsaw, make sure of the nature of the job, and then find a suitable chainsaw with the required bar length and displacement of the engine.

Make sure that you are using all protective gear while working with any type of chainsaw. Though I have explained everything in detail, still if you have any questions, you can ask me.

Thank You!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is a good size chainsaw for home use?

If you need a chainsaw to keep your garden maintained, you should better consider an electric chainsaw with a bar length of 14 inches to 18 inches, and an engine with a displacement of 30cc to 50cc.

How big a tree can a 20 chainsaw cut? 

Typically, the diameter of the cutting tree shouldn’t be more than twice the length of the bar. This is how, if a chainsaw has a bar length of 20 inches, it will easily cut the tree with a diameter of 38 inches.

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