How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar: Find Out The Blade and the Chain Length

Everybody knows what a chainsaw is and what it’s used for. But do the majority of the users know how to measure a chainsaw bar length? I bet not!

The length of a chainsaw bar is significant. Wrong-sized blades can have an effect on the wood cutting. Bar with the wrong length can even result in malfunctioning of the chainsaw.

Chainsaws are available on both electric and gas-powered ones. And their bar length is different. Measuring the chainsaw bar is easy.

Here, we’ll be guiding you on how to measure a chainsaw bar. This will also be helpful while replacing or buying a new bar for your chainsaw.

How to Measure a Chainsaw Blade

If you wish to measure your chainsaw fully, you need to manually measure the bar(blade) and the chain. And here, we’ll begin with measuring chainsaw bar first.

What is Chainsaw Bar(Blade)

Sometimes, we confuse the bar with the chain. Well, they are not the same. The bar is the extended part of the chainsaw from the metallic body. And the metallic chain remains wrapped around the blade or bar of the chainsaw.

There’s a common myth that the more extended the chainsaw bar, the better.

The bar length depends on the model of the chainsaw. If the bar or blade length is more, it’ll require more power. Thus you’ll need a more powerful engine.

The electric chainsaws have less power. So their blade length is usually around 18-inch. On the other hand, powerful chainsaws like the gas ones have a 73-inch bar.

Measuring Chainsaw Bar: Step-by-Step

As you’ve understood what a chainsaw bar or blade is, now let’s move on to the next part.

1.    Remove the Blade Cover

To perfectly measure the blade or bar size, the most effective way is to remove the bar cover and detach it from the chainsaw body.

To remove the blade cover, find the nuts that hold the blade with the chainsaw. They remain on the side of the handle. You’ll need a plier or wrench or even a screwdriver to take them out.

After you remove the screws or nuts, take out the cover blade’s cover to see the chain and the bar.

2.    Remove Chain from the Chainsaw Blade

Take the screwdriver. Now place it in between the chain grooves. Apply some pressure and separate the chain from the grooves.

After that, you need to take out the full chain from the blade until you find the sprocket. Then, remove the chain from it also.

3.    Check For any Repair Issues

Once you reach this part, you can now check if the chainsaw blade has any issues. If there is one, repair it!

4.    Measure the blade

Now comes the part where you’ll be telling you about how to measure a chainsaw bar length. To measure the blade, first, place the chainsaw blade on a flat, even surface.

Now grab a measuring tape. Hold the measuring tape from the bar’s starting point and measure it till the end part. Use a ruler if there isn’t any measuring tape.

Normally blade lengths come in 16 to 20 inches in size. However, they can even range up to 42 inches.

While finding out the blade length, if the length is 18.5 inches (say, for example), you need to round the number to the nearest even number. So the length would be 20 inches, no 19, as the length can’t be odd.

How to Measure Chainsaw Chain Length

Now it’s time to begin the second part of the guide. That is, measuring the chainsaw chain. You already know how to measure a chainsaw bar length; now, read on to know how to measure the chain.

Measuring Chainsaw Chain Length: Step-By-Step Guide

1.    Detach Chain from the Blade

To detach the chain from the chainsaw blade, you need to loosen the nuts on the side of the handle with your screwdriver. If you’ve already done it in the previous procedure, you can skip to the next part.

Be careful while you work with the chainsaw chains. The chains have sharp edges that can cut your fingers.

2.    Find Pitch and Gauge

Finding the pitch and Gauge is an important factor in measuring the chainsaw chains correctly.


Chainsaw chain pitch is the spacing between 3 rivulets. Rivulets are the bolts that hold the chain with the blade.  So to find out the pitch, calculate the length or spacing between the 1st and 3rd rivulet. And then divide the sum by 2.

In most cases, the pitch of the chain is around 0.325 inches.


On the other hand, Gauge means the width of the chain grooves. The grooves hold the chain. To measure the grooves, you’ll need-

  1. A quarter
  2. A penny
  3. A dime

Before measuring, clean the grooves so that there is no dirt or mud. Now find the Gauge using the ccoins.

  • If the quarter coin sits on the grooves of the chain perfectly, Gauge is .063
  • If penny sits perfectly, Gauge is .058
  • If it’s the dime, Gauge is .050

3.    Find other Infos.

As measuring the chainsaw chain is a hassle and complex task, all the information is usually given on the bar or blade by the manufacturers.

So check the bar or blade of the chainsaw. You’ll find all the necessary info. There. As a result, there’s no need to manually measure them.

What size chain do I need for my chainsaw?

 The chainsaw chain size depends on the work you do. So you need to find your own chainsaw’s length.

If you use your chainsaw to cut down trees of 10-inch diameter, then you should get a 12-inch length bar chainsaw.

Don’t go for a long chainsaw just because it looks nice and powerful. Long blades need more power, and they are hard to control as well. So get one that suits your purpose the best!


That’s it when it comes to knowing how to measure a chainsaw bar length. Additionally, we’ve also added how to measure the chain length as well.

Remember, these things are sensitive. So be careful while measuring them. If you get stuck at any part, try redoing it. Don’t just assume any value or length by yourself.

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