How to Measure Chainsaw Bar | Chain Sizing Guide 2021

Fact Checked By James A Weber | Post Updated On: December 5, 2021

Woodcutting can be one of the toughest jobs if the types of machinery are not found properly, or it doesn’t work that well. That’s why finding a proper chainsaw bar, knowing how to use it or how to measure it is very important. Because it is much more effective if you are aware of these facts before using one of those.

What is a Chainsaw Bar?

A chainsaw chain is an effective woodcutting tool; and, some of its common applications are cutting down trees, trimming branches, and many more. But if you want it to operate at its peak, you are going to need all the exact types of machinery.

Moreover, if the usage of the bad-fitting chainsaw chain occurs, the outcome will not be so pleasant and even it will be more unsafe to use the chainsaw. 

How does it Work?

The saw contains a large motor, one handle overhead on a side along with a very prolonged bar and an extended chain joined with it. As the motor is switched on, the chainsaw chain joined to the bar of the chainsaw begins to activate at a very high pace. This is how a chainsaw works. 

And, thus, its measurement lengthwise is a must for a chainsaw user. The efficacy is dependent on its different parts. There are many kinds of chainsaw bars and you must know about all of them if you are a regular chainsaw bar user or even new to this. 

Different Types of Chainsaw Bars

There are various types of chainsaw bars. And their importance is described below. 

Sprocket Nose Bar:

It is a kind of chainsaw that works with a sprocket or a notch which is located at the front end and there the chain works intending to lessen the friction. Among these sprocket noses, those who have eleven teeth are more likely to be in power than those who have less than eleven teeth. 

Sprocket Nose Bar For Chainsaw Laminated Bars:

This laminated bar varies in materials. It is mainly prepared to lessen the whole weight of chainsaw bars. And its other benefit is to intensify the chainsaw bar so that the life span may boost up more than before.

Technically, the laminated chainsaw bar is lighter and thus, it gives access to manage without any difficulty. Now, if the length of your chainsaw is not more than twenty inches, then you must think to consider choosing laminated bars for the chainsaw. 

Laminated bars containing nose wheel:

These kinds of laminated bars contain a tiny nose radius along with a minor bow to grip hard, simultaneously to lessen the load. And the best part is, it provides a good mechanism over this saw at the time of cutting. 

Hard nose bar:

It is mainly designed for a different purpose, such as when the sprocket can get stuck or situations like this. Besides, the lessening power of the hard nose bar is not so efficient compared to the others. Moreover, this sprocket bar is much more effective than this bar. 

Solid bar:

These are made for the usage of steel and it is used to cut hardwood and the other works of the professionals. If you ever find your chainsaw to complete some sooty, hefty, rough works, using these solid bars will be the ultimate best solution for you. 

These bars have come up with a special quality of the adjustable nose with them. This nose of this hard bar wears down so quick, even quicker than the chainsaw guide bar itself. That’s why this feature helps to reduce the weight from the specific bar. 

Few bars have some consumable tips. These bars contain an excellent roller bearing at the top of it and thus, it conducts the weight of the chain length around the nose. And if you need some, you may go for a search of these in the shops as extra parts. 

Extra-long chainsaw bar:

Mainly, an extra longer bar is built with dense, high-tech titanium mixed steel along with accurate ground hollows. The chainsaw bar length is generally 44-48 inches and they contain a usable sprocket nose. 

Extra light bars:

The main purpose of this bar can be guessed by its name itself. It is made to be as lightweight as possible. Generally, it is 18% igniter than the typical chainsaw bars. And the light load makes it comparatively stress-free to lift and manage and this is used for working over the regular height than the others. 

Double-ended bar:

For milling works, these types of double-ended bars are used. They are fueled by a pair of chainsaws, and for this, they also need two operators. A unique kind of mill is required to run them.

Narrow kerf chainsaw bar:

As its name, it is discovered in small chainsaws. They also are delicate in weight. And as they do not need much power like others, they can cut in speed and in a more efficient way.  

how to measure a chainsaw bar
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Cutting Length:

The cutting length of the saw bar is measured from the top of the bar to the ending of the bar length. Or in other words, the part which we can notice with our eye in the chainsaw bar is called the effective cutting length

Full Length:

The full bar length of the chainsaw bar is from the head to the ending of the bar including the portions which remain inside the motor. In other terms, the full-length bar is mainly the whole bar length of the chainsaw bar including and excluding the parts that are both visible and invisible to our eyes.  

There are so many types of chain pitch. You can guess the functions they do from the names.   

How To Measure The Chainsaw Bar:

When it comes to measuring the chainsaw, it becomes so effortless because of the simple procedures of measuring this. It is as easy as it sounds. You only need two pieces of equipment to make it done. One is the measuring tape and the other one is the chainsaw itself. 

The chain gauge refers to drive links thickness. It is calculated by measuring the part of the drive links. So gauge measure the thickness and it’s important to matching the bar gauge.

Safety first:

The very first and very important safeguard for anyone before measuring the chainsaw bar is to switch off the saw and be sure of it before measuring the bar. For electric chainsaw, Disconnect it from the main electric power source. And, if the saw is operated by batteries, then do not forget to remove it before measuring. 

After that comes the placement of the chainsaw bar. Try to keep it on a flat stable surface so that it can seat firmly. Your preferences might be a flat ground or a table or anywhere, but be sure of the condition that it needs to be put somewhere the surface is flat. Chainsaw blade must be sharf to cut properly.

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Measuring the Chainsaw Bar:

And, now comes the long-waited part, measuring the saw. Try to line up the top of the tape measure with the border of the bar. Gradually drag the tape measure up to one side of the bar till you find there’s no trace of the chain bar. And, this is called the cutting length of the chainsaw bar.

After that, it’s time to measure the chainsaw bar at its full length. Before doing that, you must have to separate the bar from the saw. Then you have to loosen the casing holding screw from the saw.

Now, when the entire bar is uncovered, then you can do a measurement of the overall length of this whole bar starting from one side to the other. And, this is called length of the chainsaw bar. The main variation between the full true length and the cutting length of the chainsaw bar is generally 2-3 inches. 

The whole process of tape measure the chainsaw bar is stated above. But there are still some important points that you have to deal with and that must be known to you. 

Accurate placement of the chainsaw bar:

Always stick with the reference of the manufacturer’s manual to know the true length of the chainsaw bar. There are many companies inscribe the bar size and the other necessary details about the product in the manual. But many of them do not. So, what you can do is to check the manual properly.

If you are fortunate enough, you can find the chain size along with the necessary details in that manual. Even, some companies offer databases regarding these manuals on online platforms. They do it to notify the customers about their products. 

What is the necessity to measure the length of the chainsaw bar?

One has to know this necessary stuff, like the true length of the chainsaw bar, for the reason that after you’re done with cleaning and oiling the chainsaw, you need to put back the parts that you’ve taken off from the chainsaw bar. And, you have to make sure about the parts that fit tightly back in place.

If the chainsaw bar has some wrong fittings, then the efficacy of the machine will decrease. Moreover, the saw will not operate if the bar and the saw chain do not fit properly. Also, to add a new bar, firstly you need to know which bar is fitting with your saw.

That’s why knowing the proper information about the chainsaw chain length of this and how to measure the chainsaw bar are very important for the users who do woodworking.  

Using the right portions of your chainsaw bar is always right for you. Because it can give an efficient finish to your work and the chances of an accident can be avoided by the proper measuring of your chainsaw bar.

So, it is high time you should start learning how to measure chainsaw bar for your preferred works.


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