How To Measure a Chainsaw Bar

Just like any products, measurement applies to chainsaws, too. Specifically, you might want to know how to measure a chainsaw bar. In this way, buying replacements would be easy for your part.

Not all chainsaws have the same sizes. Each of them has different measurements to cater a particular function. For example, you will need a bar that is within 14 inches to 16 inches if you want to cut a light firewood. If it is for bucking woods, you will need a saw that has a bar length of 18 inches or longer.

Despite the regular maintenance that you are doing, these bars are still subject to replacement. After all, nothing is built to last.

The measurement of your bar is already present in the manufacturer’s chart. However, if you don’t have this information on your hand, then it is the time that you should measure the bar of the chainsaw of yourself. This is an essential knowledge, considering that you need to get familiar with your tool.

If you want to learn how to measure chainsaw bar, then you are in the right part of the internet. Read along to find out!

How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar

Ideally, the length of the bar is similar to the length of the chain. If you know the length of your chain, then there is no need for you to undergo hassles. In fact, some manufacturers are producing replacement chains, whose measurements rely on the bars they create!

However, to measure the exact length of the bar, there are two variables that you should consider. They are the pitch and the drive link.


  1. You need a tape measure the calculate distance between the end of the bar and the area in where it appears on the casing of the chain. If the result is not an exact, round it up to the nearest even number. Even if the result is in decimal or uneven form, you should still round it to an even number. Specifically, this figure is the length of your bar. Typically, the measurements start from 12 inches up to 20 inches.Moreover, it not correct if you measure the chain from both of its ends. Instead, you should calculate the distance between from the casing to its cutting end.Do the measurement several times until you can be sure that you got the right number!
  2. When you got the measurement of the cutting distance, then you can already strip out the casing. Look for the screws that snuggle the casing into place. Take an appropriate screwdriver and unscrew them.Once you are done removing the casing, you can already measure the correct length of the bar. Usually, it should be two to three inches more than the cutting length that you have measured.
  3. To further improve the accuracy of measurement, place the chain on a flat surface and stretch it out. After, look for the lugs or the drive links. You can find them on the underside of the chain. Specifically, they are attached to the cog, which operates the chain. Next, you have to count the exact number of these drive links.
  4. At this point, you will need to establish the chain’s pitch. This pitch is crucial, considering the drive socket should have the same pitch as the chain. In some models of chainsaws, the pitch should be the same as with the nose sprocket of the bar.Start measuring the distance between any three rivets that holds the entire assembly of the chain. The measurement you get should be from the center of third and first rivets.Moreover, you can quickly identify the rivets. Usually, they are between the drive links and the cutters.
  5. You can determine the pitch by dividing the results you can get by half. Specifically, the pitch measurement and the total number of drive links is the chain length that you are looking.
  6. You should study the number of drive links and pitch. Supposedly, the total of this two is the measurement of the chain that needs replacement. Again, a tape measure is essential for this process.

We should remind you that a chain that doesn’t fit with the bar can pose dangers. If you do not know how to fit a chain into its bar, then ask the help of a professional. It is better to pay than to injure yourself!

If you are pretty confident about your skills, then look at the instructional manual of your chainsaw. There should be a fitting process that is included there.

Some manufacturers of chainsaws have even simplified this process. They included the length of the bar on the model number of their chainsaws. Therefore, you can determine the size of the bar just by looking the first two digits of the model number. Usually, you can see these figures on the rear end of the motor of the chainsaw.

Safety Precautions

Once again, we will remind you that a chainsaw is a dangerous tool. Even if you are just measuring the bar, there are still precautionary steps that you should follow.

In this case, you have to remove the spark plug to make sure that it won’t accidentally start. If you just used the chainsaw, let it cool down first. The engines would be too hot to approach if you measure it immediately after using the machine!

Moreover, there is nothing wrong if you wear gloves and necessary safety gears.


Learning how to measure chainsaw bar is essential. This would make any replacement process simple. Furthermore, you will only need to measure the bar length once. You can use the information you acquired now as a basis for future purchases and replacements. If you are still having difficulties, consult the help of the manufacturer or some professionals.

If you don’t want to be bothered by constant replacements, then you should know how to use a chainsaw properly. In this way, you can expand the lifespan of its parts naturally! By the way, if you’re still looking for a decent chain saw, we can highly recommend our chainsaw buying guide.