How to Measure Chain Saw Bar in 2023


When it comes to using a chainsaw, understanding and measuring the chain saw bar length accurately is crucial for optimal performance and safety. Whether you’re a professional logger or a homeowner with occasional cutting needs, knowing how to measure your chain saw bar length is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of measuring your chain saw bar, provide valuable tips for accurate measurements, and recommend some top-rated chain saw bar products available on Amazon.

Why Measure Chain Saw Bar Length

Screenshot at May 29 10 51 30 How to Measure Chain Saw Bar in 2023Measuring the chain saw bar length serves several important purposes:

  1. Ensuring Compatibility with the Chainsaw: Measuring the chain saw bar length allows you to ensure that it is compatible with your chainsaw model. Different chainsaws are designed to accommodate specific bar lengths. Using an incompatible bar can result in poor performance, excessive vibration, and even damage to the chainsaw. By measuring the bar length, you can verify compatibility and select the appropriate bar for your chainsaw.
  2. Determining Appropriate Chain Size: Measuring the chain saw bar length also helps you choose the correct chain size for your cutting needs. Chainsaw chains come in different lengths, and selecting the right size is crucial for efficient cutting and safety. A chain that is too short may not fit properly, while a chain that is too long can pose a safety risk. By measuring the bar length, you can ensure a proper chain fit and optimal cutting performance.
  3. Preventing Damage to the Chainsaw and Bar: Using an incorrect bar length can cause damage to both the chainsaw and the bar itself. When the chain is too short, it may not properly fit around the bar, leading to excessive strain, overheating, and potential breakage. Conversely, a chain that is too long may not properly engage with the bar, causing it to slip or come off during operation. Measuring the bar length accurately helps prevent such issues, protecting your chainsaw and ensuring its longevity.

Tools Required for Measuring Chain Saw Bar

Screenshot at May 29 10 53 13 How to Measure Chain Saw Bar in 2023To measure your chain saw bar length accurately, you will need the following tools:

  1. Tape Measure: A tape measure is a versatile tool that allows you to measure the length of the chain saw bar precisely. Opt for a tape measure that displays both imperial (inches) and metric (centimeters) units for convenience. One highly recommended tape measure is the Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure.
  2. Calipers: Calipers are useful for measuring smaller components of the chain saw bar, such as the thickness. They provide more precise measurements, especially for intricate bar designs. Digital calipers offer ease of use and accurate readings. A popular choice is the VINCA Digital Caliper.
  3. Chainsaw Bar Measuring Tool: Many chainsaw manufacturers offer specialized measuring tools designed specifically for their bar systems. These tools simplify the measurement process and ensure greater accuracy. Check with your chainsaw manufacturer or consider the Oregon 556418 Chainsaw Bar Measurement Tool.

Step-by-Step Guide on Measuring Chain Saw Bar

Follow these step-by-step instructions to measure your chain saw bar length accurately:

  1. Safety Precautions
    • Put on safety gloves and protective eyewear to ensure your safety during the measurement process.
    • Make sure the chainsaw is turned off, and the spark plug is disconnected to prevent accidental starts.
  2. Screenshot at May 29 10 54 12 How to Measure Chain Saw Bar in 2023Measuring the Bar Length
    • Place your chainsaw on a flat surface, such as a workbench or table.
    • Extend the tape measure along the entire length of the chainsaw bar, from the point where it enters the chainsaw body to the tip of the bar.
    • Ensure that the tape measure is straight and aligned with the edge of the bar for accurate measurement.
    • Read the measurement in inches or centimeters, and record it. One reliable tape measure is the Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure.
  3. Measuring the Bar Thickness
    • If you have calipers, you can measure the thickness of the chain saw bar for additional accuracy.
    • Gently open the calipers and place the measuring jaws on opposite sides of the bar. Make sure they are in contact with the flat surface of the bar.
    • Take the reading displayed on the calipers and record it. This measurement helps ensure compatibility when selecting the appropriate chainsaw chain. Consider using the VINCA Digital Caliper for precise measurements.
  4. Understanding the Measurements
    • The measurement you obtained represents the effective cutting length of your chain saw bar.
    • Take note of the exact measurement, including both the length and thickness, for future reference.
    • This information will be helpful when purchasing a replacement chain or determining the maximum cutting capacity of your chainsaw.

Tips for Accurate Measurement

To ensure the most accurate measurement of your chain saw bar, consider the following tips:

  1. Using a Flat Surface
    • Place your chainsaw on a flat, stable surface like a workbench or table before measuring the bar length. This helps ensure the bar is straight and allows for accurate measurement.
    • Avoid measuring the bar while it is attached to the chainsaw, as it may not provide an accurate measurement due to the chainsaw’s design and possible wear.
  2. Checking for Bar Wear
    • Before measuring, inspect the chain saw bar for any signs of wear or damage, such as bent edges or worn-out rails.
    • If you notice significant wear, it may affect the measurement accuracy. In such cases, consider replacing the bar to maintain optimal cutting performance.
    • One recommended chain saw bar that is known for its durability is the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar.
  3. Taking Multiple Measurements
    • Screenshot at May 29 10 55 22 How to Measure Chain Saw Bar in 2023To ensure accuracy and consistency, it’s a good practice to take multiple measurements from different points along the bar.
    • By doing so, you can identify any irregularities or variations in the bar length, ensuring a more precise measurement.
    • This can be particularly helpful if you suspect any uneven wear or if the bar has been subjected to previous damage.
  4. Referencing the Manufacturer’s Specifications
    • Consult the manufacturer’s specifications or user manual for recommended bar lengths and chain sizes for your chainsaw model.
    • This information can help you verify the accuracy of your measurement and ensure compatibility with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
    • If you need a replacement bar for your chainsaw, it’s recommended to choose one that is specifically designed for your chainsaw model to ensure optimal performance. One top-rated option is the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar.

Understanding Chain Saw Bar Length

Understanding the significance of chain saw bar length will help you make informed decisions when selecting a chainsaw or replacement bar. Here are some key points to consider:

  • The chain saw bar length directly correlates with the cutting capacity and power of the chainsaw.
  • Longer bars are typically found on more powerful chainsaws and are suitable for heavy-duty applications, such as felling large trees or cutting substantial logs.
  • Shorter bars are commonly used for lighter tasks like pruning, trimming, and cutting small to medium-sized logs.
  • It’s important to match the bar length with the intended cutting tasks to achieve optimal performance and efficiency.
  • If you’re looking for a longer bar for your chainsaw, the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar is a reliable option.

Common Chain Saw Bar Lengths

While chain saw bar lengths can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, certain lengths are commonly available. Here are some popular chain saw bar lengths and their typical applications:

  • 10 to 14 inches: These shorter bar lengths are suitable for light pruning, limb cutting, and small-scale yard maintenance tasks. They offer increased maneuverability and are commonly found on compact chainsaw models.
  • 16 to 20 inches: Medium-sized bar lengths, such as 16, 18, and 20 inches, strike a balance between cutting capacity and maneuverability. They are versatile and suitable for a range of cutting tasks, including firewood cutting, tree felling, and general-purpose cutting.
  • 22 inches and above: Longer bar lengths, such as 22, 24, and 28 inches, are typically found on professional-grade chainsaws. They provide increased cutting capacity and are suitable for heavy-duty applications, including large tree felling and milling large logs.

When selecting the bar length, consider the type of cutting tasks you regularly undertake and the power of your chainsaw. It’s important to choose a bar length that matches your specific needs to ensure optimal cutting performance. Additionally, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or user manual for the recommended bar lengths for your chainsaw model.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues

Sometimes, you may encounter issues related to chain saw bar length. Here are a few troubleshooting tips and common issues to be aware of:

  1. Bar Length Compatibility Problems
    • If you’re replacing your chain saw bar, ensure it’s compatible with your chainsaw model and brand.
    • Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice to avoid compatibility issues.
    • When in doubt, consider choosing a replacement bar recommended by the manufacturer for your specific chainsaw model to ensure a proper fit. One highly-rated replacement bar is the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar.
  2. Bar Wear and Replacement Considerations
    • Over time, chainsaw bars may experience wear or damage, affecting their performance and accuracy.
    • Regularly inspect your bar for signs of wear, such as worn-out rails or a bent tip.
    • If significant wear is present, consider replacing the bar to maintain optimal cutting performance.
    • For chainsaw bars known for their durability and longevity, the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar is a reliable choice.
  3. Dealing with Incorrect Measurements
    • If you find that your chain saw bar length doesn’t match any standard sizes, double-check your measurement for accuracy.
    • If you’re confident in your measurement and can’t find a suitable replacement bar, consult a chainsaw specialist who can guide you in finding a solution.

Maintaining Your Chain Saw Bar

Proper maintenance is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of your chain saw bar and ensuring optimal cutting performance. Consider the following maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning and Lubrication
    • After each use, clean your chain saw bar using a brush to remove debris, sawdust, and resin buildup.
    • Lubricate the bar and chain using bar oil to reduce friction and prevent premature wear.
    • For reliable bar oil options, you can consider the Oregon Bar and Chain Oil.
  2. Proper Storage Techniques
  3. Replacing the Bar When Necessary
    • When your chain saw bar shows signs of significant wear or damage that cannot be remedied, it’s essential to replace it promptly.
    • Using a worn-out bar can compromise safety and cutting performance.
    • Consider a reliable replacement bar, such as the Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar, known for its durability and compatibility.


Accurately measuring your chain saw bar length is essential for ensuring compatibility, choosing the right chain size, and optimizing cutting performance. By following the step-by-step guide and considering the tips provided, you can confidently measure your chain saw bar and make informed decisions regarding chainsaw use and maintenance.

Remember, a well-maintained chain saw bar, paired with the appropriate chain and chainsaw, will not only enhance cutting efficiency but also contribute to your safety during operation.


1. How often should I measure my chain saw bar?

  • It’s a good practice to measure your chain saw bar length whenever you’re considering a replacement or upgrading your chainsaw. Additionally, if you notice any performance issues or damage to the bar, it’s advisable to measure it to ensure accurate replacement.

2. Can I use any measuring tool to measure the bar length?

  • While a tape measure is commonly used for measuring chain saw bar length, it’s recommended to use a chainsaw manufacturer’s specialized measuring tool for greater accuracy and compatibility.

3. What should I do if my chain saw bar length doesn’t match any standard sizes?

  • If your measured bar length doesn’t correspond to any standard sizes available in the market, consult a chainsaw specialist or contact the manufacturer for guidance on suitable replacement options.

4. How can I prevent damage to my chainsaw bar?

  • To prevent damage to your chainsaw bar, avoid contact with hard surfaces such as rocks or nails during cutting. Regularly clean and lubricate the bar, and ensure the chain tension is correctly adjusted to minimize stress on the bar.

5. Is it possible to extend the length of a chain saw bar?

  • No, it is not possible to extend the length of a chain saw bar. The bar length is determined by the chainsaw’s design and cannot be altered. It’s important to choose the appropriate bar length for your cutting needs from the available options in the market.
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