How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar and Chain [2 Quick & Easy Hacks]

Last updated on May 28th, 2023 at 08:39 pm

Are you willing to change your Chainsaw bar and chain? But don’t know how to do it because you are unaware of measurements. So, this article is going to teach you easy hacks on how to measure chainsaw bar and chain length.

How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar Length
How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar Length

Before moving further, you must have basic knowledge of your product. A chainsaw is a versatile, mechanical saw that cuts with many teeth connected to a revolving chain that runs along a measurement bar and chain. Therefore, you have to identify your product usage first.

Usage :

  • Tree felling
  • Limbing
  • Kicking
  • Brushing and slashing
  • Cutting firebreaks in wildland fire concealment

Moreover, If your product does not fall in the above categories, you can also visit What Size Chainsaw Do I Need? for detailed information w.r.t the size of the chainsaw. Before measuring the chainsaw, ensure you have fundamental working information on your cutting tool and its tasks.

A small chainsaw has less capacity to work on a hard surface than one with a heavy engine. If you want more information about cutting a tree for better performance then we recommend you to visit How to Cut Down a Tree Safely.

Despite oiling and maintenance, sometimes it becomes necessary to change the Chainsaw chain/blade to make it work more efficiently.

How to Measure Chainsaw Bar and chain Length [Quick & Easy Steps]:

How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar (Blade) and Chain Length
Measuring a Bar (blade) Length

Consequently, Every Chainsaw has its bar length. Longer the bar higher the power consumes. Electric Chainsaw has no longer capable of 18 inches bar. Whereas gas ones can have 72 inches long bar.

You need to consider two lengths at the time of purchasing the Chainsaw blade:

  • True length
  • Effective length

Everything is briefly discussed below:

  1. True length

    This is the actual length of the bar from one point to another before it is inserted into Chainsaw.

True Length
True length

Measurement: With the bar eliminated, place it on a level surface and utilize a measuring tape to get the estimation.

  • Effective length

    Also known as called length. It is the distance between the start of the blade to the point it is attached to the Chainsaw.

  • Effective length
    Effective length

    Measurement: Place the bar inside the Chainsaw and use a measuring tape to get the measurements.

    Tip: Round to the nearest inch. If length is 17.75 inches consider it 18 inches.


    Measuring a Chainsaw Chain Length:

    It might be a bit trickier as it has four parts.

    Measuring a Chain Length
    Measuring a Chainsaw Chain Length
    • Tooth count/drive links
    • Pitch
    • Gauge
    • Cutting length
    1. Tooth count/drive links:

      Pieces on the chain join together and make it in the form of shark teeth.

    2. Pitch:

      Pitch is determined by measuring the distance between 3 rivets from center to center and then dividing it by 2. Commonly pitch sizes are 1/4″, .325″, 3/8″, and .404″.

    3. Gauge:

      Width of the groove that fits on the chain. Mostly gauges measurement .043″, .050″, .058″, and .063″. You can use a measuring tape to find these measurements.

    4. Cutting length:

      Also known as the guide bar, this is the actual length you will use during your work.

    Measuring a Chain Length
    Measuring a Chain Length

    The following are some of the easy steps that will help you take proper chainsaw chain length measurements.

    1. Initially, stretch your chain over a level surface and start to sum the number of tooth counts around the chain. Record this number when you have included the connections since you will require it later in your conclusive outcomes.
    2. Measure your pitch.
    3. Last, determine the chainsaw gauge. It can be done through the Vernier caliper and Coin method.
    How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar (Blade) and Chain Length
    How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar (Blade) and Chain Length

    Coin method:

    The coin technique is an estimating strategy to give you a guess on your cutting apparatus and check the width. It is finished by setting a quarter, dime, or penny in the middle of the guide bar grooves until one of those choices fits easily.

    For the best result to measure chainsaw chain length try to have its length 2 inches longer than the object you are about to cut.

    Measurement secret:
    Now, when you know that how to measure chainsaw bar and chain and the whole measuring process. Let me tell you the measuring secret: take off the blades from the chain saw you will see a set of smaller numbers printed on its end. This is the complete information that you need to get a matching chainsaw chain.

    Don’t Do while Measuring Chainsaw Bar and Chain (Bonus Tip) :

    Never guess at measurements on the base of your experience. This not only makes you buy the wrong blade as well as it will damage your tool. Therefore, it is recommended to have measurements very carefully and accurately.


    Following these simple steps, you can easily measure a chainsaw bar and chain Length. Knowing its pitch, gauge, and tooth count, you can get the measurements through measuring tape.

    We hope you get all that through the article you were searching for. If you have any questions or queries about this article, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Your feedback is always appreciated.

    If you want to learn more about a chainsaw, consider our other how-to articles like How to Use a Chainsaw Proficiently and How to Start a Chainsaw? Happy Woodcutting!

    Related Chainsaw Buying Guides:


    Q: What size chain is on my chainsaw?

    Ans: To get the correct size, simply count 3 rivets on the chain and measure the distance between them from the centre points. Now divide this by half to get your size. As an example, three rivets that measure ½ an inch across divided by two gives you a pitch of a ¼ inch.

    Q: What do the numbers on a chainsaw bar mean?

    Ans: You can look at the numbers on the side of the chain to determine pitch, gauge, and other characteristics of the chain. Example: Your chain has the number 33RM2 stamped in the side of it. The first number represents the pitch: 1 = 1/4″ 2 = 0.325″.

    Q: Can I put a different size bar on my chainsaw?

    Ans: Most chainsaws can operate up to three different bar sizes. Guide bars are measured in length, from the tip of the bar to the heel, and range in size from 14 to over 40 inches. Check the specifications in your model’s operator’s manual to see what size bars you can run on your saw.

    Q: Is a bigger chainsaw bar better?

    Ans: The best chainsaw bar length is generally 2 inches longer than the average thickness of wood you’re cutting. This is because it is better to have a smaller chainsaw bar that you occasionally also use for larger jobs, than it is to go the largest size chainsaw bar and try to use it on the smaller jobs.

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