How to measure Chainsaw Bar (Accurate Method)

Did you buy a chainsaw bar but you do not know how to use it? Well, I am here to take you through all the essential information about a chainsaw bar and guide you on how to use it. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

What is a chainsaw bar?

A chainsaw is portable gasoline, electric, or even battery-powered saw that cuts the desired object with the help of its set of teeth attached to a rotating chain that is driven along a bar which is known as a “chainsaw bar.” A chainsaw has five main parts: cutter, guide, rivet, tie strap, and drivel ink.

A chainsaw bar helps to deliver maximum efficiency and reliability when added to any chainsaw as it helps guide the movement of the chain while cutting an object. It is also known as a chainsaw blade. It’s essential to use a chainsaw bar while using a chainsaw because without the bar, the clutch and drive could go off in the air.

Therefore, it is very dangerous to use a chainsaw without a chainsaw bar. Better safe than sorry, right? Make sure to read the user manual given with the chainsaw to have a better experience. You will find all the precautions, cutting techniques, maintenance charts, and definitions there.

Specifications of Chainsaw Bar

Pitch/Gauge Numbers

Often there are some numbers written on a chainsaw bar. Those numbers are the ID numbers that are used by the manufacturer to indicate the pitch and gauge measurements of the chain. Usually, the three numbers that you will find on the packaging are pitch, gauge, and several drive links. The pitch is a measurement that explains how close together links are on the chain, whereas the gauge is the thickness of the drive links.

Drive Sprockets

Chainsaws commonly use two types of drive sprockets, i.e., spur or star sprockets and rim sprockets, to engage and spin the chain. There are two types of guide bars, i.e., problematic and dramatic on a chainsaw, to provide precise guidance and to help the chainsaw to cause minimal friction.

Interchangeable Bars

Chainsaw bars are sometimes interchangeable, but mostly they are not. You mostly have to use the same company’s chainsaw and chainsaw bar; therefore, make sure to get the replacement bar from the same company as the manufacturing company of your chainsaw. There are some numbers written behind the bolted cover on the chainsaw body that will help you to find a matching chain according to your chainsaw. You can put a smaller bar on your chainsaw, as a smaller bar will make it easy for you to use the chainsaw. A shorter bar will keep your chain out of the dirt. You can identify your chain number with the help of the manufacturer’s code stamped on the drive tooth.

Chain Size

Now there is a formula to measuring your chain size, which says to measure the distance between three consecutive rivets and then divide the result by 2. There you have your chain size! Easy, right? Commonly used chain sizes are; 1/4, 3/8 and 0.325

Difference between 0.325 and 3/8 Chainsaw

Another commonly asked question is the difference between 0.325 and 3/8 chains. The 0.325 chain is faster in speed and smaller in size. Whereas the 3/8 chain is much more durable, and it also lasts longer. 3/8 chain is very popular among the users of the chainsaw. The ideal size of your chainsaw should be almost 2 inches longer than the width of the object that you need to cut.

Chainsaw chain types

There are various types of chainsaw chains. Some of the popular chains are skip chains, full chisel chaw chains, semi-skip chains, chipper chains, full complement chains, etc. Your chainsaw chain should be tight enough to feel snug, but it also should move freely when pulled. A tip that will make your chainsaws last longer is to clean the bar groove. A bar groove is also known as a bar track.

Things to look for when changing the chainsaw bar/chains

Chainsaws are generally very long-lasting and durable, but the chains and bars in them may be worn out. Therefore, you will have to buy a replacement. The most important thing while buying a replacement is to measure the length of the chainsaw bar or chainsaw chain. If you want to measure the length of your chainsaw bar, use a tape measure and make sure to measure it from the front tip back to the cutter nearest to the body of the saw. The next step is to round off the measurement to the nearest even number in inches.

For example, if a bar is 19.22 inches, its length actually will be 20 inches. It is suggested to measure the size of a chainsaw bar in inches. Do not opt for extraordinary long bars thinking that they would make your cutting easy. Long bars are very hard to manage, and you may never get to use the extra part. They are also considered extremely dangerous if gone into inexperienced hands.

Choosing the right length of the bar is very important if you want to have the best experience with your chainsaw. It will also minimize the risk of having an accident. Another measurement that you need is the chainsaw chain. In order to measure it, you will have to know its pitch and gauge measurements. I have already mentioned the formula of the pitch above. Common chain pitches are 0.324 or 3/8 inches. You can also check the manual that comes with the chainsaw for the measurements, but if you have lost it, you can easily measure its length with the help of a tape measure and the above-given method because there is nothing you cannot do!


If you have reached till here, I am sure that you have mastered the art of measuring your chainsaw bar. Please choose wisely and make sure to read every detail written in this article. Make sure to read your chainsaw manual in order to know your machine better. I hope this helped. Good luck!!

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