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How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar?

how to measure a chainsaw bar

If you need to change or replace the chain bar into your chain, the first thing you need to know is how to measure a chainsaw bar.

Measurement of the chainsaw bar is the mandatory cause; without knowing the perfect length and width of the chain bar, you cannot find whether your chain and bar are similar to each other so that you can set both of them accordingly altogether. 

In every chainsaw, you will find three sets of the number stamped very boldly on to the chain bar, which may become very hard to read after years of use (abuse!) 

If all the embossed information stamped on the bar already deleted. So, if then you want to measure the chain bar, how will you do it?

Let’s know in detail – How to measure a chainsaw bar?

Know about the Guide Bar?

Before knowing how to measure a chainsaw bar, you need to know what the chain bar is! It is a metal part that wraps the chain.

This oval-shaped part directly comes from the motor of the chainsaw. It is placed by covering the chain; this chain bar helps the chain to spin around and to cut the wood. 

The chain bar is a vital metal portion of the chainsaw, which makes it capable of the proper placement of the chain.

Hence this part makes the whole chainsaw a successful wood cutting tool. Without this part, your cutting device is useless. 

Therefore, any premature wear and tear of this part or after extended use of it, you may need to replace it. There are various modes of chainsaw available in the market, having a different measurement.

That’s why which chains bar you going to replace and on which chain you are going to replace that bar, both the analysis accurately needs before you are going to replace the bar.

When to measure the Bar

If you notice your chain is bent or broken, you can replace it by any professional hand or by yourself.

We suggested not to replace your chain Bar if it is a vent or loosen; instead of replacing it, you can quickly repair it. Chain replacement is an expensive matter and needs extreme labor from the replacer. 

So, if it has any way to restore the chain, do it. However, whenever you have taken your decision to change or replace the chain bar of any existing chain, you need to measure the chain bar and the so that you can accomplish the replacement.

 So, when is the exact time to change the bar? Look below the reason-

» A lengthy operation by the chain bar.

» An unnecessary movement of the chain.

» Chain shape Change. 

» Unable to cut any straight shape woodcut.

Tools you need to measure the bar

» A measuring Tape (Steel made).

» A socket or a wrench.

» The chain.

» The chain bars.

How to measure the chain bar?

The chainsaw bar is the parts of the chainsaw which connects with the chain motor and wrap the chain. So, the size of the bar, therefore, is so vital so that it can perfectly wrap the chain.

There are two types of chain bar measurements, which you need to, measure correctly. One is the cutting edge of the chain bar length or the sufficient range, which comes in the contract of the cutting process, and another one is the total length of the chain bar or the actual distance.

1. Start by turning off the chainsaw. Displace the carburetor box by removing the volt that attaches the whole system in place. 

Once you can displace the carburetor, it will make you able to reach for the spark plug. Unplug the spark plug and start the measuring process of the chain bar. 

2. Start measuring the ending of the chain where the bar emerges. Place the tip of your tape in that place.

Before stepping it with a tap, keep your chainsaw on a flat surface, which will help you to expand the measuring tape and accurately measure the bar length.

3. Pull the tape up to the farthest tooth of the chainsaw nose. Take the note of the length and round it at the nearest inch. This measurement will be 12 or 20 inches in maximum case. 

So, if you are a little bit confused about this measurement, kindly repeat it twice or thrice. It is the cutting-edge measurement of the chain bar.

4. Use a wrench or socket to displace the plastic/metal casing correctly. So, after the cover is removed, the inside portion under the casing is open in front of you.

You can measure the total or actual length of your chain bar using a measuring tape.

5. Once you have measured all the cutting length and the actual length of the chain bar, reattach all the parts (casing, spark plug) precisely in their back position.

How to measure the chain?

Measuring of chainsaw’s chain is deeply interlinked with the Chain bar measurement.  Measuring the pitch of the chain, measuring the gauge and the number of drive links, etc. are three main steps to measure the chain length.

Let’s know in details-

1. Measuring the pitch

Use a scale or caliper to measure the chain’s pitch. Pitch is the distance between the drive links. To obtain a correct pitch of your chain pitch, take the distance measure between three rivets. 

After making the dimension of these three rivets, divided the result by two, you will find the pitch measurement (0.325 inches and 0.404 inches, etc. are two common measurements of the pitch).

The simple formula to measure the pitch is-

Chain Pitch = [distance between 3 consecutive rivets] / 2

2. Measuring the gauge

Gauge is the width of the lugs of the chain. Using a dial caliper will help you to measure it. However, 0.043, 0.050, 0.058, and 0.063, etc. is some standard measurements of the chain gauge.

3. Counting the number of drive links

Any specialized tool is doing necessary to count the number of the drive link.  This part juts out under the chain. This link also termed as lugs; it grabs the drive cog and gives power to the chain.

However, place the chain on a smooth and flat surface so that each drive links can face each other. If you miss any of the drive links to count, you will get the exact measurements, so carefully count all the drive links.

Safety precaution regarding chain bar replacement

» At first, be sure you have switched off your chainsaw.

» Be sure you are doing the replacement in a place where any outer people, children are not moving around you.

» If you do not adequately maintain or take care of your power tools, it may become like a burden for any of your future use.

» Never handle the power tools if you don’t have any proper knowledge about replacing the chain bar with the power tools.

» Wear safety equipment like- eye protector, hard hand gloves, quality chainsaw chaps before starting the measurement process.

» If you are still confused about the measurement process of the chain bar, contact the manufacturer or any professional technician immediately

Let’s know about the critical chain parts and terminology

There are some crucial terminology which you needs to know what they are-

Cutting length

The total length of the whole bar is not using to cut the wood. It is the portion of the bar, which is used to cut the wood. 

The cutting length is usually shorter than the actual length of the chain bar. It is almost the same as the chainsaw length.

It is a simple measurement of the bar, use a metal tape, start from the outer most edge of the bar and stop at the portion where the bar emerged with the casing.

Actual length

It is the total length of the chain bar. It comes from the motor parts of the chain saw and sticks around the chain accurately. It is the length of the bar from one corner to another.

To measure the actual or exact length of the bar, you need to eradicate the casing displacing the holding volt, using a wrench or socket. 

After then, when the total bar exposes in front of you, you can measure it using the metal tape.


It is the distance between the drive links. Most chainsaw features to contain the pitch number embossed on the chain or printed on the user manual. 

But you don’t worry if your chain has missed the number, you can simply measure it by using a tape or caliper.

It is important to measure the pitch number to measure the chain length.


How thick of your drive links are, defined by the gauge number. A chain with a too thick gauge will not fit it accurately within the bar.

 Again; a chain with a thinner gauge will slip the bar from the chain repeatedly.

Drive links

Drive links are the bottom portion of the chain. It is a massive metal portion of any chain that works to hold the string within the bar.

Final Verdict

Knowing how to measure a chainsaw bar is a piece of essential knowledge if you have to replace the chain and chain bar of your chainsaw frequently. 

Once you gather the knowledge about the whole procedure, it will make you capable of replacing the chain bar efficiently by yourself.

So why are you being confused anymore!

Just chill…………….!!!

Thank you.

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