a stihl chainsaw

Chainsaws need to be durable and they should also be built tough so that they can take on different cutting tasks. Unfortunately, if they are used continually or if they lack the proper maintenance checks and services, these machines will slowly wear down and need replacement parts and accessories.

The most common parts of the chainsaw that will need replacements are the bar and the chain. This is because these two parts are what comes into contact with the wood when the chainsaw is used. It can be very easy for the chain to go dull or for the bar to get damaged especially when used on hard wood.

To replace these parts, you will have to know exactly how to measure the chainsaw size. While you might think that it is the size of the motor or the overall size of the chainsaw, this is not actually what you need to look for. In most cases, measuring the chainsaw refers to the length of the bar or the chain.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. A Flat Surface

wood planks

You need to get a workbench so that you can lay the chainsaw flat and so that you can easily measure or dismantle it. Make sure that the surface is dry and is covered so you can avoid making a mess. You can also put the chainsaw on the ground for as long as there are no kids or pets nearby.

2. Work Gloves

work gloves

You will need this to make sure that your hands will not get cut by the chain or by any sharp surfaces. It can also help protect your skin from chemicals in the engine. You can opt to use dry rubber or leather gloves if you do not have any work gloves around.

3. A Measuring Tape

a measure tape

This will be used to measure the length of the chainsaw. If you do not have one, you can use a tape measure or a ruler. You can also opt to use a meter stick or a steel rule. Just make sure that the measuring tool you use can display the length in inches accurately.

4. Common Tools


Depending on the chainsaw model, you might need to use common tools like the screw driver or wrenches in order to remove screws or bolts so that you can remove the guide bar and the chain properly.

How To Measure Chainsaw Size In 3 Methodical Steps

Step 1: Safety First

using protective chainsaw gloves

The first thing that you need to do is to wear work gloves and make sure that you are able to put the chainsaw in a flat, secure surface. You need to keep kids and pets away so you can avoid unnecessary injuries. You should also remove the sparkplug so you can avoid accidentally starting the chainsaw.

Step 2: Measuring The Bar

chainsaw sharpened

Using the measuring tape start from where the guide bar emerges from the chainsaw’s casing. Measure the length all the way to the tip of the chainsaw. You do not have to follow the curve of the tip, but just be sure to measure through the center line so you can measure the farthest point of the bar.

You can also do this in reverse by starting at the tip and measuring all the way to where the bar emerges from the casing. You can also do both measurements so you can get an accurate reading. Always round up the length to the nearest inch. It should be in increments of two inches since this is the standard.

Step 3: Measuring The Chain

chainsaw chain

Use the tools necessary so you can lay the chain flat on the work bench. Stretch it and try to locate the chain’s drive links or lugs that are typically seen as protrusions on the underside of the chain. These drive links are what powers the chain as they grab the cog. Count the number of links on the chain.

Measure the distance between three rivets on the chain. This is also called measuring the pitch. You can do this by using the measuring tape and measuring the center of the first rivet all the way to the center of the third consecutive rivet. To get the pitch, you should divide this length by two.


By measuring the length of the bar and the chain, you are actually measuring the chainsaw’s size. Just be sure to list down the length of the guide bar, as well as the pitch and the number of driver links so that you can get the correct replacement parts. Put safety first and be sure to recheck the measurements.

Have you tried measuring the size of the chainsaw before? Tell us more about how you were able to use these measurements to buy the correct replacement parts in the comments section.