What Size Of Chainsaw Do I Need? Buying The Right One

wearing protective gloves holding chainsaw

Chainsaws are often an underrated tool that many people would not consider buying unless the need arises. However, they are very important especially if you have a lot of trees in your own property. These tools can be used to help trim them, cut them and even process them into rough wood.

Depending on how you are going to use the chainsaw, you will need to buy one that will fit your needs perfectly. You need to understand that while you might want to go for something that can take on tough projects, many of these heavy duty chainsaws weigh a lot and they are difficult to maneuver or wield.

This is why buyers should know exactly what chainsaw size you should buy so that you will not have to deal with the lack of power or with too much weight. You should also keep in mind that the wrong one won’t be able to help you finish the job properly. Below is what you need to consider when choosing the right one.

What Size Of Chainsaw Do I Need? Buying The Right One

The Guide Bar Length

sharpening chainsaw

The guide bar length is one of the things that you need to know when choosing the chainsaw. The guide bar is basically the length from the tip of the chainsaw down to where the saw goes into the housing. When talking about the saw’s size, this is typically what you should be referring to.

The guide bar length is actually the length that the chainsaw can cut in a single pass. The longer the length, the bigger the wood it can cut easily. In most instances, longer chainsaws will also need to have a bigger motor. Longer saws are also typically made for heavy duty.

a chainsaw and oil

Ideally, the guide bar length should be longer than the diameter of the tree or the length of the wood. Most experts recommend that it should be at least 2 inches longer so that you will be able to cut in one pass easily and safely. Shorter guide bar lengths however, can cut bigger wood but with multiple passes.

If you are not able to get the correct guide bar length, you might end up spending a lot of time trying to finish your cutting or trimming task. It is also possible for you to get a kickback if you are using the wrong guide bar length. This is when the chainsaw will jolt when it gets pinched while cutting wood.

What Size Of Chainsaw Do I Need?

man with chainsaw

The size of the chainsaw depends on the guide bar length. And you should always make sure that you have the correct chainsaw size depending on what projects you will need to accomplish. Of course, you need to have a smaller chainsaw for garden pruning tasks and a larger one if you a professional logger.

In general, pruning chainsaws are basically the smallest in size. They typically have a guide bar length of around 12 inches or lower. If you want a chainsaw that you can use for felling small trees, cutting wood or for cutting tree limbs, you will need one that has a guide bar that is at least 12-14 inches in length.

a chainsaw

For those who are in need of a chainsaw for trimming trees, you will need a chainsaw that is less than 16 inches. For light firewood cutting, you can buy a chainsaw that has a guide bar length of 14 -16 inches. Typically, it will be more than capable of making round logs or cutting them into firewood.

When it comes to bucking, you might want to use a much larger chainsaw with as much as 18 inches in guide bar length. This will allow you to cut logs for lumber or for plywood. For felling medium-sized trees or cutting medium-sized for firewood, you will need to use a chainsaw that is 16 – 18 inches long.


using chainsaw gloves

Buying a chainsaw is a very important and expensive investment for many people. This is why it is also very important for people to make sure that they are able to buy the correct chainsaw with the correct guide bar size. This will allow them to finish the task at hand efficiently and as safely as possible.

In most cases, a chainsaw that is 12 inches in length or lower is only good for pruning. If you need a chainsaw for cutting small pieces of wood or for cutting tree limbs, you should purchase a chainsaw that is 12 – 14 inches long. A 16 – inch long chainsaw on the other hand is ideal for trimming your trees.

If you want something that can do tough jobs for you, you will need to have a chainsaw that is at least 16 inches in length. These types of chainsaws are ideal for bucking, felling medium-sized trees as well as for cutting medium-sized logs for firewood. You can also opt to buy ones that are longer than 18 inches.

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