What Size Chainsaw Do I need? Your Question Answered

Advanced and handy tools like chainsaws are becoming popular among professionals as well as in the public. They are far proficient and quicker than other apparatus due to their resourcefulness and durability.

They will enable you to prune branches, fell trees, clean a severe storm, or even cut firewood. When you are interested in investing in a chainsaw for your household use or construction purposes, you must be confused about making the right verdict.

Shopping for the best chainsaw is a little overwhelming task, but if you are familiar with all the technical details, it will help you make the best decision. Whether you are interested in harvesting firewood or tree felling, the chainsaw is worth considering.

After detailed discussion and hours of research, we have enlisted all the details you need to consider before buying an ideal chainsaw for your upcoming project. 

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What Size Chainsaw do I need?

The most perplexing thing when buying a chainsaw is its size. Finding a top chainsaw is challenging when you have a log of top-notched models available in the market.

Now what you have to do? What is the best way to make the right decision? Well, we have made it easier for you with our detailed guide on buying a chainsaw with an ideal size that will make your experience advantageous.

Measuring a Chainsaw

We measure the chainsaw with the length of its guide bar. The blade determines what size of the equipment you will necessitate to make your experience valuable. Bar length is the metal bar around which the chain of the saw rotates.

The measurement is written on the blade’s side or back or usually on the product manual for better understanding. You can use a tape measure for carefully measuring from the top of the chain to the bar’s endpoint where the guide bar is entering the engine.

If you find the measurement as an odd length, you have to round it off towards the nearest even number. That is the easiest way to measure a chainsaw’s size to help you find the best. 

Size and Weight

There is a variety of sizes available when buying a chainsaw. The most crucial thing is to keep in mind is your purpose of purchasing a chainsaw, whether you need a long length saw or a short length. We do not recommended buying the longest saw that is extremely costly for a simple task.

Bar length is usually proportional to the power of your engine. The more will be the length, the more power you will have to provide. Keep a balance between the size of the saw and your needs to get a reliable cutting or pruning experience.

What is the ideal chainsaw size for a particular job?

Every woodcutting work requires a specific blade length for efficient working. You must be sentient which size of chainsaw is the best for every type of job. There are various sizes available in the market, and you need to find the best one for your budget.

Here we will help you in finding the right chainsaw size for your particular job. In the end, you will be able to purchase the best chainsaw for your job.

The chainsaw should be almost 2 inches longer than the branch or thickness of the tree you want to cut. Below we have mentioned recommended sizes for each type of job.

Pruning Limbs

If your main priority when buying a chainsaw is pruning limbs, don’t go for a very long chainsaw. Pruning small trees or branches usually generally require a chainsaw with 6 to 10 bar length. This size is enough to get this job done if the branches are relatively thin.

But if tree branches or limbs are a little thick, you must opt for a small handsaw to get your work done effortlessly. Pruning limbs with this bar length is the most recommended size to buy and will make your work reliable.

Removing Branches

When you have to remove 6 to 10 inches thick branches, gbo for a chain saw with a bar length of almost 8 to 12 inches long to get quick and efficient working experience.

Small Trees

You have to purchase a chain saw with 12 to 40 inches size for cutting trees in your garden or yard. Choosing a chain saw for cutting small trees usually depends on the thickness of your trunk.

Making Firewood

When you want to split logs and make firewood, a chain saw with 14 to 16 inches is reliable to tackle the situation. But if the logs are massive, you have to opt for a larger size compared to a small saw.

Medium Trees

When you want to cut medium-size trees with 14 to 16 inches trunk, then you must buy a more massive chainsaw with at least 16 to 18 inches of bar length to make your work done effortlessly.

Large Trees

When cutting larger trees with 20 inches or larger trunk, it is best to go with a large chainsaw; it is often best for the professionals. Moreover, if you have a vast experience of using a chain saw and can handle large chainsaw, you should buy a saw with a bar length of at least 20 inches.

What happens if a chainsaw is too long?

Generally, it is an ideal solution to buy a large chainsaw to cope easily with every situation that arises. But using a long chainsaw for every task is not safe for the worker.

Chainsaws that are few inches long are not a problem, but the chainsaws that are long enough usually have increased vibration and are heavy, making them very difficult to carry.

When you want to do a simple task, then it is necessary to choose a manageable size chainsaw that will enable you to prune or cut what is essential to remove. Moreover, when you use a more extended chainsaw, there are more chances of kickbacks.

It causes the chainsaw to kick back over the operator. You need to be careful when choosing the size of your chainsaw to get a reliable experience.

What happens if the chainsaw is too short?

If the chainsaw is too short for your woodcutting task, it is not a reliable one and will require much more effort from the worker. It will usually take a few more passes to cut the branch completely than a larger saw that will cut the branch with one pass.

When you use a short chainsaw, it will allow the user to cut from opposite directions, thus making the work more tiring. If the wood is thicker enough, you won’t be able to use the chainsaw to perform the task. You must purchase an appropriate saw for getting a reliable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good size chainsaw?

A good size chainsaw is a reliable option when it comes to working in your yards or doing some professional work. A saw must be at least 2 inches longer than the branch and thickness of the tree.

How big of a tree can a 20-inch chainsaw cut?

A 20-inch chainsaw with a gas-powered operation is the most ideal for cutting large trees such as beech, spruce, oak and many more. The branches maybe with 30 to 35-inch diameter enabling you to cut it effortlessly with a 20-inch chainsaw.

Is a 14-inch chainsaw big enough?

If you want to use a chainsaw for home projects and want to do some light-duty tasks like pruning or trimming small branches then a reliable power saw with a shorter bar length is usually enough to work with.

Can I put a 20-inch bar on a 16-inch chainsaw?

You can either put a 20-inch bar on a 16-inch chainsaw or not. It depends on its ability to take different size units or not. Many chainsaws are designed to take various size units.


What size chainsaw do I need is the most asked question when buying a chainsaw. An essential thing before purchasing a chainsaw is to keep your purpose in mind. You must know all the benefits and drawbacks of using a long or short chainsaw.

Large saws are usually exhausting to use when using them for extended periods. Short saws are reliable for routine cutting tasks but are reliable for some homeowners.

Hopefully, after reading this informative guide, you will be able to find a chainsaw with a durable size for making your experience worthwhile. You need to consider carefully the work you need to do with using a chainsaw.