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How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
How to Guide Your Comprehensive Guide On How To Sharpen A Chainsaw
Nov 11, 2021
With the increasing concern of dull chainsaw blades stopping users from cutting down trees efficiently, there has been an increased need to sharpen the chainsaw. More and more chainsaw users are surfing the internet and exploring the manuals to find ways to sharpen their chainsaws. This article sheds some light on the issue and shares valuable insight on how to sharpen a chainsaw.

Your Comprehensive Guide On How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar

A good chainsaw bar or a chainsaw blade ensures maximum efficiency and reliability after adding them to any chainsaw. At times, improper usage of chain oil damages your chainsaws and results in the FastTrack wearing of the chainsaw blade or jamming or derailing. In such a situation, you will need to replace the chainsaw bar. So, if you’re a frequent user of chainsaws, you need to know how to measure a chainsaw bar and chain.

Now, the chainsaw chains need to be measured for the proper fit on certain bars. If you try to put a chain on a bar that’s either too narrow or too long, you will end up noticing the improper functioning of the chainsaw. Thus, measuring the bars and chains has become necessary to determine the correct replacement parts for your chainsaw machine.

For instance, if you wish to buy a t-shirt, won’t you look for its perfect fit? This case is applicable when purchasing a chainsaw bar and chain too. This measurement is crucial for ensuring the best fitting chainsaw bar and chain. You will find scenarios where retailers are selling chainsaw bars based on their full length and not what you see when the saw machine is completely assembled. So, this brings up the need to look for the entire bar length for such usage scenarios.

To save yourself from embarrassment while walking to a hardware store and finding that chainsaw bars and chains are sold based on various measures and sizes, learn how to measure them. This guide has all valuable insight for the concerned topic. So, let’s dive in.

How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar

How To Measure A Chainsaw Bar

To determine chainsaw bar length, you need to look for either the cutting length, which refers to the distance the bar sticks out or the exact true length, which refers to the full size of the chainsaw bar. Below is a step-by-step guide for your easy understanding of how to measure chainsaw bar length.

Guide To Measure Chainsaw Bar

Step 1: Unplug The Chainsaw Spark Plug Wire To Ensure It Doesn’t Start

Unplugging the chainsaw spark plug wire is quite important, and here are certain ways you can do so.

  • Keep your chainsaw on an even flat surface by placing its handle in an upward direction.
  • Check for the screws and bolts that hold the topmost cover of the chainsaw machine.
  • Use a wrench or a screwdriver to loosen them all.
  • Under the cover, find the black wire plugging somewhere around the circular port.
  • To disconnect the power from the spark plug, pull the black wire out of its port.


  • Never measure the chainsaw bar length while keeping the spark plug wire attached to the machine.
  • Depending on the chainsaw model you’re using, the location of screws and bolts may vary.

Step 2: For The Cutting Length, Measure The Chainsaw Bar From Its Tip To where It Enters The Machine Body

This is the second-most important step in the entire process. Here are some ways you can do it.

  • Start from the tape measure’s end from where the bar enters into the main chainsaw machine body.
  • Keep extending the tape until you find the tip of the chainsaw bar to record your measurement.
  • For the best measurement to know the cutting length of the bar, round off the recorded one to its nearest inch.
  • For instance, if your recorded measurement is 13 ⅝ inches (35cm), you can consider the cutting length to be 14 inches or 36 cm.


  • You may find the term cutting length referred to as usable length, called length, or the effective length at many hardware stores.
  • The average cutting length for chainsaw bars goes around 14 inches, 16 inches, 18 inches, and 20 inches.

Step 3: To Remove The Chainsaw Bar, Take Out The Clutch Cover Off From The Chainsaw

If you look at the right side of your chainsaw machine, you will find two nuts holding the clutch cover in place.

  • Now, take a wrench to unscrew them and pull over the clutch cover straight from the chainsaw body to expose the remaining portion of the bar.
  • Before pulling the bar off of the bolts, move it forward for its clutch release.


  • Ensure to keep your chainsaw in a locked position if it has a brake before pulling and removing the clutch cover. It will help you to put it back on easily.

Step 4: To Find The True Length Of The Bar, Measure It From End To End

Finding the length is quite crucial, and you will have to measure from one end to the other through the following ways:

  • Proceed with your tape measure from one end of the chainsaw bar to the other end while extending the tape until it reaches the tip.
  • For knowing the best accurate length measurement of your chainsaw bar, you need to round off the recorded unit to the nearest inch.
  • For instance, if you find the measurement to be 16 ⅓ inches or 41 cm, you can consider the actual length of the chainsaw bar to be 16 inches or 41 cm.


  • The average chainsaw bar length ranges from around 8 inches to 24 inches, which is 20-61 cm.
  • The cutting length of the chainsaw bar will always be shorter than the actual length of the bar.

Step-By-Step Guide To Measure Chainsaw Chain

For measuring chainsaw chains, you will have to follow specific steps for the precise and best measurement. Below is a step-by-step guide for every insight you need.

Step-By-Step Guide To Measure Chainsaw Chain

Step 1: Removing Off The Chain From The Saw To Make The Measuring Process Much Easier

You need to find the two nuts that hold the clutch cover in place. You can locate them on the right side of the saw.

  • Now, take a wrench to remove both of them. This will enable you access to the rest of the chainsaw chain length.
  • For releasing the tension on the chain, you need to carefully pull the chainsaw bar towards you. This will help your chain to hang loose.
  • Hold and unloop the chain from around the clutch, where you will find the bar is connected to the saw.


  • It’s best to wear work gloves as a protective measure for your hands from the sharp and dangerous chain’s teeth.

Step 2: Find The Chain’s Pitch By Measuring The Distance Between Three Successive Rivets

Keep the chain on an even flat surface for your easy vision of the rivets. These rivets are nothing but the circular metal pieces responsible for holding the chainlinks together.

  • Take any edge of the rivet on the chain and start the tape measure.
  • Keep pulling the tape along the edge of the chain until you find the edge of the third rivet for recording the measurement.
  • Now, divide the recorded measurement by 2 to determine the chain pitch.
  • For instance, if the distance measured between the three rivets comes out to be ¾ inch or 1.9 cm, divide it by 2 to get the pitch, which is ⅜ inch or 0.95 cm.

Step 3: Use A Caliper To Find The Gauge of The Chain

You must find and put one of the drive links, which are metal pieces present inside the chain.

  • Put it in a caliper or in between the jaws.
  • Slide the jaws close to each other so that it grips and holds the drive link tightly.
  • Look for the measurement reading on the caliper to determine the gauge.


  • The side of the chainsaw bar lists the gauge measurement in inches for those who cannot measure it.
  • The average gauge size ranges around 0.050 inches, 0.058 inches, and 0.063 inches.

Step 4: Count And Determine The Number Of Drive Links On Your Chain

Keep the chain on an even flat surface. Put a dot mark on one of the drive links with the help of a marker.

  • Proceed to count the number of drive links along the chain length, beginning from the one where you marked the dot.
  • Continue to count the drive links until you reach back to the marked dot.
  • You can also find the exact number of drive links on the chainsaw bar’s side, labeled DL.

How To Read Chain Measurements

How To Read Chain Measurements

You can read the chain measurements for your chainsaw bar by following the information stamped right into it. The stamped details are usually found in the back of the bar.

For instance, you may find the chainsaw bar stamped with details saying the chain is 0.050 gauge and ⅜ inch pitch with 70 drive links. This is all the details you need to read the measurements and find the best replacement parts.

To read the proper size:

  1. Count three rivets consecutively on the chain and determine their distance from the center points.
  2. Divide it by half to get your size.
  3. Ensure to check the instruction manual and the chainsaw to read measurements too.

When To Replace The Chainsaw Bar

Several people look up the same answer for how often they should replace the chainsaw bar. Well, the rule of thumb revolves around the replacement to be done once after you experience using three chains on the same bar.

You will find the wearing of your chainsaw bar to take place mainly in the areas used to cut - like the lower edge. For those who turn the bar periodically, they find both the shoulders to wear out evenly.

The burrs are created on the bar guides - which must be filed, or else they result in uneven progression of the chainsaw and rapid wearing of the chain and the guides. If you find differentiated wear or heights for the two sides of the groove, equalize them.

The depth of the sliding guide reduces slowly with the ongoing life of the bar. However, it’s best to replace the bar if it goes under excessive or uneven wear.

To determine if your chainsaw bar needs replacement or not, you can follow these steps:

  • Lay the chainsaw on some even flat surface while placing your fingers on the chain.
  • If this results in it swinging heavily, you need to replace the chainsaw blade.
  • It’s recommended to wear cut-resistant gloves while handling and working with the chain.
  • Keep and align a ruler in between the outer side of the teeth and the chain bar. If the guide bar is worn, it must be replaced.

When To Replace The Chainsaw Chain

The chainsaw chain loses its sharpness over time and makes it more dangerous and challenging to use. You must know when to replace the chainsaw chain to avoid any troublesome scenarios. Here are some ways that help to determine if the chain needs replacement.

  • If you have to put more pressure on the wood than it usually takes, you will have to replace it.
  • If you find the chain to create fine sawdust instead of coarse threads, it may indicate the need for chain replacement.
  • If the chainsaw produces smoke even after being well-lubricated, you will need to look for its chain replacement.
  • If your chainsaw rattles while cutting and enables difficulty in getting the precise cutting positions, go for replacement of the chain.


Like every other person, you may have kept aside the instruction manual to replace the chainsaw bar length. This is common with the loaded excitement for using the machine to cut through your first wooden log. However, you can always be a DIY enthusiast who loves their hands-on approach to doing things.

The best part of this guide is that you learn how to measure chainsaw bars and chains, take your measurement once, and use the data every time you purchase a chainsaw size replacement. Suppose you face too many problems with your chain saw machine and parts even after taking help from the guide. In that case, you probably need to call the manufacturer or supplier as, at times, this becomes the cashew of manufacturing default.

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