Chainsaw Size : How To Determine The Perfect Fit For You?

Chainsaw Size

Part of the process of buying the best chainsaw for your needs involves determining the right size for you.This comes from the fact that the chainsaw size- guide bar length- directly determines the type of jobs you can do with your chainsaw.

In other words, the saw size represents the active cutting area of your saw or the largest size/length of wood it can successfully cut in one pass.That said, deciding the right size that fits your cutting needs isn’t that hard if you’re an experienced chainsaw user.

But if you don’t have a clue what size to go for, the following guide will take you through the process of determining the right saw size.

What type of work do you plan to handle with your chainsaw?

The type of work you plan to do with your new chainsaw is the key determinant of what size of chainsaw you should pick. As I’ve just told you above, the size of your chainsaw can limit what you cut with it.

With that in mind, let’s look at the various types of jobs done using a chainsaw and the ideal chainsaw size for handling them…

Light jobs

In the chainsaw world, the term “light jobs” or “light use” refers to tasks such as pruning shrubs, trees, and general maintenance.

The light use chainsaws ideal for handling such tasks usually come with cutting bar measuring around 14 inches and below.

All the models that fall under this sizing category are extremely easy to use and are recommended for beginners.

They’re also among the safest models you can find on the market. Most of them are electric-powered.

Moderate jobs

If you plan to use your new chainsaw for jobs that are more moderate than the light jobs we’ve previously discussed, this is your part.

You should consider a chainsaw with a cutting bar of either 16- or 18-inches. Models that come with such a size are highly versatile and are usually regarded as general purpose machines. They’re ideal for homeowners who plan to cut through thick tree branches as well as logs.

Most of these models are gas powered while a few are electrically powered.

If you want to fell medium sizes trees, chop medium firewood, remove shrubs, and other similar tasks, a chainsaw size 16- or 18-inches will more than meet your needs.

Heavy duty use

What if you’re planning to use your machine for longer periods of time, and to handle bigger jobs?

Well, in that case, you should consider any chainsaw with a cutting bar measuring over 18 inches. These are the biggest chainsaw models available. They’re designed to cut through large diameter wood- like thick tree trunks.

While most homeowners might not need to use such a chainsaw, those who live in rural areas where they perform heavy duty cutting as part of property maintenance might want to consider these chainsaws.

Overall, chainsaws with over 18 inches guide bar length aren’t easy to handle; they’re best suited for professional and commercial use.

Below is a generic table showing the ideal chainsaw size for various tasks

Chainsaw SizeIdeal For
12 inches and belowpruning
12 to 14 inchesLimbing and falling small trees
14 to 16 inchesLight firewood cutting
16 inchestrimming
16 to 18 inchesFelling medium trees or medium firewood cutting
18 inches or largerbucking


Most of the manufacturers list all the guide bar lengths that can be used with each chainsaw model they design. It’s important to stick to the recommended sizes whenever you think of changing the guide bar to prevent the risk of danger associated with using incompatible saw sizes.

If you’re not sure what size to use for your chainsaw, it’s a good idea to consult your local dealer for expert advice.

Also, keep in mind that the longer the bar length, the more difficult it becomes for you to handle your chainsaw. Plus, the increased length increase the possibility of injuries as the saw becomes unbalanced and fatigue sets in.

Final Verdict

The size of chainsaw you settle on directly determines the tasks you can accomplish with it. This explains why it’s essential to have a clear picture of the type of work you wish to do with your chainsaw before buying one.

Once you know what your specific chainsaw needs are, our chainsaw sizing guide above will help you easily and quickly pick the right size that best fits your needs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top