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What Size Chainsaw Do I Need (10 Tips & Tricks)

Buying the wrong chainsaw is not only frustrating, it’s also unsafe. If you’re in the market for a new saw, make sure you have all of your measurements and requirements before heading out to purchase one.

Chainsaw is a simple word that can conjure up a lot of different images. From the little electric saws used by homeowners to the huge, industrial machines used in lumber mills, there is a chainsaw for every need. You may think to yourself, what size chainsaw do i need?

We’ve created this handy guide that will help you figure out which size chainsaw is right for your needs. Keep reading if you want to find the perfect size chainsaw for your next project.

Tips on How to Pick the Right Size Chainsaw

To understand your question, “what size chainsaw do I need”, you need to know what measurements are most important. While not an exhaustive list by any means, here are some of the key considerations when choosing the right size chainsaw:

Bar Length

The bar length is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a chainsaw. It’s measured in inches and is the length of the blade from the tip to the chain’s drive link. If you’re unsure about what size bar you need, it’s best to consult with a specialist.

Maximum Engine Horsepower

Think about how you plan to use the chainsaw and decide if it’s likely to be run for long periods or constantly at full throttle. The engine horsepower is a good indication of how powerful the saw will be.


A chainsaw’s weight is something that you’ll need to consider if you plan on using it for extended periods of time. Heavier saws can be tiring to use for long periods, so if you’re a beginner, you may want to choose a saw that’s a bit lighter.

Chain Gauge

The chain gauge is the thickness of the chain, and it ranges from 0.043 inches to 0.063 inches. The thicker the chain, the more durable it will be, but it will also be heavier.

Fuel Capacity

How long the chainsaw can run between refueling is another important consideration. If you have a large project to complete, you’ll want to make sure the chainsaw has a large fuel capacity.

Chain Brake

If you need to use the chainsaw in a particularly dangerous setting, you may want to consider finding one that has a chain brake. This safety feature stops the blade within milliseconds if it is pressed into skin or picked up by accident.

Anti Vibration System

For extended periods of time, vibrations can be exhausting on your arms. Look for a chainsaw that has an anti-vibration system to limit the impact of heavy vibrations.

Electric or Gas

You’ll need to decide if you want an electric chainsaw or a gas chainsaw. Electric chainsaws are typically lighter and quieter than gas saws, but they can also be less powerful. A gas powered chainsaw is more powerful and durable, but they’re also heavier and noisier.

Availability of Parts

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to buy a chainsaw that’s difficult or impossible to fix. Think about the availability of parts for the saw before purchasing it and make sure there are several nearby dealers.


Price is an important factor in choosing any product, but with chainsaws it’s especially important. If you plan on using it often, it should be affordable enough that you’re willing to spend money on the saw and maintain it over time.

Now that you know what to look for about “what size chainsaw do i need”, let’s take a look at some of the best size chainsaws for each category.

The Recommended Chainsaw Size for Each Task

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, not hard rules. Following are some of the most common chainsaw sizes and the tasks they’re best suited for:

Trimming: Less Than 16” Cutting Bar

This smaller chainsaw is perfect for light trimming around the house. A smaller chainsaw is also a good choice for those who are newer or professional at using chainsaws. here is 16 inch chainsaw reviews

Removing Branches: 8” to 12”

If you’re removing branches that are 8” to 12″ in bar length in diameter, this size chainsaw should do the trick. It’s also a good choice for those who don’t need a lot of power and want a lightweight chainsaw.

Splitting Firewood: 14″ to 16”

If you have regular wood fires, it’s a good idea to get a chainsaw of this size for cutting firewood. It offers plenty of power for splitting logs and carving wood.

Bucking: 18″ or Larger Bar

This chainsaw of this size is perfect for pruning limbs for those who need a large amount of cutting force, such as those with yards that have many trees. These saws are more powerful and easier to use than smaller saws.

Felling Small Trees: 12” to 14”

These chainsaws are perfect for removing felling smaller trees, even those that are 12” to 14” in diameter. They have enough power to fell the small trees without being too heavy or hard to handle.

Felling Medium Trees: 16” to 18”

For felling medium sized trees, these chainsaws are a good option. They offer more power than the smaller saws but aren’t as heavy as the large chainsaw. you can read our top 18-inch chainsaws article.

Felling Large Trees: 20″ and Larger Chainsaw Bar

For felling large hardwood trees, you will need a chainsaw that is at least 20 inches long. These saws have the most power and can handle large trees.

Now you know what size chainsaw you’ll need for each task. Let’s see a few types of chainsaws that would be good for wood projects.

Types of Chainsaws

There are six main types of chainsaws that can also help to answer your question, what size chainsaw do i need?

Manual/Pocket Chainsaws

This type of chainsaw is a small saw that’s manually powered. It’s a good choice for those who need to trim branches on the go and don’t want to worry about getting it out of storage or charging it up.

Battery-powered Chainsaws

This type of chainsaw is powered by a battery. It’s a good choice for small projects and occasional light cutting because it doesn’t have as much power as the other types of chainsaws.

Corded-electric Chainsaws

This type of chainsaw plugs into an outlet and is powered by electricity. It’s a good choice for those who need a lot of power and don’t mind the cord getting in the way.

Gasoline Powered Chainsaws

This type of chainsaw uses gasoline to run. It’s a good choice for those who need a lot of power and don’t mind the noise or fumes.

Pole Saws

This type of chainsaw is attached to a pole and is used to cut branches that are high up. It’s a good choice for those who don’t want to use a ladder or need more reach.

Pneumatic Chainsaws

This type of chainsaw is connected to a compressor and gets its power from the air. It’s perfect for those who need to cut wood in hard to reach areas or on buildings or towers.

Maintenance Tips For Chainsaws

Here are some tips for keeping your chainsaw in good condition:

Make Sure the Trigger Works

One of the most important things you can do to keep your chainsaw in good condition is to make sure the trigger works. The easiest way to ensure this is to always have a finger or thumb on the trigger.

Monitor Safety Features

Make sure you monitor safety features such as the chain brake and stop switch. This will ensure that your chainsaw is always safe to use.

Sharpen the Blade Often

It’s important that you sharpen the blade of your chainsaw often, especially after every few hours of cutting wood. This will ensure it stays sharp and cuts well.

Maintain a Clean Filter

You should also clean the filter of your chainsaw often. This will help keep it running well and prevent it from overheating.

Keep the Bar Rotated

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your chainsaw’s bar and chain is to keep it rotated. This will ensure that both sides stay sharp and the wood won’t get caught in one spot for too long.

Inspect the Sprocket and Sprocket Cover

You should also inspect the sprocket and sprocket cover. If you notice any damage, such as cracks or dents, replace them immediately to avoid injury.

Protect Your Starter

You should also protect your starter. When you notice any changes, such as loose wires or melted insulation, contact someone who can repair it for you.

Secure Any Loose Parts

Make sure to secure any loose parts on your chainsaw. This will help keep you safe while you’re using it.

Examine Anti-Vibration Wear

You should also examine anti-vibration wear such as rubber boots and chains. If your chainsaw experiences a lot of vibration, it may need to be replaced.

Now you know how to choose the right chainsaw for the job, maintain it properly, and keep yourself safe while using it. Remember to always use caution when working with a chainsaw and follow all safety guidelines.


Chainsaws are very dangerous and need to be treated with respect. It is important to know “what size chainsaw do I need” and to always wear safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, when using a chainsaw to protect yourself.

Remember, the most important thing about chainsaws is how they’re used and maintained. If you don’t know how to work one or maintain it properly, you shouldn’t be using it. Hope this article will help you to choose the right chainsaw for you.


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