816 E 15th Street
Joplin, MO 64804
February 11, 2022 by Mike Connell
Whether you are a first time buyer or need a new chainsaw because it isn’t working properly any more, there are a few key parameters that will help you determine the correct size. Choosing the proper type and size chainsaw that will fit your needs is essential. Trying to save money and buy a smaller chainsaw will end up costing you time later if it isn’t enough to handle the workload. On the other hand, buying a bigger chainsaw so it can do a variety of projects means that it is heavier, more challenging to handle, and it can even make smaller workloads more difficult.
The size of the chainsaw comes down to the length of the chainsaw bar size itself. The length determines the type of work it is best suited for as well as amount of volume it can handle.
While you can take a chainsaw with a smaller bar to cut a tree in two passes, keep in mind that the chainsaw engine needs enough power to complete the work. The bar and chain length determines the size of the engine as a longer chain needs more power to operate properly. Due to the larger size of the engine, bar, and chain, the chainsaw itself is a lot heavier and harder to handle from the stronger vibrations.
The first parameter is vital as it will help you determine the size that is going to work best for your needs. It’s actually as simple as understanding the type of workload you are needing to complete. Are you going to be clearing out large trees or simply pruning some limbs? Are you using it to cut down trees for firewood or cleaning up overgrown brush? Depending on the type of work you generally will be doing, the size of the chainsaw changes.
Typically a chainsaw with a shorter bar around 14” and smaller is enough for property maintenance, trimming, pruning, and cutting down broken tree limbs. On the other hand, cutting down small trees, thick branches, and cleaning up storm damage will need a longer bar around 16”-20” to make the job easier and safer. You can use a smaller chainsaw but it will cost you in the amount of time and effort it takes to complete the project as it is more practical to cut with only one pass. Keep in mind that while a longer bar might help take care of larger trees, it also is heavier which will cause you to become fatigued in a shorter period of time. Be sure to take breaks, not only to clean your machine and refuel but also to rest yourself to help prevent any accidents.
There are larger bars from 20” and above that are used by professionals for cutting down large trees and can handle large volumes of work. Due to the longer bar it has a large and powerful engine, which increases the dangers of fatigue and kickbacks. Large trees need to be handled carefully, so if you are uncomfortable with tackling a project, hire a professional to help minimize the risk of personal or property damage.
Adding on to the first parameter, the diameter of the wood you are cutting will also indicate the size of chainsaw you need. Whether you have small trees that are a potential safety hazard or are simply trimming and pruning limbs, choosing a chainsaw too small or even too large will make the project harder and more dangerous to do. It is recommended to measure the diameter of the trees you will commonly cut and choose a chainsaw bar that is two inches longer.
Regardless of the type and size of the project, if you are uncertain about your capabilities then do not attempt to try it out. Seek out help and tips from professionals. It doesn’t matter if the tree is small or large because they both pose a danger to yourself and your property. If you are inexperienced with chainsaws, trying to handle a powerful tool that is too big only increases the probability of any accidents. On the other hand, small chainsaws still deserve to be respected as they are a tool that can be dangerous and need to be handled with care as well. Deciding on the right chainsaw for your needs is a careful balance between power and your own capabilities as safety is the most important factor.
Overall, what makes a chainsaw right for your needs is the workload, the balance between the bar length and saw weight, as well as your own personal strength and capabilities. To focus on the chainsaw size that will fit your needs rather than the one that you want, you need to be aware of the type of work you will be doing. At M&K Outdoor Products, we can answer questions and help direct your path so you can feel at ease with your choice. If you need advice or more information, consult with our experts at M&K Outdoor Products.