Chainsaw Bar Length And CC’s | What To Choose

Cutting up a tree in one go instead of two saves time and energy, although it only works out when the chainsaw’s bar is longer than the tree itself.

The great thing is that they come in many lengths and are easy to change, but the question today is, what’s the biggest bar a chainsaw can handle in respect to it’s CC’s?

It all depends on the chainsaw

Cutting limbs of a downed tree with a chainsaw
Image by Virginia State Parks via Flickr

Probably every serious firewood cutter has their own opinion on what is the longest bar a chainsaw can handle, and it does make sense because there are many factors which come into play like the type of saw you have, the wood and the place it has grown in.

But in my opinion, you should not try to exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. Sure, there are definitely not just one homeowner who ignores the limits, but doing so you simply risk ruining the tool.

In case that the longest bar on your type of chainsaw still doesn’t meet your length requirements, you should simply get a more powerful one.

Why longer bars aren’t really that great

Equipping a chainsaw with a longer bar definitely has its own benefits like the obvious increase in cutting length, however the fact that the saw has now more metal, it will weigh more.

This might seem like not a big deal at first, but even if you cut a couple cords of wood each season, that alone can slow down the whole process to the point where the additional size of the bar brings little to no benefit.

Considering that longer chainsaw bars also need longer chains, you’ll need to invest more time into sharpening it, which will only provide more work, so there’s that.

What you should be focusing on instead

A sharp chain can tear through bigger logs than you could imagine, so make sure it’s always properly sharpened before any work.

Try putting on a different type of chain altogether, like the skip one which has less teeth, meaning it needs less power to cut effectively. You can also try doing so on different types of wood, like the soft or hardwood.


All in all, the chainsaw cutting length is more often than not an overlooked factor in cutting firewood properly. The two inch advantage you can get by replacing a bar generally brings very little advantage, so the best thing you can do is probably stick to what you have and make sure your chainsaw is always maintained.

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