A longer bar means more power is required to spin the chain and if the chainsaw is not powerful enough it can damage or overheat the engine.
Whether you are looking for a replacement bar or just trying to get a longer bar, either way, there are many factors to go through, the number one being the size of your tool’s engine.
Without sufficient power, the saw will be underpowered and won’t perform properly.
The question also brings up several other queries. For example;
How much longer can the bar be? Can I put a smaller bar? Would the old chain be compatible? What is the role of sprocket, etc. All these questions will be answered in this article so keep reading.
Let’s start with the basic one, i.e. ‘can you put a longer bar on a chainsaw’ as follows:
Can You Put a Longer Bar on a Chainsaw? Answered by Richard
The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can put a long bar on your chainsaw and no you can’t just put any longer bar. The new ones have to match the requirements of the saw to work properly which includes
- Size of the engine.
- Size of the bar.
- Size of the chain.
These requirements can be checked in the following sequences
- Compatibility of the engine with bar length.
- Compatibility of chain with the new bar.
- Compatibility of the sprocket with the chain.
The engine determines the length of the bar the saw can handle and an alternative longer or smaller bar can only work as long as the engine can rotate the chain on that bar.
With a longer bar the original chain most probably will not fit the new length. Hence you will have to get a new chain as well.
The sprocket rotates the chain around the bar. Driver links of the chain must fit the grooves of driver sprocket. With the change of chain due to the bar, the sprocket may need to be replaced as well to fit the chain
Chainsaw Bar Length to Engine Size 
The engine has a direct relation with the bar. As the length of the bar is increased the cutting performance will decrease and as you’ll move to the upper end of the bar the power will decrease.
Chainsaws require sufficient power to operate a certain bar length which changes with the power source. Without it, the saw won’t operate. Based on the power source of a chainsaw the power is measured in the following units
- CC (Cubic Meter) for the Gas powered chainsaw.
- Volts for Battery powered and mini chainsaws.
- Amps for an Electric chainsaw.
The following power-to-bar compatibility chart is a general guideline, not specific to any chainsaw brand or model. For a specific answer check the user manual for your specific model
Engine Power Rating
32cc - 42cc
14 - 16 Inches
45cc - 50cc
18 - 20 Inches
51cc - 60cc
20 - 24 Inches
8 - 12 Amps
10 - 16 Inches
13 - 15 Amps
14 - 18 Inches
18 - 24 Volts
10 - 12 Inches
36 - 40 Volts
10 - 16 Inches
54 - 60 Volts
14 - 16 Inches
56 - 80 Volts
16 - 18 Inches
Can I Put a Smaller Bar on My Chainsaw?
As it has been said so far, yes you can put a smaller bar on your chainsaw given
- It is supported by the engine.
- The chain fits the bar length.
- The sprocket
If all these are checked then the chainsaw will work with a smaller bar. You can confirm these pieces of information in your user manual.
Can I Put a Longer Bar on My Stihl Chainsaw?
Yes, you can. Stihl offers a variety in bar size for a number of its models in almost every category.
- Homeowners MS 170, MS 171, MS 180, MS 181, MS 192, and MS 211 can use the bar between 12 or 14″ to 16 inches.
- MS 250 and MS 251 with 45cc engines are capable of using an 18-inch bar.
- Farm & Ranch MS 271, MS 291, MS 311, and MS 391 can take bars from 20 to 26 inches.
- Professional MS 441 and MS 461 can take up to 36 inches.
- Electric MSE 140 can take between 12 to 16 inches and MSE 220 can take between 16 to 20 inches.
You can check SFGATE for details on more models or check the manual of your specific one.
Can I Put a Longer Bar on My Husqvarna Chainsaw?
Yes, but it is based on the model and not all models offer this flexibility. You have to check the user manual of your Husqvarna saw for an accurate answer.
- Husqvarna 435 and Husqvarna 455 can take up 18 inches.
- Husqvarna 120, 130, and 135 with 40cc to 45cc engines can take up to 12 to 20-inch bars.
- Model 3120 XP can take from 24 to 42-inch bars.
You can find a rough guideline for more models here.
Can I Put a Longer Bar on My Ego Chainsaw?
Again it depends on the model. But yes you can. EGO, CS1600/CS1604 can use a 16-inch bar instead of 14 inches. Check the manual for your specific model to the bar lengths it supports.
Can I Put a Longer Bar on Ryobi My Chainsaw?
It is safe to say that yes it can as long as the Ryobi 40V chainsaw engine is compatible with the longer bar. You can find it in the user manual of the saw. Also, make sure the chain and the sprocket are compatible with the new bar as well.
Final Thoughts: Can You Put a Longer Bar on a Chainsaw?
A longer bar means more power to handle it. So as long as your engine is compatible with the bar length it won’t be a problem. But you might need to replace the original chain and the sprocket since they might not be compatible with the new bar.
All the compatible alternatives and their requirements are available in the user manual or you check the generic power-to-bar compatibility chart this article has to offer. Make sure everything perfectly fits each other because a loose or unadjusted part can cause fatal injury.
- IMOUMLIVE Mini Chainsaw Review: [Fast, Compact, Lightweight] - December 11, 2023
- 10 Types of Chainsaw Explained in Detail for Homeowners - January 23, 2023
- What is Chainsaw Rake? A Guide for Beginners - January 21, 2023