How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain? Chain Size Guide

A chainsaw is an incredibly power tool that comprises of number of integral parts. Each part of this tool holds unique importance, and the same is the case with the chainsaw chain. Like any other serviceable power tool, the chain of your chainsaw might wear out compelling you to change it with a new one. However, to change the chain of your chainsaw, you should learn to measure the a chainsaw chain; otherwise, you can commit a mistake and install a wrong chain.

Replacing a chainsaw chain with a new one might be a daunting task if you haven’t done it before. Although, consulting the user manual appears to be a good option, once you understand the different sizes, measurements, and types, it will be far more convenient for you to do the job. 

So, if you aren’t quite sure about where to begin – go with the measurement of the chainsaw chain first. Follow the given guide to measuring chainsaw chain.

Tips for Measuring Chainsaw Chain? 

Chain and bar are linked with each other, and it is necessary to choose both considering reaching others’ specifications. So, having learned about the measurement of chainsaw bars, it is time to know how to measure a chainsaw chain.

I would sound honest, but measuring the chainsaw chain is a bit trickier than measuring the bar. This is because the reason that measurement of chainsaw chains involves some technicalities that are missing in the measurement of the bar.

Following are three inevitable measurements to know about the required measurement of chain:

  • The gauge
  • The pitch, and
  • Drive links

You may be unaware of these terms – let me explain them to you in detail:

How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain

1. Measurement of the Gauge

Gauge is defined as the width of the groove on the guide bar of the chainsaw, and you can use tape to ascertain the measurement of the gauge. Before you take a measurement, make sure that you remove all the dust and debris from the grooves of the guide bar.

To make it simpler, use a trick; get a quarter, a dime, and a penny. Try all these coins one by one sliding each one into the grooves of the bar. The coin that fits the grooves without any force will help you know about the gauge bar.

  • Dime 0.50 inches
  • Penny 0.58 Inches, and
  • Quarter 0.63 inches

2. Measurement of Pitch 

Pitch is defined as the distance between each chainsaw drive link. To find out the pitch, it is best to note the distance between three adjacent rivets, and divide this distance by 2. Meanwhile, the most common pitch sizes range from 0.325inches to 0.375inches.

This is the most recommended method to measure the pitch has been described above, however, you can also apply some other methods.

3. Count All Drive Links 

Now, you need to carefully count the number of drive links on the chain.

Once you have all the necessary information about the chain of your chainsaw, you may write them down, and visit a nearby tool shop to buy a new chain of similar specifications.

When to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain?

Chainsaw chains are more vulnerable to get damaged than chainsaw bars. As the chainsaw chain is the main component that is used to cut firewood, so it comes up as the most affected part of the chainsaw. It is clear that chains have a shorter span of life than any other component of a chainsaw – however, it remains to answer when to replace your chainsaw chain; 

Technically, there are two fundamental reasons that necessitate the need of replacing the chainsaw chain with a new one. 

1. Teeth of Chainsaw Chain Are Wearing Out 

It is too easy to ascertain if the teeth of the chainsaw are worn-out or not. The teeth of a chainsaw are the first part that comes in contact with the surface which is being cut, and these teeth are the most fundamental to doing the job. The teeth of the chainsaw chain striking the surface are much more prone to get damaged. With worn-out teeth, your chainsaw will cut in uneven patterns, and if the problem is ignored for a long, kickbacks might be frequent and catastrophic as well. 

2. Chain of the Chainsaw is Getting Dull 

If you are not experiencing your desired or accurate cutting results, a dull chain might be the possible cause of this problem. This problem is very common with older blades – still, you can manage them for best cutting with proper maintenance and sharpening your chainsaw blade. If you have sharpened the blade of your chainsaw chain many times before, it is better not to sharpen it again; instead, replace it with a new chain. 

If your chain is dull enough, it will not allow your chainsaw to make smooth cuts, and you will certainly suffer from its inefficiency.

Therefore, if you come across any of these two points with your chainsaw chain, it is time to replace them with a new one. The new chainsaw chain will not only bring efficiency to the process, but the safety of users also improves greatly.

Point to Remember: Some of the models of chainsaws stamp it on chainsaws or write all information required to change the chain of a chainsaw in the user manual. Stamped measurements are usually visible after you remove the housing of the chainsaw. If you find this information on your chainsaw, you can avoid taking measurements, and use the information given by the company.


A chainsaw is a famous and widely used tool to cut firewood across the USA and other parts of the world. This powered tool keeps giving incredible results unless you stop taking care of it, and unfortunately, the chainsaw chain is among the top most ignored parts of chainsaw like many others. To let your chainsaw, perform the best throughout its service, ensure the safety of its components such as its chain, bar and etc.

When it comes to replacing chainsaw chain, it is suggested not to proceed with mere estimations about its measurements, but to take those measurements according to the given procedure, and get the best-suited chain for your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How do you measure the size of a chainsaw chain?

To know about the exact measurement of your chainsaw chain, count three rivets on the chain of your chainsaw, and measure the distance between these rivets from their center points. Having known about the distance from center, divide it by its half, you will know the size.

Q2. How do I know what chain to get for my chainsaw?

To buy new chain for your chainsaw, make sure that you have measurements of gauge, pitch and drive links. You can take these measurements according to the above-mentioned procedure.

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