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How To Measure A Chainsaw Chain?

How To Measure A Chainsaw Chain

A chainsaw is a very important tool in your workshop or garage. But, there are a lot of chainsaws available on the market. And you may have already used any type of chainsaw for your work project. No matter what kind of saw you use, it is important to take care of the chain. You need to replace it over time. And getting the right size of the chainsaw blade is equally important. You need the proper chain for running your saw. But, if you utilize the wrong one, you have to face some dangerous risks with your real life. The following posts on how to measure a chainsaw chain will help you to learn some important techniques for the chain care of your chainsaw.

When You Need To Replace The Chainsaw Chain?

If you want to measure for a saw, then you may guess it is the time for the replacement. All chains require general maintenance to keep them lasting. And if you take proper care of your chainsaw but it isn’t providing a good cut as should, then it is the right time for a new saw. Other points to consider for replacing:

  • Teeth are broken or worn.
  • Chain tension is loose or not staying tight enough.
  • Chain tension is very tight and not loose enough.
  • Presence of smoke when cutting.
  • Rather than the wood chips, sawdust is left.
  • Chain rattles look or feel unbalanced.

What do You require?

For measuring the chain, you only require a measuring tape and some coins for a rapid trick of the trade. A screwdriver or scrench should be nearby. So that you can lose it. To remove and the replacement of the chain, use a flat head wrench or screwdriver and socket wrench.

Some Terms For Measuring Chainsaw Chain:

Before starting with how to measure a chained chain, you have to learn what some of the main parts of this are called for understanding the post.

Bar: In the bar, the chain sits as well as spins upon. This is the horizontal metal piece that has the grooved section. Within it, chainsaw drive links sets.

Drive Links: A chain is secured with the bar by the drive links which is fitted into the groove of the bar. They oppose the cutting teeth together with the chain bottom.

Gauge: The gauge means the thickness of the drive links. This will keep your chain from sliding off the bar.

Pitch: Along with these terms, you have to calculate the pitch values.

Measurement Of The Chainsaw:

Measuring the chainsaw has little to do with the real length of the chain. And everything is to do with safety and fit. The measurement of the saw is a collective knowledge of the drive link, gauge, and pitch number. And it is always situated on the point of the bar. This can save you from doing any measurement at all. These numbers are referring to the numbers which you will get on the new packaging of the chain. But you should know these numbers’ derivations. Because it can wear off sometimes on a used bar.

Measurement: Step By Step

Measuring the chainsaw for fitting is an easy process that will require much time. Just follow the outlined quick steps for getting a better idea:

Step 1: Measurement Of The Bar

For determining the bar size, you have to measure the “called length”. You have to do it with the chain and bar. Indeed, this is not really for your chain measurement. However, it can provide the general number for chain size and bar replacement. To measure the bar, you should start measuring from the above of the saw to the further cutting point. Once calculated, assemble to the closest inch. This is your “called length” and manufacturers always use this.

Step 2: Measurement Of The Pitch

To determine the pitch, you need to calculate the distance of any three consecutive rivets. Then divide it by two. The resulting number is termed as the pitch. While larger numbers indicate the bigger space between the links which results in more faster and aggressive cutting. If space is smallest, probably the saw has been used to remove little amounts of wood.

Step 3: Measurement Of The Gauge

This step may seem tricky. Because there are small variations among the various gauge sizes. The perfect way to assure the size is to see the user’s manual or the bar. If this measurement is not found, you can do a fast ‘the trick of a trade’. Take the coins (penny, dime, and a quarter) and slip these into the groove of the bar. You have to keep the coin by the slide, without forcing it.

Penny: About .058” gauge

Dime:  About .050” gauge

Quarter: About .063” gauge

A .043” gauge exists but it is not  common. Whereas the most common is the .050” gauge

Step 4: Calculate The Drive Links

Once you get the above measurement, it is the time for counting the drive links. This will ensure the right replacement you get. Moreover, you have to remove your chain to do this. But you may lose the chain as well as the spin which are at the above bar for counting. Therefore, always sure to spot from where you established with the sharpie or anything similar for getting the correct count. However, you should always check properly.

Tips For Keeping The Saw In Proper Shape

Regardless of your care for the chain, you have to replace it eventually, but good care will keep it cutting as you want. And follow these tips:

  • Sharpen the chain frequently.
  • Keep the chain and bar well oiled.
  • Check the depth gauge after sharpening the chain.


So, this is all about how to measure a chainsaw chain. Indeed, you have to measure the chainsaw for proper fitting and all you require is the drive link, gauge, and pitch amount for making a match. Chainsaws are very essential tools for doing any work in the workshop. Therefore, learning the measurements of the chain of this saw is equally important. Happy sawing!

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About Jose Wilson

Jose Wilson

Hi, I am Jose Wilson. I am an avid DIY woodworker. I love to try out new woodworking tools. In over 6 years I have tried several wood working tools including circular saws, table saws, chain saws, and jigsaw among the rest. My inspiration came from watching my dada work. I also learned that many people didn’t quite understand how to use these tools. Today, I have helped so many people to learn the use, benefits, and how these DIY woodworking tools operate. I have created a number of work-tools related posts, built websites, and developed social media pages. Follow me here to learn more.

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