how to measure chainsaw chain

How to Measure Chainsaw Chain – Chain Sizing Guide

A lot of you are eager to learn how to get the size of a chainsaw because you have to replace a certain part or parts in your tool. Good thing that finding the size of this saw does not involve measuring the entire thing. One of the ways of knowing the size of your saw is to measure the chain.

To help you learn how to measure chainsaw chains, this article will feature various ways. These tips are very beneficial especially for people who were didn’t keep the product manual.

#1 Pitch Size

Pitch tells about the space between the chain’s drive links. You will have to use the tape measure precisely to obtain the right measurement of the pitch when replacing the chain of your chainsaw. To come up with the right size, just count three rivets on your chain and determine the distance between these rivets starting from the middle points. Divide it into two to obtain your size.

You can identify the rivets as they are those tiny round spots seen on the side of your chain. The rivets are the ones that hold together the chain.

For example, if you get the distance from the middle points of three rivets in random order and the result is 0.75 inches. Just divide the 0.75 inches into two. Thus, the size of your pitch is 0.375 inches. It’s that simple!

Do not forget to check the chainsaw as well as the instruction manual to verify the measurements, since these are commonly seen in either of these places.

#2 Gauge Size

The gauge tells about the thickness of the chain’s drive links. Compared to pitch size, finding the measurement of the gauge is a bit complicated since it is hard to obtain the size of the gauge through a tape measure. For a more manageable task, it is recommended that you use a vernier caliper to get the measurement of the gauge. Gauge sizes are commonly 0.050 and 0.058 inches, then 0.043 and 0.063 inches – the most common sizes are the lower ones. Furthermore, you can find more gauge sizes, too. 

Many manufacturers have designed the chainsaws with the daintiest gauge that is inclined to grasp jointly for the volume of power you are employing.

The gauge size is measured through inches and it is normally found on the chainsaw or the instruction manual. If you choose the wrong gauge size, you might find it too thick that it will not suit your chainsaw or it can be too loose to acquire good traction.

Chain gauges, also known as thickness, are a bit constraining. However, the old hands have an impressive hack of utilizing a spare change in determining the groove’s width.

  • A quarter is 0.063 gauge
  • A penny is 0.058 gauge
  • A dime is 0.050 gauge

Simply get a flat screwdriver, then clear out the bar groove so you can slide the coin. You should look for the coin that will easily fit which means that you should not involve force when slipping in the coin.

#3 Drive Links

The number of links is the simplest approach to measure the chainsaw chain. Nevertheless, it will be good to note that it is a long step since you will have to count the total number of drive links manually. What is so frustrating is that you will often forget the part from where you started. Thus, it is suggested that you highlight the beginning point to get rid of the issue of either undercounting or overcounting the number of links.

You can easily identify the drive links since they are the triangular extensions that are seen on the lower side of the chain that holds it connected to the bar.

One tip that you might want to use is to put a tape right on the first drive link and start your counting. You should know accurately how many drive links are there so you can obtain the correct size of the chainsaw chain.

You will normally find 66 to 72 drive links in your chainsaw chain. The 16” bars commonly have 66 links. The 18” bars, on the other hand, have 72 links.


Learning how to measure chainsaw chains is not very hard. This is even more manageable if you were able to keep the instruction manual since you will most likely find the values in the manual. Thus, you may not need to conduct any measuring if that is the case.

Nevertheless, if you do not have the manual, you can check this chain sizing guide to help you with the measurement of your chainsaw chain. If you still find it hard to figure out the measurement of your chainsaw chain, then you are free to ask the help of a professional.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *