Skip to content

How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain?

how to measure a chainsaw chain

You may wonder why the chainsaw chain comes with a different size!

Chainsaw chains are different on their types, size, and characteristics, so the chain also has to come with a different dimension to fit with each chainsaw.

Before you set your chain on a chainsaw, you have therefore must have to know the chain measurement so that you can compare the measurement specification with the chainsaw and can set it correctly.

Measuring the chainsaw chain is not that much easy you are also thinking not that much hard you are getting scared unnecessarily.

So how is it?

Let’s know in detail- How to measure a chainsaw chain.

Why you need to measure the chain

Chain length measurement is the only way to confirm either your chain is unproperly adjustable with the chain saw or not. Good quality and well-oiled chainsaw chain will operate smoothly if only the chain belongs here properly fitted.

That’s why chain measurement is a mandatory process to the fitting of the chain.

How to measure a chainsaw chain?

Measurement of the chainsaw chain all about the below listed four steps. Follow the steps if you want to measure your chainsaw chain.

Pitch measurement

Pitch is the distance between the drive links present on the chain. Measuring the pitch is not any challenging job.

Most often it is printed on the chain or in the user manual. However, if you missed this measurement for any reason, you can measure it by yourself.

Use a dial calliper and measure any three rivets of the chain and divided the result by two.

0.375, 0.404, 0.250 inches etc. are some collective pitch measurements for different types of chainsaw chains.

Gauge measurement

Gauge is the lugs (a lug is a place in where the chain is properly fit with the chain bar) thickness. Some common gauge measurements are- 0.050, 0.058, 0.043 and 0.063 inches.

Measuring of the gauge with any ordinary tape is not possible, so use an accurate calliper to measure the gauge.

Like the pitch measurement, gauge measurement also may refer to the guide bar and in the user manual. So, if you didn’t find it in the mentioned place, measure it by yourself.

Measuring the number of drive links

You have to count every drive link present on your chain manually. To ensure you have to count it accurately, you have to recheck your counting.

A manual recount most in case, may not give you the actual result.

Look at all your result

You may think why you need to measure the pitch, gauge and drive link of the chainsaw chain. Here we explain elaborately-

Look at the number of the pitch number and the number of drive links which you were measured a few times ago.

A total number of drive links tell you the entire length of the chain. That’s why you need to measure it.

Chain pitch number of the chain should match with the drive sprocket and the bar nose sprocket.

So, you need to know the pitch number of your chain so that you can match this number with the chain bar sprocket number. 

The gauge number of your chainsaw chain should be equal to the groove thickness of your chainsaw bar.

Proper matching of the gauge number of the chain and the groove thickness of the chainsaw bar is mandatory to fit the chain onto the chain bar well.

Chainsaw chain sizes chart

Here we are giving some pitch and gauge measurement which is typical for many chainsaw brands.

However, there are many brands available in the market containing their measurement system for their chain bar and chain.

Most brands print all this measurement on to the chain saw and in their user manual. If can also find these measurements on the manufacture website of each chainsaw brands.

Pitch Gauge
¼-inch 0.043-inch
0.325-inch 0.050-inch
3/8-inch 0.058-inch
3/8-inch (low profile) 0.063-inch

  Table-1: Some standard chain pitch and gauge measurement.


Before starting measuring the chain, you will need to disassemble it from the chainsaw. So never forgot to put some extra precaution while you are going to disassemble the chainsaw again reset it.

If you are unaware of any power tools like a chainsaw, please don’t try to handle it. Kindly read and follow all the safety precautions written on the manufacturer manuals.

Before handling the chainsaw, be sure you have switched off the power source of the machine.

A chain if properly do not fit with the chain bar, it becomes a dangerous tool for the user.

Therefore, you should avoid measuring the chain and should seek professional assistance if you cannot measure accurately.

Is it possible to replace the chain without measuring the chain?

If the chain and the chain bar does not match to each other, you cannot set this particular chain on to the chain bar.

That means you have to know the measurement of both the chain and the chain bar. So, without a manual analysis of your chain, how could you be able to set the chain onto the chain bar?

Follow the below steps; perhaps you will get a onetime solution to avoid manual measurement of the chain.

  1. Find the chain pitch and gauge number from the chainsaw. You can also collect this information from the user manual of your chainsaw as well.
  2. If you are going to change the chain for the second time, then this step is for you. Once you buy one chain for your chainsaw, try to remember the pitch and gauge information with which you purchase this chain for your chainsaw. Each time you replace the chain with another one, but all the chain information on your notebook so that the second time you can easily collect this info when you need it.
  3. This step is for an experienced or professional chainsaw handler. An experienced chainsaw user can quickly the pitch and gauge the measurement of any chain just by looking at all.

However, it is not a justified method, so we never suggest to rehearsal this step.

Final verdict

Measuring the chainsaw chain is not too much complicated; you just guessed it. Know the pitch number, gauge number and the drive link number, you will able to calculate the chain length quickly.

See the below formula and place all your numeric value which you measured a few minutes earlier. You will get your chainsaw chain length just in a while.

A chainsaw Chain Length = Total Drive Links +Pitch measurement +Gauge measurement.

So that is all about on- How to measure a chainsaw chain.

Hopefully, you have found this article as a useful one. Please do not forget to share this article on your social account.

Thank you very much.

error: Content is protected !!