How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain

When you need to replace your chainsaw chain, it’s important to know what size the original was and exactly how many teeth are on the new one. If you have a tape measure or ruler handy, use those tools for measuring. Otherwise, we’ll show you where in the saw blade area is most convenient for getting started with measurements.,

The “how to measure chainsaw chain for replacement” is a process that can be done in two ways. The first way is by measuring the length of the old chain, and then using this measurement to find the size of the new one. The second way to do it is by measuring the distance between each link on the old chain, and then finding the number of links on the new one.

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Chainsaws are one of those wonderful things that helped welcome us into modernity by allowing us to chop wood quickly, but they’re far from ideal and need a lot of upkeep.


Sharpening your chain properly and often helps prolong its life, but there comes a point when the edges are just too worn, the links shatter, and the saw begins smoking, and you know it’s time to replace it.

The good news is that this is a rather straightforward process. Chainsaws are simple to disassemble, and the bars adjust to enable you to replace the chain without requiring a great deal of skill.


However, you must measure the chain to verify that it is not just the correct size, but also that it fits properly for your safety and the operation of your saw.

Contents Table of Contents

  • When Should a Chain Be Replaced?
  • What You’ll Require to Replacing Your Chain
  • Obtaining a Correct Measurement
  • Terminology that Chainsaw Owners Might Find Useful
  • Safety Suggestions


When Should a Chain Be Replaced?

It’s critical to recognize when it’s time to replace your chain rather than just sharpening the teeth. A tiny, round file may sharpen your chain razor and help it last longer. Sawing with a dull chain, in fact, will cause you to require a new one sooner than any other use of your chainsaw.

However, at some time over the life of your saw, you’ll need to replace the whole chain.


How Do You Know When It’s Time to Change?

When it comes to determining when it’s time to put the file down and update the whole chain, there are a few tell-tale indications to look for.


  • The saw’s teeth are worn down, deformed, or completely broken off.
  • No matter how often you tighten the chain, it always comes loose again.
  • Even after the teeth have been sharpened, you may burn through wood and generate smoke.
  • Instead of wood chips, you start spewing up finely powdered sawdust.
  • The chainsaw rattles against you, refuses to keep straight, and seems unbalanced.

What You’ll Require to Replacing Your Chain

To correctly replace the chain on your saw, you just need a few simple things that you probably already have about the home. Here’s all you’ll need.

  • a tape measure, particularly retractable and flexible
  • a few of coins (quarter, dime, penny)
  • A socket or crescent wrench (depending on the bolt size) and/or a screwdriver are required tools.
  • The saw must be placed on a level, solid surface.
  • If you have a huge chainsaw, you’ll need a second set of hands to help.

Don’t worry if any of these objects appear strange; when you read more in this post, you’ll discover precisely what they’re for.

Obtaining a Correct Measurement

It should go without saying that you want a chain that is the correct length for your saw. It’s not like chains come in lengthy, one-size-fits-all lengths that you can shorten by deleting links. This not only requires a great deal of effort and knowledge, but it’s also quite hazardous, given the razor-sharpness of fresh saw teeth.

So, here’s how to measure your chain precisely.

1: Determine the length of the bar

The first step is to determine the size of the bar on your saw, which is the section of the saw where the chain wraps and travels. Although this is the length of your saw rather than a chain measurement, you’ll still need the bar length when buying a new chain. It offers you a rough idea of where to seek for chains that are the right length for your saw’s bar.

This is a really straightforward procedure. Simply extend your measuring tape from the front of your saw to the furthest tip (the roundest part of the bar). If there are any fractions of an inch, just round up. This is most likely related to the tension and how your bar is tightened.

2: Determine the Pitch

Measure the distance between three consecutive rivets, the round knobs on the front of the chain links, to determine the pitch of your chain. If you want the new chain to function the same as the old chain, it’s critical that you pay attention to the pitch.

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This is due to the fact that longer pitches take larger bites out of the wood and are employed for larger, harder wood kinds. If you use your chainsaw for limbing, brush work, or other tasks, your pitch is likely shorter, and you’ll require a new chain with a shorter pitch.

3: Determine the Gauge

To verify that the chain fits correctly within the bar’s grooves and functions properly, you should measure the gauge inside the bar. You can buy a new chain with the precise length and pitch you need, but it won’t work if the gauge is too thin or thick.

It’s important to note that the gauge variation is just a few millimeters, yet this minor change might make a big impact. This is when the coins enter the picture. A quarter has a broader gauge, generally around.063, a dime has a thinner gauge, usually around.050″, and a penny has a thinner gauge, usually around.058″. To find out, just place the coins in the groove.

You’ll want to count the links ahead of time so that you can count them again for your new chain. If you obtain the length and pitch of the chain, and your old chain has X number of links, you’ll know something’s wrong if the new chain reportedly has the same pitch and length, but has more or less links.

Terminology that Chainsaw Owners Might Find Useful

We went over some of this language before, but let’s go through it again again so you understand precisely what these pieces are for. You don’t want to go into a chain replacement without knowing what you’re doing.

Even if you successfully install a new chain, if you don’t understand all of the pieces and what they perform, you might wind up with the incorrect gauge, pitch, and sawing catastrophe.

  • Of course, you’re aware of what a bar is. This is the lengthy metal piece that protrudes from your saw and keeps the chain in place. It has a groove all the way around it, which the chain will sit in and spin around in.
  • Drive (Chain) Links: The chain’s links are likewise rather self-explanatory, but you must fully comprehend how the teeth function. For example, many individuals wind up putting their chain on wrong or not tightening it sufficiently. This may put you in grave risk.
  • The gauge of your saw is the groove that goes around the bar we mentioned before. It’s vital to notice the breadth of this since the chain will rest in it. If the replacement chain is too broad, your engine will stall, smoke, lock up, and the chain will break. When cutting, if the chain is too thin, it might fly off. This is terrible news for the operator in either case.
  • Pitch: The pitch of a chain refers to the distance between the rivets that connect the links. They will have the same spacing. Understanding your chain’s pitch can help you determine if it can tear through large trees or is better suited to smaller trees and bush. You may use a wood chipper to generate mulch for your backyard once you’ve chopped them down.

Safety Suggestions

Before you put a new chain on, let’s go over some Safety Suggestions for this particular procedure, and also tips to ensure that you are extending the life of your chain.

  1. Keep an eye on your teeth: Even dull teeth may rip your skin wide apart. When working with a chain, it’s ideal to wear some comfortable, form-fitting gloves. Many individuals believe they can avoid cutting themselves but end up needing stitches.
  2. Find a Flat, Sturdy Surface: Even if you’re wearing gloves, holding the saw freehand or on an inclined surface might cause the saw to slide and chew into your arm, fall off and strike your knees, or worse. Before you begin, make sure you have a level, stable surface.
  3. Maintain Your Saw Properly: Knowing how to properly maintain your saw will guarantee that you won’t have to replace the chain any time soon. Proper chain sharpening is essential, as is maintaining proper tension and never cutting through materials that put too much strain on your saw.


A chainsaw chain pitch is the distance between two points on a chain. It is measured in inches, and it’s important to know this measurement when you are cutting wood with your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

A: There are four chains available for purchase in the game. You can choose between a standard chain, an alloy chain, a sharpening steel chain and the titanium flintlockchain which is only obtainable by redeeming 300 hours of gameplay on your account.

What does 3/8 mean on a chainsaw chain?

A: It means that the cutting edge is 3/8 of an inch in width.

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