How To Measure a Chainsaw Chain – Complete Guide

How Do You Measure a Chainsaw Chain?

One can get chainsaw chains in any kind, features, and sizes as numerous combinations are available. The reason behind this is that chainsaws differ significantly in application and size.  

For landscape experts and arborists, chainsaws are a necessary instrument. This equipment eases daily works and makes all the heavy-duty jobs simple to manage and handle. But, these also need spare parts and exact maintenance.  

The work is not that too hard if you want to change the chain on your chainsaw. Just because of the particular way of measuring the chains, finding the chain’s exact size is somewhat tricky.  

If you deal with regular maintenance of chainsaws, you need to consider the size of several different sorts of chainsaws is available. Regardless of the kind of your saw, you need to do proper maintenance of your chain. Moreover, it would help if you replaced it with time. Here, you will get to know how to measure a chainsaw chain. 

Chains portray various distinctions because of the number of differences in sizes of the saw. Hence, it is mandatory to possess a chainsaw blade of the exact size. If you make use of the wrong sized one, you can put your life at various risks. 

So, to operate your saw, you must consider the chain. Now, are you confused about how to measure the chainsaw chain? Well, below mentioned tips would provide you informative details on how to measure the chainsaw chain. 

When to the Chainsaw Chain?

Chainsaw Not Cutting: Tips and Tricks to Get It Back on Track

It is essential to have the correct details related to the chainsaw and the chain’s size when you are thinking of replacing it. If you have all the correct measurements, then matching the correct chain to a chainsaw is simple. 

But, looking for other power instrument equipment is easy compared to matching the exact chain to a chainsaw. The reason behind this is the different manner of the measurement of the chains. The below-mentioned information will show how to measure the chainsaw chain. 

Oregon S56 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 16-Inch Bar, 56 Drive Links, Low-kickback chain, fits...
  • Durable, low-kickback, low-vibration chain helps reduce user fatigue for increased periods of work....
  • Fits these chainsaw models with a 16" bar: Craftsman: S160, S165, CMECS600, CMXGSAMN4216; Earthwise...
  • Also fits: Makita UC4051A, XCU03, XCU04CM; Oregon CS1400; Poulan PR4218, PL1416, PL3816; Remington...
  • Tough, long-lasting chrome outer layer and hardened rivets help reduce wear and allow for fewer...
  • Built-in Lubri-Tec automatic oiling system extends the life of your chain by delivering oil to key...

You will get to know if it’s a scenario for replacing the event you measure for a saw. To maintain them for a long, you need to keep all the chains in regular maintenance. However, if you are doing proper care of your saw and then it is not performing well, you need to consider buying a new one. 

Below mentioned are some things that will give you a hint for the need for a replacement –

  • When you cut, smoke is there
  • Unbalancing of chain rattles
  • Broke or worn teeth
  • Remains of sawdust and not of wood chips
  • No tightening of a chainsaw; either it is very tight or will not get loose.  

What you Require

You will require some coins for a quick trick of the trade, like a dime, quarter and a penny, and a measuring tape to measure the chain. Loosening it on the bar is also essential; hence you need to keep a screwdriver or scrunch with you.

Make use of a flat head screwdriver or scrunch and socket wrench to replace and remove your chain. 

Terminology for the Chainsaw for Measuring 

You must get familiar with some essential parts of a chainsaw to know what information is written here and how to measure your chainsaw chain. 


The chain spins upon and sits on the bar. The saw drive links sit within the grooved section of this flat metal piece.

Oregon 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar and L81 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain Combo, 81 Drive Links,...
  • This replacement 20" chainsaw bar and chain combo allows you to replace your bar & chain and upgrade...
  • This chainsaw bar and L81 chainsaw chain fit a wide range of Stihl chainsaw models up to 62 cc,...
  • The L81 chainsaw chain features Oregon’s special LubriTec oiling system, which helps to keep your...
  • Designed for low kickback and low vibration without sacrificing quality, the L81 chain offers...
  • AdvanceCut saw chains are ideal for landscaping professionals who occasionally cut wood and private...

Drive Links

They are securing a chain with the bar to drive links that accommodate the bar groove. Drive links are at the chain’s bottom and on the other side of cutting teeth.  


This terminology tells the thickness of the drive links. This will prevent the chain from slipping from the bar.


How to Measure the Chainsaw Chain

How to Add Bar and Chain Oil

Chainsaw measurement has very little to perform with the same chain’s length; however, it must do all with safety and fit. The chainsaw measurement is an integrated detail of the gauge, drive link number, and pitch. It is always at the bar’s tip to save you from doing all the measuring. 

These are those numbers that you can give a glance at the packaging of the new chain. However, knowing the derivation of these numbers is also essential. This is needed when you possess more laying throughout from some saw or since these wear off a properly-utilized bar. 

You do not have to spend a lot of time measuring a chainsaw for fit, which is quite a straightforward procedure. You need to go with the below-mentioned steps to know the selection of the correct chain for the chainsaw – 

Bar Measurement 

You need to measure the ‘called length’ to know the bar’s size. You have to perform this thing with the chain and bar ‘on’ and not off. You need to know that it isn’t right for the chain’s measurement, but it offers you a general number for chain size and bar replacement. 

You have to measure the saw’s front to the furthest cutting tip to perform the bar’s measurement. It would help if you did the rounding off of the closer inch when measured. You will get ‘called length’ with this is what makers utilize when they refer to 24″ inch or 18″ inch chainsaw.  

Measurement of the Pitch 

This measurement knows the exact distance in the middle of the links on the chain. You need to calculate the distance in the middle of any three consecutive rivets and then divide by two to calculate the pitch.

The number you will get is the pitch. The larger numbers will tell a bigger space in the middle of the links that will lead to aggressive and rapid cutting. The saw will get utilized to eliminate little wood amounts at a time if space is less.

This is frequently utilized in saws made for home utilization. 0.325, 3/8, and 0.404″ are the frequent pitches for the chains. The pitch is also visible on various guide bars; however, it is not valid in all cases.  

Gauge Measurement 

If you want an exact measurement, it is tough to look for a gauge, and you will require a pair of correct calipers. The gauge is mostly the lugs’ width. It isn’t easy to measure the gauge as there are unique little variations in the middle of the gauge’s distinct sizes o 

Monitoring the bar or checking the user’s manual is ideal for making sure of the size. You can use a rapid ‘trick of the trade’ in the event you are unable to detect the measurement.

Grab the coins (penny, dime, and a quarter). Slip these into the groove of the bar. You don’t have to put strength into it as you desire the coin to snug by way of sliding. 

  • Quarter – .063” gauge
  • Dime – .050” gauge
  • Penny – .058″ gauge

.050″ gauge is more frequent; however, there is also an existence of .043″ gauge.

Counting of the Drive Links

You can count the drive links to make sure that you have the correct replacement when you are having the measurement mentioned above. 

There may be a requirement for removing the chain; however, there is a possibility for the chain’s loosening and then rotate it over the bar for counting. In the event, you want an exact count, ensure to mark where you begin with the help of a sharpie. Go for double-checking also.

Tricks and Techniques to Maintain your Saw in Cutting Shape 

Sharpen the Chainsaw Chain

If you want your saw to operate securely and smoothly, check the below-mentioned tips and tricks. You have to replace your chain with time regardless of how properly you take care of your chain. However, if you go with these tips, then you can maintain it for a longer time and cut as per desire. 

  • When you sharpen your chain, it is necessary to monitor the depth gauge every 3-5 times
  • For simple movement, you need to keep the chain and bar well lubricated and to keep it from binding up
  • There is a requirement to rotate it to include extra years to the life of the chain 
  • Go for chain sharpening after every 2 hours or when you fill-up the gas tank 

Getting the Correct Replacement Chains 

You will get a user’s manual with your chainsaw. It will tell you which sort of chain is required for replacement. You can easily find the correct replacement chain at any hardware store if you are familiar with the model number of your chainsaw. The majority of the packaging of replacement chain makers describe in which chainsaw models they will adjust.  

Oregon S62 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 18-Inch Bar, 62 Drive Links, low-kickback chain, fits...
  • Durable, low-kickback, low-vibration chain helps reduce user fatigue for increased periods of work....
  • Fits these chainsaw models with an 18" bar: Atlas 56937, Craftsman CMXGSAMCN4218, S185, ECHO CS310,...
  • Also fits: Dewalt DCCS672b, Echo DCS500018c2, Kobalt KCS408006, Ryobi RY3818, RY40580. Precision,...
  • Tough, long-lasting chrome outer layer and hardened rivets help reduce wear and allow for fewer...
  • Built-in Lubri-Tec automatic oiling system extends the life of your chain by delivering oil to key...
Oregon S62T AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chains 2-Pack, for 18-Inch Bar, 62 Drive Links, 2x Replacement...
  • 2x chains designed for homeowners and landscapers: Set of 2 x 18 inch (45cm) pro-grade chainsaw...
  • Fits these chainsaw models with an 18" bar: Atlas 56937, Craftsman CMXGSAMCN4218, S185, ECHO CS310,...
  • Also fits: Homelite ZR43100, Masterforce 2000094ME, Poulan PR4218, Remington RM1645, Ryobi RY3818,...
  • Precision, heat-treated semi-chisel chains: Cut smoothly with a higher tolerance for debris. Tough,...
  • Built-in Lubri-Tec automatic oiling system: Extends the life of your chains by delivering oil to key...
Oregon R45 AdvanceCut Chainsaw Chain for 12-Inch Bar, 45 Drive Links, low-kickback chain fits...
  • Fits these chainsaw models: Craftsman - 98023, CMCCS620, CMCCS620M1, Dewalt - DCCS620B, DCCS620P1,...
  • Designed for homeowners and landscapers, the low-vibration, low kickback Chamfer Chisel cutters...
  • Precision, heat-treated semi-chisel chain cuts smoothly with a higher tolerance for debris. Tough,...
  • Built-in Lubri-Tec automatic oiling system extends the life of your chain by delivering oil to key...
  • Made in the U.S.A. - Limited Lifetime Warranty

You also need to consider that the chain’s size is not just one factor to understand when purchasing that. Various sorts of chainsaw chains are needed for distinct sorts of cutting. So, it would help if you contemplated all these when you go for buying a chain. 

Final Words 

You do not have to stress what the meaning of the numbers on a chainsaw is or how you can look for a correct match for your current chain at a hardware store. You will be readily familiar with all these numbers. You require a gauge, pitch, and drive link amount to create a match if you want an answer to how to measure the chainsaw chain. 

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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