How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain?

The market today gets flooded with chainsaws of various sizes, power, and designs. As a result, all these chainsaws call for maintenance differently. But no matter the chainsaw, due to frequent use, their chains will have to get placed at some point in their life.

Like many chainsaw owners, you may wonder how to replace your chainsaw’s chain. Luckily, in this article, you shall get insight into how to measure a chainsaw chain to replace it with the correct size. But first, let’s look into when you should consider replacing your chainsaw chain.

When to Replace Chainsaw Chain

Despite taking good care of your chainsaw, you might find that it’s not working correctly. In such a case, you need to replace its chain. However, your chainsaw chain is broken or if you have needed a new one. This chain saw chain buying help you for sure: other instances you need to change your chainsaw’s chain are:

  • If the chainsaw’s teeth are worn or broken
  • The chain tension doesn’t stay tight
  • The chain tension is fast and doesn’t loosen
  • Removes smoke while cutting
  • Leaves sawdust after cutting instead of wood chips
  • The chain rattles looks or feels unbalanced

When sure you need to replace your chainsaw, you need to have some items to enable you to measure its chain size to be able to replace it with the correct chain length. The following are the tools you need;

Items Required for Measuring a Chainsaw Chain

  • Few coins; It could be either a quarter, dime, or penny
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver or scrunch

But before we go into the process of how to measure a chainsaw chain, you need to know the terminologies used to understand better. They include the following;

Terminologies Used in Measuring a Chainsaw Chain

  1. Bar

It is what your chainsaw’s chain spins on and sit. It comes a flat metal with a grooved section where the saw drive links get located.

  1. Drive Links

Drive links get fitted into your chainsaw’s bar groove and get used to secure the bar. You will find them located along the chain’s bottom, at the opposite of the cutting teeth.

   III. Gauge

It refers to the drive links’ thickness. It helps prevent the chain from getting off the bar.

  1. Pitch

It is the distance between your chainsaw’s drive links

To effectively measure the length of your chainsaw’s chain, the combined knowledge of the above terminologies is a must. But some chainsaws come with these measurements located on their bars’ tip, saving you from undergoing the measuring process. Because sometimes these measurements wear off with time, it is essential to know how these numbers get derived. Here is a step by step guide on how to measure your chainsaw’s chain size.

Measuring Chart

File/Kit Size Chain Size Oregon Chain Type
5/32” (4mm) 3/8 x .050” (1.3mm)

¼” x .050” (1.3mm)



11/64” (4.5mm) 3/8” x .043” (1.1mm) 90
3/16” (4.8mm) All .325” chains 20, 21, 22, 95
7/32” (5.5mm) 3/8” x .058” (1.5mm)

3/8” x .063” (1.6mm)

0.404 x .063 (1.6mm)



59, 27

 Step by Step Measuring Guide of a Chainsaw Chain

 Fortunately, the process is fast and straightforward. You only need to follow the following steps;

Step 1: Take the Bar’s Measurement

First, ensure the chain and bar are on to get a general number of the chain size and bar replacement. Measure the length of the chainsaw’s bar to determine the bar size.

Start from the saw’s front to the last cutting tip. Then round up the gotten measurements to the nearest inch. The result is called the ‘length,’ which the manufacturers refer to as an 18″ chainsaw, for example.

Step 2: Pitch Measuring

To measure the pitch, you’ll have to take three consecutive rivets and measure the distance. Then divide what you get by two to get the pitch. If the number is large, it means that the space between the links is large. As a result, the saw becomes aggressive and faster when cutting.

A smaller number indicates that the saw gets used in removing small chunks of wood at a particular time, and get meant for home use.

Step 3: Gauge Measuring

 Gauge measuring is tricky, and it’s, therefore, advisable to check the chainsaw’s user manual or bar. If you can’t find any of these, you then go ahead and use a method called “trick of the trade.” In this method, you get the coins and put them inside the bar groove.

Let the coin slide in snug effortlessly. If it’s a penny and slides without forcing it, then the gauge is 0.058″. For the dime and quarter are 0.050″ and 0.63″ consecutively. Though not common, some chainsaws come with a 0.043″ gauge.

Step 4: Counting the Drive Links

To ensure you replace the chain with the correct size, you need to count the drive links. You can do so by either removing the chain or loosening and spinning it. Ensure you mark where you start counting with something sharp.


As described above, you may need to change your chainsaw’s chain after some time. If your chainsaw doesn’t come with the measurements or have gotten worn out, the above step by step guide will help you get the correct size of your chainsaw chain.

Also, ensure you have all the right measuring tools, as illustrated above.





Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

Leave a Reply

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