How to Measure Chainsaw Chain: A 5-step Guide

Have you ever wondered how to measure chainsaw chain? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but with the help of this guide you’ll be able to read your chain in just a few minutes. We’ll also go over how to change chains on your saw and what size chain is best for which type of cutting. This blog post will answer any questions that you may have about measuring chainsaw chain!

How to Measure Chainsaw Chain

1. Decide on the length of chainsaw chain you need .

This is the number one question that I get asked. When you buy chainsaw chain, it’s sold by its pitch (which is the distance between two rivets) and not by an actual length measurement. So, if you know how long your bar needs to be, decide what pitch size of saw chain will work best for you. This will depend on the type of saw you have and what you want to use it for.

2. Determine if your saw is a two-stroke or four-stroke model .

This is a big one. Did you know that the way you use your chainsaw and the fuel it uses affects what size saw chain you need? If you’re not sure, check out this blog post here  to see what type of model your saw is. If you can’t find any information on your specific saw, we recommend using a 20-inch, .325 pitch saw chain on all two-stroke models.

3. Determine the width of chainsaw chain you need (in millimeters) .

This is an easy step if you have any metric tools at your disposal. To determine the width of your chainsaw chain, measure the distance between two outer links that are directly across from each other. Your chainsaw’s owner’s manual should list this measurement for you.

4. Find out what pitch your saw uses – this will be stamped on the side of your saw’s sprocket housing .

You can also measure the pitch of your saw if you don’t want to find out the old fashioned way. The pitch is simply half of the chainsaw chain’s width measurement. For example, if your chainsaw has a .325″ (8.25mm) wide saw chain on it, then that specific model uses a .160″ (4.0625mm) pitch chain (this is the most common chainsaw chain pitch size).

5. Measure and cut your new chainsaw chain to size according to steps 1 through 4, then install it onto your saw for optimal performance!

If you find yourself in the position where your chainsaw chain breaks and you’re not sure what size saw chain you need, we recommend that you use a 20-inch, .325 pitch (8.25mm), 45 drive links (3/8 inch pitch) chainsaw chain on all two-stroke models.

Now that you know how to measure chainsaw chain, you may be wondering what size chainsaw chain is best for certain cutting applications. Chainsaw chain comes in different pitches and widths (the distance between the outer link plates), and each cut requires a different type of saw chain. Some people like to keep their bar oiled before cutting, while others prefer dry cuts. Here’s a list of the different types of cuts and what size chainsaw chain will work best in each scenario.

Types of Cuts:

Dry Cut– This is when your saw chain has no bar oil on it – dry chainsaw cutting is not covered in this blog post, but you can learn how to do a dry cut here .

Initial Cut – This is the first cut of a dry cut, where your chain will have bar oil on it. This type of cut should be done on an initial sharpening with new chainsaw chain so that you get the perfect cut for subsequent cuts.

Wet Cut – After you’ve made your initial cut, this type of cut is when you have a thin coat of bar oil on your chainsaw’s bar and chain.

Final Cut – This is the last cut in a wet or dry cut sequence – if you want to learn more about chainsaw cutting, check out this blog post here.

Light Cutting – This type of cutting involves sawing through materials that are not dense. Examples of these materials are balsa wood, plastic or lighter pieces of wood (i.e., 2″ x 4″).

Medium Cutting – This type of cutting involves sawing through denser materials like 1-1/2″ to 3 1/4″ trees.

Heavy Cutting – This is the most demanding type of cutting you will do with your chainsaw. It involves heavy, dense wood like 3 1/4″ to 6″ trees or 4″ to 8″ logs.

Note that chainsaw cutting technique varies depending on the type of material being cut – you can read more about sawing techniques here.

As mentioned before, there are different lengths and types of saw chains available for different applications, so you will need to refer to your owner’s manual or local authorized dealer for chainsaw chain information that pertains specifically to your saw.

Now that you know how to measure chainsaw chain, check out this blog post here  to determine the right size of bar oil for your specific chainsaw.

If you’re looking to find out how to sharpen your chainsaw chain , we’ve got the information that you need right here.

Finally, if your saw is new and can’t be registered with a manufacturer’s number or serial number , be sure to read our last blog post on this topic for more information.

We hope you find this blog post useful and that it helps you to determine the chainsaw chain you need for your specific applications.

If you have any questions about measuring chainsaw chain after reading this blog post, feel free to comment below or send us a message on Facebook  or Twitter . We’d be more than happy to help!

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