How To Measure a Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw chains come in different types, features, and sizes. The reason that the chains are available in these different ways is because chainsaws are also range in sizes and applications. Therefore, when you are needing to have a chain replaced on your chainsaw, it is very important to make sure and gather all of the necessary information that you will need that is regarding to the chainsaw, as well as the chain for it. If you have the right measurements, the chain for the chainsaw will be easy to find. However, when you are trying to match the right chain is very different and can become complicated. Accessories for a chainsaw are not hard to get, but because of the unique way that chainsaws are measured, it isn’t as easy to find the perfect chain.

After you have matched the right size chain for your chainsaw, there are still many features and types of chains that match the application of your chainsaw. Finding the right application is a lot more straight-forward than finding the measurements. There are 3 chainsaw chain numbers that are necessary in finding a chain.

  • Pitch
  • Gauge
  • Number of drive links


When it comes to the pitch of the chain, it refers to how close together the links on the chain are to each other. When you are trying to figure out the pitch of these links, it is measured in the distance between any 3 rivets on the chain, then divided by half. It is a very complicated measurement to find, however, the way that chainsaws are designed today, display the measurements on the tool somewhere, or you can find it inside of the user manual as well. If the measurements are somewhere on the tool, you can usually find it on the guide-bar. This can be found towards the user-end of the chainsaw. It is important to know what you are looking for, because sometimes the measurements are mixed in with a bunch of other numbers. Most of the time they are displayed clearly and they aren’t too difficult to find.

Drive Links and Gauge

There are the parts of the chainsaw chain that fit inside of the guide bar, these are called the drive-links. When you are trying to find the drive links, you can find them at the bottom part of the chainsaw. So, if you were to look for these drive links, you will be able to find them at the bottom of the chainsaw chain, along the length of the chain. This means that you will need to math the perfect chain gauge to the saw, so that it will be able to fit correctly into the guide bar. You can also find the measurements displayed at the user-end of the guide-bar as well. The gauge measurements can be difficult to find since they are too small to see, and it is not recommended to try and measure them yourself. If you are not able to find the proper measurements, it is prudent to take it to a shop and have a professional measure it properly.

If the count is not already known to you, then you must count the number of drive links on the chain, so that you are able to purchase the right chainsaw chain to replace the old one. The overall length of the chainsaw chain itself is not enough when searching for the right chain, the overall length of the chain is determined by the number of the drive lengths, as well as the combination of the pitch. You will not be able to find the number of these links on the chainsaw like you can with the pitch and the gauge, and they will not be in the manual either. This is why you must be sure to count each one of the drive links.


In conclusion, there is a lot of information, as well as getting a lot of things straight, when it comes to finding the right chain for your chainsaw. The unique way that these tools are designed, means that it is necessary for you to understand as much of the terminology as you can about your chainsaw. Finding the right size chain for your chainsaw can be a long and difficult process, however, finding all of the proper information before purchasing a chain, is necessary so you won’t buy a chain that does not fit your chainsaw.

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