How to identify your chainsaw chain

Posted by outdoorspares 03/03/2016 0 Comment(s)

How to identify your chainsaw chain

Here at, we are all too aware of the confusion and complication of trying to identify a chainsaw chain, especially if you have never done it before.

We hope the following guide will shed a little light on the parts that make up your chainsaw chain and how to understand and order a chainsaw chain accurately.



Chain Parts Makeup


You will need to know about pitch, gauge and drive links (DL) before you can select the correct chainsaw chain for your saw.


What actually is the Pitch?

This is the most complicated one, the size of a chainsaw chain is defined as pitch. This can be easily worked out but not without an accurate measuring tool like a Vernier caliper or the likes...thankfully most chains are already marked with some information to help with the identification process.

The pitch is defined simply as the distance between three rivets divided by two.  The pitch is measured using a decimal imperial measurement.  Three rivets are used purely because this distance/measurement remains constant along the whole length of the chain i.e. every set of three rivets are the same distance apart from the first to the third rivet.  You will see by the image below that there are actually two different distances/measurements if you only used 2 rivets.




Right, we're nearly finished with pitch. Now that you understand what pitch is and how it is calculated, we can help with identifying the most common instances of pitch that we come across on a day to day basis

.250" Pitch (measures .500" across 3 rivets) commonly known as 1/4" Pitch
.325" Pitch (measures .650" across 3 rivets) commonly known as .325" Pitch
.375" Pitch (measures .750" across 3 rivets) commonly known as 3/8" Pitch
.404" Pitch (measures .808" across 3 rivets) commonly known as .404" Pitch


Now Gauge?

This is much easier than the pitch; the gauge is simply the thickness of the drive link.  

This must match the width of the groove in the bar exactly. 




Again, to help you a little there is only a handful of different gauge measurements that are used.  


These can be measured either by metric or imperial means.  

1.1mm (.043")
1.3mm (.050")
1.5mm (.058")
1.6mm (.063")

And that's it for the gauge! You are well on your way to understanding and accurately identifying your chainsaw chain.


Drive link (DL) count:

For this final measurement you can either count the drive links on or off the chainsaw. Off is much easier and there is less chance of getting the count wrong. The drive links are the ones which look like mini sharks fins on the inside of a saw chain.


Use all the information above and you have everything you need to order the correct chain for your saw!