chain measure

Measuring a chainsaw chain is a bit tricker than the bar.

You can’t just walk into a store and pick up a chain that matches the effective cutting length of of the blade. General chain lengths, like 18 inches, are not interchangeable.

That’s because chainsaw chains actually have three measurements: number of drive links, pitch, and gauge.

The proper way for how to measure a chainsaw chain length is as follows:

  • Count the drive links — Count the individual links on the chain one by one.
  • Measure the pitch — This is the distance between each drive link. Measure the length between any three rivets. The rivets are what hold the drive links together. Then divide by 2 to get the pitch. Common pitch sizes include 1/4″, .325″, 3/8″, and .404″.
  • Measure the gauge — This is the width of the groove on the chain that fits on the bar. Common gauges include .043″, .050″, .058″, and .063″. You can use a tape measure to find this measurement on the chain itself.

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