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Ultimate Chainsaw Chain Pitch Guide. What professionals say

We understand that finding the right chainsaw chain pitch can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created this guide, to provide you with the knowledge you need.

Is it important to know the chainsaw chain pitch?

Yes, it is important to know your chainsaw’s chain pitch. Pitch affects cutting speed and smoothness. Shorter pitches cut slower, larger ones are faster but vibrate more. Ensure the pitch matches the guide bar groove. Correct pitch measurement is crucial for selecting the right replacement chain.

Unsure about your chainsaw chain pitch? We’ve got you covered. Continue reading to find out more about matching the chain pitch with the pitch of the drive sprocket and bar nose sprocket.


Measuring the Pitch of a Chainsaw Chain: A Guide

In the world of chainsaws, determining the pitch of a chain is crucial. It’s important to understand that both metric and imperial measurements are used interchangeably. For instance, a chain pitch labeled as 0.325 inches translates to approximately 1.5 millimeters in the metric system.

Always strive to familiarize yourself with both systems, as this knowledge will prove useful for purchasing chains worldwide. The Handbook of Forestry published by Agricultural Engineers is an excellent resource to learn more about these measurements.

• A Closer Look at Chainsaw Chain Gauge Measurements

When discussing chainsaw chains, the term ‘gauge’ often pops up. This refers to the thickness of the drive links. While some common measurements, such as 0.050, 0.058, 0.043, and 0.063 inches are often mentioned, you should note that other gauge sizes, such as 0.0435 inches, are also available.

• Counting the Drive Links on a Chainsaw Chain: Ensuring Accuracy

Counting the number of drive links on a chainsaw chain is an important yet meticulous process. To avoid miscounts or other errors, it’s recommended to count each drive link individually. This will ensure the highest level of accuracy and assist you in determining the correct chain size for your chainsaw.

• Finding the Right Chainsaw Chain: Checking the Manual

The quest for a perfectly matched chainsaw chain is made simpler with the right information. It’s highly recommended to consult your chainsaw’s user manual or even reach out to the manufacturer for specific recommendations.

This is due to possible variations or specific requirements applicable to your particular chainsaw model.

• Exploring Specialty Chainsaw Chains

While there’s a plethora of chainsaw chains with features like self-sharpening abilities, built-in lubrication, low vibration, or ripping capabilities, you should also be aware of specialty chains.

One example is safety or rescue chains, designed specifically for use by emergency response teams. This variant is known for its enhanced durability and high performance, ideal for rescue operations.

• Interchangeable Chainsaw Chains: Evaluating Compatibility

Chain interchangeability is not as simple as it seems. It’s not just about the chain; a thorough compatibility check of the guide bar and other components, like the tensioner hole and oil holes on both chainsaws, is required.

Your chainsaw’s performance could be severely affected if all the components don’t fit together seamlessly.

• Leveraging Chainsaw Manufacturers’ Identification Systems

Lastly, I’d recommend utilizing the tool identification systems provided by some chainsaw manufacturers. These software programs or guides can help users select the appropriate chainsaw chain for a specific model based on different criteria or measurements.

• Wrapping Up

Choosing and fitting the right chainsaw chain can be a complex task, but it’s crucial for the optimal operation and lifespan of your chainsaw.

By understanding the pitch and gauge measurements, ensuring compatibility with your chainsaw, and making use of the available resources and systems from manufacturers, you can effectively eliminate any guesswork and confidently find and fit the appropriate chain.

For more information about chainsaw maintenance and operation, the Home and Garden Information Center of Clemson University offers helpful guides and articles.

• Chainsaw Chain Basics: Understanding Chain Measurements

To fully comprehend the intricacies of chainsaw chains, it’s beneficial to have a firm grasp of the key measurements: pitch, gauge, and drive links.

– Pitch Value: Half the Distance Between Three Rivets

The pitch is a number that represents half the distance between three successive rivets of the chain. This metric is vital as it provides information about the size of the chain. You’ll find the measurement expressed in inches which makes it a universally understood parameter.

Remember, shorter pitch values on your chainsaw chain typically result in smoother cutting but at a slower rate, while larger pitch values increase the speed but could result in rougher cuts.

– Gauge Value: The Thickness of the Drive Links

Another vital value necessary for understanding your chainsaw chain is the gauge, which refers to the thickness of the drive link. Like the pitch, this measurement is given in inches.

Crucially, ensure the gauge of your chain matches the groove of your chainsaw guide bar. Incorrect matching can lead to a poor fitting and may cause potential damage or risk.

– Drive Links: More Than Just Teeth

The drive links are the “teeth” on the underside of the chainsaw chain and play a vital role in the overall functioning of your chainsaw. The number of drive links is directly correlated to the length of the chainsaw chain. Therefore, accurate counting of the drive links is necessary to identify the correct chain length.

When you have determined all three measurements – pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links, you’ll successfully navigate the first step in identifying the right chainsaw chain for your needs.

• The Aggressiveness: Speed and Smoothness of a Chainsaw Chain

The efficiency of a chainsaw depends significantly on how aggressively its chain can cut through wood. Three levels of chain aggressiveness exist anti-kickback, skip-tooth, and full skip chains.

– Choosing the Right Chain: Anti-Kickback, Skip-Tooth, and Full Skip Chains

The most common chainsaw chain is the anti-kickback. As the name suggests, these chains help prevent potential kickback accidents, enhancing the safety of the chainsaw operation. They may cut slower, but your safety is assured.

Skip-tooth chains, on the other hand, possess spaces between each of their cutting links. This design boosts the cutting rate substantially, making them ideal for quick but rough cuts.

For large chainsaw users, the full skip chains are the best option. Known as the most aggressive chains, they have a significantly higher cutting speed than the other two types. However, they also require greater skills to handle.

• Gearing Up for Chainsaw Usage

Understanding the measurements and types of chainsaw chains ensures smooth and efficient operation whenever you need to replace a chain. You’ll be better equipped to choose a suitable chain tailored to the complexity of the task at hand.

For further information regarding chainsaw chain measurements and types, check out this comprehensive guide at Oregon State University Extension Service. You’ll gain more insights into the world of chainsaw chains and their utility.

Remember, understanding chainsaw chains is not just about choosing any chain that fits. It’s about selecting a chain that not only suits your chainsaw size but also perfectly aligns with the nature of your cutting job.

With this knowledge at your disposal, you are always assured of a safe and seamless chainsaw operation.

Understanding Different Chainsaw Chain Types and Features

One important consideration when choosing a chainsaw chain is the different types and features that are available. These include self-sharpening chains, chains with built-in lubrication, low-vibration chains, ripping chains, and carbide chains.

– Self-Sharpening Chains

Self-sharpening chains are designed to reduce the effort and time required for maintenance. They utilize specially designed teeth to sharpen themselves while they operate. Over time, this attribute can significantly extend the lifespan of your chainsaw.

– Chains with Built-In Lubrication

Chains with built-in lubrication features maintain optimal performance by reducing heat and friction during operation. By delivering oil directly to critical areas of the chain, these types of chains extend operational life and reduce wear and tear.

– Low-Vibration Chains

Low-vibration chains help to reduce user fatigue and provide a smoother cutting experience. This feature is particularly advantageous for those users who operate chainsaws for extended periods.

– Ripping Chains

Ripping chains are designed to make long, smooth cuts against the grain of the wood. These chains are popular among woodworkers who use chainsaws for milling lumber.

– Carbide Chains

Carbide chains are known for their exceptional durability and longevity. They feature rugged, hard carbide tips that can withstand the toughest of cutting conditions.

• Selecting the Correct Chainsaw Bar

It is important to note that not all chainsaw bars are interchangeable. Compatibility should be determined based on the model of the chainsaw, the size of the bar, and the alignment of the tensioner and oil holes.

The Oregon Guide Bar and Chain is a great resource for figuring out which bars are compatible with your particular chainsaw model.

Before purchasing a new bar, I recommend examining your existing bar and noting down its size, the location of the tensioner and oil holes, and the model of your chainsaw. Armed with this information, selecting a compatible chainsaw bar will be a straightforward process.

• Measuring Your Chainsaw Chain

Understanding the measurements of a chainsaw chain is crucial for matching the correct chain to your chainsaw. The three necessary measurements include pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links.

– Understanding Chain Pitch

Chain pitch is defined as the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. This measurement gives insight into how closely the chain’s teeth are spaced.

– Understanding Chain Gauge

Chain gauge refers to the thickness of the drive link where it fits into the guide bar. This specification is crucial because a chain’s gauge must match the guide bar’s groove.

– Understanding the Number of Drive Links

The number of drive links in a chain refers to the number of teeth that fit into the chainsaw’s guide bar. This factor is important for ensuring that your chain fits snugly and operates safely.

• How to Find the Right Chainsaw Chain using

The online platform is a useful resource for finding the correct chainsaw chain. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to use these measurements to find the right chain for your needs.

  1. On the home page, type ‘chainsaw chain’ into the search bar and hit enter.
  2. On the resulting page, you’ll see options to refine your search by ‘Part Category,’ ‘Part Title,’ and ‘Part Number.’ Below these, you’ll find a section that allows you to input specifications. Here, you can enter the pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links.
  3. After entering your measurements, click ‘Find Parts.’
  4. The site will then display a list of matching chains, from which you can select the most suitable option for your chainsaw.

In conclusion, the world of chainsaw chains can be complex, with a variety of types, features, and measurements to consider. However, by familiarizing yourself with these differences and taking the time to measure accurately, you can ensure that you select the best chain for your needs.

Understanding Chainsaw Chain Size

For those unfamiliar with chainsaw maintenance, determining the proper chain size for your chainsaw can indeed be confusing.

However, with proper knowledge and research, you can find the chain perfectly matched to your chainsaw. This guide serves as an informative tool to properly measure and understand chainsaw chain sizes.

– Basic Measurements of a Chainsaw Chain

A chainsaw chain size can be determined by three specific measurements: the pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links.

The Pitch

The pitch is the distance between your chainsaw chain’s drive lugs, which also function as drive links. The easiest way to measure the pitch is by measuring every three rivets on your chainsaw chain and then dividing this measurement by two.

Most chainsaws commercial chainsaws use a pitch of 0.325″, 0.375″, or 0.404″, with 0.250″ as a less common size. Many consumer chainsaws often use a variation of a 0.375″ pitch called the low-profile chain.

The Gauge

The gauge of a chainsaw chain is the thickness or width of the chain’s drive lugs. The majority of chainsaws use a 0.050″ or 0.058″ gauge chain, while 0.043″ and 0.063″ gauge chains are less common.

Number of Drive Links

The number of drive links in a chainsaw chain is crucial in ensuring that your chainsaw has the correct sized chain. You can calculate the number of drive links by counting them from the chain you are replacing.

• Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain

Chainsaw chains indeed need regular sharpening to ensure optimal performance and safety. It’s crucial to sharpen chainsaw chains carefully to avoid any potential accidents during operation and ensure effective cutting after the sharpening process.

As you sharpen a chainsaw chain, please remember to remove all the material from the cutter, not just the top of the cutter. Additionally, Oregon University Extension provides an excellent guide on how to properly sharpen a chainsaw chain.

• Replacing a Stihl Chainsaw Chain

Stihl chainsaw chains have a unique proprietary marking system that includes the chain’s pitch, gauge, and other chain characteristics. If you’re replacing a Stihl chainsaw chain, consider looking at the Stihl Marketing Number System to ensure you’re getting the correct chain.

• Chainsaw Bar and Chain Size Chart

Utilizing a chainsaw bar and chain size chart can greatly aid you in finding the right chain for your chainsaw. These charts often list various chainsaw models from a multitude of brands. It details the corresponding chainsaw bar length, the chain size, and the number of drive links.

• Concluding Thoughts

Understanding how to accurately measure the size of a chainsaw chain can save you both time and energy. This guide provides a comprehensive source of essential tools, methods, and information needed to measure the chain size effectively.

Always ensure the accurate identification of your chainsaw’s pitch, gauge, and number of drive links before buying a new chain. Your chainsaw’s performance, effectiveness, and your safety heavily depend on the accuracy of these measurements.

Choosing the Right Chainsaw Bar and Chain

Chainsaws are handy tools in various settings, providing a vital service where manual saws and axes can’t get the job done. However, to ensure these tools are functioning optimally and safely, using the correct chainsaw bar and chain is crucial.

• Chainsaw Bars and Chains: Power and Size Parameters

The first thing you should know is that the chainsaw bars’ size is closely related to the power of the chainsaw itself. In general, larger bars are best suited for potent chainsaws with substantial horsepower. This correlation is due to larger bars requiring more power to cut through materials, which is only available in high-powered chainsaws.

For instance, electric chainsaws, which are generally less powerful than their gas-powered counterparts, usually utilize bars that are 18 inches or shorter. This size is optimal for these tools, considering their power limitations.

• Measuring Chainsaw Bar Length

Understanding how to measure your chainsaw bar length is vital in selecting the correct replacement bar. The measurement to consider is the usable length of the bar, not the overall length.To do this, measure from the bar’s front tip to the point closest to the cutter – the chain tooth that does the cutting.

Once you’ve obtained the measurement, round it up to the nearest even number in inches. This measurement constitutes your bar length, which is critical when purchasing a replacement bar.

• Determining Chain Size

Once you’ve settled on the chainsaw bar, the next step is to determine the chain size. The two key measurements here are the chain’s pitch and gauge.

The pitch refers to the distance between the chain’s links. Specifically, it’s the length between three consecutive rivets divided by two. The two standard pitches you’ll often come across are 3/8 inch and .325 inch.

To determine the chain gauge, you can use an efficient and easy method using coins. Chain gauge relates to the width of the groove where the chain fits into the chainsaw bar. By placing different coins into the groove, you can determine the correct gauge.

Usually, a penny fits .063 gauge, a dime fits .050 gauge, and a quarter fits .058 gauge. This makes it easy to find out your chainsaw gauge, a very pertinent specification when buying a new chain.

• Looking for Information on the Chainsaw

Your chainsaw itself could provide a wealth of information. Often, key details are stamped on the chainsaw bar near the rear end near the point closest to the cutter. You are likely to find both the chainsaw bar length and chain size marked here.

However, remember that with use and wear, this information might fade away, rendering this approach ineffective. In such cases, manual measurements are your best bet.

• Exploring Beyond Direct Replacement

When it comes to chainsaw bars and chain replacements, going for a similar replacement should typically serve you well. It ensures compatibility and guarantees seamless performance just like the previous bar or chain.

However, results can significantly improve by exploring options beyond direct replacement. For instance, a laminated bar consisting of two steel rails sandwiched over a steel core may work better. These bars are lighter, durable and are ideal for smaller chainsaw applications.

Another excellent option is a carbide-tipped chain. Compared to standard steel chains, carbide chains stay sharp for longer, cutting down on frequent sharpening and ensuring the chainsaw is always ready for use.

All in all, aligning your chainsaw bar and chain with your needs and the tool’s capabilities enhances performance and ensures safety. The selections should reflect adequately on the saw’s horsepower, the nature of tasks you intend to complete, and personal preferences for performance and maintenance.

Here is a useful link to the Oregon State University article, which talks about effective chainsaw usage and maintenance. This resource, notwithstanding its academic nature, is a great guide to understanding the role of chainsaw bar size and chain selection in overall chainsaw performance.

In conclusion, with this knowledge of chainsaw bar and chain selection, you should be better equipped to make an informed decision when the time comes for a replacement.

With the right understanding of your chainsaw’s capabilities, needs, and your tasks, it’s quite convenient and fulfilling to keep your chainsaw – a potent tool that saves time and effort, in optimal shape.

  1. Pearl Ramos says:

    This article helped me understand chainsaw chains better, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Pearl! We’re glad you found the article helpful in understanding chainsaw chains better. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

  2. Ava Jackson says:

    Are there online resources for chainsaw chain troubleshooting?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Ava, yes, there are many online resources available for chainsaw chain troubleshooting. Check out our guide for detailed information on matching the right chain pitch with your chainsaw.

  3. Megan Richards says:

    I’ve never thought about the pitch and gauge of a chainsaw chain before, learned something new!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Megan! Understanding chainsaw chain pitch and gauge is essential for optimal performance. We’re glad you found the information helpful.

  4. Mason Black says:

    Is pitch the same as gauge?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, knowing the chainsaw chain pitch is crucial for optimal performance. Dive into the details to ensure the right fit. Feel free to reach out for further assistance.

  5. Vicki Lucas says:

    What if I can’t find my chainsaw’s user manual?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Ensure the chain pitch matches the bar groove for optimal performance. Contact the manufacturer for specifications if manual isn’t available. Good luck with your chainsaw!

  6. Austin Ramos says:

    Very well explained, I appreciate the detailed information provided.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Austin. We’re glad you found the information helpful in understanding chainsaw chain pitch. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!

  7. Annette Kuhn says:

    Is it possible to convert metric measurements to imperial measurements for chainsaw chains?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it is possible to convert metric measurements to imperial measurements for chainsaw chains. Understanding the pitch is crucial for selecting the right replacement chain.

  8. Micheal Hawkins says:

    Is there a way to measure the bar length accurately without tools?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can measure the bar length accurately without tools by using a measuring tape or ruler. Measure from the tip to the closest cutter tooth. Matching pitch and gauge is essential for optimal performance.

  9. Thomas Rivera says:

    The tips on chain types and features are really helpful for someone new to chainsaws.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Thomas! We’re glad you found the tips helpful. Remember, matching the chain pitch to the drive sprocket and guide bar is key for optimal chainsaw performance.

  10. Darrell Byrd says:

    Super informative, I feel more confident choosing the right chainsaw chain now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Darrell! We’re glad you found the information helpful in choosing the right chainsaw chain. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Happy sawing!

  11. Derek Harris says:

    Great resource for anyone looking to understand chainsaw chain sizes and types better.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your positive feedback, Derek! We understand the importance of knowing chainsaw chain sizes and types. Feel free to reach out if you need further assistance.

  12. Roger White says:

    What are the benefits of using a carbide chain?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Knowing the correct chain pitch is crucial for your chainsaw’s performance. Matching the pitch ensures smoother cuts and efficient operation. For further info, check out the complete guide on our blog.

  13. Bill Lawson says:

    How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Bill. You should sharpen your chainsaw chain every 3-5 hours of use, depending on the type of wood and cutting conditions. Make sure to match the chain pitch with your guide bar groove.

  14. Frederick Perez says:

    Can I use any chain on any chainsaw?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it’s essential to match the chain pitch for optimal cutting performance. If you’re unsure, refer to your chainsaw’s manual or reach out to the manufacturer for guidance.

  15. Marie Vargas says:

    Great guide for beginners, very informative!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Marie! We’re glad you found the guide informative. Let us know if you have any other questions or need further assistance. Happy chainsawing!

  16. Charlene Hernandez says:

    How do I know if I need a specialty chain?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Knowing the chain pitch is crucial. It affects cutting speed and smoothness. Match the pitch with the guide bar groove for optimal performance.

  17. Theresa Anderson says:

    This guide really breaks down the complexities of chainsaw chains in an easy-to-understand way.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Theresa! I’m glad you found the guide helpful in understanding chainsaw chains. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

  18. Phillip Sullivan says:

    I had no idea about chainsaw chain measurements, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad we could help! Understanding chainsaw chain measurements is key to finding the right fit for your chainsaw. Keep up the good work!

  19. Shane Howard says:

    What are the consequences of using the wrong pitch chain?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Knowing the correct pitch chain is crucial for cutting speed and vibration. Always match the pitch with the bar groove for optimal performance. Thanks for your question!

  20. Aiden Dunn says:

    I love how this article covers everything from chain pitch to specialty chains, very comprehensive!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Aiden! I’m glad you found the article helpful. Understanding chainsaw chain pitch is crucial for optimal performance. Let me know if you have any questions about matching the right chain pitch to your chainsaw.

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