Chainsaw is one of the most helpful tools for any gardener. It will assist you when cutting woods, keeping your backyard clean and support you passion as an arborist. Well, you may think, what’s new about it? Good point! Actually, there are multiple types of chainsaws. Let’s admit it, it is difficult for anyone to just pick and buy one.
After you have purchased the right chainsaw that fits your needs, the one thing that might be a problem for you is when you need to replace the chain. With time, your chain will not work as before, rust may also appear or lack of strength will be apparent. These are some of the problems with a chainsaw that need to be solved. You will need to get your hands dirty; do you know where to start?
How to measure chainsaw chain in order to replace the old one with the brand new one? We will help you with that. First, let us go back to the moment when you started to notice that your chainsaw does not perform as well as it did before. You decided that it was the right time to replace it and buy a new one. Practical questions may have popped up like:
- how to measure chain on chainsaw;
- how to measure the chainsaw chain size or guide;
- Also how to measure the chainsaw chain length, bar length, etc.
Therefore, were we, at the first time experiencing that? As a relatively new chainsaw user, we were not aware of how to measure chainsaw chain length, chainsaw bar length or even read a chainsaw chain size guide. With time, we learned the best practices, and now we are ready to share our little secrets with you. The first we would suggest to you is refer to the manual that comes with the chainsaw the moment you bought it.
It will show you specific details like the bar, the pitch, the driver link and, gauge. These elements are more than important because they will lead you to a proper replacement of your chain. It might be difficult to measure the chainsaw chain if you do not know the required details on a chainsaw.
Thus, we will describe how to measure the chainsaw chain regarding its bar length, guide size and, some useful tips when using a chainsaw. Below you will find the necessary explanation on certain aspects of the chainsaw that will guide you to determine the length of your chainsaw chain.
Table of Contents
Chain Measurements and How to Measure Them
If you want to know how to measure chainsaw chain, you need to start from the easy way to the difficult one. A simple method to measure the chain of your chainsaw. Whether we are talking about the length, the gauge or the driver links, is not measuring them at all. All you have to do is look on the chainsaw’s bar. Which is in the interior part of the chain where it interlocks with the saw.
You will be able to notice certain stamped numbers that will help you read and measure chainsaw chain length and size. Usually the first number, the one in fractions refers to the pitch, then the number of the driver links and, finally the size of the gauge measured in inches. Also, another way to measure the chain length for a chainsaw is to start measuring the four elements on a chain.
Chainsaw Chain Size Guide
There are 4 main elements you need to know, when measuring the chainsaw chain size: the bar, the pitch, the number of driver links and the gauge.
When measuring the chainsaw bar length all you have to do is measure the two extreme points of your saw. Start from the furthest point and stretch your caliper until you reach the opposite extreme.
After you have measured the length, round up the number to the nearest inch, so that you can obtain the displacement or the concept that is commonly known as “called length”. To detect the pitch distance you need to measure the length between any three consecutive rivets, and then divide the outcome by two. Rivets are small-headed pieces of metals that maintain the chain line attachment.
Put you caliper above three rivets and, measure the distance from the first rivet to the third one, while the second rivet serves as the center of this length. By dividing it in half you will be able to find out the length of the pitch. Commonly, there are two different types of pitch defining: as a fraction or as a decimal. The pitch measurement helps you know the type of the chain. Shorter pitch means smaller and lighter chain and vice versa as well. When we speak about the pitch, usually, there are three different sizes: saws ⅜, .325″ and ⅜ regular.
The third element of the chainsaw you need to know about, are the driver links. Usually measuring the driver links is a bit difficult but crucial for the chainsaw chain length. Driver link refer to the teeth or lugs on the lower part of the chain.
These kind of fangs extend on all segments of the chain to empower it by fastening the drive wheel. When you need to find out the length of the driver links, first put the chain on a flat table or platform. Match the driver links together in a parallel way and, make sure that the driver links face each other. After that, you should count the number of all driver links on your chain. Thanks to the position you have placed them, it is more convenient to count the driver links two by two.
The last element you need to know when measuring the chain of your chainsaw is the gauge. It refers to the strength of a chain’s driver links. When the driver links are thicker, they are also stronger, as a result weigh more. The latter reflects in performance and, to have a better proportionality on speed and power. It is better to keep weight on a small size.
The gauge is the size of the thickness of the driver links that a chain has. To measure the gauge you can use a dial caliper, which is also known as a dial indicator that helps you measure the exact size of the gauge. If you do not have a dial caliper, we offer this helpful tip for you to determine the gauge size. Take a coin, specifically a dime, a penny or a quarter.
Secondly, you need to clean out the groove of the bar as well as you can for the coin to perfectly fit. Find out which one of the coins fits better in the groove. The references of the coins length are for the dime =.050 gauge, for the penny .058 gauge, and for the quarter .063 gauge.
Advices to Help You
After learning about the four elements, you now know to perfectly measure the size of chain on chainsaw. We have some useful tips and advices to have a better operating chainsaw, sharpening your blade for full efficiency. And showing caution when replacing the chain due to its risks. A chain can’t last forever so eventually you will need to replace it sooner or later.
But, maintain it can expand its durability. Like any other blade, your chain needs to be sharpened. So, practice it often too keep the blade aggressive enough to cut woods and other materials. Lubricate the bar in order to better move, circulate and, protecting the chain from any rust that may create during use. Regularly control the depth of the gauge when you have sharpened your chain.
This process is essential when the chain is fixed around the chainsaw for better movement. Consequently, problems may arise if the chain does not fit properly on the chainsaw. So, caution needs to be shown to avoid any unpleasant surprise. The manual that you get when you have purchased the chainsaw is very helpful so read it carefully. Also try to follow the instruction when using your chainsaw.
To sum it up, we have mentioned all the required parts of a chainsaw chain. As we said, the easiest way is to look at your chainsaw manual where you can find relevant information before ordering a new chain. Also, you can measure the bar size, the pitch length, the number of driver links as well the thickness of your gauge by referring to the guidelines that we have explained above.
Additionally, a number of tips and advices have been provided to you in order to show care of your chainsaw and also caution for any problem that may appear. Finally, if you have more questions or difficulties you can ask a professional to avoid any problems that may occur.