Chainsaw Bar and Chain Sizes: How to Measure?

While working with chainsaws, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that not every chain or bar works with every chainsaw. That’s why if you are replacing a chain or a bar on an old chainsaw, you must understand the sizes of these two and be able to measure them as accurately as possible.

And this article is about chainsaw bar and chain sizes and how to measure them. Let’s get started!

The Purpose of Measuring

The most common reason for anyone to measure the bar and chain of their chainsaw is when they have to replace it. Also knowing the exact measurements of the chainsaw bar and size will be helpful for you to adjust the carburetor. Because let’s face it, when you buy a new one, if you are not a technical junkie, you will not bother much about their sizes. But it becomes a whole different story when it comes to replacing.

Not every one of us can afford a brand new chainsaw every time our chains get old, or the bar needs changing. Not everyone might want to make multiple purchases of chainsaws more than once a year. Buying a new one is easier. Everything comes pre-installed, and all you have to do is unpack and get to work.

But as most of us don’t prefer it that way, the more cost-effective option is to replace it. You need to understand that the chain for your chainsaw must have a very good fit. A loosely fit chain or a chain that does not fit can pose a major threat to you while you work with your saw.

That’s why the moment you face any problem with your chainsaw’s chain or bar, the first thing you want to do is replace.

Suggested Reading: Where Can You Rent a Chainsaw in the US?


Chainsaw Sizes

How to Measure Chainsaw Bar and Chain Sizes

Before you can replace the chain or attach a chainsaw mill with the chainsaw, you need to know the actual size of the chain and the chainsaw bar. Learning about chainsaw bar and chain oil will come in handy as well.

Under normal circumstances, the owner manual that comes with a chainsaw upon purchasing should mention the sizes. But if you have lost the manual, you could try searching online or seek help from a professional.

However, if you are more interested in being a rebel and finding things out on your own, that is also an option, and this article will guide you precisely in that area. So, let’s find out how to measure the chainsaw bar and chain size on your own!

Also read: How You Tighten Chainsaw Chains.


Chainsaw Bar and Chain Sizes

Measuring the Length of the Bar

In many chainsaw bars, the bar length and other important information can often be found engraved. But if yours is different, it’s time to get to work.

To measure, first of all, you will require a tape. With the help of it, you will now have to start the real work. From the tip of the bar to all the way down to the end of the bar where the starting of the saw’s body is, you will have to measure the whole area.

Now, we all know that standard lengths of a chainsaw bar can be somewhere from 16 to 20 inches. Sometimes, the length can go up to at least 24 inches. If you are measuring the bar by yourself, it is important that even if the number isn’t a whole number, you consider rounding up to the closest whole number.

For example, if you record measurement of 19.5 inches, you will need to round it up and get a bar of the nearest whole number, which is 20 inches.

Measure Chainsaw Bar and Chain Sizes

Measuring the Chain

Measuring the chainsaw’s chain is going to be our next step. Effective measurement of a chain means that you are also able to measure its gauge, pitch, drive links, etc. So, you need to know about this even if you have the best chainsaw chain.

Step 1: Counting Drive Links

To begin with, let’s start by counting the number of drive links the chainsaw has. Although these numbers indicate the length, some brands may be different.

Now while measuring the chain size, you need to start with the distance that is positioned in the center of the three rivets situated back to back. And then, you’ll have to divide it by 2. The rivets hold the chain together, and the quotient you get is the pitch of the chain.

Generally, the sizes are either 0.375 inches or 0.325 inches.

Step 2: Measuring the Width of the Drive Links

The next thing you want to do is measure the width of the drive links, which is also known as the gauge. You can measure these using calipers, but coins work just as fine. You can use a quarter, a penny, and a dime and slide each coin into the bar groove without applying any additional force.

Make sure you remove any dirt or debris already existing on the groove. Now you can get the measurement referring to the thickness of the given coins. For the quarter, it’s 0.063 inches, for dime it’s 0.050 inches, for the penny, it’s 0.058 inches.

Now, you have to add the gauge and the pitch up, and what you get is the size of your chain, and the size of the pitch plus the number of the drive link is the length.



If you have managed to get to this stage, you now know enough about your chainsaw bar and chain size to replace them with ease. We wish you all the very best with it. Do checkout our article on chainsaw bar and chain oil.

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