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How to Choose an Ideal Chainsaw Chain for Beginners?

by JEREMY HIPA 20 May 2022 0 Comments

Most home users who do not have much chainsaw DIY experience may have no idea about how to choose a suitable chainsaw chain. Before you purchase the chain, at least you should know the pitch, the gauge, and the number of drive links or the length of the guide bar, as they determine whether the saw chain can be put on your guide bar. Once you have made clear the means of the parameters, other things about the chain are your choice of preference. Except for these three crucial parameters, we have sorted out some other factors which should be taken into consideration as well, such as safety, durability, efficiency, and so on.

The Meaning of The Three Parameters

The Chain Pitch


Chain pitch is the average distance between every two drive links on your chainsaw chain, which is usually displayed with other parameters in a stamp on the guide bar of your chainsaw chain, in inches. In more precise words, the pitch is also determined by the half length of every three rivets on chains.
If you have no idea about the pitch, you can give your old chainsaw chain to your dealer who can help to measure it. There are commonly 5 pitches available in the market: 1/4”, 3/8” LP, 3/8”, .325”, .404”, among which 1/4” and 3/8” LP are the most popular pitches for homeowner chainsaws. It’s important to make sure that the pitch you choose perfectly meets that marked on the guide bar.

The Drive Link Gauge

the gauge

The drive link gauge is the thickness of the drive link. It is a standard that helps your chainsaw chain find a suitable guide bar. Like the pitch, the gauge is also displayed on the guide bar stamp such as .043", .050", .058", .063", and so on. Using a chainsaw with the wrong size chain may leave margins between the guide bar and saw chain, and too much slack in your chain can cause the saw chain to jump the bar.

The Number of the Drive Links

drive links

The length of the chainsaw chain is subject to the number of drive links and the pitch of the chainsaw chain. The size of the chainsaw chain loop is also determined by the two parameters of your chainsaw: the more drive links on your chain, the longer your chainsaw chain is, and the bigger the loop of your chain.
In some cases, you are also supposed to know the length of the guide bar which just refers to the usable part of the bar if the stamp has faded away and you fail to offer the number of the drive links.
Importantly, make sure that these parameters of the chainsaw chain you choose are the same as the parameters displayed on your guide bar, or you will not get a suitable chain that performs efficiently and perfectly.

An Ideal Chainsaw Chain For Beginners

After we have learned how to choose a suitable chain, an ideal chain for home use also matters.

The Low Profile Chain

If you are using a chainsaw for home jobs or firewood around your garden, a low profile chain would be a good choice. The low profile saw chains feature better anti-kickback and low-vibration function via bumper drive link or ramped depth gauge designs. With improved safety, the risk of handy injury would be reduced to the lowest possible level. Compared with other types of chainsaw chains, it is a smaller chain with a more comprehensive cutting capacity.

low profile chain

As one of the most common chains on the market, low-profile chain comes in semi chisel cutter teeth and is capable of handling all kinds of woods. That also means the low profile chain is more durable and reliable than the full chisel chain which dulls faster and requires more frequent sharpening.

Please let us know if this works and if you have any suggestions or comments. Or you can join us to feature your passion for repair projects, share your stories with the Hipa family and also get help from Hipa.

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