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How to Identify the Size of Your Chainsaw Chain

by JEREMY HIPA 09 Jul 2022 1 comment

Home users who do not have much chainsaw experience may be trapped by how to identify the chain size. Usually, the chain size is determined by four basic parameters: the pitch, the gauge, the number of drive links, and the bar length. Here is a step-by-step guide to show you how to measure the parameters.


Before starting, you’ll need some tools and protective wear.
1. A pair of protective gloves
2. A tape measure
3. Some coins (a quarter, a penny, and a dim)

The Easiest Way

If you are lucky enough, you can find a size stamp on the guide bar to help you identify your chain size.

how to identify the size of your chainsaw chain

If your size stamp has faded away over time, you can also follow this guide to learn how to get yourself a right saw chain.

HOW TO Measure the Pitch

The pitch is the average distance between every two drive links, or in other words, the half distance of every three rivets on the chain.
the pitch of the chainsaw chain
You can measure the distance of every three rivets using the tape measure and divide the number by two. For example, three rivets that measure ½ an inch divided by two give you a pitch of a ¼ inch.

HOW TO Measure the Gauge

Here is a practical method named the coin test which is based on the fact that the groove thickness equals the chain gauge.

how to measure the gauge of the chainsaw chain

Ensure the groove of the guide bar is nice and clean, and use every coin you prepared to slide into the top groove of the guide bar. If the coin fits snugly without any resistance and fails to slide down, you can make sure the thickness of the coin is the exact gauge of the guide bar.

Respectively, the thickness of a quarter, a penny, and a dim are .063 inches, .058 inches, and .050 inches, the most common gauges on the market.

HOW TO Measure the Bar Length

how to measure the guide bar length

You are supposed to measure with a tape measure from the tip of your guide bar back to the front of the power head. What you need to measure is the usable part of the guide bar. If you had measured the wrong part, you would not get the right number of your guide bar and never find the right chain for your chainsaw.

It is worth mentioning that if your measurement comes up a little short, like 18 or 19 inches, you need to round it up to the next closest even number because all guide bars come in even number lengths.

HOW TO Identify the Number of the Drive Links

what is the drive link

You just need to count the drive links one by one if there is no a stamp on the guide bar.

Product Recommendation


 What is the Hipa All-In-One kit? Why you need it? How does it helps? Here is my another blog that explains these question: HIPA All-In-One Kit--The Ultimate Solution For Small Engine Maintenance

Hipa's parts kits make it quick and easy to maintain or restore your lawn and garden equipment. Whether you need replacement parts, tools, or help, has the small machine solution for you.

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1 comment

25 Oct 2022 Robert Knight
I will try your measurements.

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