How to Measure a Chainsaw – Complete User Guide

Every chainsaw will earn itself a replacement part or two over time. These measurements are easy to take. First of all, you need to determine the size of your the chain. This will enable you to find suitable replacements at a moment’s notice. There’s more than one way to find these measurements. However, we teach you to manually measuring your chain and more.

Determine the Pitch

To determine the pitch of a chain, you must register the distance between three of the metal studs. The studs are the steel pieces that connect the chain links. You must disconnect the chain from your chainsaw before attempting to measure it. Do so with utmost caution!

Lay your tape measure across a three-stud section of the chain. Do your best to straighten this portion of the chain before taking a measurement. Record the distance from the middle of one rivet to the middle of a third rivet. Divide your measurement in half.

The result of this equation should be a fraction of an inch. Manufacturers typically present a chainsaw’s pitch as a fraction or decimal. Popular chainsaw pitches include 3/8 inch, .325 inch, and 1/4 inch.

Don’t get too worried about measuring the pitch of your chain though. has developed a calculator that will let you measure the pitch of your chain automatically. Calculating the pitch, therefore, becomes more accurate and precise and will help you measure your chainsaw within a short time period.

Determine the Gauge

Once you’ve determined the pitch of your chainsaw, you’ll need to measure the gauge. The gauge is the thickness of the drive links. Drive links are the metal pegs that jut out from the bottom of a chain. They serve to attach the chain to the bar.

Gauge measurements are also just a fraction of an inch. Common gauges include .063 inch, .058 inch, and .050 inch. Due to the small size of a gauge, it is very tough to get an accurate measurement with a tape measure.

Alternative Ways of Measuring the Chain and Bar

Most manufacturers print the pitch and gauge measurements directly on the chainsaw. They may be engraved on the lower end of the bar or surface of the drive links. Oftentimes, these numbers are coded to account for limit space. You may need to refer to your user guide or reach out to the manufacturer to interpret these codes. You may also be able to find these codes online.

Determine the Length of the Bar

If you don’t have your chainsaw manual on hand, you need to measure your chainsaw bar. Before you stage your measurement, disconnect the chainsaw’s spark plug to prevent any accidental starts. Then, pull your tape measure so that it runs from the start of the bar to the end. The tape measure should be stretched tight.

Keep in mind that a portion of the bar is concealed beneath the chainsaw’s casing. As such, you may need to round up to the nearest inch. Common chainsaw bar lengths include 14, 16 (best 16 inch chainsaw review), 22, and 36 inches.

Importance of Taking Accurate Measurements

The size of the chain and bar determine a saw’s cutting potential. Furthermore, it’s important to have this information at your disposal when it comes time to replace a part of your chainsaw. There’s nothing worse than walking into a hardware store without the slightest idea of what you need.

Without accurate measurements, you’re bound to make multiple purchases and returns. What’s worse, you can put your safety at risk.