Chainsaw Chain – Choosing the Right Sized Chain

How to choose the correct saw chain for your saw

You will need to know three things:

1. Your saw make. 

2. Your saw model.

3. Your guide-bar length.
    Tip: check the last two numbers on the guide-bar part number. In most cases this will be the bar length in inches. eg. #######16 = 16 inches.

Or use the guide below to determine the chain link count. You will need this number. A lot of modern bars have this number etched onto the bar. eg. Stihl has the link count etched onto their bars.

If you don’t know all three of these characteristics, please call into your nearest chainsaw service dealer, with your saw or saw-chain in hand and they will be able to help you.

Here is an easy way to help identify your saw chain

What size chain do you have? 

You will need to classify your chain as follows: [ P=L/2 ] Measure the distance accurately between any three rivets. Divide this number by two. The result will be the chain pitch. This is the name of the chain, eg. if the measurement is ¾” between the three rivets, this will be known as size 3/8 chain.

How to measure the length of your chain?

The length of your chain is determined by counting the number of drive links in your chain. A drive link is the drop-down pointed piece that follows inside the bar groove and located on the sprocket cog. Your drive link count has a direct correlation to your bar’s length. Here’s a tip: mark the first drive link with chalk or felt-tip, from that point, count the number of drive links in the chain you have now, and write that number down someplace where you can find it. Say, on your operators manual book. When ordering a replacement chain, it is imperative to know this drive link count number.

A useful link to help you further: