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How Do You Measure a Chainsaw Blade and Chain?

May 1, 2008
At some point, you will likely feel it is necessary to replace the chain from your well-used chainsaw and it will be important that you know both the length of your chainsaw blade as well as the length and type of chain you will need. Looking at charts can get confusing but it really isn't that hard once you know what to look for in determining the length of both the chainsaw blade and chain.

When you're ready to replace your chain, the first thing to do is determine the size of your chainsaw bar. If you happen to have an Oregon chainsaw, this should be easy. Just check the first two numbers of the ten-digit model number that is stamped on the motor end of the blade. That's your chainsaw bar length.

Don't have an Oregon chainsaw that easily shows you the length of the blade? Then here are some tips for figuring it out yourself.

What's The Best Way To Measure A Chain Saw Blade?

To measure the chainsaw blade itself is simple enough to do. Just put your measuring tape at the end of the bar up against the casing and measure straight down the bar all the way to the tip of the blade.

Blade and bar are two terms that are both used to indicate the same item. This is the blade that extends from the casing of the motor and carries the chain which is what does the sawing for you.

Manufacturers were kind enough to standardize the chainsaw blade lengths into two-inch increments. The most common sizes are 16, 18, and 20 inches although the full range goes from 10 to 42 inches! When you measure your blade, round up to the nearest 2-inch measurement if needed.

How Do You Measure A Chainsaw Chain?

In order to measure the chain on a chainsaw, you will need to know the number of drive links as well as the pitch of the chain.

The length of the chain is determined by the number of drive links. A drive link is one tooth on the chain. The drive links will be different sizes depending on the pitch of the chain.

The pitch of the chain is important to know as it must match the pitch of both the drive sprocket as well as the bar nose sprocket. This should be stamped on the drive link but if you need to measure the pitch yourself, take the distance between any 3 rivets of the chain and divide by 2.

To be more specific, a 1/4" pitch chain might have 52 drive links and be 2.17 feet in length, while a 3/8" pitch with 52 drive links would be 3.18 feet in length. The number of drive links has a direct correlation to the blade length.

When in doubt, check with the chainsaw manufacturer or anyone who actually makes chains and they should be able to help you further.
About the Author
So now that you know how to measure a chainsaw chain and chainsaw blade and are ready to find a replacement, come see the deals that update daily at ChainsawDeals.com
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