Having regularly used chainsaws throughout my career, I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining and eventually replacing the metal links to ensure optimal cutting performance. It’s not uncommon for those unfamiliar with chainsaw components to struggle with identifying the correct chain measurements.
To prevent the hassle of installing an incorrect chain, I’ve compiled a chainsaw chain identification chart based on my years of hands-on experience. In addition, I’ll be sharing invaluable tips that I’ve gathered from fellow experts in the field.
Chain Identification Guide
As you know, not all chainsaw chains offer the same features and durability. But no matter what chainsaw brand you’re currently using, it’s crucial to know your chain’s key measurements, like the pitch, drive links, and gauge.
You can easily find these measurements in the chain identification guide. Thanks to this chart, even newbie users can identify the right chain for their saw by just looking at the measurement markings.
If you inspect your chainsaw closer as I did, you’ll notice a stamped number in the tool’s drive tooth.
These are codes used by manufacturers to identify if a specific chain is compatible with the chainsaw or not. It also signifies the exact dimensions of the chain’s pitch and gauge.
Number of Links
After identifying the chain’s number, one of the initial steps is to count the tool’s drive links.
If you’re unfamiliar with what it is, you just have to look for tiny teeth underneath the chain construction. You may not know, but you can easily identify the saw chain size through the number of drive links.
If your chainsaw is worn-out and the identification number is all faded, I suggest getting the chain’s gauge measurement. This feature indicates the thickness of the drive links and must always match with the guide bar’s gauge.
You’ll find different gauge sizes in the market, like .043-inch, .050-inch, .058-inch, and .063-inch. Remember, selecting the wrong size for your chainsaw could lead to less traction during the cutting operations.
When calculating the chain’s pitch, you’ll need to get the overall distance between 3 rivets and divide them into two.
This computation will lead you to the chain’s total size. I recommend using a tape measure or ruler for easy measurement .
Gauge and Pitch to Chain Number
After getting the three crucial measurements, proceed to the below chart to identify which chain type suits your chainsaw.
What do the letters mean on a chainsaw chain?
The letters on a chainsaw are identification markings that allow manufacturers to identify the chain’s measurements. These codes indicate the pitch and gauge metrics suitable for a specific saw chain.
What does 91 mean on a chainsaw chain?
The code 91 on a chainsaw chain means that it has a low-profile pitch, measuring ⅜-inch. It also indicates that the saw chain has a .050-inch gauge measurement.
What is the difference between .325 and 3/8 chains?
Getting yourself familiar with the chainsaw chain identification chart is a great way to be well-versed in your chainsaw’s repairs and parts.
If you ask many power tool specialists, like me, doing chain replacement by yourself will save more time and money. Moreso, it will also avoid engine and cutting issues in the long run.
You might also want to check the best chainsaw chains for hardwood here.
Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.
Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.