The most experienced loggers and engineers will tell you that a sharp chain makes your life easier. A high-performance chainsaw does all the work for you. The same cannot be said for unsharpened chains. Also, using the wrong file size may result in excess sawdust and unforeseeable accidents. 

Fortunately, this article will discuss everything you need to know about picking the right file size. Doing so enhances both the chain’s sharpness and your user experience.

What Is a File Size Chart?

Chain Type Chain Pitch Size (mm) Size (inches) 
25, 91 ¼” 4.0 5/32
90  0.325” 4.5 11/64
20, 21, 22, 95 ⅜” 4.8 3/16
16, 18, 26, 27, 72, 73, 75 0.404” 5.5 7/32

As you can see, the file chart displays the different chain types and sizes. For accurate results and maximized sharpness, the file size must match the depth gauge code number or the chain pitch, which is estimated between three rivets.

How Can You Determine the File Size of Your Chainsaw Chain?

When looking for topnotch chainsaw files, the chainsaw file size chart is your best friend. Always refer to the values on the table so that you know which files to buy. For example, if you have a chain with an ID number of 95, a 4.8 mm round file would be the most compatible option. 

chainsaw

If you have any trouble figuring the id number, you can check out the chain pitch because it indicates the required tool size. If all else fails, contact your local store or research the manufacturer’s recommended file sizes. Some of its specifications may be different from the chart above.

What Is a Chainsaw Chain?

Now that we have gone over the file size chart, let’s discuss the chainsaw chain in terms of its construction and overall appearance. [1]

The chain contains two cutters, one on the left and the other on the right. They surround the entire chain in an alternate pattern to maintain uniformity in the cutting. Another important part is the depth gauge, which determines how deep the chain can penetrate the wood.

What Are the Different Types of Chainsaw Gauges and Files?

Chainsaw File Size

As we will see on the graph, the primary file options are 4.0 mm, 4.8 mm, and 5.5 mm. It comes in either a round file or flat file depending on the type of cutter you are planning to sharpen. More on the cutters later on.

Flat File and Gauge

The gauge plays a vital role when setting up your files. It is a tool that determines the proper depth gauge, a chainsaw part that measures how deep your chain can cut.

guage and flat file

Here are the available sizes: 

  • 0.43 inches
  • 0.050 inches
  • 0.058 inches
  • 0.063 inches 

The general rule of thumb is to go for gauges that measure at least 0.050 or above for a longer life span.

Gauge Measurement

The gauge measurements and readings are found on the chainsaw’s bar guide. These labels are a big help because they provide accurate and precise gauge measurements. Thanks to the markings, you won’t have to guess or estimate the gauge’s size when applying the files.

What Are the Different Types of Cutter Teeth?

When choosing a chainsaw file, you need to understand the different types of cutter teeth your chain uses. That is because you want your chosen files to be compatible with the cutter teeth, meaning they are neither too big nor too small. Let’s go over them one by one.

cutter teeth

Chipper or Round Tooth

First up is the round tooth, the easiest one to file among the three cutters. One advantage it has over its chisel counterpart is its ability to resist dust and dirt.Moreover, its curved shape makes it a viable option for those who need a chin that can cut thoroughly.

Semi-Chisel (Round Grind and Square Tooth)

Of the three types, the semi-chisel has the best dirt and dust resistance. It is also capable of staying sharp for extended periods. The best file to use for this type of cutter is the round-shaped file with an accompanying guide.

Chisel (Square Grind and Square Tooth)

The full chisel cutter is the sharpest, so you need to make sure you seek help from professional sawyers to avoid injuries. You will need a square file that fits the cutting edges and the chain’s square shape for filing purposes.

Conclusion

For woodworkers and loggers, the right chainsaw file size will decrease sawdust and chances of air filter clogging. Not only that, but having a chainsaw with a top quality and a chain that has been taken care of will lessen fatigue on your arms and work more efficiently. Make sure you choose the right type and size of chain and refer to our size chart whenever you’re unsure.

Looking for a budget-friendly chainsaw? Here are the best chainsaws below 200. Read next!

Robert