Navigating the multitude of chainsaw file sizes can be a bit of a puzzle sometimes. I’ve been there, scrabbling around trying to figure out the right fit. But trust me, getting a handle on this can save you a good deal of money and trips to the professional sharpeners.
If you’re curious about which file size you need for a .325 chain, let me give you a quick rundown in this guide.
The Importance of Picking the Correct File Size
When sharpening your chainsaw chain, it’s essential to use the proper file size. Using a file that is too small can cause the metal to wear away too quickly.
But, if you’re using the right file, you can follow rule 80/20. Keep most of the material under the cutter while only leaving a slight overhang.
You can end up damaging the blades of the chain by using a file that is too large or too small when sharpening it. If you don’t have the chain completely reshaped, it will function poorly.
The simple reason is that if the chains are carved incorrectly or too much metal is removed, the chainsaw will be challenging to operate and manipulate.
Inspecting the Chain Size Details
You must inspect the chain size details to determine the correct file size. Consider the following:
When you use a file with a wider diameter, it will get rid of the blade’s hook, which is responsible for providing efficient cutting.
When you use a file with a smaller diameter, it won’t cover the cutter’s upper tip when you sharpen it.
Furthermore, the residual chips may be significantly smaller or larger compared to the original, even if the file size is only slightly off. Cutting quality will suffer, and you’ll waste time and energy if you use the wrong files.
Use a handy plastic roll for measuring components like the clutch, chain, file, and bar. I’ve seen them available from brands like Oregon and Stihl. And a bonus, so if your chainsaws come from these brands, you’ll likely to have this tool. You can even use it to wipe down the bar, ensuring it’s in top condition for checking.
How to Choose the Most Accurate File Size for Your Chainsaw Chain
To choose the most accurate file size for your chainsaw chain, you have two ways to get this done:
Finding the Saw Chain Type
The chain’s pitch can also determine the ideal chain file size. To determine the chain’s pitch or size, simply measure the distance between any three consecutive rivets and divide by 2. That’s it!
Take note, before you start working with a file, make sure it’s the correct size for the chain saw. Manufacturers often recommend different sizes based on the model, so always double-check.
Besides the diameter, you also need to consider the type of file you need. For instance, while a square edge is required for a chisel cutter, a round file is necessary for a chipper cutter.
I’d advise against using a round file for sharpening the chainsaw depth gauge. Trust me on this one – a flat file is your best bet to preserve its proper shape.
The Ideal and Precise .325 File Size
In many parts of the world, there are a few standard chain sizes that you’ll come across. Now, if you’re dealing with a .325 chainsaw blade, I’d recommend using a 3/16 inch file coupled with a .025 depth gauge for the best results . Several swipes with this file will show how effective metal should come off.
A 3/16” file size is ideal for fitting the patterns of the blade precisely, keeping the surface area of the chain evenly sharpened. It can also add a nice-sharpening edge to the teeth.
See Also: File Size for 3/8 chain
Oregon 3/16-Inch File Size
My most recommended 3/16-inch (4.8mm) file size is from Oregon. This 3/16″ file size from Oregon is made with a robust double-cut round spiral-ly design that ensures longevity and prevents clogging.
Oregon Chainsaws File Size Chart
Chain Type of Oregon
7/32 inches (5.5mm)
.404″ x .063″ (1.6mm)
3/8″ x .063″ (1.6mm)
3/8″ x .058″ (1.5mm)
3/16 inches (4.88mm)
All .325″ Chains
11/64 inches (4.5mm)
3/8″ x .043″ (1.1mm)
5/32 inches (4mm)
1/4″ x .050″ (1.3mm)
3/8″ x .050″ (1.3mm)
Note: There is also a 3.22mm (⅛-inch) Oregon file size if you have a Stihl ¼-inch x .043-inch or 1.1mm chains.
Stihl Chainsaws File Size Chart
Chain Pitch Size
Chain File Size
Chain Type of Oregon
Sharpening Kit Number
5605 750 4328
5605 007 1028
Changing Chainsaw Chains
Depending on the case, you may wish to upgrade or downgrade your chain. The.325 may be a good option for occasional use due to its diminutive size and rapid firing rate, but it may not be the best for your typical requirements.
Due to this reason, it is a common choice for those who want to maximize their chainsaw’s performance.
But in changing the chain, you’ll need a new sprocket and a new bar to change your saw’s chain size.
When your chainsaw blades are dull, all that power and size don’t amount to much; you’re simply not cutting through anything. However, having figured out the right file size for a .325 chain, things get a lot smoother.
Personally, I often lean towards the Oregon 3/16″ chainsaw file. Especially for sharpening blades of a .325 pitch chainsaw, it’s been reliable in delivering precise and consistent results.
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.