62 Chain links on which chainsaw

Selecting, tensioning and sharpening an electric saw chain

chain, links, which, chainsaw

The bar and chain are the working “duo” of an electric saw, responsible for efficient and accurate wood cutting. Today’s market is literally crammed with all kinds of different chains and bars, which are suitable for different purposes. So how do you choose the right parts from the full range?? We will give the answers to this and other questions together.

Changing the saw chain yourself

Saw companies do not forbid you to replace the chain with your own hands, on the contrary, they often provide you with instructions for repairing or replacing parts. Start by buying a new chain.

We check the chain for correspondence, that is to say, we study its characteristics: length (it depends on the bar), the pitch (in relation to the sprockets), the thickness of the drive link

One of the common designs of budget saws is side-tensioned. To change the chain, perform the following steps in turn:

  • Pull back the deflector while lowering the brake;
  • Use a screwdriver to turn the tensioning screw, loosen the nut and thereby reduce the tension
  • remove the cover;
  • separate the bar with the chain from the sprocket;
  • Remove the old chain from the tire and install the new chain in its place;
  • perform actions in the reverse order.

Pull the chain smoothly without jerking. After closing the plastic cover we tighten it definitively with the screw and nut.

There are modern systems of keyless chain tensioning, but many craftsmen prefer the traditional side tensioning, somewhat problematic, but proven and reliable

Today’s electric saw models have wing nuts for tensioning the chain. This element speeds up the replacement process, which is important for large workloads. Having lowered the brake, unscrew the nut and remove the cover. Pulling the bar back a little, remove the old chain, put the new chain on. first on the sprocket, then all the way around. Then put the sprocket back in place, tighten the nut. Turn the tensioning wheel in the direction shown on the housing, and finally tighten the “thumbscrew”.

The last step is to check the chain tension. It should fit tightly on the bar when the brake is released, but should rotate under manual action. To make this check more effective it is recommended to drive it at a low rpm

Find even more information on tightening the chain on

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Chain pitch. See the table at

Depending on the pitch, chains are now available in several subtypes:

Rivet spacing Chain pitch (width in inches)
1 6.35mm 1/4
2 8.25mm 0,325
3 9.3mm 3/8 (0,375)
4 10.26mm 0,404
5 19.05mm 3/4

As you can see from the table, the chain pitch is marked as a regular number (3/4) and decimal number. “0.375”. This division was caused by the similarity of the decimal values “0.325” and “0.375”, because the difference of one digit created confusion when selecting a saw. For this reason it was decided in due course to establish two different designations: with decimal and regular fractions.

The pitch is stamped in the area of the special sawing depth stop on each tooth.

On the plus side, chains with larger pitches include:

But consider that a wide kerf requires the use of a more powerful motor, which in turn significantly increases the resistance.

The advantages of small pitch chains are:

Benefits come from the large number of teeth and the small spacing between them.

All known classification of chains is based on peculiarities of their marking depending on the pitch, which is designed for certain needs and produced for a specific power of electric equipment. For a better understanding of each type of pitch, they should be considered individually.

About the teeth

Teeth have a very specific design. To learn how to work with a chain and how to correctly sharpen it, it is necessary to know the basic material. The chainsaw, by its own specificity of operation, resembles little a planer. That’s why it is necessary to know which particular links need maintenance.

The design of the cutting-working links is not so common. Each link

  • vertical end edges and the upper horizontal edges of the blades;
  • blade;
  • base with a hole for the axle;
  • limiter of the set cutting depth.

Exactly on the presence of such parts and components depends on the quality of cutting materials.

cutting depth

Huge teeth provide the deepest kerf, in one go. Accordingly, the cutting depth has a direct effect on the speed. It is important to note that this parameter seriously affects the engine, and chainsaw

Link height determines the strength of the teeth. The more the more, the less they are durable. As a standard, they are made in 2 versions: 0.635 and 0.762 mm. They are categorized as low-profile if the profile is small, and if the profile is large, as high-profile. Wood sawing speed is directly related to cutting depth.

When and how to change the chain?

The main sign of critical wear is excessive stretching of the chain line along the links. Both the main row and the sprocket and bar are subject to deformation, so renewal should be considered holistically. If you only plan to replace the chain, you have to think cleverly, because it’s not so easy to fit a new chain of the same size to an old one. For regular work it is advisable to buy a headset in three sizes. The pitch and length will be the main parameter. The medium size should be chosen to match the tire and sprocket characteristics directly. The alternate use of different sized chains will correct the interaction between the work tools and the cutting teeth. These are a kind of tensioning of the chain’s teeth. The chainsaw, in turn, must be used in different modes in terms of engine speed, if such an option is provided in principle.

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Other things to look for when you want to upgrade your chain are mechanical damage to the chainrings. Even if there is a theoretical possibility of refurbishing the harness, experts recommend that those that need repair be discarded and replaced with a new set. What parameters should be used for its selection, we will consider below.

Number of Links in a Chainsaw Chain

Knowing these three factors it is easy to choose a chain for your saw, pole pruner or harvester head.

Chain pitch

The pitch of a chain is conventionally designated in inches, and is calculated as follows: the distance between the nearest chain drive links, or the distance between the three nearest chain rivets (from the center of the rivet) is measured, divided by 2 and converted into inches (1 inch = 25.4 mm).

Chain pitch must always match the pitch of the saw’s drive sprocket and the bar sprocket.

  • Chain with pitch 0.25″ aka 1/4″. The distance between the three rivets (drive links) 12.7 mm ÷ 2 = 6.35 mm converted to inches (÷ 25.4) in inches is 0.25″ (often referred to as 1/4″).
  • Chain in 0.325″ increments. The distance between the three rivets (drive links) is 16.5 mm ÷ 2 = 8.25 mm converted to inches (÷ 25.4) in inches is 0.325″.
  • Chain with pitch 0.375″ aka 3/8″. The distance between the three rivets 19 mm ÷ 2 = 9.5 mm converted to inches (÷ 25.4) in inches it is 0.375″ (commonly designated as 3/8″, not to be confused with 0.325″).
  • Chain with pitch 0.404″. The distance between three rivets 20.5 mm ÷ 2 = 10.25 mm converted to inches (÷ 25.4) in inches is 0.404″.
  • Chain with 3/4″ pitch. The distance between three rivets 38.1 mm ÷ 2 = 19.05 mm converted to inches (÷ 25.4) in inches is 0.75″ (commonly referred to as 3/4″).


Chain thickness is the thickness of the drive link (can be measured with a caliper). This dimension must always coincide with the thickness of the groove of the guide bar.

For electric and gasoline-powered saws and harvesters, there are a total of 6 sizes that determine the thickness of the guide bar:

The third main parameter when selecting a chain: Chain length (Number of drive links).

The chain length is determined by counting the number of drive (inner) chain links. Important:

  • The cutting links do not determine the chain length (do not count them).
  • The length of the guide bar does not determine the exact chain length (for example, a saw with a 16″ (40 cm) bar may have a chain of 55, or 56, or 57 links, depending on the chain tensioning mechanism of the particular saw model).
  • you can’t use a chain of about 55-57 links in length, only a certain size is recommended by the saw manufacturer.

How To Buy The Proper Chain For A Chainsaw

What’s the bar length on my chainsaw??

The length of the cutting part of the tire is different from the total length of the tire. The length of the bar is usually considered the length of the cut (the working part), which is the distance from the front of the saw to the rounded tip of the bar nose. This dimension is rounded to the nearest inch or centimeter. An inch is designated as ” equals 2.54 cm.

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For example, the cutting length of the bar for a STIHL MS180 chain saw is 40 cm. 40 cm ÷ 2.54 = 15.7 in. Rounded up to 16″ (inches).

The STIHL MS180 chain saw fits a 16″ (40 centimeter) Oregon bar, part number 160SDEA074.

Chains for Oregon chainsaws

Oregon chainsaw saw chain allows you to maximize the performance of the gasoline-powered versions and electric counterparts in every class. And it’s priced within the reach of professionals and homeowners alike.

The use of the Oregon chainring assortment assumes:

  • The use of quality chain oils;
  • the serviceability and proper adjustment of the oil pumps, lubrication systems of the saw equipment;
  • the level of operating loads, not exceeding the parameters indicated by the manufacturer.

If you need to buy a new chain, what to look for

In order to choose a chain for your chainsaw you need to know the pitch, shank thickness, length, depth of cutting, type of links, as well as the type of cutting, material and sequence of the teeth. All of these criteria were discussed above. In order not to have to trust the sellers, you need to understand each criterion, and choose the right values for yourself.

saw headset

To find out how to choose the right saw set, you can ask the experts. It is not necessary to look for them, as there is a video in the material, which tells in detail about the correct choice of chain. The choice is also affected by the price, which directly characterizes the quality. The higher the price, the better the quality, but it does not always make sense to buy expensive devices. There are a variety of manufacturers, both brand names (STIHL, Makita, Husqvarna) and little-known ones, including Chinese.

If you want to buy a good device that will serve you for at least 3 seasons, it is better to buy expensive models. Cheap models are only worth it if you want to use them only on household units. After you buy a new headset, you need to tension the chain on your saw.

Chains for chainsaws table

Here is the table with the technical parameters of popular chainsaw chain models of different capacities.

Based on the recommendations of the chainsaw manufacturer and taking into account the technical parameters from the table, you can find out the model of chain that will fit your tool and avoid mistakes when buying.

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