Understanding Chainsaw Chain Pitch And Its Importance

James Lawson
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Do you know what chain pitch is and why it’s important when choosing a chainsaw chain?

Chain pitch is a measure of the size of the links on the chain.

It’s important to choose a chain with the correct pitch for your chainsaw, as it affects the performance and safety of your chainsaw.

In this article, we’ll explain how to measure chain pitch, the different types of chain pitch, the benefits of the correct pitch, and how to choose the right chain for your chainsaw.

So, let’s get started!

What is Chain Pitch?

Knowing the chain pitch of your chainsaw is absolutely essential for safe and effective cutting!

Chain pitch is the size of the drive link, which is the bottom part of the chain that connects the cutting teeth. The size of the drive link is what determines the chain size of your chainsaw, which is the gauge of the saw chain.

The chain size is important because it needs to match the size of the saw bar, which will vary depending on the type of saw you’re using. Chain sizes are available in three different types: 3/8”, .325”, and .404”.

Each saw type is designed for a specific chain size and will be able to handle certain saw chain sizes better than others. To ensure that you’re using the correct chain size for the type of saw you have, it’s important to measure the chain pitch.

How to Measure Chain Pitch

Accurately measuring the size of the chain links is essential for ensuring the proper fit and function of your saw. Measuring the chain pitch requires a chain gauge, which is a tool that consists of a series of plates with slots of various sizes.

To measure your chain, you must first determine the chain length and then use the gauge to measure the chain’s pitch. Here’s how:

  1. Count the number of drive links on your chain.
  2. Determine the chain length by multiplying the number of drive links by the pitch of the chain.
  3. Determine the pitch of the chain by sliding the chain gauge over the drive links.
  4. Select the gauge plate that fits snugly into the chain link.

By following these steps, you can easily measure the chain pitch and ensure that your saw is functioning properly. Knowing the chain pitch is also important for selecting the correct replacement chain for your saw.

Different Types of Chain Pitch

You’ve now learned how to measure chain pitch, but did you know there are actually different types?

There are three main chain pitches: 0.325, 3/8, and 0.404.

The 0.325 pitch is the most common chain pitch and is used on most chainsaws. This type of chain has small chain links and a smaller bar length, typically 16 or 18 inches.

The 3/8 pitch is slightly larger and is used on chainsaws with a longer bar, usually 20 inches or greater. This type of chain has larger chain links and a longer bar length.

The 0.404 pitch is the largest of the three and is used on chainsaws with the longest bar lengths, usually 24 inches or greater. This type of chain has the largest chain links and longest bar length.

The correct chain pitch is important for the optimal performance of your chainsaw, as it determines the size and number of chain links that fit on the bar and should be matched to the size of the bar.

Benefits of the Correct Pitch

By selecting the appropriate pitch, you can ensure your chainsaw operates at its highest potential.

The pitch of a chainsaw chain refers to the distance between three consecutive rivets, divided by two. There are several different pitches available, ranging from 0.043-inch to 0.063-inch, and each one offers distinct benefits.

Choosing the correct pitch for your chainsaw can provide safety benefits and improved saw performance. The correct pitch for your chainsaw should be based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, as well as your own cutting needs.

A lower pitch is usually best for cutting softwood, while a higher pitch is better for hardwood. With the right pitch, your chainsaw will be able to cut with greater precision, allowing you to make cleaner, smoother cuts.

Additionally, the right pitch will help your chainsaw run more efficiently and reduce the risk of kickback. By selecting the right pitch for your chainsaw, you can make sure your chainsaw operates safely and effectively.

Choosing the Right Chain for Your Chainsaw

Choosing the right chain for your chainsaw is essential, so make sure you do your research and pick the one that suits your needs! When it comes to selecting a chain for your chainsaw, you should consider:

  • Chain Length: Chains come in a variety of lengths, so you should make sure that you select the right length for your saw.

  • Type: Different chains have different features and properties, so it’s important to research which type is best for your needs.

  • Safety Gear: Make sure you have the right safety gear when using a chainsaw, such as safety glasses, gloves, and a hardhat.

Choosing the right chain for your chainsaw is a matter of safety and efficiency. Researching the available options is the best way to ensure that you select the right chain for your saw. With the proper chain, you can be sure that you’re prepared for any job.

Additionally, the correct chain can help you complete your task quickly and effectively, saving you time and money.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

It’s important to make sure your chainsaw chain is sharpened on a regular basis. The frequency of sharpening depends on the type of saw you’re using and the type of work you’re doing.

If you’re using a manual saw and doing light work, you should sharpen your chain every five to six hours. For a motorized saw and heavier work, you should sharpen your chain every two to three hours.

To sharpen your chain, begin by inspecting it for nicks, burrs, and other damage. Then, use a file or grinder to sharpen the teeth on the chain, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, use a depth gauge to check the depth of the cutters and make sure they’re all the same.

With regular sharpening, you can ensure that your saw is running safely and efficiently.

How do I know when my chainsaw chain needs to be replaced?

You’ll know it’s time to replace your chainsaw chain when you start to notice a decrease in its performance. This could be due to worn cutters, too much chain stretch, or inadequate chain lubrication and chain tensioning.

Worn cutters will cause a decrease in the chain’s cutting performance, and too much chain stretch will make the chain difficult to control. Inadequate lubrication and chain tensioning will cause the chain to rotate more slowly, which, again, will reduce the chain’s cutting performance.

If any of these issues occur, it’s time to replace the chain.

What safety precautions should I take when using a chainsaw?

When using a chainsaw, it’s essential to take safety precautions to protect yourself.

Make sure you wear the proper gear such as boots, gloves, and chaps.

Additionally, you should wear protective clothing such as long pants, long sleeved shirts, and a hard hat.

Try to maintain a safe distance from the chainsaw when in use, and always wear eye protection.

Taking these precautions will ensure that you remain safe while operating a chainsaw.

What is the best way to store my chainsaw chain?

It’s essential that you take proper care of your chainsaw chain in order to maintain its efficiency. Storing it correctly is just as important as regular chain lubrication and tensioning.

You want to make sure your chain is properly lubricated and tensioned before storing it away, otherwise the chain can become brittle and not work as effectively.

To store your chain, you should place it in a safe, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. If you can, cover the chain with a protective cloth to keep it free from dust and dirt.

Taking the time to properly store your chainsaw chain will help ensure that when it’s time to use it again, it will be ready to go.

Are there any special maintenance requirements for different types of chainsaw chains?

When it comes to maintaining your chainsaw chain, it’s important to understand that different types of chainsaw chains require different types of maintenance.

Proper chain lubrication is key to ensuring that your chain lasts longer and performs better.

Additionally, you should always select the right chain for the job, as this will help you maximize performance and minimize wear and tear.

If you’re unsure which type of chain to use, make sure to consult with your local chainsaw dealer.


Having the correct chain pitch for your chainsaw is essential for safe and efficient operation. Not only does the right pitch reduce stress on the engine, but it also cuts more smoothly and reduces the risk of kickback.

To ensure that you get the best results from your chainsaw, make sure you measure the pitch of your chain and choose the right one for your saw. With the right chain pitch, you can enjoy a safe and productive cut every time.

Take the time to get the right chain and you’ll be glad you did.

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