Tips for Measuring a Chainsaw Bar and Chain
If you need to buy a new chainsaw bar or chain, it’s important to find the perfect fit. Here’s how to measure the size of your bar and chain.
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Chainsaws are versatile tools, great for light pruning, cutting up firewood and more. With all that use, eventually you’ll need to replace your chainsaw bar or chain. But before you buy, know the exact size of each. “Using the wrong size bar or chain can damage the chainsaw and injure the chainsaw operator,” says Vince Christofora of Woodstock Hardware.
Read on to learn how to measure your chainsaw’s bar and chain. It’s not hard to do and saves time at the hardware store. “Don’t bring the dirty, sawdust- and oil-clumped, gas exhaust-smelling chainsaw into the store and put it up on the counter and ask for help,” Chirstofora says. “Not a good way to start things off!”
How To Measure a Chainsaw Bar
Chainsaws are sold in even-numbered lengths, based the length of the chainsaw bar. Sometimes called a chainsaw blade, the chainsaw bar is the metal “arm” that holds and supports the chain during cutting. So when you’re buying a 16-inch chainsaw, you’re buying one with a 16-inch bar.
You can measure a chainsaw bar two ways. The most common, Christofora says, is the effective cutting length. That’s the distance from the tip of the bar to the front of the chainsaw body, where the bar disappears into the saw.
To measure a chainsaw’s effective cutting length (or simply, “length”):
- Place a tape measure at the very tip of the bar.
- Measure straight back to the point where the bar enters the chainsaw body.
- Round that measurement up to the nearest even number.
Because chainsaws are only sold in even numbers, you’ll need to round up odd numbers and fractions. A saw with a 15-inch effective cutting length is a 16-inch chainsaw. If you measure 18-3/4-in., it’s a 20-inch saw.
The true bar length is a second, less commonly used measurement. If you need this to get a perfect fit for your replacement bar, here’s how to do it:
- Loosen the bolts that hold the bar to the chainsaw body.
- Remove the bar and place it on a flat surface.
- Measure the bar, end to end.
The chainsaw true bar length is a precise measurement. Don’t round this number up.
How to determine a chainsaw bar groove gauge
If you’re buying a new chainsaw bar, Christofora says you may also need to know the gauge of the bar groove. Here’s how to find it:
- Gather a penny, dime and quarter.
- Insert the coins into the bar groove one at a time.
- Determine which coin best fits into the groove.
“For close approximations, you can use a quarter for.063 inch, a dime for.058 inch and a penny for.043 inch,” Christofora says. Another option: Purchase an inexpensive gauge, which helps you measure chain pitch, chain gauge and file size, too.
How To Measure a Chainsaw Chain
Your best bet when purchasing a new chainsaw chain? Search for a replacement based on your chainsaw’s manufacturer and model number.
It pays to be precise here, Christofora says. “Most times when a customer comes into the store they just try to buy a chain the same length.” he says. “But chains, even the same length, vary by chainsaw manufacturer.” If you know the manufacturer and model number, you can cross-reference it with the information listed on the chainsaw chain packaging.
It doesn’t hurt to write or engrave the numbers on the chain saw bar, near the saw’s body, too. They reflect the chain pitch, the number of driver links and the chain link gauge. If you need these numbers and can’t locate them, or if they’ve worn off, you can measure each ofto determine its size.
How to measure the chain pitch
The chain pitch refers to the distance between the chain’s links. Here’s how to measure it.
- Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the distance between three of the rivets on your chain.
- Divide that measurement by two. The resulting figure is your chain pitch.
Common chain pitches include 1/4-in325-in., 3/8-in. and.404-in.
How to measure the driver links
Determining the number of driver links is as easy as counting the links on your chain.
- Identify the driver chain links. They’re small bumps on the inside of the chain.
- Count the number of links on the chain.
How to measure the chain link gauge
Chain link gauge is the thickness of the drive links. When your chain link gauge matches the gauge of your chainsaw bar, the chain fits snugly. You can use a caliper or an inexpensive multi-purpose gauge to measure this.
- Place your caliper or gauge along the groove where the chain fits into the bar.
- Write down the reading on your caliper or gauge.
Common drive link gauges are.043-in050-in058-in. and.063-in.
Chainsaw Sizing Guide
Having the right size chainsaw for the job makes cutting easier and safer.
Sizes often vary according to the type of chainsaw, each good for different jobs. The most common chainsaw bar sizes are 12 to 20 inches, but they come in sizes as large as 72 inches, typically for professionals. The longer the bar, the heavier the chainsaw.
When choosing the right chainsaw size for the job, it’s best to have a chainsaw bar at least two inches longer than the thickness of the item that you’re cutting. Certain chainsaw sizes are best suited for different types of activities:
- Gas-powered chainsaws start at 16 to 18 inches, and go up to as large as 72 inches. The 16- to 18-inch chainsaws are best for felling medium trees, while chainsaws with a 20-inch or larger bar are suitable for large trees or cutting firewood.
- Electric chainsaws tend to be smaller, usually 14 to 16 inches. Use the 14-inch saws for felling small trees, and 16-inchers for medium trees.
- Battery-operated saws are 16 to 18 inches, good for bringing down medium trees.
- Small battery-operated six- to nine-inch chainsaws also exist, including the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet Six-Inch Pruning Saw. Use these for pruning small limbs.
Paige is a copywriter and content writer who lives in Western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, and more. Paige is skilled in writing about detailed topics, and she enjoys writing content that improves readers’ lives.
What Do The Numbers on a Chainsaw Chain Mean?
The numbers stamped on your chainsaw chain have a meaning. There’s a lot of confusion about what chainsaw chain markings are for, and in this post we’re going to help you clear things up. First, we’ll answer what the numbers are for generally, and then we’ll get into specific definitions from some of the most popular chain brands. So, what do the numbers on a chainsaw chain mean? The numbers stamped on a chainsaw chain are an ID code used by the manufacturer to indicate the pitch and gauge measurements of the chain. Pitch and gauge are important dimensions which influence whether or not a chain is compatible with a chainsaw. That’s the general answer, but we can get much more specific. Below, we’ve included two charts that show the values for leading chain brands, and we’ll also further define pitch and gauge.
Chain Markings (Oregon, Husqvarna, Carlton)
In this section, there is a chart that shows the gauge and pitch ratings that correspond to chain markings used by 3 of the most popular chain brands: Oregon, Husqvarna, and Carlton. If you have a STIHL chain, check the second table below. STIHL uses a combination of 2 chain numbers. Both of these tables contain data that was originally posted by Sahanpuru, and we’ve reformatted things to make it a bit easier to read. The tables are sortable, so feel free to use that feature to find your chain. Using the “CTRL F” search box is also a good way to search this page.
|N1C||Carlton||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|N4||Carlton||.043″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|H35||Husqvarna||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|H36||Husqvarna||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|H83||Husqvarna||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|90||Oregon||.043″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|91||Oregon||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
Chain Markings (STIHL)
Okay, if you have a STIHL chain, you’ll want to use the below table. STIHL uses a slightly different approach for their chain numbers compared to the other manufacturers above. Instead of using a single chain marking, STIHL uses a combination of 2 numbers. One of these numbers is stamped into the drive link (just like the other manufacturers), and STIHL stamps an additional number into the tooth link. For more information on where chain markings are stamped, jump to this section below. Now here’s the table details for STIHL chain numbers:
|1||6||STIHL||.043″||3/8″ Low Profile|
|3||6||STIHL||.050″||3/8″ Low Profile|
Where to Find Chain Markings
If your head is spinning from all the numbers, and you don’t know where to find these chain markings yet, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. The exact location can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer, but generally it’s going to be on the drive link. And for STIHL chain’s, these markings show up on both the drive links and tooth links of a chain. Check-out the image below to see an example: This chain is well used, so it’s a little tough to read the stamped text. However, you should be able to see the following:
- The number “6” on the drive link
- The “STIHL” brand name on the tooth link
- The number “2” on the tooth link
As you can see, this is a STIHL chain, which makes for a great example because you can see where the marking is on the drive link and on the tooth link.
Most manufacturers will have a number on the drive link and the brand name (items 1 and 2 above). STIHL is the exception, because they also use a number on the tooth link (item 3 above).
Using the chain numbers from this example, we can refer to our table of values, and learn that this chain has the following gauge and pitch:
If you can’t find the chain numbers or are having trouble reading them, there are two other ways you can measure your chain. We have those described in our other article here.
In the next section, we’ll define exactly what these numbers mean. We’ll also cover drive link count, which is another important measure you’ll need to know for your chain.
What is Gauge and Pitch?
Gauge is the measurement used to describe the width of a chainsaw chain’s drive links. The higher the gauge, the wider the links. It’s helpful to know this, because if you’re not sure about the gauge rating on a chain, you can check it easily by measuring the width of the drive link.
When you’re choosing a chainsaw chain, getting the correct gauge is critical, because that will determine if you have a proper fit with your chainsaw’s bar groove. See below:
A chain’s drive links are the part of the chain that slide around the bar groove, allowing the chain to cling to the body of the chainsaw. If your chain’s drive links have the wrong gauge, they will either be too big or too small for the bar groove.
When the gauge is too small, you run the risk of throwing your chain, which can be quite dangerous. You would also have a hard time keeping the chain in place, and may not be able to finish a cut at all. When the gauge is too big, it won’t fit into the bar groove in the first place.
For a chain to be compatible with your chainsaw, it has to match the gauge rating of your chainsaw’s bar. You can learn the 4 measurements relevant to a chainsaw bar in this post.
Technically speaking, the pitch is calculated as the distance between 3 rivets, divided by 2. In essence, this is a measure of the distance between your chain’s links. Since it’s a little more complicated to measure the pitch manually, I prefer to get it elsewhere.
You can find the chain pitch using the chain markings and our tables above. It’s also typically printed on the packaging (for new chains) so sometimes you can get it there.
When looking for compatible chains, you can find the pitch you need for your chainsaw, by looking at a the information stamped on the side of the chainsaw bar. If you’re not sure where to look for that, you can learn all about it in our post about chainsaw bar measurements.
Drive Link Count
In order to have the complete set of chain measurements, you’re also going to need one other piece of information: how long the chain should be. The length of chainsaw chains are not measured in inches or CM. Instead, chains are measured by the number of links.
For example, instead of saying a chain is 14 inches long, it would say something like “60 links”. If you have a chain already, it’s easy to determine the number of links, just count them! This goes by drive links, by the way, so make sure those are the links you’re counting.
Similar to gauge and pitch, the number of links will also influence whether the chain is compatible with your chainsaw. You can find the link count that is compatible with your chainsaw, stamped into the side of the chainsaw bar.
How to Change a Chainsaw Chain
Once you’ve identified your chain, you may be ready to install it on your chainsaw. We’ve written an in-depth article on how to replace a chainsaw chain, check it out to learn the steps. For now, here’s a brief summary of what you’ll need to do next:
- Grab a scrench and a gauge tool
- Remove the front panel
- Pull the bar off
- Remove the old chain (if there is one)
- Inspect and clean the bar
- Clean around the sprocket
- Re-assemble the bar and chain
- Screw the panel back on
- Tighten the chain
- Test chain tension
If you’ve changed a chain before, then this could be a helpful checklist. If it’ll be your first time changing a chain, go ahead and jump to our in-depth guide, which includes step-by-step photos that will make things much easier for you to follow.
There you have it. We’ve covered the numbers on chainsaw chains, what they mean, where to find them, and more.
I hope that you’ve found the answer you were looking for, and if you did find this post helpful, please share it with a friend or on social media. We’re always excited to help more people, and to get the word out about BurlyBeaver.com.
I hope you have a marvelous day (or evening), and we’ll see you next time.
Now go do something awesome!
JJ is a firewood enthusiast, an Eagle Scout, and an avid learner and teacher of outdoor skills.
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Hi there. I’m JJ, the guy behind Burly Beaver. I’ve been collecting firewood, planting trees, and woodworking since before I could hold an axe. I’m also the son of a forester, and in the last few years, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for the old-fashioned knowledge trapped in the heads of guys like Dad. So, I created Burly Beaver to serve as a library of the skills, facts, and tricks that I’ve learned. Welcome to the site!
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This site is owned and operated by Wholesome Gear, LLC. Wholesome Gear, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Wholesome Gear, LLC may also participate in affiliate programs with other sites. Wholesome Gear, LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.
What is Chainsaw Chain Pitch? (Everything You Need to Know!)
Have you ever wondered what that pitch number means on your chainsaw chain?
If you’re like me, you might have just shrugged it OFF as some technical mumbo jumbo. ( Who cares what it means, right? )
But understanding the pitch on your chain is really IMPORTANT!
What is the Pitch on a Chainsaw Chain?
Chain pitch refers to the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. The rivets are the small, round metal pieces that keep the chain together.
Chain pitch determines how close together the drive links are on your chain. It’s usually measured in inches.
There are mainly 6 pitch sizes available in chainsaw chains. They are 1/4″, 3/8″, 3/8LP.325″.404”, and 3/4″.
Different Chain Pitch Sizes Explained
Let’s have a look at the different chain pitch sizes and what they’re BEST suited for.
1/4″ Pitch Chains
- Extremely lightweight and smaller gauge chains.
- These chains have a smaller cutting surface area, resulting in slower cutting speeds.
- Specially designed for light-duty tasks such as pruning, trimming, carving, and cutting small trees.
- Ideal for small homeowner chainsaws with engines up to 38cc.
.325″ Pitch Chains
- Offer GREAT control with low vibrations and kickback.
- Narrow-cutting teeth produce precise and clean cuts.
- The drive links are bigger and thicker than those in the 1/4″ pitch chains.
- Ideal for demanding tasks such as bucking, felling, and climbing.
- Recommended for chainsaws with engines 38-60cc.
3/8″ Pitch Chains
- Probably the most common chain pitch used in consumer chainsaws.
- These chains have larger, taller, and wider teeth that offer faster cutting speeds.
- The thicker and deeper drive links provide strength and durability for tough tasks like felling and bucking.
- Ideal for chainsaws with engines 50-100cc.
3/8″ LP Pitch Chains
- These chains are the same size as the standard 3/8″ pitch chains but with low-profile teeth.
- This makes them easier to control and less prone to kickback.
- These chains are lighter than the standard 3/8″ pitch chains and offer faster cutting speeds.
- The drive links are shorter than those found in the standard 3/8″ pitch chains.
- Smaller saws perform really WELL with these chains.
✍️ Note: The 3/8″ LP pitch chains and the standard 3/8″ pitch chains aren’t interchangeable. This means you can’t put a 3/8″ LP chain on a guide bar that’s designed to run with standard 3/8″ pitch chains. ( and vice versa! )
.404″ Pitch Chains
- These are the heaviest-duty chains available and are specially designed for big, powerful saws with engines of 90cc or more.
- With larger and wider teeth, these chains cut faster than 3/8″ pitch chains.
- BEST suited for tasks like timber harvesting and milling.
- On top of it, these chains can withstand intense abuse without breaking or stretching too much.
- Though.404″ pitch chains offer excellent cutting speed, they’re less forgiving and more difficult to control than the smaller ones.
3/4″ Pitch Chains
- First of all, YES, 3/4″ pitch chains are REAL!
- These chains are mainly used for harvester applications.
- Regular handheld chainsaws aren’t designed to run with these chains as they require a lot of power and torque.
- Compared to other pitch chains, these have the widest cutting surface.
- And, they’re extremely BULKY!
How to Determine the Pitch of a Chainsaw Chain?
If you’re wondering what pitch size your chainsaw chain is, don’t worry!
Here are 3 methods to help you determine the pitch of your chain:
1) Check the Writings on Your Guide Bar
If you’re using the STOCK chain ( meaning the chain that came with your saw ) then most likely, you’ll find the pitch information stamped on the bar.
For example, here’s the guide bar of a chainsaw that runs on a.404″ pitch chain:
2) Check the Chain Packaging
The pitch size is usually printed on the packaging of the chain.
Here’s an example of a.325″ pitch chain package:
So, if you recently purchased a new chain and you have the packaging, then you can easily determine the pitch size this way.
3) Reading the Number Stamped on the Drive Links
Have you ever wondered what the number stamped on your chain drive links means?
Well, it actually identifies the pitch size !
Depending on your chain brand, model, and type, you’ll find different variations of numbers stamped on the drive links.
Here’s a chart that includes a few common stamped numbers on various chain brands and their corresponding pitch size:
All you need to do is find the stamped number on your drive link and then look it up on this chart to determine your chain’s pitch size.
If you’re using a different brand chain that’s not included in the chart, then you can usually find the chart for that specific brand online.
4) Measure it Yourself
Anyways, if you couldn’t find the pitch information anywhere else then you can simply measure it yourself.
Here’s how you can measure the pitch of a chainsaw chain:
1) First, lay out your chain on a flat surface.
2) Then, take a ruler or a caliper, and measure the distance from the center of one rivet to the center of the third rivet. Ensure that you are measuring the distance between the rivets in a straight line.
3) Make sure you’re measuring in INCHES.
4) Finally, divide the result by 2, and you’ll get the pitch size of your chain!
What’s the Most Common Chainsaw Chain Pitch?
3/8″ pitch chainsaw chains are the most common size, followed by 0.325″ and 0.404″ pitches. The 3/8″ pitch chain is the perfect all-around size for most cutting tasks and is the most popular choice for homeowners.
Almost 3 months back, I posted a poll on our Reddit Community asking the chainsawers to VOTE for their preferred chainsaw chain pitch size.
Here are the results:
than 63% of the respondents voted for the 3/8″ pitch chain, 27% chose the 0.325″ size, and only 5% voted for the 0.404″ pitch chain as their preferred choice. (Check the full post here)
It is no wonder why 3/8″ is the most popular choice among chainsawers as it offers a GOOD balance between cutting speed and safety!
Half of my saws run on 3/8″ pitch chains (standard LP), while the other half run on 0.325″ or 0.404″ pitches. And for my small electric saws, I prefer 1/4″ pitch chains.
Why is Chainsaw Chain Pitch So IMPORTANT?
By now, you must have a good idea of chainsaw chain pitch!
But why is it important to know the pitch size of a chainsaw chain?
Well, it’s because the drive sprocket of your saw and the nose sprocket of your bar are designed to run with a specific pitch size.
If you use the WRONG pitch chain that’s not compatible with those sprockets, then it’ll definitely cause damage to your saw and bar.
Plus, the chain will keep coming off the bar, and you won’t be able to cut properly.
That’s why you need to know the pitch of your chain and make sure you’re using the correct one.
Always keep this in mind Chainsaw chains are NOT universal. There’s NO one size fits all!
That’s all I have to say about chainsaw chain pitch.
I hope now you know what chainsaw chain pitch is, how to determine it, and why it’s IMPORTANT!
Make sure you always use the correct pitch size chain for your saw. Otherwise, you could end up getting into trouble!
Leave your thoughts in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
Hey there! My name is Sam, and I’m the NERD behind this site. I’m an avid chainsaw enthusiast, and I’ve been tinkering with them since I was 17 (it’s almost 20 years now!).
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What Size File For Chainsaw? A Comprehensive Guide 2023
The efficient performance of your chainsaw depends on how sharpened is the chain of the chainsaw. The old loggers say, “if the chain is sharp, the chainsaw will cut the wood, and if it isn’t, you will do.” No worries if your chainsaw is dull; you can easily file the chain if you are a professional woodworker. But, what size file for chainsaw you need is crucial to know before doing so!
The size of the file you will need to sharpen the chainsaw chain directly corresponds to the chain pitch. You can find the pitch of the chainsaw chain from the chain markings and the model of your chainsaw. Also, direct measurement is another option to find the pitch of your chainsaw chain!
The blunt and dull chainsaw chain causes extra work and is hazardous to use. Therefore, it sounds good to file the chain regularly to use your tool prolong. If picking the right chainsaw file size looks challenging to you, in our guide, I’ll explain to you what size file for chainsaw you should get!
What Size File For Chainsaw?
The chainsaw files are one of the crucial tools every chainsaw operator needs for the maintenance and long life of the chainsaws. The dull chains are not a suitable option to cut with. With the blunt chains, you have to apply more pressure, and this way chainsaw consumes more fuel. Above all, the dull chain can damage your tool significantly! That is why chainsaw experts always recommend cutting with a sharp chain!
Suppose the chain of your tool has become blunt or dull, and you are considering replacing it, don’t go that way. You need to know what size file for chainsaw you need to sharpen the chain, and that’s it. Once you have the right-sized file in your hand, you can easily sharpen the cutting teeth, eventually improving your tool’s performance!
But, before you select any file, it is important to understand that not all chains are alike. Therefore, you must choose a chainsaw file that matches your chainsaw chain. The wrong file selection can badly affect your tool’s cutting efficiency.
The type and size of the chainsaw file you need depend on the chain pitch size. The large pitch means the chain has large-sized cutting teeth. For sharpening these large-sized teeth, you will need a larger file. If you don’t know the chainsaw chain’s pitch, you can find it easily by measuring the distance between three rivets.
The chain’s pitch and other factors can help you select the right-sized file. So, let’s discuss what size file for chainsaw you need before learning how to file chainsaw chain:
i. Chain’s Pitch
Most of the time, you can easily find the list of different numbers printed on the side of the chain. From this list of numbers, the chainsaw operators can learn about chain measurements like chain pitch, which is important for chain sharpening. The chain’s pitch is the distance between 3 consecutive rivets divided by 2.
The smallest pitch is 6 mm or ¼-inches, while 1 cm or 3/8 inches is one of the most commonly used chainsaw pitches. The other options you can have include 8.25 mm or (0.325-inches) and 10.25 mm or 0.404 inches. As stated above, you can easily get to know the file size needed from the size of the pitch!
If you have different chainsaws and chains of different sizes, you must get files of different sizes. Once you have found the pitch of the chain, you can use this table to find the file size for chainsaw to sharpen the chain:
|Chain Pitch||Round File Diameter|
ii. File Profiles
When you are selecting the chainsaw file, try to choose the specialized chainsaw sharpening files. Remember that the chainsaw files have different profiles or surface structures than the standard engineer’s files. The engineer’s files are not suitable for filing the chainsaw’s chain.
Most homeowners use round files to sharpen all three angles of the teeth accurately. At the same time, the professional and commercial chains are square ground. Therefore, in such a chain, you cannot use a flat file instead of a round file. Remember that you can sharpen the square tooth with a tapered hand file. The depth gauges will require a different file.
Note: You can use round and flat files to get better results per your needs. The round files can be used to sharpen the sides and top plates of the cutting teeth. To sharpen the depth gauges, you can use the flat files and keep them in shape.
File Size For The STIHL Chainsaw Chain
STIHL chainsaw file sizes are almost the same as you use for different other chainsaws. But, for the 3/8-inches chain, STIHL recommends the 13/64-inches file size. You can also check the STIHL file size chart for reference.
File Size For The Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain
Husqvarna offers plenty of information on the file sizes for their chainsaws. You can check the pitch of the chain and Husqvarna file size guidelines before making any decision. The manufacturers recommend that the file size and sharpening angle both depend on the type of saw you have!
Different Types Of Chainsaw Teeth Or Blades
When you are wondering what size a chainsaw file you need, you must understand the different types of teeth the chain of your chainsaw could have. It is important because understanding the type of cutter teeth allows you to get the files compatible with the chain.
The following are the different types of chainsaw teeth or blades:
i. Chipper Tooth Or Round Tooth
The cutter or the round tooth is the first and the simplest type of cutter you can have. Also, the chipper tooth is the most adaptable one. The tooth is easier to file as compared to the other types. Many chainsaw operators prefer these teeth over the other options because of their resistance to dust and dirt.
These teeth would be an excellent choice even if you have high-power chainsaws. The tooth is curved because it can cut through the wood efficiently and easily, even if it is hard to cut!
ii. Chisel (Square Grind and Square Tooth)
The full chisel is the sharpest cutter. Always seek professional help when you are going to cut these teeth. If you ever need to file these cutters, choose a square file. The square file can easily get fit the cutting edges of the chain. Never cut without sharpening the chain if you feel it has uneven edges!
iii. Semi-Chisel (Round Grind and Square Tooth)
The semi-chisel or square tooth shows the maximum resistance against the dirt of your three types of cutters. These chainsaws are a less aggressive version of the chisel. The chain will stay sharp for a long time even if you use it regularly. For sharpening the round grind tooth, you can use the round-shaped file along with a guide!
When Do You Need To Sharpen The Chain Of Your Chainsaw?
When you feel that the chainsaw is not cutting the wood and you have to apply pressure to cut, it’s a clear sign that the chain is dull. Besides, many other signs tell you it’s time to file the chain. For instance, the waste that comes as a result of cutting. If you get fine powder before cutting the wood, file your saw. But if you are getting the chips while cutting, it shows that everything is just fine!
A Brief Description Of Chainsaw Chain
For the new chainsaw operators, it is crucial to understand the structure of the chainsaw chain before they learn the work and how to sharpen a chainsaw with a file. The chain has cutters on both the left and right sides. The cutters alternate on both sides so that the chainsaw keeps cutting straight. The depth gauge is another important part of the saw. It is a small shark structure made from metals and is used to control the depth of the cut.
Half-circled cutting edges on the cutters are present. These cutters have a specific diameter depending on the type of chain your chainsaw has. You can sharpen these cutting edges with the help of a round file.
The tip of the depth gauges used to be a fraction smaller than the top of the cutters. As you sharpen the cutters multiple times during the chainsaw’s lifespan, both eventually become of the same length.
But, after that, you cannot cut deep with the saw. Therefore, the experts recommend keeping the height of depth gauges lower, and for this purpose, you can use a flat file along with the file guide when sharpening the chain. The links that attach the chain to the guide bars are called drive links!
How To Sharpen A Chainsaw Chain With A File?
If your chainsaw gets dull, you face difficulty in cutting. Therefore, it becomes crucial for every chainsaw operator to learn how to sharpen chainsaw chain with a file. So, if you have also been facing the same issue and are wondering about learning how to sharpen chainsaw with file, congrats, you have reached your destination!
Before you learn “how to file a chainsaw chain,” you should get to know the tools you will need to file the chainsaw chain:
How to Measure a Chainsaw Chain
You can find the step-by-step guide on how to sharpen a chainsaw blade with a file just below. You can follow every step carefully to sharpen chainsaw with file and can sharpen the chain of your tool in less than 10-minutes:
- Before you file a chainsaw chain, always wear chainsaw gloves.
- Ensure the chainsaw brake is engaged so your tool cannot move while filing the chainsaw.
- Now, clamp the guide bar in the vice.
- Put the file guide between the rivets on the chain; while doing so, ensure that the arrows on the file guide are directed towards the front side of the chainsaw chain.
- Now, use steady strokes while filing the cutter.
- Once you have filed a couple of cutters, release the brake and move the chain forward. After that, reset the chain brake and start sharpening the other cutters.
- Lastly, when the cutters of one side have been sharpened, turn out the chainsaw and start sharpening the other side of the chain.
- Once you have done with the cutters, move forward and start sharpening the depth gauges. To adjust the height of the depth gauges, you can use the depth gauge tool along with the file. If the gauges come just above the cutters, then you must file them with a flat file!
Hopefully, you will have learned “how to sharpen a chainsaw with file” here. If you have no idea about the size of the file you need, you can also check the chainsaw file size chart for reference!
What Are The Different Types Of Chainsaw Files?
You can find the chainsaw files in multiple shapes and sizes. Each type of chainsaw file has its purpose, and depending on the task; you can determine which file you need to sharpen the chain. The following are the different types of chainsaw files:
i. Brass Files
The brass files are flexible and robust and always give you excellent finishing, shaping, and sharpening. You can use these files to de-rust the chainsaw handles. As these files are flexible and robust, therefore you use these files to reach hard-to-reach locations. For instance, with these files, you can file the chainsaw’s teeth without damaging your tool.
The only disadvantage of using these files is that they can scratch the chain more than other metal files. You can use a cloth or leather to wipe the file and keep the chain covered with another cloth to overcome this problem. It will keep the chain safe from scratching!
ii. Diamond Files
The diamond files are an excellent choice for metal polishing. With these files, you quickly remove the materials and can sharpen the chainsaw teeth quickly compared to other files. The diamond files can also be used to remove the rust from the chains. But you need to be very careful while doing so. Diamond is 10X harder than steel and can significantly damage your saw.
iii. Steel Files
These heavy steel files are coated with oil, making them rust-resistant. You can choose these files to smooth the chainsaw teeth and reshape them. Also, these files can be used to remove the chips and burrs and maintain your tool’s quality. Undoubtedly, the steel files help chainsaw operators to keep their tools sharp and ready to use! You can also use these files to remove the rust or oil from the engine of your chainsaw.
iv. Carbide Files
Carbide is the last and fourth type of chainsaw file. The carbides files are the ideal way to shape the chainsaw teeth because these files can remove the materials from chainsaw teeth so quickly and always give you a flawless finish. You must apply a little pressure when using these files to get the required results.
These files are as harder as diamond files but are more durable. Also, they are available at higher prices. The only drawback of carbide files is that they can be used to file chains only, but you cannot remove the rust or oil from the chainsaw.
What File Size Will A 3/8 Chainsaw Chain Take?
If you want to know what size file is for 3 8 chains, remember that finding the right file size for 3 8 chains will not be difficult if you follow the right strategy. So, to get the right file size for the 3/8 chain, check the number stamped on the side of the chain’s cutter. Then compare that number with the figures mentioned on the chainsaw file size chart to get the right 3/8 chainsaw file!
Also, you can check the chain’s pitch to get the right 3 8 chainsaw file. You will measure the pitch of the chain in inches. For this purpose, first, measure the distance between three consecutive rivets in millimeters and then divide it by 2. If you need the chains to be pitched in inches, divide the result by 0.039. As you have the chain’s pitch, you can use the chainsaw file size chart to get the 3 8 chains saw file sizes!
Even if you have chains of the same pitch size, you will need two different files because they are not the same type. For instance, you must use a flat file for the square cutting edge of a chisel cutter.
The round file will be used if you have a chipper cutter. Always use the round files to sharpen the cutter’s top and side plate when filing. For the depth gauges, always use the flat file!
What Size File for 0.325 Chain?
Whether a man is working in a garden or trying to get rid of storm damage, a chain is an essential tool that you must have. But, before you get a tool, it is crucial to learn how to keep your tool maintained and ready to use.
Remember that if the chain gets dull, it can be troublesome. So, to keep you safe from this problem, you must get the right 325 chain file size and sharpen the chain. Well, for this chain size, the experts recommend using a 3/16 inch or 4.8mm chainsaw file. Get excellent results with just a few swipes with this file!
Why Does The File Size Is So Important?
The chainsaw can easily get dull when you cut through the dirt and rocks. Resultantly, when you cut with a blunt chain, you start getting fine powder instead of wood chips which is a clear sign that it’s time to file the chain.
Remember that selecting the right-sized file is as important as filing the chain. The wrong file size can significantly damage the tool, and the metal will wear out when you use the wrong-sized file.
The file size, either smaller or larger than the recommended size, can permanently damage the chainsaw blades. With the wrong-sized file, you can sharpen the chain perfectly, and you won’t be able to cut well with your tool.
- Using A Large-Size File: The large-sized file with a large diameter eliminates the hook of the blades. With the help of these hooks of the blades, the chainsaw ensures that you are cutting efficiently.
- Using A Small-Sized File: The file with a small-sized diameter will not let you cover the sharpening of the cutter’s tip!
Even if there is a small difference between the recommended file and the one you are using, you can sharpen the chainsaw without getting the required results. The sawdust will be either fine powder or wood pieces larger than the original.
Above all, you must put a lot of effort when filing the chain. It becomes challenging to operate the chainsaw if you remove a lot of metal or carve the chain incorrectly. That is why you should always spick the chainsaw file of the right size.
How Can You Know The Chain Pitch?
Knowing the right chain pitch is important to get the right-sized chain file. You can find the pitch size by following any of the below-given ways:
i. Check The Size Markings
The chain size marking should be different for your different chainsaws:
- STIHL: If you have a STIHL chainsaw, you need to check the cutter or tooth links’ front part. There you will find a single digit stamped on the metal!
- Oregon: In the case of Oregon, you will find a code on the drier link. The code consisting of two numbers tells you the pitch of the chain.
- Carlton: There will be a short number-letter code on the shark fin or driver link. The letter gives you complete information about the pitch of your chain.
ii. Measure The Pitch
Measurement is an easier and the right way of finding the chain’s pitch. Below is the right way to find the chainsaw pitch:
- You will need a measuring tape, a ruler, and a caliper.
- First, find the distance between two pins in the chain and leave the one pin which is present between them.
- Divide this measurement by two, and that’s it. You have to get the pitch of the chain chainsaw chain.
What Size File For Chainsaw: Frequently Asked Questions
What Size File Do You Need?
The right file size of the file with its sides is always more than the double length of the tooth face you are going to file. With care and practice, you can reduce the number of files needs to sharpen the chainsaw chain!
What Size File For 3/8 Chain?
For the file size for 3 8 chains or 9.32 mm pitch, you must get a file of 4.0 mm in diameter. Remember that to file the chain perfectly, it is important to get the file of the right size. In case you get a large-sized file, it can reduce the height of teeth and can create a broad bottom!
What Size File For A.325 Chain?
If you have a STIHL chainsaw and looking for what size file for.325 chain, you must get a 3/16-inches file for the chainsaw.
What File Do You Need To Sharpen Your Chainsaw?
The chainsaw chains can be sharpened with the help of special files. Many professional loggers used square files to sharpen the chainsaw chain. These square files are used to sharpen the knives. In comparison, many other experts use round files for this purpose. Chainsaw files are usually available in sizes 5/32, 7/32, and 3/16; you can choose the one per your needs!
How Should One Select The Chainsaw File?
To select the right file size, measure the depth of the tooth and then select the file whose width is slightly less than twice the tooth depth. If you want a good view while sharpening the chainsaw file, you can also choose a narrow file with a width just a little more than the tooth depth!
What File Size Do You Need For Husqvarna Chainsaw?
The type of chain file you need depends on the pitch size of your chainsaw. The chains with high pitch have higher cutting teeth, so you will need large files to file the chainsaw chain! Besides that, you can also check the Husqvarna chainsaw file size chart for reference. The chainsaw file size chart Husqvarna will let you know which file size you will use according to the pitch of your chainsaw chain!
What Is The Difference Between 3/8 And 0.325 Chain?
The 0.325 chain works perfectly with the small chainsaws with higher RPM. While the other one, i.e., the 3/8 chain, is a better option and well-suited for those chainsaws with more horsepower. Also, these chains have large teeth, making them a perfect option for heavy-duty tasks!
Will It Be Worth To Sharpen The Chainsaw Chain?
For the maintenance and long-term use of a chainsaw, it is important to sharpen the chainsaw chain. Also, sharpening the chainsaw chain can prolong the lifespan of other tool parts. Above all, a dull chain does not cut the wood, and you have to apply pressure or force, which can damage your tool!
Why do Chainsaws Cut Dull So Easily?
The chain gets dull for several reasons; for instance, you may not use the right file size to sharpen the chainsaw. Also, you may apply a lot of pressure while filing the chainsaw. It can create cutting edges that used to be very thin, and the chain gets dull quickly!
How Often Should I Sharpen My Chainsaw Chain?
You may have to sharpen the chainsaw chain just once a year if you are using it occasionally. But, if you are a professional using the chainsaw regularly, it is crucial to sharpen the chain regularly to maintain the tool. The purpose of sharpening the chain is to ensure that it may not get dull.
What Is The Purpose Of A Square File?
A square file is a metallic tool used to remove small pieces of wood or metal. In addition to the square files, you can also find the tri-angular files, well-known as the three-square files, and specialized tools. You can use the files to sharpen and trim the edges!
What Angle Should I Sharpen My Chainsaw Chain?
You can sharpen the chainsaw at 25° and 35°, depending on the hardness of the wood. You can sharpen the wood at a greater angle if the wood is harder. You can use the sharpening grid or a filing gauge to maintain the greater angle. Both of these will be a great help to you!
What Does LP Means On The Chain Of A Chainsaw?
The P or low profile chains do not have tall cutters like most standard chains. Therefore, the LP chains make a low-profile cut and are advantageous because of their low weight. Most chainsaws with low-horse power use chains of low profile!
Which Type Of Chainsaw Chain Is Used By The Professionals?
The professionals and well-experienced operators use full-chisel chainsaw chains. These chains are used to cut the hardwood as oak because of their square-cornered teeth.
Which Type Of Chainsaw Chain Do Loggers Use?
The loggers use the semi-chisel chains as these chains are an excellent option for home users and are a preferred choice of most professional woodcutters. The semi-chisel chains are safe to use as the chains significantly reduce the chances of kickbacks.
Will hitting the dirt dull the chainsaw chain?
The experts do not recommend cutting in the dirt as it can dull the cutters. Also, the dirt can damage the chainsaw links faster, and the chain can get stretched.
Which STIHL Chain Will Cut The Fastest?
You can use the STIHL Rapid TM Super Klassic, the fastest-cutting STIHL chain. The chain has special cutter geometry, which provides excellent control and the perfect chip flow, which resultantly improves the overall cutting efficiency of the chain!
Conclusion: What Size File For Chainsaw
For the woodworker and loggers, knowing what size file for chainsaw they need is pretty important. A sharp chain can effectively reduce the sawdust clogging the air filters. Also, a sharp chain can decrease fatigue in your arms. So, next time before cutting the wood, file the chainsaw chain!
How To Identify Your Chainsaw Chain
The file size you need depends on the chain pitch, which you can find from the chain markings and the mode of the saw. If you are an expert user, you can also find the chain’s pitch from direct measurement.
For the maintenance and prolonged lifespan of the chainsaw, the chainsaw files play a key role if you are looking to sharpen your chainsaw and don’t know what size file for chainsaw.
Hopefully, this article will have helped you!