What Do The Numbers On A Chainsaw Chain Mean?

The chainsaws come in various sizes and shapes so choosing one which is suitable for your needs is quite a lengthy exercise. You can save a bit of time if you already know your exact requirements so that you can easily identify the right machine and machine parts for yourself.

What Do The Numbers On A Chainsaw Chain Mean?

Chainsaw chains are one of the most important components in the composition of a chainsaw because the chains and the blades kind of perform all the action. So it is really important to know what do the numbers on a chainsaw chain mean because when you are trying to replace your chain you need one that fits your machine.

The knowledge of the exact measurement of the chainsaw chain would make sure that you don’t purchase a chain that isn’t suitable for your machine. Because if you do so there isn’t any other option then going back to replace it. It would be much better if you don’t make such a mistake in the first place and we have created a complete guide for you to know about the meaning of the numbers of chainsaw chain so let’s start going into the details.

There are 3 different numbers present on the chainsaw chain packaging normally. These 3 numbers represent the pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links. These numbers identify different aspects of the chain and we would like to tell you about each one of them starting with the pitch.

The Pitch

The pitch in the chainsaw chain means the distance between its links. These numbers is not related to the length of the chain. But it only tells you about the measurement of the distance between the links. This number can usually be found on the packaging or it is available in the user manual.

Sizes of Chainsaw Chain Pitches

There are various sizes of chainsaw chains available in the market. These chainsaw chains come with various pitch sizes. For example, you can find one with ¼, 325’’, 404’’, 3/8’’, and 3/8’’ low profile.

Most Preferred

Most of the people prefer the 3/8’’ low profile pitch when it comes to the chains. The next most common pitch size you would find in most of the chainsaws would the 3/8’’ regular. These kinds of chains create narrow kerf cuts helping the workers in working more efficiently along with saving energy. The 3/8’’ pitch sizes are suitable for the machines being used for delicate work. While the 404’’ are suitable for the machines being used for aggressive work.

The Gauge

The chain is set on the chainsaw with the help of drive links fitted in the guide bar of the tool. The drive links are present on the bottom side of the chain. The thickness of the drive links determines the gauge of your chain. The correct thickness of the gauge is necessary because if the thickness is less or more than required. It won’t fit or slip off the chainsaw.

Measurement of the Gauge

The measurement of the gauge is done in inches and there are total of 4 different sizes available. These 4 sizes are:-

  1. .043’’
  2. 50’’
  3. 58’’
  4. .063’’.

The most popular size is the 0.50’’ and the size is displayed normally on the packaging of the chain and it is also stamped on the guide bar of the chainsaw.

What to Do If The Number Isn’t Found?

If you are unable to find the gauge number on the packaging of the chain or the guide bar then you can find it on the instruction manual. You shouldn’t try to determine the size on your own and try to find the exact measurement in order to make the correct selection. As the difference in the numbers is quite small so you have to be really careful while selecting the gauge number. Because your machine would be useless without a chain having an accurate gauge size.

The Drive Links

Another number you would be looking at your chainsaw chain would be to determine the number of drive links you will find on the chain. Although most of the time the chain is selected on the basis of the length of the guide bar the best way to go about selecting one as counting the number of drive links required for your machine and purchasing a chain accordingly.

Where to Find the Number?

In order to find the correct number of drive links, you would have to look at the tool as most manufacturers print it on it. If you are unable to find the number on the tool you will have to look in the user manual of the tool. As the length of a chainsaw can be calculated by combining pitch and the number of drive links so one has to be really careful regarding the number of drive links to find the correct replacement for your chainsaw chain.


Concluding this article we can say that we have provided a complete answer to the question most of the people interested in chainsaws ask which is what do the numbers on a chainsaw chain mean, especially when they have to replace the chain. The numbers basically represent 3 different things about which you need to know before buying a replacement. These 3 important things are:

  • Pitch
  • Gauge
  • Drive Links

Once you are able to find the correct measurement of these 3 on the chain of your chainsaw you wouldn’t have any difficulty finding the right replacement. A slight difference could make a huge impact so you need to be really careful about it. It is better to know about the measurements beforehand instead of purchasing a chain based on intuition and worrying about returning it afterward.

As all the measurements are available in the user manual or mostly printed on the chain itself so it wouldn’t be much difficult to get these measurements right. You just need to look at the right places in order to make the right choice while replacing your machine’s chain.

Related Posts

1 thought on “What Do The Numbers On A Chainsaw Chain Mean?”

  1. Hello . I received a replacement chain. I noticed it was listed as 72E. I an familiar with 72 DL.
    What does the E stand for and are these chains compatible.


Leave a Comment