How Can I Tell What Size My Chainsaw Blade Is?

Written by ran brown
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How Can I Tell What Size My Chainsaw Blade Is?
Measuring a chainsaw blade is a simple process (Chain saw against firewood pile image by Andrzej Thiel from

There comes a time in the life-cycle of a chainsaw blade that the blade has either stretched a bit too much or has simply been sharpened to many times, and therefore; must be replaced. When that time comes, it is also likely that any identifying marks on the chainsaw bar are worn off beyond legibility. As a result, it can be difficult to determine the length of your bar and blade. If you find yourself in this position, you need not worry as measuring your blade and bar length is a simple process that you can handle in a few minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cleaning rag
  • Cleaning solvent

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  1. 1

    Clean your chainsaw before beginning your measurements. In all likelihood, your saw and blade are covered in oil and sawdust. Getting things cleaned up first will make the job easier and much less messy. Use an old rag and a solvent for best results.

  2. 2

    Measure the blade from the tip of the bar to the gear housing with your measuring tape. The distance from the tip of the chain bar down to the gear cover opening represents your rough chain length.

  3. 3

    Compare the measurement to the standard chain lengths. Because there can be some discrepancy in the chain length due to bar movement, you will need to round to the nearest standard chain length. For chainsaw blades, there are 2 inch increments in the chains with most ranging from 16 inches to 20 inches. Therefore, if your chain measurement reads 15 3/4, you would simply round to a 16 inch chain.

  4. 4

    Write down your chainsaw model number along with your chain length. When you are ready to purchase your new chain, you need to take the model number of your chainsaw with you to your retailer. Chains can have different gear pitches and therefore, your model number will help you avoid choosing the wrong chain.

  5. 5

    Purchase your new chain using the model number and chain length. Most blades have a reference chart on the packaging that will help you insure that you are selecting the proper chain for your saw. Once you have your blade length determined, you simply compare your saw model number to the reference charts on the blade package.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase a high quality blade. Chainsaw blades can be resharpened may times if they are well made. Ask you retailer for recommendations.
  • Make sure you have not been using the saw before measuring your chain. The saw can be extremely hot if it has been used less than an hour before you begin your measurement.

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