How to find replacement chainsaw chain

Finding the correct replacement chainsaw chain for you chainsaw can be tricky business if you don’t know what you’re doing, so let’s go through the steps.

How Do I Know What Size Bar I Have? 
Your bar’s cutting length (or “called length”) is different from its total or overall length. The cutting length is the distance from the front of the saw to the tip of the farthest cutter, rounded to the nearest inch. This called length is the number used in the selector guide to describe the bars that are available for your saw.

Be careful; a bar made by OREGON may take a different drive link count than that of another producer. Here’s a tip: if you have an OREGON bar, look at the ten-digit number stamped on the motor end; the first two digits, such as 16, tell you the called length.

Once you know the make, model, and bar length, there are some other features you need to know, such as: 

What is Chain Pitch?
Chain Pitch is the size of the chain, and is defined as the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. OREGON®chain is made in several pitches – 1/4″ is the smallest, 3/8″ is the most popular, 3/4” is the largest. Pitch is important because the drive sprocket must be the same pitch as the chain, and if applicable, the bar nose sprocket. The easiest way to determine the pitch of your chain is to look at the number stamped on the drive link.See the chain-pitch-and-gauge chart below.
What is Chain Gauge? 
Chain Gauge is the Drive Link’s thickness where it fits into the bar groove. The gauge of the chain and the gauge of the bar must match. OREGON has several gauges for hand-held chain saws – such as, .043”, .050″, .058” and .063″. Normal wear can make it difficult to accurately measure chain gauge on a worn chain. Always order by the number stamped on the drive link of your old chain to assure correct gauge. See the chain-pitch-and-gauge chart below.
gauge   gauge
Chain Pitch and Gauge Chart 
Oregon® part number
(stamped on Drive-link) 
Chain Pitch Chain Gauge
11 (harvester only) 3/4” .122”
16 (harvester only) .404″ .063″
18 (harvester only) .404″ .080″
20 .325″ .050″
21 .325″ .058″
22 .325″ .063″
25 1/4″ .050″
27 .404″ .063″
33 .325″ .050″
34 .325″ .058″
35 .325″ .063″
50 .404″ .050″
51 .404″ .058″
52 .404″ .063″
58 .404″ .058″
59 .404″ .063″
68 .404″ .063″
72 3/8″ .050″
73 3/8″ .058″
75 3/8″ .063″
90 3/8″ .043″
91 3/8″ .050″
95 .325″ .050″

How do I measure the length of my chain? 
The length of your chain is determined by counting the number of drive links in your chain. Your drive link count has a direct correlation to your bar’s length. Be careful; a bar made by OREGON may take a different drive link count than that of another producer. Here’s a tip: count the number of drive links in the chain you have now, and write that number down someplace where you can find it. Or, if you have an OREGON chain in an OREGON box, the drive link count is stamped on the flap; you can save that flap for future reference.
chain length

Do you have questions or comments? Please feel free to contact us via phone, email or the comments section below.


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Jack Hayes

Jack Hayes is the Head of Internet Marketing at LawnMowerPros and the editor of this blog. You can often find him creating featured articles, DIY guides, custom graphics and much more.