How to measure the pitch of a chainsaw

3/8 or 0.325 which is better and why

Determine which parameter is better and which is not worse, since each of them has its own characteristics and is intended for chain saws of a certain power. Depending on how the saw head is correctly selected, the performance of the tool will have different indicators. If the headset is selected optimally, i.e. the distance between the links corresponds to the recommended power, then the performance of the chainsaw will be maximum. If selected incorrectly, the motor will experience overloads that can lead to malfunctions.

The optimal power ratings for 0.325 inches are 1.8-2 kW. This is the reason why chains with this pitch are used on the Husqvarna 142/137 chainsaw.

measure, pitch, chainsaw

For parameter 3/8, a tool with a power of up to 3 kW is required. In this case, the question arises, why on the Stihl 180, with a power of 1.5 kW, 3/8 inch chains are used. The answer is simple: for Stihl chainsaws, power is not the most important thing, the maximum number of revolutions is of great importance. The Stihl 180 delivers over 13,500 rpm, so it can cut with a 3/8 ” headset.

CHAINSAW 101. How to buy the proper chain for a saw. Drive Links Pitch Gauge Cutter correct size

For 0.404 inches, optimum power 4.5. 5 kW.

Important! The indicated values ​​of power and chain pitch are not necessarily character, the user himself has the right to choose the parameters of the headset that he plans to use on the chainsaw.

Chainsaw chain table

articles, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the table, which indicates the technical parameters of popular models of chains for chainsaws of different power.

Based on the recommendations of the manufacturer of the chainsaw and taking into account the technical parameters from the table, you can find out the model of the chain that is suitable for your tool and avoid mistakes when buying.

How to find out

There are several ways to find out the pitch of the chain:

  • View the pitch value on the guide bar. Manufacturers of the saw headset must indicate the length of the bar, the width of the groove and the pitch of the driven sprocket on the shank of the saw blade.
  • Measure the distance between the shanks of adjacent teeth or the centers of three adjacent rivets.
  • The method that works for chains in branded packaging is to look at the characteristics of the chain on the box.

The branded packaging of Stihl chains contains comprehensive information about the products, after reading which you can find out not only the distance between adjacent links, but also the type of teeth, the width of the link, the recommended file size for sharpening.

What does the distance between the teeth affect?

In a saw chain, the distance between the cutting teeth directly affects its performance. The more, the deeper the cutting edge can cut into the wood, provided that the stop is sharpened correctly.

Accordingly, on more powerful chainsaws, it is permissible to install a headset with a large distance between adjacent links and vice versa.

If you put a ¼ ”saw headset on a powerful chainsaw, the performance will drop significantly, and the load on the engine will increase, because the saw will run at a speed and exceed the maximum permissible speed, which ultimately can lead to overheating and seizure of the CPG.

And vice versa, installing a chain with a large pitch on a weak chainsaw will lead to the fact that the saw power will not be enough for normal cutting, of course, this will not entail serious consequences, as in the first case, but it is not comfortable to work with such a tool.

Also, the quality and accuracy of the cut depends on the distance between the links. The farther from each other adjacent cutting teeth, the stronger the vibration during work and the lower the cutting accuracy. For a more accurate cut, choose a saw head with a smaller pitch. This factor must be taken into account by those who are engaged in curly carving with a chainsaw on wood.

The chain pitch has a great influence on the so-called “rebound”. The greater the distance between the teeth, the higher the likelihood that the chainsaw will bounce.

Important! Most often, “rebound” occurs when working with the tip of the tire, for example, when making internal cuts. In this case, you need to be extremely careful, regardless of the step with which the chain is used.

What is Pitch, Drive Links & Gauge in chainsaw?

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When choosing a chain, the rule is that the pitch (distance between the teeth) is proportional to the power, but the cutting accuracy is inversely related, i.e. the greater the distance, the lower the accuracy.

How to choose

In the case when it is necessary to choose the optimal chain pitch for the chainsaw, it is best to take into account the manufacturer’s recommendations and, based on them, choose the type of saw headset.

If the manufacturer’s recommendations are not known, then you need to choose according to the engine power. We have provided the recommended values ​​corresponding to a certain step just above.

Important! When choosing, do not forget that the distance between the links is not the only parameter that you need to pay attention to.

It is also worth choosing the thickness of the link, the type of cutting tooth, the number of links. Performance is largely dependent on the angle of sharpening, depth of cut and the shape of the stop teeth. The sharper the restraining tooth, the higher the cutting speed, and the lower its quality.

Below we offer you to watch a video on choosing the pitch of the chainsaw chain. The video tells and shows how to determine it, for which chainsaws, which chain step to use.

Everything you need to know about the pitch of your chainsaw for efficient operation

There are several basic parameters for choosing a chainsaw, one of them is the pitch of the saw headset. The pitch depends on the power of the chainsaw, and greatly affects the cutting speed.

How much the step matches the power determines the performance and service life of the chainsaw. Also, the consumption of fuels and lubricants depends on its correct selection.

  • Step concept
  • What does the distance between the teeth affect?
  • 3/8 or 0.325 which is better and why
  • How to choose
  • How to find out
  • Chainsaw chain table
  • Conclusion

Step concept

Pitch. half the distance between adjacent shanks or between three adjacent rivets.

There are several sizes, 1/4 “is the smallest, 3/4” is the largest and 3/8 and 0.325 “are the most popular.

Step. a parameter that is available not only in the headset, but also in the sprockets of the tire and chainsaw.

Important! All three elements, chain, sprocket and bar, must have the same pitch parameter, otherwise installation and correct operation is impossible.

Cutting depth and profile height

A significant part of the operated headsets do not fully develop the assigned resource.

The main reasons for forced wear are:

  • low efficiency of the lubrication system;
  • high wear of the drive sprocket;
  • excessive tension on the saw chain;
  • use of substandard and surrogate chain oils.

Experts advise using a set of several chains, changing them as needed. This option can take advantage of the more productive mechanized sharpening.

Worn and damaged chains should be discarded promptly. Even in the presence of an emergency stop brake and a safety device, the operation of worn-out parts is characterized by an increased risk of injury.

Professional chain design features

In a medium and high-end chain, each cutting link is equipped with two shanks, which inevitably increases its cost. Owners of their own chainsaws are offered more affordable models of the through or semi-through type.

In the first case, additional chain elements are located immediately after the cutting link. In the second version, the connecting elements are mounted after every second pair.

In standard, through and half through chains, the number of saw links is 50, 40 and 37.5 percent, respectively. The simplification of the design of cheap products is inevitably accompanied by an increase in the load on the saw links, the need for frequent sharpening and a reduction in its service life.


The range offered can be divided into chains with chisel and chipper cutter link configurations. In the first case, the link in the section is similar to the number 7. This profile provides increased productivity of cutting operations of increased complexity.

A significant disadvantage of the chisel “seven” is the complexity of manual sharpening, since even a slight deviation from the given angle, the main advantages of the seven-fold profile are canceled.

The chipper links are crescent-shaped. The increased contact area with the wood being cut puts additional stress on the engine. On the positive side. the design of chipper chains is appreciated for the stability of operation with a high level of contamination and less stringent requirements for the accuracy of finishing the cutting edges.


The starter mechanism consists of a drum (1) with a cable (2) and a handle (3), and a frame (4) with a recoil spring. How not to be mistaken with the choice of oil for the chainsaw chain, keys of different carburetors. When the handle is pulled upwards, the drum ratchet engages with the teeth on the motor shaft and turns the crankshaft. When the handle is released, the return spring returns it to its original position.

To turn the crankshaft at the speed at which the engine starts, it takes a certain amount of effort. It is often not possible to start the chainsaw from the 1st jerk, you have to jerk it a couple of times. Do-it-yourself chainsaw sharpening. How to sharpen. Various methods are used to facilitate starting. enrichment of the fuel consistency using the carburetor flap, or lowering the pressure in the cylinder using a decompression valve (to facilitate crankshaft cranking).

The main and more complex chain links are cutting links, which are divided into right-handed and left-handed. Top edge of the tooth. the widest of all parts. Chainsaw chain sharpening is, perhaps, before sharpening the chainsaw chain. It provides a wide kerf to prevent other links from getting stuck.

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Shank parameters

An equally important condition for choosing the right saw chain is the thickness of its shank, which varies from 1.1 to 2 mm. In the inch standard, shanks are presented in sizes 0.043 / 0.04 / 0.05 / 0.058 / 0.063 and 0.08 inches, respectively.

Chains with a minimum thickness are used in lightweight low-cube models of a budget level. In household and semi-professional chainsaws, analogues resistant to constant and variable loads, with a thickness of 1.3 to 1.6 mm, are more in demand. Reinforced chains with 2 mm shanks, professional chainsaw equipment is completed.

When choosing a chain for a chainsaw, you need to pay attention to several important characteristics:

  • number of links;
  • chain pitch;
  • the thickness of the driving link;
  • purpose of use.

In addition, on our website you can choose a chain according to the saw model through the chain saw guide.

Number of chain links. Determined by the internal teeth of the chain.

Chain pitch. the distance between three consecutive rivets divided by two.

Criterias of choice

The quality of budget and branded chains is significantly different. Many owners of cheap household chainsaws prefer to operate their equipment with more advanced sawing headsets from the leading brands Stihl, Husqvarna and Oregon. An unofficial rating recorded an increase in consumer demand for similar products of the Hammer and PowerSharp brands.

The standard length of the bar for a household saw is 2-2.5 HP. is 40-45 cm.The size of high-performance analogs of a professional class reaches 70 cm.

The higher price level of branded bars and chains is compensated by the high quality of complex sawing operations, increased resource, stability of performance throughout the entire period of service specified by the manufacturer.

Saw chain pitch characteristics

The selected chain must be suitable for the length of the guide bar and its design. One of the main parameters for the selection of a chain is its pitch, which is traditionally measured in inches.

In the cutting headsets of the household group chainsaws, 3/8 inch chains, smooth and safe in operation, are used, in the metric standard. 0.325 mm.

Analogues with an increased pitch of type 0.404 ″ are intended for a complete set of powerful and efficient professional-grade chainsaws, therefore they are practically not used in household chainsaws.

Self-installation of a headset with an increased pitch must be consistent with the type and traction characteristics of the power unit.

How to find out the size of the chainsaw

Chain brake

The activation of the chain brake can be contact and inertial. The first occurs when the brake stop (1) is pressed on the worker’s hand, which spontaneously occurs when the saw is thrown back. The resulting displacement of the stop leads to the tightening of the brake band (2) on the clutch drum and to its stop, as a result of which the saw chain also stops.

The inertial brake engagement is based on the inertial forces arising from a sharp impact on the tire and acting on the brake elements, which leads to the same result as in the first case. tightening the brake band and stopping the chain. Chainsaw chain sharpening with angle grinder and file. How to sharpen a chain on a chainsaw for a beginner?

Chainsaw chain sharpening on the machine. How to sharpen a chainsaw chain with your own hands. Inertial brake engagement is faster than contact engagement. However, the second is more reliable. Any preparation for work, as well as the assembly of the chainsaw after its repair or maintenance, should end with a check of the chain brake. If it does not fire, the saw should be considered defective.

Chain saw chain

Leading links

Provide the movement of the chain along the tire due to the adhesion to the drive sprocket of the saw.
They measure the length of the chain: it is equal to the number of leading links in the ring. To determine it, it is enough to fold the ring in half, count the pairs of leading links and double the result. Also on the leading links there are markings by which you can determine the series of the product.

Chain thickness

Measured at the shank of the drive link moving inside the tire groove and should match the thickness of the tire groove.

Cutting links

They are responsible for cutting wood. They differ in shape, sharpening angle and chrome thickness. The most commonly used types are:
Chisel (chisel, super). The most aggressive type of link, cuts quickly, but requires frequent sharpening and wears out faster;
You got it. Smoother cutting, sharpening is required much less often.

Connecting links

Retain lubrication and are responsible for the strength of the product.

Additional engineering solutions OREGON

Technical Tips- Identifying Chain Pitch and Chain Gauge

Vibe-Ban. suppresses vibration, improves operator safety and speeds up cutting.
LubriWell. optimizes lubricant distribution along the groove length on the guide bar.
LubriLink. Strengthens the connecting links and retains lubrication.
Witness Mark. Simplifies maintenance. Its marks indicate the optimal sharpening angle of the horizontal edge of the cutter. Available on all chisel chains.

Main types

The number 91 denotes a series of low profile 3/8 pitch chains with a 1.3mm guide link from OREGON. This is the most demanded series from OREGON, its sales provide 70% of the market.

91P. the most popular budget option, with a minimum of engineering features;
91VXL. premium class, ideal value for money (equipped with all the aforementioned special engineering solutions);
Multicut. designed to work in an abrasive environment;
SpeedCut (narrow kerf). new in 2017 with increased speed and smoother cutting;
PowerSharp is a unique self-sharpening option, an innovative development from OREGON. Currently used primarily in conjunction with OREGON’s CS1500 heavy-duty 15A chain saw. the world’s only self-sharpening saw.

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Drive roller chains four-row GOST 13568-97 (4PR)

Name of the drive roller chain 4PR Chain designation Chain pitch Chain roller diameter Width between the inner plates Chain pin diameter Chain pin length Width of the inner plate Chain breaking load Weight of one meter of chain ISO 606 ANSI B29.1M P d1 b1 d2 Lc h2 g mm kN / kgf kg / m
4PR-19.05-128 12A-4 60-4 19.05 11.91 12.7 5.94 101.9 18.2 128/12800 5.75
4PR-19.05-155 19.05 11.91 12.7 5.94 101.9 18.2 155/15500 6.80
4PR-25.4-228 16A-4 80-4 25.40 15.88 15.88 7.92 129.9 24.2 228/22800 10.90
4PR-31.75-355 20A-4 100-4 31.75 19.05 19.05 9.53 157.5 30.2 355/35500 14.70
4PR-38.1-508 24A-4 120-4 38.10 22.23 25.4 11.1 197.1 36.2 508/50800 22.00
4PR-50.8-900 32A-4 160-4 50,80 28.58 31.75 14.27 252.3 48.3 900/90000 38,00

An example of a circuit symbol: 4PR-50.8-900
4. chain row GOST 13568-97
PR. driven roller
50.8. chain pitch in mm
900. breaking load in kN

An example of a conventional designation of components:
S- 4PR. 50.8. 900. connecting link to the chain
P. 4PR. 50.8. 900. transitional link to the chain
P2- 4PR. 50.8. 900- double transition link to the chain

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Chainsaw tires: dimensions

The data required to determine the characteristics of a suitable headset is indicated in the instructions for the instrument. But this does not mean at all that you do not need to be aware of the correct selection of components. Protect yourself from buying the wrong headset, use the advice of experts in choosing a tire for your chainsaw. To characterize the dimensions of the part, the following parameters are taken into account:

  • length in inches;
  • groove width;
  • chain pitch.

Among the users of chainsaws, the most popular are tires ranging from 10 to 22 inches. Tools of the same model are often on sale, but with different part lengths. These features are indicated in the passport of the device. The groove width is also supplied in inches. Five sizes are especially common, some of which are 0.043, 0.050, 0.058. These data are difficult to remember, therefore, for convenience, parameters are often indicated in millimeters. Self-respecting sellers should be armed with a table of correspondence of sizes in inches and millimeters. They will help you with the selection of the part corresponding to the required data. The chain pitch when calculating the parameters of a tire for a chainsaw is determined by the size of the driven sprocket. The most commonly used sizes are 0.325 and 3/8. Remember. the data for the net and the bus must match.

Drive roller chains three-row GOST 13568-97 (3PR)

An example of a circuit symbol: 3PR-38,1-381
3. chain row GOST 13568-97
PR. driven roller
38.1. chain pitch in mm
381. breaking load in kN

An example of a conventional designation of components:
S- 3PR. 38.1. 381. connecting link to the chain
P. 3PR. 38.1. 381. transitional link to the chain
P2. 3PR. 38.1. 381. double transition link to the chain

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How to measure and choose the step, size, chain length for a chainsaw, what exactly you need to know about them?

Incorrectly selected tool accessories are a waste of money and time. Difficulties with choosing a tire for chainsaws arise primarily due to the fact that the parameters of the headset are usually marked in inches. Therefore, users accustomed to the metric system do not always correctly calculate the required part sizes. Experts point out typical mistakes when choosing a saw headset for a tool and give recommendations for determining the optimal characteristics of accessories.

Chainsaw table

Double-row driving roller chains GOST 13568-97 (2PR)

Name of the drive roller chain 2PR Chain designation Chain pitch Chain roller diameter Width between the inner plates Chain pin diameter Chain pin length Width of the inner plate Chain breaking load Weight of one meter of chain ISO 606 ANSI B29.1M P d1 b1 d2 Lc h2 g mm kN / kgf kg / m
2PR-12.7-31.8 08B-2 12.7 8.51 7.75 4.45 35.0 11.8 31.8 / 3180 1.40
2PR-15.875-45.4 10B-2 15,875 10.16 9.65 5.08 41.0 14.8 45.4 / 4540 1.90
2PR-19.05-64 12A-2 60-2 19.05 11.91 12.7 5.94 53.4 18.2 64.0 / 6400 2.30
2PR-25.4-114 16A-2 80-2 25.4 15.88 15.88 7.92 68.0 24.2 114.0 / 11400 2.90
2PR-31.75-177 20A-2 100-2 31.75 19.05 19.05 9.53 82.0 30.2 177.0 / 17700 3.10
2PR-38.1-254 24A-2 120-2 38.1 22.23 25.4 11.1 104.0 36.2 254.0 / 25400 5.00
2PR-44.45-344 28A-2 140-2 44.45 25.4 25.4 12.7 110.0 48.87 14.40 7.30
2PR-50.8-453.6 32A-2 160-2 50.8 28.58 31.75 14.27 130.0 48.3 453.6 / 45360 11.00

An example of a circuit symbol: 2PR-31,75-177
2. chain row GOST 13568-97
PR. driven roller
31.75. chain pitch in mm
177. breaking load in kN

An example of a conventional designation of components:
C. 2PR. 31.75-177. connecting link to the chain
P. 2PR. 31.75-177. transitional link to the chain
P2. 2PR. 31.75-177- double transition link to the chain

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