The body of the saw is equipped with a motor, but the importance of the parts that actually make the cut cannot be underestimated: the guide and the chain
Not every guide plate or chain is suitable for every saw. For example, larger chain saw blades work best with more powerful saws because it takes more energy to drive the chain onto a longer blade. That's why chainsaws use 18" or shorter chains.

Similarly, measure chainsaws to fit certain chains. Try mounting the chain to a guide that is too narrow or too long and you will find that your saw simply won't work.

You may be able to find the information you need to select a replacement chain in your chainsaw manual, but what if the manual is long gone or you are working outside and can't find it?

Don't worry. You can measure your guide plate and chain to determine which replacement parts you should get.

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1. Test the length of the guide plate

If you are looking for a replacement guide plate for your chainsaw, you will need to determine the size of the guide plate.

You will measure the available length of the bar, also known as the cutting length.

To find the so-called length of the guide plate, measure from its front end all the way to the length closest to the saw body.

Round this measurement to the nearest even number (in inches). For example, a bar measuring 18 3/4" actually has a called length of 20".

You can then look for a guide plate that is 20" long.

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2. Looking for a breakthrough from the top of the chain

We will provide you with a simple and practical tip. Even without a product manual, you can determine the size of a replacement chain in two ways: measure the chain yourself and then look at the rest of the saw for measurements.

Two important data

To find a chain replacement, you will need to measure these two key numbers:

  • Pitch: The distance between chain drive links
  • Gauge: The width of the groove where the chain is loaded into the bar

To determine the pitch (chain size), you need to measure the distance between any three consecutive rivets and divide the result by 2. Rivets are the small round nails/studs that hold the chain segments together. Measure from the first to the third and then divide that number in half to get your chain pitch.

The most common pitch measurements you will see on replacement chains are 3/8" and 0.325".

Chain Measurements Where can I see it?

Your chainsaw chain may have the information you are looking for engraved on it. It can usually be found near the back of the bar, where it mounts to the saw.

The Right Parts for the Job

A quick calculator can be incredibly useful if you need to quickly find a replacement for a bar or chain you've already used and loved.

But what if you'd like to explore other options - say you'd like to look for a laminated bar that's more resistant corrosion, or you want to see if there's a carbide-tipped chain that will stand up to heavier jobs?

When you know how to measure your bar and chain yourself, you'll be able to find different kinds of replacements for the most important parts of your saw, no matter how far from home (or a Wi-Fi connection) you are.


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