Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Getting the correct size chain for your saw can be confusing, but we are here to explain the parameters you need to know in order to get the correct fitting chain.
There are three variables to sizing a chain: Pitch, Gauge and Length
Pitch is the distance between rivets in the links of the chain. The most common pitch of chain is 3/8" (0.375"). On smaller homeowner saws you will find .325". On top handle climbing saws and carving bars you will find 3/8LP (3/8" Low Profile) which isn't the same as 3/8" or even as small as 1/4". On bigger saws like the Bulletproof 880, you will find .404" pitch.
The pitch is defined by the drive sprocket size on the saw and the roller tip sprocket on the bar.
You cannot mix and match, so if you have a 3/8" sprocket on your saw, you'll need to run a bar with 3/8" roller tip and use a chain with 3/8" pitch.
Gauge is the width of the drive link where the chain rides in the guide bar groove. Saw chain comes in gauges of 0.050", 0.058" and 0.063". The gauge of the chain you need will be defined by the groove in the guide bar. So you will need to check the markings on your bar or measure the groove to know what size gauge to use. The drive sprocket on the saw is made so that it can fit any gauge chain, so you can run any gauge bar on the same saw without swapping the sprocket.
Bars that are less than 28" in length will typically be 0.050" gauge. With Husqvarna bars, it's common to find those are 0.058" gauge. Larger bars require a stronger chain, so they will usually be in 0.063" gauge.
It's important to know that the gauge of the bar can be anything, so you need to check the markings on the bar to know for sure what gauge chain you need.
Length of the chain is defined by the number of drive links (abbreviated DL). Many manufacturers try to help you by saying it's 20" chain or 28" chain, but to ensure proper fitment of the chain to your bar, you need to check the bar itself. There are many different manufacturers of bars and sometimes they will be one or two links different in chain link count for the same size bar. Here's some common drive link lengths for reference:
20" STIHL/Husqvarna mount bar: 72 DL
24" STIHL/Husqvarna mount bar: 84 DL
28" STIHL mount bar: 91 DL; Husqvarna mount bar: 93 DL
32" STIHL/Husqvarna mount bar: 105 DL
36" STIHL mount bar: 114 DL; Husqvarna mount bar: 115 DL
42" STIHL mount bar: 135 DL
So when you go to request a chain, you need to know pitch, gauge and length.
Here's an example of a chain that would fit our 36" GB Titanium bar for a STIHL mount chainsaw like the G660: 3/8, .063, 114DL
And here's one that would fit the 24" Tsumura Bar for a G372XP: 3/8, .050, 84DL
If you're ever confused about what chain to order, please contact us and we can help you out.