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I own a chainsaw, but you have no idea how to measure the pitch of your chain.

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A chainsaw chain file, is a tool used to sharpen and measure the pitch of a chainsaw chain. A pitch gauge, however, is a tool used to measure the pitch of any kind of gear, such as that on a bicycle or on an industrial gear motor.
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The pitch of a chainsaw chain is measured in drive links. A drive link is a measure of one full rotation of a saw chain. For example, a 20" bar has 5 drive links, so a 20" saw chain with a .325" pitch will have a drive link length of 8.2". In addition to keeping your chainsaw cutting well, running an appropriate pitch for your saw is necessary to get the most out of the bar and chain, and to get the most from your power source.
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A chainsaw chain can be a little tricky to gauge if its a good fit for your saw. I have found that the best way to do it is to take a flat surface and a ball park idea of how much space it takes to fit a certain size chain. In the pictures below you can see how to measure a chainsaw chain. You start by finding a flat surface. In this case a scrap piece of metal. I have also used glass and plywood. The area you measure from needs to have a consistent thickness to it. In the picture I have a piece of plywood. You want to measure from one side of the saw to the other. In this case it is about sixteen inches. I used a ball peen hammer to lay a straight edge across the plywood to keep the line straight. Then you take a piece of chalk and start marking where your rivets are going to be. In this case I am using a 16 inch chain. So I mark off every inch. The last set of marks are where I will cut the chain. I will cut it at the second from the last mark because this is where the saw will be kickback the least.
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