Chain Links Buying Guide

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Chain Links Buying Guide

Chainsaws are ideal for quickly cutting through thick materials such as wood. They use a specialised chains with teeth that rotate at high speeds through electric, compressed air, or hydraulic power. As the chain rotates, it cuts through its material with ease. The chain is one of the most important components of the chainsaw. It is comprised of metal sections riveted together that resemble a bicycle chain. Each link has a small finger on the underside called the drive link. This is what keeps the chain attached to the saw’s track. Sharp teeth sections are built into the chain with each section having two angled cutting edges. There are several types of chains that vary in the number of teeth and how they cut through materials. Some chains can cut slower with less kick-back, while others will be faster but more unstable.

Although chainsaws are among the most dangerous tools to have, they can be a lifesaver when it comes to big projects. Hand sawing through wood requires a lot of energy and time, whereas a chain saw can complete the job in a matter of minutes depending on the thickness of the wood. The chain link used on the saw makes a huge difference in the performance of the tool. Whether purchasing a new chainsaw, or upgrading the chain link on an existing saw, the following sections will be helpful to those who want to know more about chain links.

Chainsaw Chain Link Measurements

There are three measurements that make a difference in how the chain will fit the chainsaw. It is extremely important to know the pitch, gauge, and the number of drive links when replacing a chain.

Chain Link Pitch Measurement

The pitch is measured by how close together the links are. The measurement is determined by the distance between three rivets, divided in half. The product description should list what the pitch is so that buyers do not have to measure themselves. Usually the pitch is listed on the product guide bar, close to the handle of the tool. Sometimes the number is mixed in with other numbers so it is important to know what the measurements look like. They are measured in inches and main ones are 1/4 inch, .325 inches, 3/8 inches, 3/8 inches low-profile, and .404 inch.

The 3/8 low-profile pitch chains are the most commonly used because they are narrow and reduce the amount of power needed to cut through the material. The .404 pitch chains are larger so they are used for the larger chainsaws used by professionals such as fireman.

Chain Link Gauge Measurement

As mentioned earlier, the components of the chain that hold it to the chainsaw are called the drive links. The drive links are located on the bottom of the chain and the gauge measurement pertains to how thick those links are. Each chain saw is designed for a particular thickness, so if the gauge of the chain does not match the gauge that the saw was designed for, it will not fit.

In inches, the gauge sized are .043 inches, .05 inches, .058 inches, and .063 inches. The most common is the .05 inch gauge. Like the pitch, the gauge measurement is most often listed near the handle of the saw and may or may not be listed with other numbers. If the gauge number is not listed, it is not recommended that buyers measure themselves because it needs to be precise. Instead, look up the product information online.

Number of Chain Link Drive Links

The length of the chain is measured by the number of drive links and the pitch. Never purchase a chain with a generic length listed such as 2 feet. The number of drive links must be counted and the pitch must be known for true accuracy. Unfortunately, the number of drive links is not listed on the saw and must be manually counted. Before throwing out an old chain, be sure to count its drive links so that the new chain can can be compared.

Types of Chain Link for Chainsaws

Chain saws are manufactured with different features that shoppers can choose from. Each type of chain is designed for different purposes to increase the safety and efficiency for the given task. Shoppers should select the chains that best meets their needs.

Type of Chain Link


Built-in Lubrication

These chains feature grooves and holes that hold in the lubrication that is applied. Lubrication is essential when using chainsaws because they will cease to function without it


Carbide is a very hard, durable, and brittle metal. Chains made with carbide last longer because they wear down slower. However, carbide chains are extremely expensive and best used with cold weather, dirt, or other harsh conditions dictate the need for durability


These chains are designed to meet safety requirements by minimising the amount of kickback generated when sawing


Low-vibration chains are important for those who frequently use chainsaws. To minimise vibration, more space is created between the chain and the guide bar are on the saw. This reduces the amount of friction

Narrow Kerf

Narrow chains cut more easily through wood than wider chains do. They require less power and are usually featured on smaller chain saws. They are not meant for heavy-duty projects


Ripping is the process of cutting the wood lengthwise along the grain. These chains are designed for professional application because there is a specific skill set required for this kind of cutting


Sharpening chainsaws is a hassle so many people just opt to purchase new ones when their old one goes dull. These chains are designed to keep the teeth filed as they rotate on the guide bar

Some of these features can be combined on one chain. For example, it is possible to find a low-vibration, self-sharpening chain for sale.

Chain Link Aggressiveness

There are three levels of aggression that a chain can have on a chain saw. Starting with the least aggressive, these are the three levels so select from.

Low-Kickback Chain Link

Low-kickback, also called anti-kickback chains reduce the number of chainsaw accidents. Kickback occurs when the friction from the cutting causes the saw to jerk back and forth.

Regular Chain Link

Regular, also called skip-tooth, chain link has one space link between the cutting teeth. This delivers faster cutting with still relatively low resistance. Regular chains are mostly recommended for professional use.

Aggressive Chain Link

Aggressive, also called full-skip, chain link features two space links between the cutting teeth. These are seen on the larger chainsaws with bars that are at least 24 inches long. These cut faster and better than the other two levels, but are more dangerous and only recommended for professional use.

How to Find Chain Links on eBay

Rather than going from shop to shop, it is much more convenient to go onto eBay because it requires less time, there is more to look at, and buyers do not have to leave their homes. To look at the chains that are for sale on eBay, use the search box that is located on every page. Type in the name of what you are looking for and then click Search. This will bring up a list of all the products related to what you want. For example, searching for "Low-Kickback Chain&" will bring up a list of all the chains for sale that have the low-kickback feature. If you have a specific price range, enter it in so that the listings outside of that will be hidden from your view.

Websites like eBay have sellers from around the world with every kind of product. It is easy for people to find what they need on eBay because the site is easy to navigate and there is an abundance of products for sale, including chain links. Those who are simply upgrading their chain can also sell their old one on eBay to help pay for the new one.

Find a Seller

When shopping for chain links, it is a good idea to compare the prices from the different sellers. You can do this by adding each product you are considering to your Watch List. After you have added several that you want to compare, go to your My eBay page and review them each again.


Chainsaws are worth the investment when it comes to logging, pruning, clearing, cutting firewood, or even producing some chainsaw artwork. Replacing the chain requires attention to detail when finding the right size, features, and level of aggression for the task and the model of chainsaw. Using a chainsaw can be very dangerous if not done correctly, so it is very important that people take extra precautions when getting the measurements to make sure that the chain fits correctly and that it is a high-quality, safe chain to use. By following the instructions given, anyone can figure out what chain they need for their saw and then find and purchase it with very little time invested.

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