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Finding the Right Saw Chain for You

Overview


There are several ways to find the right saw chain for your saw. Knowing your make and model of your saw is a good starting point to use our Find Your Parts lookup. If you need help identifying this information you can take your saw to a dealer for assistance.

In many cases Oregon offers multiple saw chain options for a saw. Below is information to help you determine the right saw chain fit up for your saw and the different chain types to meet the needs of different saw users.

 

Topics 

Parts of a Cutter

Four Basic Components of Saw Chain

Saw Chain Identification

How Saw Chain Works

What is Chain Gauge?

What is Chain Pitch?

Saw Chain Sequence

Cutter Type

Why Chisel Chain Cuts Faster?

How Do I Know What Size Guide Bar I Have?

How do I measure the length of my chain?

What are Oregon Product Families?

Retail Store Saw Chain

Servicing Dealer

 

 

Chain Anatomy - Parts of a Cutter

Component Image
  1. Top Plate
  2. Cutting Corner
  3. Slide Plate
  4. Depth Gauge
  5. Gullet
  6. Toe
  7. Heel
  8. Rivet Hole
  9. Clearance Angle
  10. Depth Gauge

Four Basic Components of Saw Chain

Component Image
  1. Cutter
  2. Rivet
  3. Drive Link
  4. Tie Strap

Saw Chain Identification

Component Image

To identify saw chain you need to know the:

  • Gauge
  • Pitch
  • Sequence
  • Cutter Type
 

How Saw Chain Works

Component Image
  1. Cutter Enters Wood — Saw chain cuts with a “porpoise-like” motion. The depth gauge setting determines the thickness of the severed cross grain
  2. Attack Position — Cutter feeds into the wood and begins to leave the guide bar
  3. In the Wood — The cutter slices through the wood. It is no longer touching the guide bar
  4. Severed Wood Chip — The “clearance angle” allows the cutter to pivot out of the wood severing the chip
 

What is Chain Gauge?

Chain Gauge is the Drive Link's thickness where it fits into the guide bar groove, matching the guide bar gauge. The gauge of the chain and the gauge of the bar must match. Oregon has several gauges of saw chain, .043”, .050", .058” and .063". Normal wear can make it difficult to accurately measure chain gauge on a worn chain. Always order by the number stamped on the drive link of your old chain to assure correct gauge. See the chain-pitch-and-gauge chart below.

  

 

 

Once you know the make, model, and bar length, there are some other features you need to know, such as: 

What is Chain Pitch?

Chain Pitch is the size of the chain, and is defined as the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. Oregon chain is made in several pitches - 1/4" is the smallest, 3/8" is the most popular, .404" is the largest hand-held chain.

Pitch is important because the drive sprocket must be the same pitch as the chain, and if applicable, the bar nose sprocket. An easy way to determine the pitch of your chain is to look at the number stamped on the drive link. See the chain-pitch-and-gauge chart below.

 

Saw Chain Sequence

Chain Sequence Recommended Bar Lengths

Standard

Chain Class

Up to 24" (61 cm)

Semi-Skip

Chain Class 24" to 32" (61–81 cm)

Skip

Chain Class 32" and longer (81 cm+)

 

Cutter Types

Component Image
  1. Chipper
  2. Semi-Chisel
  3. Chamfer-Chisel
  4. Micro-Chisel Chisel

Why Chisel Chain Cuts Faster

Component Image

Rounded cutters must re-cut the end-grain grain several times until the full width of the “kerf” is reached.

 

Component Image
Chisel cutters are square and cut a full width “kerf” with every pass.
 

How Do I Know What Size Guide Bar I Have?

Your guide bar's length is represented by the cutting length (or "called length"), which is different from its total or overall length. The cutting length is the distance from the front of the saw to the tip of the guide bar, rounded to the nearest inch.

 

 hand-held 

 

Tip: If you have an Oregon bar, look at the part number stamped on the motor end; the first two digits, such as 16, tell you the called length.

 

 

How do I measure the length of my chain?

The length of your chain is determined by counting the number of drive links in your chain. The drive link count is included in the saw chain part number, after the chain type designation (example, 20BPX066, H66).

Note: Your drive link count correlates to your guide bar’s overall size, which can vary by manufacturer. Oregon bars may take a different drive link count than that of another brand.

drive link count drive link count diagram 

 

What are Oregon Product Families?

Oregon understand that the need of woodcutters – professionals and novices – are as diverse as the terrains and environments in which they work.

 

We have organized our saw chains and guide bars into product families with key characteristics that different users will value. These product families will ensure that you choose the right chain and bar based on your everyday needs. It will make understanding the differences between our products effortless. Learn More

Retail Store Saw Chain

Not all saw chain and guide bar mentioned on the packaging or in search results will fit every version of equipment listed. To make sure you are getting the correct part feel free to call our Customer Service team at 1-800-223-5168.

Oregon chain sold in retail stores such as mass merchants, home, and hardware stores, uses a letter system that corresponds to chain types, as well as pitch and gauge.

Please see table below for more information:

saw chain pitch
Pitch

gauge
Gauge

Chain Class
Retail Chain Code Chain Type
AdvanceCut
3/8" Low Profile™  0.043" R 90PX
3/8" Low Profile™ 0.050" S 91PX
3/8" 0.050" D 72V
3/8" 0.058" P 73V 
 ControlCut
0.325"  0.050"  H 20BPX
0.325"  0.058" J  21BPX
0.325"  0.063"  L 22BPX
1/4"  0.050"  A 25AP
 VersaCut
3/8" Low Profile™  0.050" T 91VXL
SpeedCut
0.325"  0.050"  M Pro Series 95TXL
0.325"  0.050"  G* 95VPX*
PowerCut
3/8" 0.050" E Pro Series 72LPX 
 3/8"  0.050" B 72LGX
0.325" 0.050" Q Pro Series 20LPX
0.325" 0.063" V Pro Series 22LPX

*Chain part numbers have been obsoleted. Contact your aurthorized Oregon Distributor for Availability.

 

Servicing Dealer

Not all saw chain and guide bar mentioned on the packaging or in search results will fit every version of equipment listed. To make sure you are getting the correct part feel free to call our Customer Service team at 1-800-223-5168.

 

Saw Chain Pitch Saw Chain By Gauge 

saw chain pitch
 

gauge
.043"
gauge
.050"
gauge
.058"
gauge
.063"
1/4"   25     
3/8" 
Low Profile
 90  91    
.325"  

 20

95

21 22
3/8"    

72

 73  75
.404"      

27

59

68