Chainsaw File Size Charts – What Size File Do I Need For My Chainsaw?

By | 15 December 2020

A chainsaw with a well-groomed chain allows you to work long hours without getting tired. The chain can cut wood deeply and do this efficiently. A dull chain will quickly tire you out and add unnecessary burden to your chainsaw. Not using a chainsaw file size chart could cause the saw to produce too much sawdust, which could clog the chainsaw’s air filter. A dull chain also increases the chance of kickback that could lead to accidents. In this guide, you will learn how to select the correct file size for your chain and different file and size types to get a nice and sharp chain.

Many professional arbor surgeons and arborists use chainsaw files to sharpen chains. A well-groomed chain will allow you to work longer hours without getting tired quickly. A well-sharpened chain also cuts wood efficiently. It is also important to have a sharp chain, as this will reduce unnecessary stress, increase safety, and reduce the possibility of kickback, which could potentially lead to accidents.

How To Identify Your Chainsaw File?

To determine the correct file size for your chainsaw, you should read the number on the side of the chain cutter. You then assign this number to the file size listed in the file scheme. Alternatively, you can measure the slope of the chain. Pitch is measured in inches. To convert the result to inches, multiply the result by 0.039. You can then use the graph to get the right file.

Measuring The Pitch

The length between the thread rivets is found and divided by 2. You can see the details in the picture:

Chainsaw File Size Charts - What Size File Do I Need For My Chainsaw?


What Size File Do I Need For My Chainsaw?

Once you have the pitch, use the file chart to get the right file designed for that cutter’s step. It is important to keep in mind that even if two chain cutters have the same pitch, they may need different files, even if not of the same type. For example, a chisel needs a file that can fit on the square cutting edge. A grinder cutter needs a round file. When filing the cutter, use only round files to sharpen the top plate and side plate. When filling the depth gauge, only a flat-file should be used to keep its shape.

Chainsaw Files Size Chart

Item No.
File Size
Sharpening Angle
File Position
Depth Gauge
1/4″ .050″/1.3mm E1,E1T 5/32″4.0mm 30° 10° .025″/.65mm
3/8″LP .043″/1.1mm AO, AOFT 11/64″4.5mm 30° .025″/.65mm
.050″/1.3mm A1,A1FT 5/32″4.0mm 30° .025″/.65mm
.325 .050″/1.3mm



B1,B2, B3B1FT 3/16″4.8mm 30° 10° .022″/.55mm
.063″/1.6mm B2S,B3SB2SFT 3/16″4.8mm 28° 10° .022″/.55mm
3/8″ .050″/1.3mm



C1,C2,C3,C2FT, C3FT 7/32″5.5mm 30° 10° .022″/.55mm
.063″/1.6mm C1S, C2SC2SFT, C3SFT 7/32″5.5mm 28° 10° .022″/.55mm
.404″ .063″/1.6mm D3A, D3R 7/32″5.5mm 30° 10° .030″/.75mm
.080″/2.0mm D4 7/32″5.5mm 30° 10° .050″/.75mm

It is necessary to sharpen the cutter properly. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the size of the file. You can do this using the file chart.

Depending on the area of ​​application, the market offers chainsaws with different chain systems. The most common chain pitches are 1/4 “, 3/8”, 3/8 H, 0.325 “and 0.404”.

You can easily calculate which chain pitch is used for the respective saw: 1 inch corresponds to 2.54 cm. The distance is measured over 3 chain rivets, each from the center of the rivet, and the distance is divided by 2. With a 3/8 “chain this corresponds to 2.54 cm divided by 8 times 3 = 9.525 mm. Note that on a chainsaw only the chain pitch specified for this saw can be used. There is also no compatibility between the 3/8 “and the 3/8” Hobby. This is due to the different widths of the drive links. This brings us to the second value for determining the correct chain.

The width of the drive links is given in mm. 3/8 “Hobby chains mentioned above mostly have a drive link width of 1.1 mm – the normal 3/8” chain, however, 1.3 – 1.6 mm (depending on the chainsaw manufacturer). The third value in the chain specification concerns the chain length. This is indicated in the number of drive links contained in the chain (when buying a new one, simply counting the drive links on the old chain helps).

For example, a chainsaw chain has the following designation:
3/8 “- 1.3 – 52, then means 9.525 mm distance over 3 chain links, 1.3 mm drive link width, 52 drive links.

Changing the chain pitch is not easily possible on a saw, the chain blade and chain sprocket have to be replaced, but this does not make sense with every chainsaw. Most chainsaw manufacturers, therefore, offer their chainsaws in different versions, provided they are suitable for several chain pitches.

But which chain does who need?

Since most of the chain saws on sale are in the range of 3/8 “and 0.325” chains, we limit ourselves to these chain pitches in detail. A 1/4 “or 0.404” chain is usually not offered when purchasing an entry-level or mid-range chainsaw. Power saws with 0.404 “pitch (so-called harvester saws ) are only found in the professional sector, for example in wood harvesting machines, 1/4″ chain pitches are more used for tree care or carving.

Smaller chainsaws with petrol engines and most electric motor saws need the 3/8 “hobby chain. These saws are particularly suitable for private users who do not want to cut down trees, but only need the chainsaw for tree care and for chopping small to medium-sized branches. Tip: Straight 3/8 “hobby chains with a different layout are offered in a very affordable range. Here, not 1 connecting link is installed between the cutting links, but 3. This means that the chain has considerably fewer cutting links and is accordingly less effective. These chains should not be used.

The normal 3/8 “chain is installed on most entry-level petrol chainsaws. They are universal chains with which a small tree can be felled without any problems or, for example, meter pieces or thick branches can be easily chopped up.

The 0.325 “chain has more cutting links than the 3/8” chain due to the smaller distance between the rivet bolts. These chains are offered on chainsaws with higher performance – the work is much more effective. The 0.325 “chain, also known as the farmer chain, is mostly used in semi-professional or professional use.

The Sümo specialist dealer can determine on-site which chainsaw with which chain pitch ultimately means the right decision for the respective user and explain the differences on the saw.

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