Bar nose kickback is one of the more common causes of serious chain saw injury accidents.

Kickback may occur when the moving chain at the nose or tip of the guide bar touches an object, or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Tip or bar nose contact can, in some cases, cause a lightning-fast reverse reaction, kicking the guide bar up and back toward the operator. Pinching the cutting chain along the top of the guide bar may push the guide bar rapidly toward the operator. Either of these reactions may cause you to lose control of the saw, which could result in serious personal injury to yourself or to bystanders.



Chainsaw Chain Kickback Image Chainsaw Kickback Zone Image

The top of the tip of the chain saw guide bar is known as the KICKBACK DANGER ZONE. When contact is made with an object such as a branch or a log, there is a danger of a sudden bar nose kickback reaction.

Modern chain saws are equipped with a variety of devices intended to reduce the risk of injury from kickback or from other causes. Among these are the chain brake, the front (left) hand guard, the bar tip guard and low or reduced kickback saw chain and guide bars. To assure the protection afforded by these devices is maintained, it is important your chain saw is properly and fully assembled, and that all components are securely attached and functional.

No matter how your saw is equipped, The Oregon Shop recommends that low-kickback chain be used on all saws unless you have experience and special training for dealing with kickback. 
Before using any chain saw, thoroughly read the manufacturer's operating and safety instructions.

How to identify your SawChain

Here at The Oregon Shop, we are all too aware of the confusion and complication in trying to identify a Chainsaw Chain if you have never done it before!!

We hope the following guide will spread a bit of light on the parts that your Chainsaw Chain is made up from and how to understand and order Chainsaw Chain accurately!

Chain Parts Makeup

You will need to know about 'Pitch, Gauge and Drive Links (DL) before you can select the correct Chainsaw Chain for your equipment.

What actually is the 'Pitch'?

This is the most complicated one!  The size of a Chainsaw Chain is defined as 'Pitch', this can be easily worked out but not without an accurate measuring tool like a Vernier Caliper of some sorts....thankfully most chains are already marked with some information!

The 'Pitch' is defined simply as 'The distance between three rivets (bearings) divided by two'.  The 'Pitch' is measured using a decimal imperial measurement.  Three rivets are used purely because this distance/measurement remains constant along the whole length of the chain i.e. every set of three rivets are the same distance apart from the first to the third rivet.  You will see by the image below that there are actually two different distances/measurements if you only used 2 rivets.

SawChain Pitch Image

Right, we're nearly done with 'Pitch'!  Now you understand what 'Pitch' is and how it is calculated I can help you by identifying the most common that we come across on a day to day basis.  (N.b. A fractional measurement is used where there is an accurate one i.e. .250" measurement becomes 1/4" Pitch)

.250" Pitch (Measures .500" across 3 rivets) Commonly known as 1/4" Pitch
.325" Pitch (Measures .650" across 3 rivets) Commonly known as .325" Pitch
.375" Pitch (Measures .750" across 3 rivets) Commonly known as 3/8" Pitch
.404" Pitch (Measures .808" across 3 rivets) Commonly known as .404" Pitch


OK, I understand the 'Pitch' so what is the Gauge?

This is much easier than the 'Pitch'!!  The 'Gauge' is simply the thickness of the 'Drive Link'.  This must match the width of the groove in the bar exactly.

SawChain Gauge Image

Again, to help you a little the are only a handful of different 'Gauge' measurements that are used.  These can be measured either by metric or imperial means.  

1.1mm (.043")
1.3mm (.050")
1.5mm (.058")
1.6mm (.063")

That's it for the 'Gauge'!!  You are well on your way to understanding and accurately identifying Chainsaw Chain!!

I'm getting there!  I know the 'Pitch' and 'Gauge' so what is the final part of the jigsaw?

'Drive Link' (DL) Count.  For this final measurement you can either count the 'Drive Links' on or off the Chainsaw (off is easier and more accurate).  The 'Drive Links' are the ones which look like mini Sharks Fins on the inside of a SawChain.

Now put it all together!!....What have you got?!!.....EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED!!