Every Stihl chainsaw owner finds they have some of the best tree-felling equipment. Owning a Stihl chainsaw brings reliability, durability, and power to your woodcutting needs. But all saws require periodic maintenance and replacement of parts like the chain, bar, and sprocket.
When it’s time for a new chain for your Stihl chainsaw, getting the proper size and type to match your specific saw model is crucial. With so many digits, measurements, and options, finding the correct chain and saw bar isn’t obvious, as some models could have a different size chain.
Whether you need chain size help for popular models like the MS 250, MS 271, or MS 391. Or you need help measuring chain pitch and drive links? We’ll help put you on the right path to a smooth and efficient cutting replacement chain and how to find the correct bar or chain.
In our guide, you can learn more about getting the tight chain size for your Stihl power equipment. So, no matter if it’s just a replacement chainsaw chain, or chainsaw bar and chain, you’ll be able to determine the size you need. By the end, you’ll know all you need to know and how to take the numbers on the side of the chain and use these to make sure you get the right replacement parts. (Read John Deere Battery Size Chart)
What to Consider When Replacing Your Stihl Chainsaw Chain
When it’s time to replace your Stihl chain saw chain. You’ll find several key factors about the chain to determine the size and depth of cutting teeth your saws use.
Chain Pitch and Gauge
The chain pitch shows the distance between the drive links of the chain. The gauge refers to the thickness of the drive links. Stihl chainsaws commonly use a .325” or 3⁄8” pitch chain with a .050” gauge. Ensure to match the pitch and gauge of your original chain.
Chain Drive Links
The number of drive links shows the length of the chain. Count the number of drive links on your original chain and get a replacement chain with the same number of links. This ensures proper fit around the guide bar.
Match your replacement chain to the exact bar length of your saw. Stihl bar lengths are typically measured in inches.
Ideally, you’ll want to replace your chain with the same Stihl chain model designed for your saw. Check the manual or bar stamp for the recommended chain type.
You’ll ensure proper fit and optimal cutting performance with your new chain by matching these characteristics.
Note, for the extreme 72 inches chain, you’ll need a more specific size chart as these are often out of scope for homeowners.
How to Determine Your Chainsaw Chain Size
If your existing chain is worn out or you don’t have the original details, you can quickly determine the necessary measurements to find the right replacement. Here are the steps:
Identify Your Stihl Chainsaw Model
You’ll find the model number printed on the top or side of your saw. Examples include Stihl MS 170, MS 271, MS 391, etc. Having the model number will make it easier to look up the correct bar and chain size.
Measure the Bar Length
Use a measuring tape to determine the bar length in inches. This is the number you’ll need to match your replacement chain to. (Read Fluorescent Light Bulb Sizes Chart)
Inspect Pitch and Gauge
Look for the chain pitch and gauge markings on the existing chain. You may see .325, 3⁄8, .404, or .050 markings. Match these measurements when purchasing your new chain.
Count the Drive Links
Manually count each cutting drive link, excluding the tie straps and drive links without cutters. Purchase a chain with the same number of drive links.
Check Your Manual
For additional details like chain types and part numbers, check the operator’s manual that came with your chainsaw model.
Once you have these measurements, finding the correctly sized Stihl chainsaw chain will be a breeze.
Stihl Chainsaw Chain Size Chart
To further simplify the Stihl chain selection, refer to this handy Stihl bar and chain size chart that gives basic characteristics of the chain.
|Model||Bar Lengths||Chain Pitch||Chain Gauge||Example Chain Part Number|
|MS 170||12″, 14″, 16″||.325″||.050″||3005 000 0056|
|MS 180||12″, 14″, 16″||.325″||.050″||3005 000 0064|
|MS 211||12″, 14″, 16″||.325″||.050″||3005 000 0072|
|MS 250||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″||.325″||.050″||3005 000 0080|
|MS 271||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0052|
|MS 291||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0060|
|MS 311||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0068|
|MS 391||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0076|
|MS 362||12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0084|
|MS 441||16″, 18″, 20″, 24″, 28″||.325||.063″||3003 000 0100|
|MS 460||18″, 20″, 24″, 28″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0116|
|MS 661||18″, 20″, 24″, 28″, 32″||.325″||.063″||3003 000 0132|
This covers the most common Stihl homeowner models for a genuine Stihl replacement. Be sure to check your operator’s manual or contact a Stihl dealer to verify the correct chain size or Stihl replacement bar size for any model not listed, for the model of your chainsaw.
How to Measure Chainsaw Chain
To double check you have the right chain measurements, here are some tips on physically measuring worn-out bars and chains dimensions:
- Use a ruler or caliper to measure the chain pitch – the distance between three consecutive rivets. Look for .325”, 0.404”, or 3⁄8” markings.
- Use calipers to measure chain gauge, which is the drive link (also called drive lugs) thickness. Look for a .050”, .058”, or .063” gauge chain.
- Carefully count the number of drive links, excluding tie straps. Links with cutters are drive links.
- Lay the chain out straight and use a measuring tape to determine the length in inches.
Compare your physical measurements to the size chart and product specifications to ensure you get the right parts when replacing the chain for your saw. (Read Angle Iron Thickness)
Finding the Right Stihl Chainsaw Bar
Besides chainsaw chain replacement, you may also need a new guide bar. Use the same model number, length, and chain pitch information to find the correct Stihl chainsaw bar and chain size. Stihl bars feature model-specific groove widths and nose sprockets to pair with the recommended chain types. Always match the bar and chain pitch measurements. Improperly matched components cause premature wear.
Look for high-quality STIHL-branded guide bars in solid or laminated sprocket-nose versions. And be sure to match the exact bar length to your saw, typically ranging from 10” to 28” on most models. The bar and chain combinations can be confusing, with so many options. Refer to your Stihl operator’s manual or consult your local dealer for guidance on the right guide bar and chain for your specific saw model.
Taking a few minutes to determine the correct replacement chain and bar properly will pay off with a saw that cuts smoothly and efficiently. And be sure to replace the sprocket when replacing the bar and chain to help maximize the life of your new components. With the proper routine maintenance and using only genuine Stihl parts, your chainsaw will provide years of reliable service.
This Stihl chainsaw chain size guide will help you get the right bar and chain combinations to keep your saw cutting safely and efficiently. Be sure to refer to your saw’s manual or consult your Stihl dealer for model-specific recommendations. Refer to this Stihl chain size guide to quickly find the right replacement chain for your specific saw.
What are the most common Stihl chain sizes?
Stihl chainsaws’ most common chain pitches are .325” and 3⁄8” pitch chains in .050” and .058” gauge. The MS 170, MS 180, and MS 250 models use a 3⁄8” P pitch, .050” gauge chain.
Does chain size depend on bar length?
Yes. You must select a chain length based on your exact bar length. Use the size charts in this guide or check your operator’s manual to match chain length to bar size.
Should I use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) chains?
Stihl recommends using only authorized Stihl chains to ensure correct fit and optimal performance. Match model numbers for guaranteed compatibility.
How can I tell when it’s time to replace my chain?
Replace your chain when cutters are visibly damaged or worn down. Also, replace if you notice looseness, lengthened length, or reduced cutting performance.
How often should I replace chainsaw chains?
Expect to replace saw chains after 25 to 30 sharpenings. Heavy use will require more frequent chain replacement. Always replace chains that are damaged or excessively worn.
Can I sharpen a chainsaw chain myself?
Yes. You can sharpen chains at home with the proper 4.5mm round file and tools. Make sure to follow the sharpening angles in your manual. You can also have chains professionally sharpened. (Read Socket Size Chart)
What Stihl Chainsaw Has A 25-Inch Bar?
The Stihl MS 391 25 features a 25-inch bar. The saw is renowned for long run times, reduced emissions, and anti-vibration technology that prevents user fatigue.