What Size File Do You Need for a 3/8 Chain?

If you’re wondering what size file you need for a 3/8 chain, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make sure you get the right file for the job.

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A 3/8″ chain is a popular size for small saws because it is lightweight and easy to maneuver. When the time comes to sharpen your 3/8″ chain, you will need to purchase a file that is the same width as your chain’s gauge. Most 3/8″ chains have a pitch of 0.325″, meaning that there are 0.325″ between each link.

There are two ways to measure a file’s width – by its cut (the width of the metal teeth) or by its length (the overall length of the file). A 3/8″ file has a cut of 3/16″ (0.1875″) and a length of 4″ (0.1016 m).

When purchasing a file, you will also need to choose the right texture – coarse, medium, or fine. A coarse file is best for quickly removing metal, while a fine file produces a smoother finish.

3/8 Chain Size

3/8 chain is one of the most common sizes of chain used in the world. It is used in a wide variety of applications, from bicycles to industrial machinery. When it comes to file size, 3/8 chain is usually between 12 and 20 inches long.


Pitch is the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two. (In other words, the distance between two drive links.) The pitch of a chain is determined by the manufacturer and generally stamped on the side of each drive link. For instance, .325”, 3/8”, .404” and .500” are all common pitches used on saw chains. A 3/8″ Pitch chain, therefore, has a pitch of 0.375 inches (3/8th of an inch).


The most important factor in determining what size file you need is the gauge of your saw chain. The gauge is the thickness of the drive link where it fits into the cutter. You can find the gauge stamped on the drive link of your saw chain. If your saw chain doesn’t have a gauge stamped on it, then you can measure it with a vernier caliper or micrometer.

For a 3/8” chain, the most common gauges are .050”, .043” and .037”. A 3/8” pitch chain with .050” gauge would be called a 3/8” – .050” chain, and so on. Most saw chains for homeowner use have .050” gauge. Some saws, such as electric hand-held circular saws, use a thinner .043” gauge to save weight and increase cutting speed

File Sizes

In order to have a 3/8 chain made, you will need to have a file that is 3/8 inches in size. This file will be used to create the links in the chain. The file size you need will depend on the length of the chain you want.

Round Files

Round files are offered in a wide range of sizes, from tiny watchmaker’s files to large files used for shaping woodworking joints. The number and size of the teeth per inch (TPI or pitch) determine the file’s cut and how course or fine it is. The smaller the number, the coarser the file. Most manufacturers offer both long (12 to 14 inches) and short (6 to 8 inches) round files.

3/8 chain requires a file that is 5/32″ wide with a pitch of 3/8″ – this will give you 44 drive links. If your chain has more or fewer links, you will need to adjust the file size accordingly – fewer links means a smaller file, while more links will require a larger file.

Flat Files

Flat files are used to sharpen saw blades that have lost their teeth or have damaged teeth. They come in a variety of sizes, but the two most common sizes are 3/8 and 1/2. The size of the file you need is determined by the spacing of the teeth on your saw blade. If the teeth on your saw blade are widely spaced, you will need a larger file. If the teeth are closely spaced, you will need a smaller file.

3/8 chain is the most common size used on small saws such as chainsaws and hand saws. It is also common on some larger saws such as circular saws. The reason for this is that 3/8 chain is less likely to bind in the cut than 1/2 chain. However, it is not as strong as 1/2 chain and will dull more quickly. For this reason, it is important to have a sharpening kit that includes both 3/8 and 1/2 files.

1/2 chain is stronger than 3/8 chain and will stay sharp longer, but it is more likely to bind in the cut. This can be dangerous, so it is important to use caution when using a 1/2 file on a saw that isn’t designed for it. 1/2 chain is most commonly used on large saws such as felling saws and cross-cut saws.

How to Choose the Right Size File

When it comes to saws, there is a lot of variation in the size of the teeth and even in the number of teeth. So, how do you know what size file to get for your saw?

The best way to determine the right size file is to count the teeth on your saw chain. Once you know how many teeth are on the chain, you can match that number with the file size guide below.

If you have a 3/8″ pitch chain with 54 drive links, you will need a 7/32″ round file.
-3/8″ pitch chains with 50 to 60 drive links will need a 7/32″ round file.
-3/8″ low profile pitch chains with 52 drive links will need a 5/32″ round file
-3/8″ low profile pitch chains with 58-62 drive links will need a 3/16″ round file


So, what size file do you need for a 3/8 chain? The answer is that it depends on the manufacturer, but most experts recommend using a 5/32 or 3/16 file.