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Cutting chain

Updated: 2011-08-09 10:02:15

 Usually each segment in this chain (which is constructed from riveted metal sections similar to a bicycle chain, but without rollers) features small sharp blades called teeth. Each tooth takes the form of a folded tab of chromium plate steel with a sharp angular or curved corner and two cutting edges on the top plate and side plate. Left-handed and right-handed teeth are alternated in the chain. Chains come in varying pitch and gauge; the pitch of a chain is defined as half of the length spanned by any three consecutive rivets (e.g., 0.325 inch), while the gauge is the thickness of drive link where it fits into the guide bar (e.g., 0.05 inch). Conventional "full complement" chain has one tooth per drive link. Built into each tooth is a depth gauge or "raker" which rides ahead of the tooth and limits the depth of cut, typically to around 0.025". Depth gauges are critical to safe chain operation. If left too high they will cause very slow cutting, if filed too low they will make the saw dangerous and hard to control.