A chainsaw chain cross-reference chart is used to compare the part numbers of different manufacturers of chains to determine compatibility with a chainsaw and guide bar. Chainsaw chains may be advertised with many features, but the critical values to know are "pitch" and "gauge." Pitch measures the distance between drive links divided by two, and gauge measures the width of the drive link where it rides in the guide bar.
Chainsaw chain manufacturers use standard measurements to ensure compatibility with chainsaws and guide bars from different brands. Information stamped on the chainsaw guide bar can assist in selecting the appropriate chain. Pitch and gauge are marked, as well as either bar length or number of drive links. These specifications are what determine fit. Safety features, cutter type and chain sequence do not affect fit but affect performance.
The chart shows part numbers for each manufacturer that matches the combination of fit and features desired. This part number, with the addition of the number of drive links, can be used to order chains in pre-assembled lengths. Chains can sometimes be purchased in rolls, to be cut and assembled by the user or a seller. If the part number of a particular chain is known, the chart can show other brands that offer compatible chains.