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How to Measure Roller Chain Size?

Aug. 19, 2021

Roller chains are commonly used in a variety of power transmission, agricultural and industrial applications. This popular chain provides a reliable mechanism for transmitting power to many different moving parts. Since its invention in 1880, conveyor belts, automobiles, food and beverage, and agricultural equipment have taken pride in these popular and common chain types to keep them running. This roller chain size chart will help you find the ideal roller chain size to meet your replacement or OEM needs.


Roller Chain Sizes Around the World

As if the various sizes of U.S. chains weren't enough, there are European chains that need to compete with their size. Generally speaking, American Standard chains have better wear resistance due to the smaller pin diameter. Also known as metric roller chain or British Standard sizes, European roller chains have a different name than in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), but are produced with similar methods and requirements. If you are measuring your current roller chain and do not find a comparable ANSI size, you may actually have a British Standard size chain.


Roller Chain

Roller Chain

How to measure roller chain?

Roller chains are sized precisely to ensure that they can be used universally in a variety of applications, which is why you need to measure multiple chain components first to know what size chain you have. You will see several different components of a roller chain including pin chain plates, roller chain plates, rollers, pins and bushings. Measuring a roller chain begins with determining the following dimensions.

The distance from the center of one pin to the center of the next pin, also known as the "pitch" of the roller chain.

The diameter and width of the roller.

The thickness of the plate, determined by measuring the plate from one plane to the other.

The height of the plate is measured from the bottom to the top of the plate.


The length of the pin and the outside diameter of the pin are captured and recorded.Roller chains are made in a variety of sizes, the most common American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard being 40, 50, 60 and 80 for the first number to indicate the eighth pitch inch in the chain, with the upper number being 0 for a standard chain, 1 for a light chain and 5 for a bushing chain without rollers. Thus, a chain with half-inch pitch would be #40, while #160 sprockets would have a tooth spacing of 2 inches, and so on.


Roller Chain

Roller Chain

Metric pitch is expressed in sixteenths of an inch; therefore, a metric #8 chain (08B-1) would be equivalent to ANSI #40. Most roller chains are made of plain carbon or alloy steel, but stainless steel is used in food processing machinery or other places where lubrication is a problem, and for the same reason you will occasionally see nylon or brass.


Still trying to figure out what size chain you have? Contact us for more information about the chains and accessories you need or for information about your project. We pride ourselves on providing the best customer service possible and will always look for ways to ensure you have the chains and parts you need to keep your project on track and successful. You can always send a contact request online with your measurement details so that we have all the information we need to help you quickly determine the right size chain.


AMC is a technology-oriented group, specialized in R&D, manufacturing, sales and service of high quality Bearings, Chains, Gears, Auto Parts, etc.

In order to make AMC as a symbol of quality, we invested a lot in advanced CNC equipments and the complete set of precision inspection devices, committed ourselves to building a high quality employee team and brought in advanced technique of manufacturing and management from USA, Germany and Italy. We have strictly implemented ISO 9001 and 14001, as our respect to quality control and environment protection.

Let us help you find the best chain identification for your needs. Welcome to contact us today or visit our website to learn more about types of roller chain. 


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