Category Archive: Roller Chain

How to Measure and Identify Roller Chains


For a variety of systems with mechanical power transmission, Tsubaki offers many different types and sizes of ANSI and ISO British Standard roller chains and has an extensive inventory that is readily available for urgent needs. As there are many types and sizes of roller chains used on a multitude of different equipment, measuring the key dimensions and identifying a roller chain you have is very critical to ensure proper interaction with other components in your machine.

The following article provides an overview of how to properly measure and identify roller chains.

Lambda Lube-Free Chains

How to Measure and Identify Roller Chains

There are several crucial elements to measure simply with a caliper when identifying a roller chain for an application. Those dimensional measurements include: 

  • Pitch: The pitch is the distance between the center of a pin to the center of the adjacent. Roller chains with smaller pitches are generally used for light-duty work, while roller chains with larger pitches are typically utilized for heavy-duty applications. 
  • Roller diameter: The roller diameter refers to the thickness of the roller components that can spin freely on roller link. In some applications, the rollerless chains, such as ANSI standard sizes 25, 35, 45,55,65, and so on, are used. It is important to note that their roller diameter refers to the thickness of the bushing instead of roller. 
  • Roller width: The roller width is the inner distance between inside plates of roller link. 
  • Side plate height: Side plate height refers to the height of the inside or outside plate. Height differs between inside and outside plates for most standard single-pitch roller chains while inside plates have the same height as outside plates for all double-pitch roller chains.
  • Side plate thickness: The side plate thickness is the thickness of the inside or outside plate. It is recommended to measure the thickness of both inside and outside plates since not every roller chain size has inside and outside plates that have the same thickness. 
  • Pin diameter: The pin diameter refers to the thickness of the pin. If available, it is easier to measure the pin thickness of connecting (master) link or offset (half) link. 

Verifying the measurements of these elements properly is key to making sure the roller chain operates at its peak performance. With these measurements in hand, you can identify a right chain size based on the tables of dimensions included in our roller chain product page or roller catalog


Roller Chains at Tsubaki

Roller chains play a critical role in power transmission applications, and thus, they must be measured and identified properly to ensure that the right chain is being used. With the widest range of premium roller chains, Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC. is here to provide you a right solution that is highly engineered and designed to meet your needs of specific applications and processes. 

Our selection of roller chain products includes: 

  • ANSI Roller Chains
  • ISO/BS/DIN Roller Chains
  • Corrosion/Heat-Resistant Roller Chains
  • Attachment Roller Chains
  • Lambda® Lube-Free Chains
  • Titan® Longer Life Chains
  • Energy Series® Chains
  • Free Flow Chains
  • Gripper Chains
  • Vacuum Wrapper Chains

We also offer a variety of roller chain tool accessories, including Chain Wear Indicator Kis, Chain Management Systems, Chain Breakers, Chain Pullers, and Chain Punches. 

For additional information about our roller chains, download our product catalog or visit our roller chain product page. For specific product questions or pricing details, request information from our experts today. 

Chain Wear Indicator Kit


The Tsubaki Chain Wear Indicator Kits are designed to easily measure roller chain wear elongation, commonly referred to as “stretch.” These kits are available for both ANSI and British Standard roller chains.

Detecting and measuring chain wear elongation is critical for achieving reliable operation of industrial chains. Although it is common for users to employ a tape measure or ruler, it is more effective to use a specialized tool to determine whether the chain requires replacement.

Causes of Industrial Roller Chain Wear

Despite common misconceptions, chains do not physically stretch over time when used at rated loads. Roller chain elongation occurs as the material wears away at the chain’s pins and bushings, creating more space between these components. This wear can occur due to many factors, such as:

  • Insufficient chain lubrication
  • Poor maintenance
  • High-speed operations
  • Frequent heavy loads
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Exposure to abrasive environments

Measuring Chain Wear

Understanding how to properly measure chain wear elongation will help to proactively ensure optimum performance. When left unchecked, chain wear may eventually result in slippage, poor equipment performance, and unwanted downtime.

Instead of a ruler or tape measure, experts recommend using a specialized measuring tool that provides a more accurate indicator of chain wear. In order to assure measurement accuracy, the chain should be taut. In most industrial roller chain applications, 1.5%-2% is typically considered wear life limit requiring chain replacement.

Tsubaki’s Chain Wear Indicator for ANSI and British Standard

Using our Chain Wear Indicator Tools as part of regular plant maintenance will simplify your chain maintenance operations and keep equipment running optimally.

Chain Wear Indicating Kits Include:

  • 5 Chain Wear Measuring Tools
  • Chain Wear Indicator Guide
  • Roller Diameter Wear Gage
  • Width Measuring Tool

Chain Wear Indicating Kits

Chain Wear Guide Indicator Guide

Chain Wear Guide Indicator Guide

To get the most out of Tsubaki Chain Wear Indicator Tools, follow these tips:

  • Chains do not wear evenly, so measuring the chain in multiple places will ensure the most accurate measurements.
  • Check for chain wear during scheduled plant maintenance.
  • For optimal chain wear life and maximum uptime, it is recommended to replace chains before reaching 1.5%-2% elongation.

We are pleased to offer our chain wear kits in both ANSI Standard and British Standard measurements.

ANSI Standard

  • Includes tool sizes 35-80
  • Chain wear measurement chart
  • Roller diameter wear gauge

British Standard

  • Includes tool sizes 06B-16B
  • Chain wear measurement chart
  • Roller diameter wear gauge

Instructions for Using Your Tsubaki Chain Wear Indicator Kit

To use the Tsubaki Chain Wear Indicator Kit to its fullest potential, follow these easy steps:

  1. You will need: Chain Indicator Tool, Chain Wear Indicator Guide, Diameter & Width Measuring Tool.
  2. Locate the stamp on the outside of the roller chain to determine the roller chain’s size.
  3. Select the indicator tool that is the same size as the roller chain.
  4. Pull the chain taut.
  5. Use the Chain Wear Indicator in the kit to determine the degree of elongation by placing the indicator tool’s back end around one link and resting it lightly along the taut chain. The indicator will rest between links and show red or green depending on the amount of elongation. Green means no measurable elongation, while red indicates the chain needs replacing.
  6. Use the Roller Diameter and Roller Link Width Measuring Tools to measure link diameter and width based on the sizes indicated on the front of the tool. Place it over the roller’s top to measure the roller diameter and place it inside the roller link to verify that the roller width is still within the desired tolerance.


How to Use The Chain Wear Measuring Kit Video

Super Stainless™ Offers Unparalleled Strength for Food and Beverage Manufacturing–chains

Super Stainless Chain for Food Manufacturing

Finding the ideal roller chain solution for your food or beverage operation can be a challenge. You need a chain that’s built to withstand extreme temperatures, high moisture levels, and exposure to harsh chemicals without breaking down or corroding.

When it comes to selecting a roller chain solution, you typically have two options: stainless steel or carbon steel. While stainless steel chains are corrosion-resistant and ideal for food-grade environments, carbon steel is stronger with higher load ratings. Choosing between the two could mean compromising on important aspects of your application needs.

With U.S. Tsubaki’s Super Stainless chains, you don’t have to choose. Super Stainless chain combines the corrosion resistance of stainless steel with the strength of carbon steel for extended wear life and increased savings on maintenance and replacement costs. With load capacities up to six times stronger than other stainless options on the market, Super Stainless offers a revolutionary alternative to traditional chain solutions.


Optimizing Operations with Super Stainless

 Super Stainless integrates a high side-bar waist for greater fatigue strength and hardened stainless components to improve performance and extend wear life. Ideal for the food and beverage industry, Super Stainless is designed to withstand a range of corrosive conditions, including harsh chemicals, high moisture levels and temperatures ranging from -40° to 750° F.

Super Stainless Chain for the Food & Beverage Industry

Converting to Super Stainless is easy, saving you time and money on expensive system redesigns. One Super Stainless chain has the same maximum allowable load of a much larger or multi-strand stainless chain, or one equivalent carbon steel chain. This means Super Stainless chain can be easily integrated into any existing stainless or carbon steel system, improving operations while maintaining the same load capacity.

Installing Super Stainless chain can also help limit downtime by extending the time to replace. While chain elongation is inevitable, Super Stainless offers twice the wear life of other stainless chains, reducing repair and maintenance costs.


Get Started with Super Stainless

Highly customizable to fit any application need, Super Stainless chains can be paired with a range of Super Stainless attachments and sprockets to create a reliable stainless steel system with superior wear life. This allows you to build extra strength and corrosion resistance into your entire operation.

To learn more about U.S. Tsubaki’s Super Stainless chains, download the brochure.

To download CAD drawings and find detailed information about Super Stainless chain pitch, width, and more, click here or contact us today to request specific information from our team.