The FB chain wear gauge has been purposely designed for measuring wear on leaf chain but is also suitable for measuring wear on all imperial pitch chain.

It is advised that those conducting chain inspections should follow the following requirements:

  • The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998
  • The Provision & Safe Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
  • The FLTA Technical Bulletin 02
  • The BITA Guidance Notes GN15 and GN28.

Those carrying out safety inspections of lift chains should meet the requirements of BS EN45004:1995.

Except for breakage due to operator error, shockload or overload, leaf chain failure is usually a result of gradual elongation as the chain wears which significantly increases the actual pitch of the chain. The FB chain wear gauge is a precision tool designed for measuring chain wear and displays the elongation of the chain as a percentage value.

All high quality chain is manufactured to consistently tight tolerances and it is generally agreed that if the nominal pitch length has increased by 2-3%, the chain has worn beyond its safe service life. At 2-3% chain elongation the fatigue life has been reduced and the ultimate breaking strength is significantly lower.

When a chain has reached a level of 2% elongation, a service technician must set a safe time limit for the chain to be replaced. If a chain has reached 3% elongation, it must be taken out of service immediately.

Chains should ideally be cleaned and measured in situ while placed under load. The recommended load for measurement is roughly 1% of the minimum breaking load. If a set of test weights are not available, it is acceptable for the chain to be tensioned by the weight of the carriage and forks.

When checking for chain wear it is vital that the section that passes over the pulley is measured. This is because it is the section that experiences the most wear during normal operation. The FB chain wear gauge is an accurate measuring instrument that has been developed to identify early signs of wear and, therefore, give an indication of potential chain failure.

To purchase a Chain Wear Gauge and find out more 
please visit the FB Professional Chain Wear Gauge site:

chain wear gauge close the gauge to confirm calibration

Close the gauge to confirm calibration - The FB Chain wear gauge has been precision manufactured and accurately toleranced according to National Calibration Standards. Each unit has been individually inspected.

The calibration of the device cannot be altered but it can be checked by ensuring that the slide is fully closed, then reading from the ‘Percentage Wear’ window. This window will show the accuracy to tolerance and the arrow will point to one of the red ± areas if the instrument has moved out of calibration. If this is the case, the gauge has been worn or damaged and should not be used other than as a rough   guide. Likewise, the device may not give an accurate reading if the ‘V’ jaws have been damaged.

Chain wear gauge identify the pitch

Identify the pitch – Measure the nominal pitch over the pin centres of one of the outer link   plates. For ease of measurement, the gauge features 3 different pairs of red arrows which are located on the edges and in the centre of the instrument. Depending on how easy it is to reach the chain, one pair of arrows will be more convenient than the others.

Align the read arrows with the   pin centres on the chosen outer link plate of the chain. The nominal pitch of   the chain will then appear in the ‘Pitch’ window. The gauge is double sided   and so this figure will appear on either the A or the B side. Check the information below to find out which side of the gauge should be used.


 3/8"           1 3/4"  

 1/2"           2"  

 5/8"           3/4"  

 1"              1 1/4"  

 1 1/2"        2 1/2"  


 When the pitch has been identified the number of pins (n) that the chain   needs to be measured over will appear in the adjacent 'Measure over Pins' window.

Chain wear gauge measure the chain

Measure the chain – Locate the section of the chain that runs over the pulley as this is the   area that is most vulnerable to wear. At least 3 different measurements   should then be taken in various places within this section. Ensuring that the   chain has been placed under load and the correct scale has been selected, align one ‘V’-jaw with the first pin (pin number 1) then extend the slide   until the other 'V' jaw locates over the pin (as previously determined).

Chain wear gauge percentage wear indicator

The percentage wear will appear in the ‘Percentage Wear’ window in increments of 0.25% (¼%). When reading from this window, it is important to ignore the information shown in the 'Pitch' and 'Measure over Pins' windows.

Chain wear gauge percentage wear indicator 0.25%

The percentage wear will appear in the 'Percentage Wear' window in increments of 0.25% (¼%). When reading from this window, it is important to ignore the information shown in the 'Pitch' and 'Measure over Pins' windows.

Chain wear gauge percentage wear indicator 2%

If the chain has elongated by 2% or more, the warning window will be filled red and the chain will need to be replaced. Those charged with chain maintenance will need to make a judgement as to whether the wear will reach a level of 3% before the next Thorough Examination and a safe time limit for replacement will need to be set.