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I need to figure out what size chain I have in order to purchase the right size anchor hook. I realize that chain comes in obvious sizes like 5/16" and 1/2" and such, but what exactly is that measuring? The thickness of the metal? Length of the links? Size of the holes? Believe it or not, I search all around the web for an answer and found nothing, so I had to swallow my pride and just ask.
 

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Aquaholic
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The short answer is that the size of the chain is the diameter of the "wire" the chain is made of. 1/2" chain is made of material 1/2" in thickness.
Don't feel bad about what "seem" like simple questions; believe me as one who's been there, for every "dumb" question someone asked there are 20 of us THANKING the asker for being the one to break the ice.......
 

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Telstar 28
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The metal "wire" of the chain link should be the nominal diameter of the chain's size. Be sure to measure it where the weld isn't, since the weld increases the diameter slightly.
 

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Soulfinger, great question, thanks for asking it. I am one of those who didn't ask...
 

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Chain has 3 measurements, wire size (1/2"), link size/shape, and material (SS, galvanized, and rusted.)
If you're not using a windlass, you don't care about the size/shape.
If your are using a windlass, the types must match!
 
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