The different types of chains used in surveying are:

  1. Metric Chains
  2. Gunter's Chain or Surveyor's chain
  3. Engineer's chain
  4. Revenue chain
  5. Steel Band or Band Chain


1. Metric Chain in Surveying (IS : 1492-1970)

  • Most commonly used chain in India
  • Available lengths are 5, 10,20 and 30m. Most commonly used chain is 20m.
  • For quick reading, tallies are provided at an interval. 
  • Tallies are provided every 1m for 5 and 10m metric chains, and every 5m for 20 and 30m metric chains. 
  • Brass rings are provided at every 1m interval.
  • The brass handle shows the total length of the chain. 


Metric Chain in Surveying (IS : 1492-1970)

2. Gunter's Chain in Surveying


  • Gunter's chain is also called as surveyor's chain.
  • 66 feet = 100 links
  • 1 link = 0.6ft
  • Measurement in furlongs and miles.
    • 10 Gunter's chain = 1 furlong
    • 80 Gunter's chain = 1 mile

3. Engineer's Chain


  • It is 100 feet long with 100 links
  • 1 link = 1 feet 
  • Distance measured in feet and decimals.


4. Revenue Chain


  • It is 33 feet long with 16 links.
  • 1 link = 2 (1/16) feet.
  • It is used in cadastral survey.

5. Steel band or band chain

  • Strip of blue steel of width = 12 to 16mm, thickness = 0.3 to 0.6mm
  • Every 20cm, brass studs are there. Marking is orovided every 1m.
Steel band or band chain
 Steel band or band chain