How to Tighten Chainsaw Chain in 4 Easy Steps? A 2024 Guide

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

chainsaw chain tightening steps explainedBeing one of the essential yet handy tools, chainsaw holds a vital position in every household. It not only helps in the fast cutting of trees and instant trimming of unwanted branches, but it also aids in cutting plastic pipes, shrubs, scrap wood, metal sheets and many more.

That said, this tool’s only downside is that its chain starts to lose a bit after a few hours of use, sagging away from the bar. This condition is hazardous as it can harm the user by jumping off the bar.

Thus, it is recommended to always double-check the chain every time you use the tool and tighten it whenever necessary. But wait, you don’t know how to do that? Well! If yes, then look no further as we have got your back.

This article will let you know the complete process on how to tighten chainsaw chain along with all of the other essential information.

So without any further due, let us dig into the article.

What Causes a Chainsaw Chain Tension to Lose?

Before we start discussing the tightening process, it’s better to understand the reasons that can cause your chainsaw to lose its chain. These reasons will also aid you in preventing the chainsaw chain from loose in the future as well. Have a look

The Chain Is Not Properly Set

The improper setting is the foremost reason that may cause a chain to lose after every few minutes. Thus get it examined by a nearby tool shop to ensure that it is correctly placed.

It Is Overtightened

Another common reason that may cause the chain to jump off the bar is that one may have overtightened it.

Moreover, an overtightened chain impacts handlers negatively, which results in losing the chain. As a result, you get a more unsafe chainsaw user experience. And the situation is even worse if it is used at high speed.

Temperature Fluctuation

Surprisingly, temperature fluctuations also affect the chainsaw by losing or tightening its chain.

4 Steps About How to Tighten Chainsaw Chain?

Based on any of the above reasons, a gas chainsaw may result in an untightened chain.  Thus here is the step-by-step guide to tension the chainsaw chain.

Step 1: Locate the tension points.

Firstly, mark the chain tension adjustment points on your chainsaw. Some common spots include the side cover and the front of the machine.  Remember, adjustment points on some models are housed under the side cover release knob.

Step 2: Revolve the tension screws.

Rotate the adjustment screws clockwise to loosen them. It is one of the crucial steps of the whole process as it creates space for the chain and guide bar to ensure easy adjustment.

For some models, you may find the chainsaw brakes attached directly to the side panel. So, do not forget to unlock them prior to removing the side panel.

Step 3:  Adjust the tensioning screws.

Now, this is the game-changing step. You will find some screws located on the side of chainsaw guide bars. These are called “Tension Adjustment Screws.” Tightening them will tighten the chain, and loosening them will loosen the chain.

Hence, adjust the tightness of the screws according to the need of your battery chainsaw machine. Also, double-check it before moving further to avoid any unease in the long run.

Step 4: Tighten the guide bar side panel nuts.

Last but not least, tighten up the nuts and secure the side panel along with the guide bar to reassemble the chainsaw.

Nevertheless, don’t forget to lift the nose of the chainsaw while tightening the nuts. And Voila! You have just completed the procedure of chain tightening.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Would I Know If My Chainsaw Chain Had Stretched?

You can know the case through a simple process. Switch off the chainsaw, place it on the table and let it cool completely. Now, check for a noticeable space between the chainsaw’s guide bar and the chain.

If you see any space, it means that your chainsaw chain has stretched and needs a little bit of repair.

Can I Prevent My Chainsaw chain From Stretching?

The simple answer to this question is “NO.” unfortunately, there is no way you can prevent your chainsaw chain from stretching. Yet, you can extend the period between each stretch by handling it with care and investing a little bit of time and amount on its regular maintenance.

How Much Slack Should A Chainsaw Chain Have?

An efficiently tensioned chainsaw must allow you to only move it up and down for half an inch. Moreover, it should be a little bit lose on the chainsaw sidebar but extremely tight to the point that you can pull the drive links out of the bar nose.

In case you observe more slack in between, then the chainsaw chain has loosened, and you need to tighten it a bit. On the other hand, if there is no slack in between, it’s a sign that your chainsaw chain is unnecessarily tight and that you should loosen it.

A tightened chain does not tend to work with ease. Whereas an overtighten chain can break at any time. Thus always ensure to keep the chainsaw chain at the right adjustment.

Why Won’t My Chainsaw Chain Tighten?

If you cannot tighten your chainsaw’s chain, it means that you are not accurately implementing the procedure. Thus go back to the starting point, read out the procedure carefully and implement it again.

Final Takeaways: How to Tighten Chainsaw Chain?

In a nutshell, a chainsaw is a cardinal tool to own. It serves in simplifying one’s life up to a certain extent. However, chainsaw chains often tend to lose a bit. Thus you may need to tighten it after every few uses.

Tightening a chainsaw chain seems to be a complicated task. However, in all, it’s not. Instead, it is fairly a simple process which we have mentioned above for your ease. Thus, please read it and implement it to rest assure methodical functioning of chainsaw. Rest, we wish you a stroke of good luck.

Richard McMann
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