How To Pull A Chain On A Chainsaw

How to tension a chain on a chainsaw: installation and correct operation How to properly tension or replace a chain on a chainsaw: professional advice.

Reasons for premature failure of saw chains

How To Pull A Chain On A Chainsaw

Accelerated elongation of the part occurs during the running-in phase and in the last quarter of the service life. During these time slots, the headset needs special attention and care.

  • The reason for the rapid stretching of the saw chain can be the poor quality of the material of the budget model, the mismatch of the configuration of the crown and excessive wear of the drive sprocket, a malfunction or ineffective operation of the lubrication system.
  • The full operation of the chainsaw chain also largely depends on the condition of the tire and the drive sprocket, the quality of the chain oil and the performance of the lubrication system, the timely and competent sharpening of the edges of the cutting links.

According to professional sawers, the operator’s style of work and the level of operational stress affect the durability of the headset. The chains of the budget group are more susceptible to stretching; the more expensive branded assortment has no comments on technical and operating properties.


The classic budget-grade chainsaw chain tensioner is usually a threaded bolt with an adjusting component, standard or side-mounted. The chain tension is adjusted with the included wrench or screwdriver.

Expensive models are equipped with easy-to-use devices that allow you to tension the chain with one movement of the lever or by turning the adjusting disc.

In the first case, the degree of tension is fixed with a lock nut, in the second, the tire and the chain tensioner are locked in a predetermined position by installing the cover. In both versions, reliable fixation of the chain in a given position is guaranteed, the possibility of compensating for its extension with minimal loss of working time.

Negative consequences of incorrect chain adjustment

Checking the condition and tension of the chain is included in the mandatory list of preparatory work.

It depends on how much you manage to put the chain correctly:

  • The duration of its subsequent operation;
  • Safety of cutting works of increased complexity;
  • Resource of the engine and chainsaw as a whole.

An overtightened headset dramatically reduces work productivity, initiates excessive loads on the power unit and transmission. Also tire overheating and excessive fuel consumption take place.

A loose chain can fly off the bar or break. The formation of traumatic moments is partially or completely eliminated by emergency stop systems and catchers, which make it possible, with more or less success, to untangle the chainsaw chain and determine its suitability for subsequent operation.

Installing a part with damaged or deformed links can lead to uneven wear of the tire guide groove and other undesirable consequences.

How to tension the chain on a chainsaw: installation and correct operation

Regardless of the class and purpose of the chainsaw, the cutting device includes a guide bar and a saw chain with a tensioner. The instructions contain information on how to properly tension the chain on the chainsaw in order to exclude additional loads on the engine and accelerated wear of the headset.

This element of the sawing mechanism is used in conditions of high variable loads, therefore, it requires constant monitoring during operation. A characteristic feature of saw chains in use is an increase in size due to the formation of gaps in the link connections.

Saw chain replacement and adjustment sequence

It is not technically difficult to change the chain of a household and professional chainsaw on your own. The key to the successful implementation of the adjustment work will be strict adherence to the recommendations of the attached instructions.

Due to the thermal expansion of the metal, the chain is installed on the chainsaw and the subsequent adjustment is made only on a cold tire.

  • In the classic solution, the technology provides for the inclusion of a lock against accidental engine start, unscrewing the threaded fasteners, dismantling the tire and cleaning the guide groove from sawdust.
  • Next, you should make sure that the dimensions of the shanks match the width of the groove, determine which side to put the chain on the chainsaw, fix the tire and adjust the chain in the sequence indicated by the instructions.
  • Before putting the chain on the chainsaw, you should make sure that the direction of the chain on the chainsaw meets the stated requirements, and the chain tensioner has sufficient free play.

After adjusting the new chain, it is recommended to run the saw at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, then check the chain tension again. This moment can be combined with visual inspection of the lubrication system.

Advantages of making a chain set

The chain and the bar are included in the list of interchangeable equipment, so the sawyer, depending on the peculiarities of the work, can use several sets of different lengths and productivity. The average service life of the wear-resistant branded tires allows the service life of three saw chains.

The cutting edges of the saw chain links need to be sharpened periodically. The indisputable advantages of using a set of several chains are uniform wear of the drive sprocket and good compatibility with the chains included in the additional set.

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Chain selection

Husqvarna chainsaw performance and service life depend not only on the ability to tension the links, but also on whether it is suitable for a particular brand of machine. This detail differs according to several criteria:

  • Step;
  • Thickness;
  • Cutting depth;
  • The length of the chain and the number of its teeth.

The pitch value is the main parameter for the chain, on the basis of which this part is selected. Its meaning is determined by the gap between the tails. Common options: 0.325, 0.375, 0.404 inches. You can find out which type is needed for a particular saw by reading the instructions. The smaller the step, the less power the mechanism must have on which it should be pulled.

The designation of the figure 0.375 is rare, since the marking for the convenience of buyers has been replaced with the value 3/8, because 75 and 25 are easy to confuse if the purchase is made by a non-professional. The power of a Goodluck chainsaw, for example, should be 4 hp. Otherwise, the instrument may deteriorate.

Links with a pitch of 0.404 can only be pulled on professional mechanisms with a power of more than 5 hp.

So, the main markings:

  • 0.325;
  • 0.375;
  • 0.404;

How to properly tension the chain on a chainsaw

Regularly tightening the chain on the chainsaw is necessary not only for efficiency, but also for the safety of the worker. Most devices (especially the Stihl brand) have a special device on the side, like on, to help bring the links to their normal position.

How to tension the chain?

How to install a chain on a chainsaw?

The chain can be installed and tensioned by unscrewing the main screw and sliding the links onto the drive sprocket and bar. It is important to watch out for the tails falling into the groove so that they do not fall off again.

Before tensioning the chain of your Husqvarna chainsaw, it is worth looking at its condition and, if necessary, replacing it with another one. After removing this part, you need to carefully inspect the guide groove along which the links go. This is where dirt accumulates, absorbing oil and interfering with the tension of the cutting part. This place is cleaned with a thin metal object. If this is not done, oil may not get on the underside of the bar, and after the chain is installed, the links will slip worse, which affects the cutting efficiency.

How to tension the chain?

To properly tension the chain on a Husqvarna chainsaw with the engine not started, first loosen the screws securing the cover. After that, the part that corrects the tension is rotated. If the links sag from below (even a little), then you need to tighten them. Before tightening the chain on a chainsaw (Husqvarna, for example), it is worth reading the attached documents. After all, the mechanisms of different firms have their own differences.

How should the chain be tensioned on a chainsaw? This can be determined by lifting it up. Normally, the shank should be one third immersed in the groove. If it came out completely, then the chain must be tightened, if it came out less than 2-thirds, loosen it. When scrolling, the links must pass freely along the tire. After movement by hand, the links pass a little more by inertia under normal tension. If the chain instantly slows down, then this indicates a tug.

To quickly tighten the chain on a Stihl chainsaw, there are special devices that help you do this without keys. To use them, it is enough to release the sprocket cover, and then turn the adjusting wheel to the left to loosen, to the right to tighten. All this is done only when the links are cold.

Chain thickness classification

The groove on the saw bar on different units has its own thickness, therefore, for greater work efficiency, it is better to choose the optimal one. The minimum parameter is 1.1 mm. Such a part can only be installed on household mechanisms with low power. Chain with 1.3mm link width is more popular. It is used both on cheap and semi-professional Goodluck chainsaws.

The rest of the types are used on powerful tools: 1.5, 1.6 and 2 mm. The last 2 of the listed ones are only for professional Ural mechanisms. But before choosing a part by thickness, you need to find out which one can be installed on the saw bar of a particular tool.

How to lubricate the chain?

  • 1.1 the simplest saws;
  • 1.3 and 1.5 semi-professional;
  • 1.6 and 2 mm are the most powerful.

Proper maintenance of the chain and correct tensioning is the key to durability. With due attention to the Ural or another brand chainsaw, it is easier for the employee himself to cope with a well-tuned tool. The presented helps to understand the principle of handling the mechanism.

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If pulling doesn’t work

With the correct installation of the chain, there should be no sagging; when pulled, the teeth come out of the grooves no more than 4-6 mm. After work, roll it along the tire in the direction of rotation, the stroke should be smooth and light. If the tension correction does not help, the cause of the under tension may be due to the following factors:

  • Incompatibility between the chain model (tooth pitch, length, size) and the saw headset of your chainsaw model;
  • Failure of the guide sprockets;
  • Breakage of the tensioner, adjusting screw;
  • Lack of lubrication (the problem is solved by additional use of oil);
  • Mechanical damage to the bottom of the teeth, grooves in the headset.
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If you cannot achieve sufficient chain tension, the tool must never be used. You should check the compatibility of all components, if possible, contact the service center to fix the breakdown. Using a chainsaw without proper adjustment can lead to dangerous consequences.

What is chain tensioning for?

The chain performs two functions at once, directly cuts the wood and fixes the tire, preventing its arbitrary movement. The correct position and tension of the chainsaw chain allows you to fully operate the tool, avoid dangerous injuries during work. If the saw head is installed incorrectly, it easily falls off during cutting, causing harm to the operator. Even with a slight loosening, it gradually breaks the tire groove, which leads to the failure of the teeth of the driven sprocket.

In this case, excessive stress leads to an increase in the load on the rotor, a reduction in the saw’s service life. Therefore, it is important to regularly check the tension, if necessary, tighten the special mechanism on the tool body.

How to adjust the chain correctly?

You can install the chain and adjust its voltage with your own hands, without contacting a service center, regardless of the class of the chainsaw, its age. Before starting work, each link should be fully checked, as the slack can also be associated with wear on the teeth or sprockets. Step-by-step algorithm for the correct tension of Stihl 180, Husqvarna, Champion, Partner and other models:

  • Place the instrument on the table so that its headset is on top. Unscrew the threaded fasteners of the protective cover, dismantle the tire and thoroughly clean each element (it is convenient to use a vacuum cleaner or a compressed air cylinder);
  • Determine the correct position of the chain. The teeth should be on top, going in the opposite direction from the body;
  • Put it directly on the tire. Secure the bolt mechanism, make sure there is sufficient free play.

Before looking for an answer to the question of how to pull the chain on a chainsaw, you should study what methods exist. There are two widespread methods of tension, fast and frontal. The first method involves the use of a tightening bolt. It must be tightened clockwise, at the end, be sure to check the wing nut and lower the handle.

The frontal method is more complex, the main steps are:

  • Unscrew the nuts with which the tire is fixed to the chainsaw. Loosen and slightly pull up on the edge of the headset;
  • Tighten the adjusting screw to the desired level, fix the tire back with the nuts;
  • Check chain tension with your fingers, if necessary tighten the nut.

Regardless of the characteristics of the tensioner, the chain must not be overstressed; this is no less dangerous than loosening it. After installing and adjusting the saw unit, it is recommended to run the tool at idle speed. Carefully check the smooth movement of the chain, the presence of sagging and extraneous whistling sounds.

Tensioner mechanisms

Depending on the design features of the tool, the tensioning mechanism of the headset may differ.

In budget models of chainsaws, a classic straight-threaded bolt is used to adjust the chain, which is located on the side of the body.

In this version, the package includes a special tightening key or there is an external slot for a slotted screwdriver.

All professional models are equipped with more convenient adjusting mechanisms. With the help of them, you can tighten the chain with one movement of the lever or by turning a special disc. Their design consists of a built-in tensioner, locking when turning is achieved by means of a lock nut. In some models, adjustment is carried out by locking the tire in a certain position of the tool cover. Regardless of the method, the circuit voltage needs to be corrected only in a cold state. The tension on the hot chain causes sagging as it cools.

Step by step instructions: how to properly tension the chain on a chainsaw?

Regardless of the class of the chainsaw, the chain is weakened under the influence of intense regular loads. This can be determined by the appearance of characteristic gaps in the link joints, a change in the sound of work and an increase in vibration. You can tighten the tension of the saw headset yourself using a special mechanism. This avoids serious damage and injury while working with wood.

  1. What is chain tensioning for?
  2. How to check the correct tension?
  3. Tensioner mechanisms
  4. How to adjust the chain correctly?
  5. If pulling doesn’t work
  6. Possible risks in case of uneven tension

How to check the correct tension?

To ventilate the tension, you should gently pull it back in the middle of the tire.

The permissible level of exit of the tails of the cutting links should be no more than 2/3 of their length.

You can also determine the need for a tightening by the following criteria:

  • The appearance of a creak and rattle in the area of ​​the location of the main drive sprocket;
  • Loosening the tightening of the protective mechanism, tire fasteners;
  • Jamming when sawing, increased vibration and noise.

Chainsaw decreases productivity and increases operating time. Even when sawing soft woods, the chain starts to get stuck in the groove, the speed and running smoothness decrease.

The chain stretched

If your chain sags on a chainsaw, then this indicates a malfunction of some mechanism, one of the options is the wear of the chain itself.

Over time, the metal deforms and the chains become 0.5-1 cm longer. It is best to fix this problem by purchasing a new circuit, but there is a way to get the old one back. Experts say that this is very difficult and almost impossible, but we will tell you how you can do it at home.

For this we will need:

  • Vice;
  • File;
  • Electric welding machine (not needed in all cases);
  • A hammer;
  • Pliers;
  • Beard.
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A regular chainsaw chain is made of strong steel, so it is difficult to disconnect. You need to disconnect the chain on the inside of the rivet, which serves as a connecting mechanism.

First, the chains need to be fixed in a vice, and then gradually grind off the protruding part. You need to grind with a file or a file. It is not recommended to use a grinder, as there is a risk of damaging the lateral parts of the links. After sewing, the rivets are knocked out with a beard. The knocked-out rivet should not be thrown away. You may not be able to find a replacement. Manufacturers of gasoline saws do not produce individual parts for the chain, as they do not expect consumers to be able to repair the chain themselves. Most likely, you will not be able to make a new rivet yourself, so you will have to install the old one.

In order to shorten the chain, you need to split it in two places. But remember, that the number of guide lugs on the inside of the chain and the distance between them must match the drive sprocket.

After removing one or more of the links (depending on the degree of chain stretch), the chains can be connected. We connect to old rivets, while pressing them tightly on the sides.

Next, we need a welding machine. The rivet must be welded to the lateral parts of the link. After that, we grind off the excess that formed during welding with a file. The chain can be considered healthy again.

Installing the chain on a chainsaw, how to properly tension and check the tension

If you have a chainsaw at home, then you should know that it requires special care. It is necessary to periodically clean and sharpen the chains, clean the air filter, oil supply and tires. And, of course, you need to monitor the chain tension, since with a poor tension there is a risk not only to harm the saw, but also to your health if the chain falls off at high speeds.

  • Chainsaw device features
  • Why the chain flies, find out the reasons
  • Bus problems
  • The chain stretched
  • Poor drive sprocket
  • How to tension: installing the chainsaw cutting element
    • Chain tension
    • Tension check
    • Operating tips
    • How to tension: installing the chainsaw cutting element

      We have analyzed the main reasons for the sagging chain. How to install a chain on a chainsaw is described in the paragraph above. Now you need to properly tighten the chain, and check if it will overtighten.

      Chain tension

      You can pull the chains two ways: fast and frontal. It is best to stretch in the frontal way.

      If you carry out a frontal tension, then you need to unscrew the nuts that hold the tire and lift it over the edge. With a special bolt on the right, you need to tighten the chain until an acceptable tension is obtained, and then raise the tire even higher and clamp it.

      If using the quick tightening method, first lift the wing nut handle and loosen it. Then tighten the chain tensioning screw clockwise until it stops. Then retighten the wing nut and lower the handle.

      Bus problems

      If there is a problem with the tire, almost always chain tension loosens. This problem usually occurs at the busbar attachment point.

      This place is located in the groove between the outer plate, which is located on the chain guard and the inner plate, which is located on the motor housing. The casing together with the tire is fixed with a bolt. Such an attachment is referred to as an “engine assembly”. The drive sprocket and tire mount are protected by special covers.

      If the fixing bolts are loose, the tire will move or vibrate. If the tire is good, then the chain tension should be normal. After stretching, she will walk for at least five working days without suspenders. Therefore, you need to carefully tighten the bolts that hold the tire.

      To understand how to pull a chain on a chainsaw, first you need find and release the chain brake. The tensioning screw is next to the bar and is turned until the chain is pulled over the bar. Then pull the chain in a clockwise direction. If it does not move, then loosen it slightly by turning the tension screw in the opposite direction.

      Poor drive sprocket

      One of the possible options for a dangling chain on your device leading sprocket problem. Most often, everything happens due to the fact that the star is poorly fixed. Now we will tell you how to properly fix the star and then put the chain on the chainsaw.

      First you need to remove the engine protection cover. Next, remove the protective cover of the spark plug, pull out the air filter. Then you need to unscrew the candle with a special key. A special stopper is placed in its place, which fixes the piston in a certain position. With a special key (you can use a universal wrench for a grinder), turn the clutch disc clockwise until the piston reaches the uppermost position. Looking into the hole of the plug, the piston should remain at the bottom. A thick rope can be used as a stopper; it is better to fold it several times. Once locked, the drive sprocket can be clamped by rotating the clutch disc counterclockwise.

      After clamping, you need to do everything in the reverse order, that is, assemble the chainsaw. A chain is put on the tire; it must hit the drive sprocket that holds it. The tire is placed in special mounting holes and bolted. Then the defense is placed.