How to Replace a Chain on a Chainsaw

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 tighten the chain on the chainsaw to eliminate additional stress on the engine and accelerated wear of the headset.

This element of the saw mechanism is used in conditions of high variable loads, therefore, in the process of work requires constant monitoring. A characteristic feature of the operating saw chains is an increase in size due to the formation of gaps in the links of the links.

How to Replace a Chain on a Chainsaw

Reasons for premature failure of saw chains

Accelerated elongation of the part occurs at the break-in stage and in the last quarter of the operational resource. During these time intervals, the headset needs special attention and careful maintenance.

  • The reason for the fast stretching of the saw chain may be the poor quality of the material of the budget model, the mismatch of the crown configuration and excessive wear of the drive sprocket, malfunction or inefficient operation of the lubrication system.
  • The full-fledged 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 filers, the headset’s durability is reflected in the operator’s work style and level of operational loads. The chains of the budget group are more susceptible to stretching; the more expensive corporate assortment has no comments on the technical and working properties.

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Negative effects of improper chain adjustment

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

On how you can correctly put the chain, it depends:

  • the duration of its subsequent operation;
  • safety of cutting operations of increased complexity;
  • engine resource and chainsaws in general.

Overstretched headset dramatically reduces productivity, initiates excessive loads on the power unit and transmission. There is also tire overheating and excessive fuel consumption.

A loose chain may fly off the tire or break. The formation of traumatic moments is partially or completely eliminated by emergency stop systems and catchers, which can more or less unravel the chain of the chainsaw and determine its suitability for subsequent operation.

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

Tensioning devices

Video: How to Replace a Chain on a Chainsaw


The classic chain saw chain tensioner budget class, as a rule, is a threaded bolt with an adjusting component, standard or side location. The chain tension is adjusted using the included key or a 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 dial.

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

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Benefits of developing a chain kit

The chain and the tire are included in the list of interchangeable equipment, so the sawyer, depending on the characteristics of the work, can use several headsets of different lengths and performance. The average service life of wear-resistant branded tires allows you to develop a resource of three saw chains.

The cutting edges of the chain saw links need periodic sharpening. The undeniable advantages of operating a set of several chains are uniform wear of the drive sprocket and good compatibility with the chains included in the optional set.

Features of manual and mechanized sharpening

Blunting the cutting edges of the saw chain is manifested:

  • noticeable decrease in performance;
  • ejection of small chips;
  • the appearance of a characteristic smell of burnt wood.

To restore the cutting properties of the chains, several types of grinding tools are used.

In the simplest version, it is a holder fixed to the tire complete with a set of special files, in another a tool-grinding machine with a power drive. Both technologies have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Low-productivity and time-consuming manual sharpening of the chain contributes to the preservation of its resource. The mechanized method provides good performance, but the lack of an individual approach to each cutting link of the chain negatively affects its durability.

Chain replacement and adjustment sequence

It is technically simple to change the chain of a chainsaw of a household and professional level on its own. The key to the successful implementation of the adjustment work will be the exact observance of the recommendations of the attached instructions.

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

  • In the classic solution, the technology provides for the inclusion of blocking from accidental starting of the engine, loosening of threaded fasteners, dismantling the tire and cleaning the guide groove from sawdust.
  • Next, make sure that the size of the shanks matches the groove width, determine which side to put the chain on the chainsaw, fasten the tire and adjust the chain in the sequence indicated by the instruction.
  • Before you put 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 tensioning mechanism has a sufficient clearance.
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After adjusting the new chain, it is recommended to run the saw at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, and then check the chain tension again. This point can be combined with visual inspection of the lubrication system.

Methods for checking the degree of tension

To check the degree of tension, it is enough to pull the chain in the middle part of the tire, the output of the link shanks is allowed no more than 2/3.

  • A normally adjusted chain should not jam when moving manually on the bus.
  • Squeaking and other extraneous noises in the area of ​​the leading sprocket are also excluded.
  • After running the chain, it is necessary to check the tightness of the threaded fasteners of the tire and the protective cover.

After prolonged use, the chain does not stretch due to a lack of adjusting stroke of the tensioning mechanism. The design of the circuit allows you to reduce its length by removing several links. On the other hand, such savings result in a loss of smoothness of the chain and forced wear on the groove of the tire and the crown of the drive sprocket.