How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be? A chainsaw even when used normally, tends to start loosening and sagging. This thing can lead to some bizarre situations e.g. chain jumping off the guide bar. It is always advised to check the chainsaw tension to avoid such situations. Optimal performance for any chainsaw begins with proper tensioning of the chain. Whenever you pull a chain, it ought to have a slight give. But the drive links that are under the sharp edges of the chain should always remain engaged within the guide bar.
If you have recently purchased your first chainsaw, you must be having the question of how tight should a chainsaw chain be. Here, we have everything covered that can come up in your mind to get you started…
Testing of Chain Tension
One can test the chainsaw tension by two methods i.e. the snap test and the pull test. Here’s they are explained…
1. The Snap Test
For performing the snap test, you gently pull the chain away from the bar. You pull as far as it can go and then release it. If the chain isn’t capable of pulling, it means the chain is too tight. In case you manage to pull the chain off the bar, two things can happen. First, the chain may snap back snugly in its place. If it does so, it means the chain is properly tensioned. Second, the chain may go limp which means the chain is poorly tensioned.
2. The Pull Test
To perform the pull test, you have to pull the chain away from the bar. Partially lift the chain and pull it away from the bar. If the drive links come completely clear of the bar grove, it means the chain is loose. If the drive links pull out a little and the ends remain within the bar groove, it means the chain’s tension is adequate.
How to Tighten a Chainsaw Chain? – Some Steps
1. Locate the tension screw
Hopefully, you purchased a best chainsaw but different makes and models have tension screw located at different. The most common places to look for are as under…
- Some chainsaw models have the tension screw located at the front panel. When you see the right side of the bar guide and the left side of the bucking spikes, you will find out the tension screw.
- In some cases, the tension screw is located on the side panel. It will be just between the bolts holding the guide bar in its place.
- Many chainsaws have a built-in integrated tension system especially top small chainsaws. These chainsaw models don’t have a tension screw instead they have an integrated handle used to adjust tension.
2. Get the right tool
Not all chainsaw models require a tool to tighten the tension screw. The models which don’t require any tool have a built-in tension system. Still, if you need a tool to adjust the chainsaw tension, you can easily use a wrench for that purpose.
3. Tighten the chain
Now, you are done with locating the tension screw and have got the right tool for it as well if needed. It is time to start adjusting the tension of your chain. If you have a chainsaw with a built-in tension system, use the tension handle for the required adjustments.
How Often Should You Tighten Chainsaw Chain?
If you have recently bought a chainsaw, it must have the required manual for it. The manual will tell you about the break-in period of the chainsaw. This is the time when you need to tighten the chain frequently. If the chainsaw is in use for a long time, you don’t need to do the tightening in this case. The break-in period allows any form of irregularities to happen. It smooth’s out the friction surfaces and the rivets on the chain drive links are seated as well.
Before the break-in period ends, do check the chain tension after you make a few cuts and tighten it. After the break-in period, you don’t need to do any over-tightening of the chainsaw. Regardless of the break-in period, the best thing to do after you are done cutting is to loosen the chain tension. In such way, you can easily start the chainsaw and the chain will not have to grip the guide bar tightly when it cools.
How to Maintain a Chainsaw?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions by chainsaw users. Many users know about operating a chainsaw, they face difficulties in keeping their machines on point. Here are some steps are given to help you in maintaining a chainsaw…
- Always check the oil level of the bar and chain before using the machine every time.
- Keep the chain sharp as it will undoubtedly make the cutting more efficient and prevent kickbacks. It is also an important factor to enhance overall safety.
- Clean the debris from the chainsaw every time after use. If not, some debris will get stuck permanently on it and you will have to use a lot of oil to remove it then.
Chainsaw Chain Keeps Coming Loose – What to do?
This is the problem most chainsaw users experience as their chainsaws are coming loose frequently. You don’t have to throw them away and search for a new one in this case. Just make a few inspections, get the solution, and keep the machine with you. It is possible to experience such an issue due to a problem in threads that are located at the bar studs. Another issue might be the poor adjustment of the chain tensioner pin, you just need to adjust the pin so it becomes away from the powerhead. If you can’t adjust the pin, it means the pin is broken and you have to replace it.
Chainsaw Chain Keeps Coming Off – What to do?
The most common reason for a chainsaw coming off is that it has a slack chain tension. It can also happen because of the drive sprocket of the chainsaw being worn out. If this happens, the drive sprocket will no longer hold the chain in position hence it will start coming off.
Sometimes, this issue is faced due to a worn-out bar heel. The bar heel is close to the drive sprocket and when it wears out, the travel distance of a chain increases making it jump off frequently.
At the end of this guide, I hope the question of “how tight should a chainsaw be” is answered. Now, you are also aware of what could go wrong with the chainsaw and how to tackle it. It is very easy to determine the right tension of a chainsaw chain and it will take a small amount of time as well. Follow this guide to avoid petty accidents and safely use the chainsaw to perfection.