How to Put a Chain on Chainsaw? 8 Simple Steps

If you are planning to use the chainsaw in your ownership to cut firewood in your garden, it is indispensable to have a command on some basic approaches that might serve your purpose adding in your safety while using this giant power tool. Chainsaw is among the most labor-intensive tools that sets you free from a lot anguishes accepting the burden of the tasks. To get the job done nicely, you must learn putting the chain on chainsaw.

Having spoken to many chainsaw experts and utilizing my years of experience with this ‘incredible power tool’, I have come across certain findings about it. I must say that chain on the chainsaw has relation of Lover and Beloved with each other; if any of these isn’t well, the whole functionality gets abnormal.

Technically, a chainsaw does not cut perfectly with backward chain neither it is safe for user, as tips of blade directly face you. Therefore, to ensure the best performance and your safety, you must go through the following guide on how to put a chain on chainsaw.

Putting a Chain on Chainsaw – Simple Steps

Usually, the need of changing the chain of chainsaw emerges when there is no more room available for sharpening the blades and putting the chain back to work.

You may reach this point when blades are damaged enough to get repaired – and changing the chain remains the only option.

So, if you are changing the chain of chainsaw, follow the step-by-step guide and know that what is the right way of putting chain on chainsaw.

How to Put a Chain on Chainsaw

Before you start putting the chain on chainsaw, make sure that you have following tools;

Required Tools

Putting the chain on the chainsaw is simple task, and does not require more than four basic tools;

  • A new chain (that is to be replaced with older one)
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe wrench (that suits the model of your chainsaw)
  • Gloves

Once you have these tools in your toolbox, you are all set to proceed.

1. Prepare

Put your chainsaw on a flat surface, and unlock the chain brake to make it rotate freely. It is recommended to unscrew the spark plug to ensure that engine cannot start. Also, clean debris obvious on the surface of the chainsaw.

2. Remove Cover from Sprocket

Sprocket cover is attached with chainsaw with the help of bolts – undo those bolts to separate the cover from sprocket. Once the cover is separated, you will have a direct access to the sprocket of the chainsaw. Depending upon the models of chainsaws, you may see variations in the parts of chainsaw after removing the sprocket cover.

3. Release the Tensions from Chain

Now, in this step you are required to release the tension from chain by unscrewing chain tensioner. Rotating the tension pin in anti-clockwise direction will allow you to loosen the tension from the chain. Keep rotating the tension pin in anti-clockwise direction unless you are certain that it can be easily taken off the guide bar.

4. Remove the Chain from Guide Bar

Once the chain is loose enough, this is the time to get it off from the guide bar. You can simply pull the chain outwards from the guide bar or you can also use a screwdriver to get the chain off the bar. Put on your gloves to avoid interaction with cutters on the blade of the chain.

5. Set the New Chain

After removing the chain from the guide bar, you are ready to install the new chain on the guide bar. But before you install the new chain, make sure that you are installing the chain that matches the specifications of chainsaw. For this you must know how to measure a chainsaw chain – it will help you buy exactly what you need.

Put the new chain on guide bar, and see if all the drive links are set in the sprocket. Get assured about the direction of teeth of blade; cutter should be in forward direction with rakers ahead of them. If the direction of teeth is backward, it will not cut neither will be safe for user.

6. Adjust the Tension

You have installed a new chain on the guide bar, and now you have to adjust tension in the chain of chainsaw. For this purpose, reach out to the tension pin, move it in clockwise direction with the help of screwdriver, and keep rotating it unless there is enough tension in the chain. The chain shouldn’t be too tight or too loose to use.

You can better understand tension in the chain going through the detailed guide on tightening a chainsaw chain.

7. Put the Sprocket Cover Back

Having assured about the reasonable tension in chainsaw chain, the next step belongs to reinstall the sprocket cover. Put it on its position and tighten the bolts with wrench. Check if it has installed well or not.

8. Run Your Chainsaw

Whenever you change or clean the chain of your chainsaw, the bar oil between the guide bar and chain is removed. So, before you run your chainsaw with full throttle, start it and run it slowly to give the oil pump sufficient time to offer required oil to the bar and other components.

Remember: When the mechanical components work, they get heat up and expand. This is the reason that might necessitate the need of removing sprocket cover again, and readjusting the tension in chain. Ensure to have enough bar oil between bar and chain every time you use your chainsaw.

How Do You Know That You Should Replace the Chain of Your Chainsaw?

Now, you know that how to put a chain on chainsaw, but if you come across the situation where you are unable to decide if you should replace the chain or sharpen it, check it for following 5 signs – if you find them in your chain, replace it right away:

5 Signs of Dull Chainsaw Chain

  • Chainsaw bounces or shakes while cutting
  • Creates crooked cuts pulling in one direction
  • Instead of large wood chips, it results in the form of fine sawdust
  • You need to push chainsaw to make it cut properly
  • Chainsaw smokes while cutting despite having enough lubrication among parts

If you have these 5 signs in your chainsaw, it recommended to replace the chain of your chainsaw with new.


Alright, now you know to put a chain on chainsaw, and you can carry out this simple procedure every time when you feel the need of replacing the chain of your chainsaw. I am sure that I have covered all necessary things regarding this topic, and hope that you will have had all your questions clear about the topic.

However, if you still have any question, let me know, I will answer it. Thank You!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which way does the chain go on chainsaw?

The chain on chainsaw goes in clockwise direction. It means that the chain moves away from you when you are using it. It is important to ensure that the direction of chainsaw is right; otherwise, it will neither cut properly nor will be safe for user.

Q2. How do you put a back chain on electric chainsaw?

Whether you are using gas-powered chainsaw or electric chainsaw, there is no significant difference when it comes to change their chain. Following the aforementioned method, you can change the chain of both of the chainsaws.

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