How to Replace a Chainsaw Chain? 6 Simple Steps

As a person who has been working with machines throughout his professional career, I know how horrifying a power tool can be; especially, the chainsaw that features a chain with sharp blades moving at high speed on the guide bar. Although the engine is the most essential part, the cutting is done by chainsaw chain – and if this chain isn’t perfect, you will certainly not get your desired cutting results. With time the chain of chainsaw becomes to weak to deliver the job; before this moment, you must learn replacing chain of your chainsaw.

Typically, a chainsaw under duty starts becoming dull and corrosive; especially, when it isn’t maintained well. However, even if you take good care of it, sooner or later you need to replace the chain of your chainsaw.

But it is also necessary to know the indications that necessitate the need of replacing the chain of the chainsaw with a new one. So, before I take you to my answer on how to replace a chainsaw chain, let me briefly discuss the scenarios that relate to the replacement of your chainsaw chain.

Do You Need to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain or Not? 

Other than the engine of the chainsaw, its guide bar, chain, and sprocket are leading factors that ascertain the efficiency of this power tool. With persistent use of your chainsaw, you are sure to face problems in cutting which are directly related to the inefficiency of the chain.

Above all, chainsaw users often appear to have this question in their mind that when they should think about replacing the chain of their chainsaw – well, I would say when you start experiencing frequent kickbacks while using a chainsaw, it is one of the most considerable indications to think about replacing your chainsaw with the new one.

Furthermore, the followings are some factors that must not be ignored; rather deemed as a warning from your chainsaw chain.

  • Damaged teeth that cannot be repaired
  • Corrosive chain which is impossible to recover
  • Chain that has become sensitive, and might break any time
  • With frequent use of chainsaw, chain might lose required features such as pitch and depth

So, if you come across any of the aforementioned problems, you should seriously think about replacing the chain of your chain with a new one. Make sure that you consider these indications as serious warnings; otherwise, users’ safety will be at stake while working with the chainsaw with a damaged chain.

How to Replace a Chainsaw Chain

What Should You Consider While Replacing the Chain? 

The prerequisite steps of replacing a chainsaw chain are a little bit tricky and technical, yet not too hard to understand. Before replacing the chain, you must have enough knowledge about the guide bar on which it rotates. For this purpose, you must know to measure the guide bar – then there comes the need of measuring the chainsaw chain.

Typically, the measurement of a chainsaw chain involves three steps; measurement of gauge, measurement of pitch, and counting of drive links. Once you gather all this information, you have known everything to replace the chain of your chainsaw with a new one.

So, having discussed circumstances that necessitate the replacement of your chainsaw chain, let us learn to replace the chain of your chainsaw;

How to Replace a Chainsaw Chain in 2023? 

Reading instructions might appear overwhelming to you – however, experiencing the below steps practically will not pose any significant problem. Make sure that you have the following equipment before you start replacing the chain of your chainsaw;

Tools Required

  • Socket wrench
  • New chain that is to replaced with older one
  • Screw driver
  • Gloves

Once you have these tools available, you can start further procedure complying with the given instructions;

1. Remove Protective Cover

In the first step, disengage the protective cover from the chainsaw. For this purpose, take a socket wrench, untighten the nuts that have held everything together, and then separate the protective cover. This is an important part of the process because it eases the further process.

2. Release the Tension from the Chain 

When the chain is on the guide bar, it needs certain tension that helps the chain to cut perfectly. But when it comes to replacing the chain, this tension is to be released as a prerequisite step. To release tension from the chain, turn the screw with a flat-headed screwdriver in an anti-clockwise direction – it will release the tension of the chain.

Typically, the tensioning screw is found on the inner side of the guide bar. Loosen the screw unless the chain fully releases the tension.

3. Get the Chain Off the Guide Bar 

Having disengaged the protective cover and released tension from the chain, you are ready to untangle the chain off the guide bar. Be careful while holding the chain to get it off – sharp blades might harm your hands; so, it is recommended to wear protective gloves while doing this.

4. Thread the Chain on the Guide Bar 

Once you have got the older chain off the guide bar, now you are ready to thread the new chain on the guide bar. Make sure that your new chain matches the dimensional requirements of the guide bar of your chainsaw; otherwise, the who process may go wasted.

So, thread the chain on the clutch drum of the saw, and ensure that all drive links sit fit into the sprocket. Once you are sure that all links fit into the sprocket, align the bar by applying some tension. You can check the tension by gently holding and taking the chain away from the guide bar – upon releasing, if the links of the chain sit with a sprocket, the tension is enough.

5. Reengage the Protective Cover 

Now, is the time to put the protective cover or side plate back on the chainsaw. For this purpose, put the side plate back on the chainsaw, and tighten the nuts with the help of a wrench. Do not over-tight the side plate – in case of any malfunctioning, you may need to open it again.

6. Test the Chainsaw 

After performing the whole procedure, it is time to test the new chainsaw chain. Start the chainsaw, and start cutting wood – do not forget to provide a guide bar and other parts of the chainsaw with enough amount of lubricating oil.

Using these simple steps, you can easily replace the chain of your chainsaw. Usually, the chain of your chainsaw serves your cause for a long; especially, when you take proper care of it. However, it is also necessary to change the chainsaw chain to have the expected performance.

Final Words

The chain of the chainsaw is one of the most important components that directly impact the cutting process and define the overall efficiency of the process.

Neither the cutting will be smooth nor the user will be safe while using a chainsaw – if the chain is damaged. So, it must be looked after with great care that the chain of the chainsaw is in perfect working condition.

So, I have added all details regarding replacement of chainsaw chain, still if you have any queries about this, you can ask me in the comment section.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

Q1. How do you know that it is a time to replace the chainsaw chain?

Replacement of your chainsaw chain depends upon your frequency of use of this tool, and its maintenance. However, there comes a time when you need to replace the chain with a new one. If teeth of the chain are too damaged that they cannot be sharpened well again, this is the time to replace it. Meanwhile, there may be other signs such as rusting in the parts, and over heating while working with it.

Q2. What is a proper way to install a chainsaw chain?

To properly install the chain on your chainsaw, you should follow the given steps; these steps will help you easily install the chain without making it exhausting;

  • Remove protective cover from the chainsaw
  • Make the chain tension free, and get it off the bar
  • Then thread the new chain on the guide bar
  • Reinstall the protective cover, and
  • Test the chainsaw

Q3. Why should I replace my chainsaw chain?

After a certain period the chain of your chainsaw will start becoming dull. At that point, you can sharpen its edges, but it will not last longer, and you will need to replace the chain with a new one. Installing a new chain is important to ensure good efficiency from the chainsaw and minimize the chances of any accidents.

Leave a Comment