Chainsaw Chain Direction: How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw the Right Way is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw the Right Way? To put a chain on a chainsaw the right way, start by ensuring the chainsaw is turned off and the chain brake is engaged for safety. Then, carefully thread the chain onto the guide bar, making sure the teeth are facing in the correct direction, and tension the chain properly before releasing the chain brake and testing the saw.

Proper chain direction is crucial when it comes to using a chainsaw efficiently and safely. In this section, we will discuss the importance of having the right chain direction and provide an overview of the steps involved in placing a chain onto a chainsaw. By understanding the significance of this aspect and gaining insights into the necessary procedures, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to handle your chainsaw with confidence and precision.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper chain direction is crucial for safe and efficient chainsaw operation. Installing the chain in the correct direction ensures optimal cutting performance and reduces the risk of kickback.
  • The steps to put a chain on a chainsaw include removing the chainsaw casing, removing the old chain, identifying the correct direction of the cut, and reassembling and tightening the new chain.
  • When removing the chainsaw casing and chain, it is important to use the appropriate tools and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents and damage to the chainsaw.
How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw the Right Way

Importance of proper chain direction

Chain direction is important when putting a chain on a chainsaw. Incorrect positioning can lead to ineffective cutting, reduced efficiency, and safety hazards. Ensure it’s aligned correctly for optimal performance!

Step 1: First, remove the casing of the chainsaw to access the chain. Use proper tools like a screwdriver or wrench, and wear protective gloves. Disconnect power to stay safe.

Step 2: Next, take out the existing chain. Use the right tools, like a wrench or specialized chain removal tool. Be careful not to hurt yourself or damage the chainsaw.

Step 3: Identify the cut direction. This affects how well the chainsaw will operate. Incorrect direction leads to uneven cuts, more wear and tear, and decreased performance. Observe indicators like arrows or numbers stamped on each link to figure it out.

Step 4: Finally, reassemble and tighten the new chain properly. Align chain drive links with slots on guide bar rails. Adjust tension with a tensioning screw according to manufacturer guidelines. This guarantees smooth operation, safety, and long life for the chain and chainsaw.

True Fact: Chainsaws have been used since the 1920s to help forestry workers.

Overview of steps to put a chain on a chainsaw

  1. To chain a chainsaw, follow the steps carefully. Start by removing the casing with the right tools. Be cautious to avoid any accidents.
  2. Then, take out the chain. Note down the correct direction of the cut.
  3. Reassemble and tighten the chain and use the tensioning screw for proper tensioning.
  4. When done with all these steps, the chain is ready to be used!

Troubleshoot common issues with the chainsaw chain. Understand the problems and their solutions. This way, users can solve the issues before or during their work. It’s like peeling off the outer layers of a serial killer’s disguise; revealing the twisted machinery beneath.

Step 1: Removing the chainsaw casing

When it comes to putting a chain on a chainsaw the right way, the first step is removing the chainsaw casing. In this section, we will discuss the tools required to safely remove the chainsaw casing and the precautions you need to take during this process. Getting this step right is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful chain replacement. So let’s dive in and learn how to get the chainsaw casing off effectively.

Tools required for removing the chainsaw casing

To effectively and safely remove the chainsaw casing, specific tools are required. Such tools include:

  • A screwdriver to remove the screws holding the casing
  • A wrench or pliers to loosen nuts and bolts
  • A brush or compressed air to clean the casing
  • Protective gloves

It is essential to take precautions during the removal process such as turning off the chainsaw and consulting manufacturer instructions. Additionally, using the correct tools can improve the chainsaw’s performance and extend its lifespan.

Precautions to take while removing the chainsaw casing

In order to safely and effectively remove the chainsaw casing, take these three steps:

  1. Gather the required tools – Get a screwdriver or wrench to loosen and remove screws or bolts keeping the casing in place.
  2. Put safety first – Unplug the chainsaw from any power sources and make sure the engine is off. It’s also smart to use protective gloves and eyewear.
  3. Handle with care – When taking it off the chainsaw body, use caution and don’t apply too much force.

By following these precautions, you can remove the casing without any issues or harm. Take your time and be careful. Remember, always prioritize safety when working with power tools like chainsaws. Removing the casing is like breaking up with a bad haircut – you’ll feel liberated!

Step 2: Removing the chain

In step 2 of this guide, we will focus on the process of removing the chain from your chainsaw. Discover the essential tools required for a successful chain removal and learn about the precautions you should take to ensure safety throughout the process. Mastering the art of chain removal is crucial for maintaining and properly servicing your chainsaw. So, let’s dive in and uncover the key insights to help you tackle this step with confidence.

Tools required for removing the chain

When removing the chain from a chainsaw, it’s essential to have the right tools. To do this safely and effectively, you’ll need:

  1. A wrench or socket set
  2. A chain brake tool
  3. A bar wrench or screwdriver

This will help you to easily remove the chain.

Also, be sure to take the necessary precautions. Make sure the chainsaw is off and disconnected from any power source. Additionally, it’s best to have good lighting in a clean work area.

Over time, advancements in design and technology have improved chainsaw performance and safety. This has led to the development of tools specifically for removing chainsaw chains. These tools make the process easier and faster!

Precautions to take while removing the chain

Removing a chainsaw’s chain requires taking certain precautions. To do this safely and prevent accidents or damage, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Disconnect power. Remove the battery, or unplug the tool from its power source. This reduces the risk of accidental activation.
  2. Wear protective gear. Prior to starting, use safety items, such as gloves, goggles, and ear protection.
  3. Secure the chainsaw. Clamp it in place, or use a vise grip or workbench clamp. This minimizes movement.
  4. Use caution while removing bolts/nuts. Loosen and remove any holding the chain in place on the bar. Exercise care to avoid damage or injury.

Refer to the user manual for instructions. These precautions will help ensure safety and protect the equipment.

Fun Fact: Chainsaw chains can dull or damage over time, reducing their cutting efficiency and causing safety hazards.

Step 3: Identifying the correct direction of the cut

Identifying the correct direction of the cut is crucial when putting a chain on your chainsaw. In this section, we will explore the importance of this step and learn how to effortlessly determine the right direction for an efficient and safe cutting experience. So, let’s dive in and ensure we get it right!

Importance of identifying the correct direction

Identifying the right direction to cut is crucial when putting a chain on a chainsaw. This ensures efficient and safe operation, reducing the risk of accidents or damage.

By understanding the proper direction, users can maintain control and achieve precise cuts.

Refer to the manual or guide of the chainsaw to determine whether a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation is needed. It is essential to follow these instructions to make sure the saw functions smoothly.

Other indicators can help identify the right direction too. Chains may have arrows or markings on them. Examine each cutter tooth, they should be facing the direction of rotation.

By taking into account all these factors, users can ensure their chainsaws perform at their best. This will help users achieve efficient cutting results and lengthen the lifespan of the tool.

How to identify the correct direction of the cut

Properly identifying the direction of the cut on a chainsaw is essential for smooth, efficient cutting, and to avoid potential hazards. Here’s how:

  1. Check the teeth: Each tooth should have a cutting edge angled in one particular direction. This shows the correct way for the chain to rotate during use.
  2. Look for directional markings: Some chains have arrows and other markings to indicate their proper orientation.
  3. Note the drive links: These metal tabs fit into the guide bar. They should always face inwards toward the chainsaw body.
  4. Follow manufacturer instructions: Different chainsaws may have specific guidelines. Always refer to the owner’s manual or any accompanying documentation.

Also, when replacing a worn/damaged chain, clean and inspect other parts of the chainsaw, like the guide bar and sprocket. It’s like the delicate reassembling of a severed limb – but with way more sharp edges.

Step 4: Reassembling and tightening the chain

To properly reassemble your chainsaw chain, it is crucial to follow the correct steps. In this section, we will focus on Step 4, which involves the reassembly and tightening of the chain. We will discuss the importance of aligning the chain drive links correctly and using the chain tensioning screw to ensure proper tension. By mastering these steps, you can ensure the safe and effective operation of your chainsaw.

Proper alignment of chain drive links

  1. Utilize the tools mentioned in section 2.1 of the reference data to take off the chainsaw casing.
  2. With the casing removed, take off the chain with the tools indicated in section 3.1.
  3. Examine the drive links and guide bar grooves for any signs of wear or damage.
  4. Clean any debris and buildup from both drive links and guide bar grooves to guarantee smooth movement during operation.
  5. Align the drive links with the guide bar grooves, ensuring each link fits snugly into its corresponding groove.
  6. Reassemble and fasten the chain according to section 5 of the reference data employing correct tensioning techniques with the chain tensioning screw.

For proper alignment of chain drive links, it is significant to look at details like checking for any wear or damage on both the drive links and guide bar grooves. Moreover, making sure each link fits securely into its matching groove will help maintain ideal performance and minimize the chances of accidents while using a chainsaw.

The tension must be just right; similar to relationships, but the repercussions of not nailing it with a chainsaw chain are much more terrifying.

Using the chain tensioning screw for proper tension

Chainsaws and their chains can be tricky. Improper tension can lead to poor performance and safety hazards. To get it right, use the chain tensioning screw. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the tensioning screw on your chainsaw. Consult the manufacturer’s manual or an expert if you’re unsure.
  2. Use the right tool – usually a screwdriver or wrench – and turn the tensioning screw counterclockwise to loosen it. This will give you slack to adjust.
  3. Place the saw on a stable surface and carefully pull the guide bar forward until there’s about 1/8 inch of clearance between the bottom of the bar and the chain. Tighten the tensioning screw clockwise until snug. But don’t overtighten – it can strain the chain and saw.

Remember to:

  • Tighten both sides of the guide bar evenly for even pressure.
  • Check and adjust chain tension during and after use, as vibration and heat can cause changes.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a safe, efficient chainsaw.

Bonus tip: Troubleshooting common issues with chainsaw chains

Having trouble with your chainsaw chains? In this section, we’ve got you covered with some bonus troubleshooting tips. From common issues that arise with chainsaw chains to practical solutions, we’ll help you resolve those pesky problems. So, grab your chainsaw, and let’s dive into these invaluable insights to ensure your chainsaw chain works like a charm.

Common issues with chainsaw chains

Chainsaw chains can sometimes suffer from common troubles that impact performance. These must be fixed fast to keep the chain running smoothly and lasting long.

  • Chain dullness: With use, the chain can become less sharp. Dullness reduces cutting power and puts strain on the saw. To remain efficient and safe, the chain needs to be sharpened or swapped out regularly.
  • Chain stretching: Over time, stretching may occur. This can make the chain lose, lessening accuracy and safety. To get the best cut, the chain must be tensioned.
  • Chain damage: Hitting a rock or metal can damage the chain. This affects cutting and is a risk. To be sure, inspect it and replace any broken links or the full chain.

It’s also important to clean and lubricate the chain to avoid dirt and friction. Doing this often will extend the life of the chain and help it perform better.

To keep the chain running fine, take care of common issues swiftly. Check for dullness, stretching, and damage, and take action. Cleaning and lubrication should be in the maintenance routine too.

Don’t let the chain fail or cause accidents. Taking preventative steps saves money and guarantees a reliable tool. So, don’t cut corners. Care for the chain now and make cutting easy.

Solutions for common chainsaw chain problems

Tackling common chainsaw chain problems? Here’s what to do!

  1. Sharpening the chain regularly is key. This helps with efficient cutting and reduces the risk of kickback. Use a suitable tool to get the sharpness you need.
  2. Check and adjust the tension of the chain often. Too loose or tight can cause poor performance, increased wear, and even safety hazards. Use the chain tensioning screw for proper alignment.
  3. Inspect and replace worn or damaged components. Over time, drive links or rivets may become worn or damaged. Checking and replacing these will prevent further damage and ensure a smooth operation.

It’s wise to follow manufacturer guidelines and get professional help with complex issues. Additionally, check the oil reservoir for lubrication, clean sawdust/debris from the bar groove, and clean the guide bar groove regularly. This will help keep your chainsaw functioning properly.


Placing a chainsaw chain correctly is very important. The direction of the chain affects its performance and lifespan. An arrow on the chain or bar will point in the right direction – make sure to pay attention to it! Putting the chain the wrong way around can cause poor cutting and safety issues.

Also, proper tensioning is essential. When installing the chain, it should be tight enough to cut efficiently, but not too tight that it causes strain on the chainsaw. Insufficient tension can cause the chain to come off during use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tensioning for best results.

Regular inspections are important too. Over time, the chain can become dull or stretched, affecting its cutting ability. Sharpening and replacing the chain when needed will help maintain optimal performance.

Finally, lubricate the chain with the right oil. This reduces friction and prevents overheating, improving the chain’s performance and longevity.

To sum up: correct chain direction, tensioning, and regular maintenance are key for optimal chainsaw performance and safety. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and inspecting regularly will ensure the chain works efficiently and safely.

Some Facts About Chainsaw Chain Direction

  • ✅ The correct direction for a chainsaw chain is with the sharp cutting edges facing forward on the top side of the chain bar. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Putting the chain on the wrong way will make the blade seem dull and require it to be reversed. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The chain on a chainsaw always goes clockwise when viewed from the right side, moving forward and away from the user. (Source:
  • ✅ Potential issues that can occur if the chain is installed incorrectly include the chainsaw not cutting, damage to the drive sprocket, increased risk of kickback, burning the wood instead of cutting it, the chain easily coming off the bar, and the chain getting ripped off. (Source:
  • ✅ To install the chainsaw chain correctly, turn off the engine and disengage the chain brake, loosen the chain tensioning screw, loosen the nuts on the clutch cover, remove the chain and bar, ensure the new chain is compatible and in the correct direction, reattach the bar and chain, tighten the nuts, adjust the chain tensioner, and check that the chain moves freely. (Source:

FAQs about Chainsaw Chain Direction

How do I determine the correct direction for the chainsaw chain?

To determine the correct direction for the chainsaw chain, you can follow these steps:

  1. Remove the chainsaw casing to access the chain and bar.
  2. Please take off the chain and bar from the chainsaw and lay them out.
  3. Check the direction of the drive link, which should be pointing forward. The drive link is the wave-shaped piece that fits into the groove on the chainsaw bar.
  4. Also, check the direction of the cutter, which should be pointing forward. The cutter is the part of the chain that actually cuts the wood.
  5. Ensure that the guide is immediately in front of the cutter, as it controls the amount of wood that is sliced by the cutter.
  6. Once you have determined the correct direction, reassemble the chain and bar onto the chainsaw and tighten everything.

What are the potential issues if I install the chainsaw chain in the wrong direction?

If you install the chainsaw chain in the wrong direction, you may experience the following issues:

  • The chainsaw may not cut properly.
  • There can be damage to the drive sprocket.
  • The risk of kickback may increase, which can be dangerous.
  • Instead of cutting, the chain may start burning the wood.
  • The chain can easily come off the bar.
  • The chain may get ripped off, causing further damage to the chainsaw.

How do I replace a chainsaw chain correctly?

To replace a chainsaw chain correctly, you can follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the engine and disengage the chain brake.
  2. Loosen the chain tensioning screw.
  3. Loosen the nuts on the clutch cover.
  4. Remove the chain and bar from the chainsaw.
  5. Ensure that the new chain is compatible and in the correct direction.
  6. Reattach the bar and chain onto the chainsaw.
  7. Tighten the nuts and adjust the chain tensioner.
  8. Check that the chain moves freely. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and refer to a step-by-step guide if needed.

What are the signs that indicate a dull or damaged chainsaw chain?

Signs that indicate a dull or damaged chainsaw chain include:

  1. Having to push the chainsaw to make a cut.
  2. The chainsaw produces fine sawdust instead of wood chips.
  3. Seeing smoke or experiencing a burning smell despite proper lubrication.
  4. Getting a crooked cut.
  5. Experiencing the chainsaw shaking or bouncing while cutting. If you notice any of these signs, it is likely that your chainsaw chain is dull or damaged and may need to be replaced or sharpened.

How can I prevent over-tightening or under-tightening the chainsaw chain?

To prevent over-tightening or under-tightening the chainsaw chain, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Tighten the chain enough that it doesn’t sag below the bar, but it should still be able to move freely.
  2. Avoid tightening the chain excessively, as it can put a strain on the chainsaw components and affect the saw’s performance.
  3. Regularly check the chain tension and adjust it as needed, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. By maintaining the correct chain tension, you can ensure optimal performance and extend the life of your chainsaw chain.

What resources are available to learn more about chainsaw chains and their direction?

To learn more about chainsaw chains and their correct direction, you can consider the following resources:

  • Product guides for different types of chainsaws, which often provide information on chain direction.
  • Best-selling chainsaw chains are listed on platforms like Amazon, where you can find customer reviews and detailed product descriptions.
  • Websites dedicated to chainsaw maintenance and information, such as,, and Additionally, you can consult with arborist friends or experts in the field to gather insights and ensure everyone knows the correct direction for their chainsaw chain.
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