How to put a Chain on a Chainsaw- An Easy Guide to Replace your Old Chain with New

Chainsaws: the ultimate power tool that fills us with a sense of primal dominance over nature. We’ve all marvelled at their raw power and versatility, whether it’s cutting down a towering tree or sculpting an intricate ice statue.

But as we know, with great power comes great responsibility; in this case, maintaining your chainsaw for optimal performance. A key aspect of this maintenance is knowing how to put a chain on a chainsaw properly.

With just several simple steps and precautions, anyone can master this fundamental skill. This article shall serve as your comprehensive guide to mastering the art of putting a chain on your chainsaw efficiently and safely.

Not only will mastering this skill give you bragging rights at your next backyard barbeque, but it can also save you valuable time and money. So let’s get down to brass tacks and delve into the world of chainsaws – sharpened teeth, spinning gears and all!

Therefore, our guide on how to put a chain on a chainsaw will surely be proven very effective and informative to all users.

Identifying the Right Chain for Your Chainsaw

Undeniably, the heart and muscle of every chainsaw lies in its chain. Therefore, correctly identifying the right chain for your chainsaw is akin to providing it with a fresh lease of life.

It’s all about understanding three basic measurements: pitch, gauge, and drive link count. These are like the fingerprints of your saw’s chain — totally unique and defining its overall compatibility.

What happens if you pick a mismatched chain? Well, using an ill-fitting chain could potentially damage your chainsaw or even cause personal injury due to kickbacks or breakage.

With the drive link count in mind, additional factors to consider include chain pitch and gauge. The chain’s pitch is a critical determinant of saw speed wherein a larger measurement will enable higher torque but slower cutting capabilities. On the other hand, smaller measurements mean faster rotations with lower torque power for lighter tasks.

The gauge refers to the thickness of your chainsaw’s drive links, decisive in gauging what kind of tasks can be handled without risking damage or malfunctions. A mismatched setting might result in an insecurely fitting chain that’ll likely jump off its track often – again implying threats to safety and performance efficiency.

Therefore, always refer back to your user manual chain specifications or take professional help when choosing replacements.

Safety Precautions before Replacing Chainsaw Chain

Before diving straight into the chainsaw chain replacement process, it’s integral to arm yourself with safety precautions.

Therefore, consider these measures as an armor that stands between you and possible injuries – don’t underestimate their significance.

  • Start by donning sturdy work gloves– they safeguard your hands from potential nicks or cuts while handling the chain of this formidable machine.
  • Put on protective glasses to keep flying debris at bay when you flick on your chainsaw. If you disregard such simple, yet impactful protocols, you risk turning an otherwise routine chore into an accident scene.
  • Next, ensure you have gear to protect your ears. Prolonged exposure to chainsaw noise could lead to hearing impairment over time – use earmuffs or earplugs as a defense against this possibility.
  • Also, it is advisable to wear sturdy boots that sustain sure footing on uneven terrain and safeguard feet from potential injuries stemming from dropped equipment or mishandled machinery.
  • Another important piece of protective attire worth considering is chaps which will guard your legs against the power drill’s swift movement if ever an untoward incident occurs. These are made with special fibers designed to jam the chainsaw upon contact, providing effective protection in case of accidents.
  • Remember also the significance of helmet – it protects your head from serious injury should there be any falling tree branches while working underneath trees or in case you lose control over the machine momentarily.
  • Last but not least: Proper training!

Installing a New Chain on your Chainsaw

Now for the main event – installing the new chain on your chainsaw. This process, while intensive, is gratifying as you witness firsthand how each component contributes to bringing your tool back to life.

  • Prepare the Chainsaw: Ensure the chainsaw is turned off and disconnected from any power source. If possible, remove the spark plug to prevent accidental starts.
  • Release the Tension: Locate the tensioning screw, which is usually a screw near the bar. Loosen the tension to create slack in the chain. This makes it easier to fit the chain onto the bar.
  • Remove the old chain using flat screwdriver.
  • Then, slide the chainsaw’s brand-new chain, over the clutch drum and into its groove neatly around the bar.
  • Make sure cutting edges face forward at the top of this power-packed tool! The last thing you want is backwards teeth that can’t bite through timber efficiently.
  • Next, we shift our attention to securing the tension of the chain just right. Simply put, align it neither too tight that cuts across hardwood impedes nor too loose where risk of derailment heightens.
  • Once the chain tensioning feels spot-on and you are satisfied with its placement via manual testing, it’s time for us to bring in support from a clutch cover which protects both chain and sprocket while in action.
  • So next we add all screws back carefully into their respective selves without forgetting any stray ones laying around during disassembly earlier. A final reminder here: Keep those screws fairly loose until you’re truly all geared up for ultimate tightening!
  • Once all screws have been delicately re-positioned, it’s time to fit on the parts that were set aside earlier. Each component needs to be pieced together in exact reverse order of its disassembly – it’s like a technique-specific jigsaw! Remember, persevere until all pieces are perfectly slotted back into place.
  • Fine-tuning and polishing up: It’s important here not to rush as you adjust and readjust tensions across various components ensuring optimal performance upon startup. Using your trusty multi-tool again is indispensable at this stage for those minor tweaks needed especially around chains and sprockets!

At last but certainly not least, we arrive at the most exciting part – power-up time! With everything ensured perfectly reassembled with no leftover or misplaced parts to worry about, turn on your gear slowly (to avoid potential injury) while keeping an keen eye out for any unusual movements or sounds which may indicate issues.

Testing and Adjusting Your New Chainsaw Chain

With installation complete, it’s time to put our technical prowess to test and assess how well we’ve done by powering up that chainsaw.

Maintaining a mindful attitude towards safety, start by cutting a small piece of softwood. This will give you a feel for how your saw is now behaving with the fresh chain on.

Pay keen attention here – if you notice that your saw struggles or if it’s producing dust instead of chips as it should, then stop immediately as these are definite signs of an incorrectly installed chain.

Adjustments will be needed in this case, making minor tweaks until you strike the right balance between tension and suitability for use. Remember; consistency in performance equates to efficiency and safety when deploying your trusty power tool. It’s not just about getting it done but about doing so safely and efficiently!

It’s advisable to continually check your chainsaw throughout the period of use, always staying alert for any deviations in its operation.

What’s more critical though is proper handling during usage. Regardless of how perfectly set up your saw might be, improper or careless handling can make even the best tool ineffectual — while also posing considerable safety risks. Always ensure firm control all through; keep fingers away from trigger when not making cuts and maintain stable footing on flat ground whenever possible.


In conclusion, the process of putting a chain on a chainsaw involves several steps that require care and precision. A well-maintained chainsaw is not only more efficient, but also safer to use.

The steps outlined in this article provide a clear guide to ensure you can perform this task confidently and accurately.

Remember to always handle your chainsaw with caution, especially when installing or adjusting the chain. Regularly check your chain for tension and sharpness to ensure optimal performance. Don’t forget to put safety first; if you’re ever unsure about any part of the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for assistance.

Always remember to disconnect the power source first to avoid accidents. Regular maintenance of your chainsaw, including proper tensioning and lubrication of the chain, will extend its lifespan and improve its performance significantly.


1. How do I know which chain to use for my chainsaw?

The right chain size should correspond to your chainsaw model. This information can usually be found in the product manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

2. Do I need any specific tools to put a new chain on my chainsaw?

You will typically require a wrench or screwdriver compatible with your model’s screws to adjust tension and secure components.

3. How tight should my new chainsaw chain be installed?

The chain should be snug but still able to move freely around the guide bar.

4. Should I lubricate my new chainsaw chain after installation?

Yes, it’s important to lubricate your chainsaw regularly for proper operation and longevity of your tool.

5. How often should I replace my chainsaw’s chain? 

It largely depends on usage frequency and material being cut; however, if you notice reduced performance even after sharpening, it may be time for replacement.

Leave a Comment