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How Tight Should A Chainsaw Chain Be?

How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be

How tight should a chainsaw chain be? It’s a common question among many chainsaw users whether they are experienced or inexperienced.

There are many types of chainsaws on the market, whether it’s for cutting wood for firewood or any other critical and job.

However, no matter what kind of chainsaw you might choose, you need to keep safety precautions and know the correct way to tighten your chainsaw chain.

That’s not all, you also need to know tight should a chainsaw actually! But how do you proceed then? Well, no need to worry as this blog post will provide you with all the guidelines and tips.

So, keep reading till the end to know it all!

How to Tighten Your Chainsaw Chain?

How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be

Tensioning screw and side plate nuts that are present on most chainsaws can be adjusted with “wrenches” or screwdrivers that can match the diameters of the chainsaw.

For the finest results, it’s necessary to follow each step precisely and carefully, so that you don’t face any issues while tightening the process. Moreover, improper tension on the chain or even the wrong tension can compromise the performance of the chainsaw.

So make sure to adjust tension carefully as if it’s a bit loose then you won’t be able to proceed with the work or too tightly risks breaking. Therefore, always look after these while proceeding with the chain work:

  • Adjustment pin of the bar
  • The bar studs, bar rails, and bar tip are in proper shape
  • Your chain links well during normal operation
  • Tensioning pin (chain tensioner pin) is smoothly operating
  • The correct chain tension along the guide bar rails and the guide bar nose (bar nose is important while setting the correct tension)
  • The clutch cover helps to reduce the amount of dust accumulation

-bar nose needs to be put importance before proceeding with the work

These are a few things that you need to look for before you pull freely on the chain. A good tension will always optimize the performance and the correct tension will always resist the chain coming loose, keeping it well maintained.

However, many didn’t know the use of an oiler pump actually decreases the chances of energy loss from your Stihl chainsaw or any traditional chainsaws.

Loosen the Tension Screw and Nuts on the Side Panel of the Guide Bar

How to Tighten a Chainsaw Chain

To adjust properly, the chain and the chainsaw guide bar must be separated by a small amount. Thus, by releasing the bolts, it will be easier to repair. You even need to ensure the drive links remain engaged.

On the other hand, there are chainsaws that may have their brakes mounted directly onto the side panel of the chainsaw. As a result, you’ll have to confirm that the brakes are unlocked before you remove those side panels from your chainsaw.

Tensioning the Chainsaw’s Adjustment Screw

VIDEO | Tensioning A Chainsaw Chain

When you use your chainsaw, ensure that your loose chainsaw chain is tensioned properly. If not, make necessary adjustments to the tensioning screw. The reason you have to tension screw on your chainsaw is to ensure your chainsaw works effectively and with high performance.

At the same time, keep in mind that while you tighten the chain, this will result in the loose chain being tightened, and vice versa. So, the adjustment screw plays an essential role in ensuring the top performance of your chainsaw.

Also, you can use bar oil to ensure that your chainsaw chain stays smooth and this also keeps the guide bar nuts rust free and the chainsaw user can simply pull the chain to keep the chainsaw working perfectly.

Moreover, you will also feel as if you are using a new chain and you can pull free as the friction surfaces will stay smooth just exactly what you need from your chainsaw.

Strengthen the Guide Bar Nut

It is critical to lifting the chainsaw’s nose before tightening the nuts; this secures the side panel and the guide bar. That’s it; your chainsaw chain will now have proper chain tension.

A chainsaw can be a great purchase for anyone who often cuts wood. It can be used instead of a larger ax or in place of a landscaper.

Moreover, maintaining the actual chain tension is critical to ensuring that the chainsaw is pretty safe to operate and will be durable for years. You also need to remember too much tension on the chains can also damage the chainsaw.

So, always remember to look for the sweet spot while you tighten the chain since too tightly risks your tool from damage.

Even proper chainsaw chain tension, the correct centrifugal force, and the sprocket cover will optimize the overall performance of your chainsaw.

For better strengthen steel bar, you can read our 16-inch chainsaw article.

How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be?

In a nutshell, the chainsaw chain must be a “snap-tight chain.”

Simply put, “snap tight” implies that you’d be able to draw your chain up to the point where the chainsaw drive connections are partially ejected but not completely detached from the guide bar side panel. If your chain is properly adjusted, it will “snap” back into place when you pull on it.

This certainly sounds somewhat abstract, but have no fear. There is a straightforward method for testing chain strain, which you’ll know here.

Testing the chain’s tension

There are two ways to determine the chain tension.

1. The Snapping Test

To conduct a “snap test,” smoothly pull the chain as far as it’ll go away from the bar. Then, let go of the chain. If this snaps neatly back into place, this is an excellent indication of optimum chainsaw chain tension.

If you are unable to separate the chain from the bar, it is too tight. If, however, you pull your chainsaw chain away from the chainsaw bar and it simply goes slack, it is too loose.

Therefore, it’s essential that the correct chainsaw chain tension is implemented for better and safe performance.

2. The pull examination

This test is the most frequently used test for checking chainsaw chain tension. It’s simple and effective.

To conduct the “pull test,” gently separate the chain from the bar by removing the bar nuts. Tug far as you comfortably can while maintaining a firm grasp on the chain with your fingers.

The chain should gradually lift away from the chainsaw’s bar, but not totally clear the bar groove. The moment you feel your chainsaw chain tightens, this is the moment you know you have a properly tensioned chainsaw chain.

It’s important that the bar nuts are securely kept after removal as they might get lost while you proceed with fixing the correct tension for your chainsaw.

However, do remember chainsaw chains might get damaged if you pull them tightly. So, try not to be rough with the handling while testing the chain tension.

Things that You Need to Know About Chainsaw Maintenance.

Your chainsaw may appear to be one of your strongest instruments, but it requires proper maintenance with time to keep at the peak of its performance. 

You also need to keep in mind that the chainsaw properly links with the guide bar. The chain drive links play a huge role in keeping your chainsaw chain well maintained.

However, chainsaw maintenance is simple, with the help of this section, you can spend much more time cutting through wood and less time cleaning it.

Below are some of the tips that you can follow to keep your chainsaw and its chain working perfectly.

Keep Your Chainsaw Chain Clean

The longer you use your chainsaw, the more debris you’re likely to find clinging to your chainsaw chain and blades, ranging from tree sap to even sawdust.

Therefore, you’ll have to clean it if you want to carry on with your wood cutting process as effectively as possible. However, each item of the chainsaw requires a distinct cleaning approach, so clean each of these parts separately.

For example, if the chain is unclean, remove it and soak it in a solution of water and ammonia for about 30 minutes. Scrub the chain with a gentle brush until there’s no dirt on the chain. After that, you can completely wash it with fresh water and leave it to dry.

Next, inspect the carburetor for any residue that may be obstructing it. If there is any such present, it will restrict the fuel flow, causing issues to start. So, spray a blower or a gasoline stabilizer onto the carburetor to clean this section of the chainsaw.

After that, remove the diaphragm, needle valves, and then cover the plate from your saw and immerse them in the same cleaning solution you used during chain cleaning.

If you can’t get the junk out, you should wash the air compressor with soapy water or replace it totally. All of these cleaning techniques will ensure that the chainsaw not just looks good, but also works well.

Sharpen the Blades of Your Chainsaw

A dull chainsaw will not suffice. That is why sharpening the blades on a regular basis is part of chainsaw maintenance.

If you’re not sure if your chainsaw’s blades need sharpening, then simply pay attention to how it’s been working recently. Even if it discharges sawdust rather than saw chips, the blades may need to be sharpened. Moreover, if it springs when you’re using it, the blade may be overly sharp.

To sharpen these, first, secure the chainsaw in a vice with a strong guard. Then, using a sharpening file, run it horizontally throughout the chainsaw’s blade.

When you’ve reached the end of the blades, lift the files and repeat the process, making sure you only sharpen in a single direction for the greatest results.

Check to See if the Chainsaw is Lubricated

To reduce friction between the chain and the guide bar side panel, keep your chainsaw well greased. If there is insufficient oil, the chain will not revolve as quickly as it should, as well as the entire tool may overheat.

If you’re unsure if the chainsaw has adequate oil or not, just place a piece of plywood or papers over it and crank the engine. Oil should be sprayed onto the surface.

If this does not occur, there is likely insufficient oil in the mixture. You can also check the handbook to learn how to put oil on your chainsaw, as the procedure differs depending on the model.

Buy New Gas

Unless you regularly use your chainsaw, the gas within may have started to degrade already. During storage, the gas in it can begin to degrade slowly for a month, resulting in residue blocking the carburetor and eventually causing it to fail. As a result, you should only put insufficient gas to at least last for 30 days.

When you pay close attention to saw maintenance, you may extend the life of this powerful instrument.

In fact, even if you’re just gearing up to store it, you must carefully maintain any additional power tools you have at home. So, if you’re getting ready to store your lawnmower, chainsaw, or any other small equipment for the winter. if you are finding gas chainsaws, then you can read our best chainsaw reviews articles.

Ensure That the Cooling Systems and the Air Intake Are Clean

Polish the cooler fans and thoroughly clean the air intake on a regular basis. Moreover, inspect the flywheel blades for obstructions. Brush away the rubbish as needed. This should be carried out at least once a week if you use your chainsaw daily – or even frequently if you use it heavily.

If this is the first time you’ve used your chainsaw in a while, you should inspect this portion of the chainsaw and its chain before starting your work.

Examine the Chain Brake

Chain brakes can assist in keeping you pretty safe during the event of any kind of kickback, therefore you must ensure they are functioning properly.

The simplest way of doing this is to carefully lay the chainsaw on a firm surface with chain running, compress the throttle, and then, while gripping the handle tightly with your left hand, force the left wrist against the chain brake system.

If you don’t find any issues, this should bring the chain to a halt. If it does not, you should refrain from using the chainsaw, as it’s the most critical safety precaution a chainsaw possesses.

If the chainsaw chain brake does not function properly, the chainsaw is unsafe to operate. Moreover, to operate your tool, you need to make sure that the chainsaw chains stretch well. This indicates that the chainsaw is perfect for the job.

Bottom Line

Whether replacing or adjusting your chainsaw chain, the methods above will help you to tighten the chain.

Moreover, you also need to know how to tension a chain consistently for a better and enhanced performance of your chainsaw.

Visit Our Echo Chainsaw’s page to understand which chainsaw is best for you

Therefore, make sure that you follow all these guidelines above to ensure the better and outstanding performance of your 18-inch chainsaw.

I hope this article will help you to now know how to tighten a chainsaw chain and have a proper saw chain tension for uplifting the performance of your chainsaw.


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