How tight should a chainsaw chain be? Can it get damaged if the chain is too tight or too loose? To be honest I personally own a chainsaw and these questions have occurred in my mind quite a lot of time. So, I searched for answers and did some research on my own. I tried all the options on my chainsaw and finally have results to share with you:
How tight should you tighten a chainsaw chain?
A properly tightened chainsaw should be a little loose from the guide bar. But not too loose to get disengaged. To check to alignment, slightly pull the chainsaw chain, if it gets disengaged from the guide bar, it’s time to tighten up the chain a little bit. It can also get over-tightened. If the chain is too tightly aligned with the guide bar, you need to loosen it a little bit.
So the correct tension is to keep the chain a little loose from the guide bar, but not too loose for it to get disengaged.
What Will Happen If the Tension of the Chainsaw Chain Isn’t Proper?
Two things can happen if your chainsaw chain doesn’t have the proper tension. If the chain is too tightened, whenever the chainsaw is operational at a high speed, the guide bar will start to curve little by little. Thus the chainsaw might break or become out of operation.
Again if the chainsaw chain is too loose, while working, the chain might fall off and cause severe damage to you or someone close by. As a chainsaw is becoming relevant to use at home, because of wood heaters and the fact they are cheap, we can see a chainsaw almost at every household. When a chainsaw isn’t used for a lot of work rather it’s used only for a small amount of wood cutting purpose, we often forget to take good care of it.
What we don’t see that, a chainsaw chain can be loosening due to every use. It might need to be tightened after several times used. So, whenever you’re using your chainsaw, make sure to check the alignment before using it.
How To Tighten A Chainsaw Chain?
There are three easy steps for you to follow. If you already know how to tighten a chainsaw, you can skip to the next part where I have mentioned some of the best available chainsaw chains in the market.
- Firstly, you will find both on the side panel of your guide bar, loosen them. That’s how you’ll have enough room to easily adjust the chain and the guide bar. Some of the chainsaws have brakes attached to the side panel. For those chainsaws, obviously, unlock the brakes before doing anything with the chainsaw.
- Secondly, start adjusting the tensioning screw. You could find them at the side of the guide bar. By tightening the bolt, the chain will be tightened and by loosening the bolt the chain will be loosened. After completing the tightening and loosening, be sure to check several times if the tension is correct or not, if not, adjust again.
- Finally, you need to tighten the nuts for the guide bar side panel. While tightening these nuts, you should lift the nose of your chainsaw so that you can avoid malfunctioning.
These steps are very easy to follow. Follow them properly to have a properly adjusted chainsaw.
Perfect Chainsaw For You To Use At Home
According to research conducted, it is found out that the ideal size of chainsaw preferred for home use only is between 14 to 20 inches. So, among the 50 best chainsaws available today, I have chosen one for every size-14 inches, 16 inches, 18 inches, and 20 inches. The list is given below with proper link from where you can buy them from.
- 14-inch Remington Limb N Trim
- 16-inch DEWALT DCCS670X1 Cordless Chainsaw
- 18-inch ECHO Gas Power Chainsaw
- 20-inch Husqvarna Gas Chainsaw
Some people do prefer using heavy duty Chainsaws like 24 –inch Husqvarna Chainsaw but they are quite expensive and you need a lot of experience to handle a beast like that.
Do You have to Buy Chainsaw Chains Separately?
For home using purpose, we have a regular size limit. As we don’t want ourselves doing too much hard work, we go for the smaller chainsaws. So, the ideal size of the chainsaw chains used at home is between 14 to 20 inches.
There are a lot of companies which mass produce chainsaw and their chains. As a chainsaw user, I prefer to change the manufacturer provided chain because those chains are not always of great quality. A good quality chain won’t cost you more than $21. But Most of the users feel comfortable to use the company provided chain. So, if you’re comfortable too, you can just keep the list saved for future to buy replacement chains.
What Are The Best Chainsaw Chains?
As I have mentioned earlier that 14 to 20 inches is the ideal size for chainsaws to use at home, so, now I will mention the best chainsaw chains according to the given sizes of the chainsaws.
- Oregon S52 14Inch Chain
- Oregon 16 Inch Chisel Chain
- Husqvarna 18 Inch Pixel Saw Chain
- Oregon 20-Inch Vanguard
As you can see, three of the chains are manufactured by Oregon and one of them is Husqvarna. Oregon is actually the best chain production brand for any type of chainsaws. On the other hand, Husqvarna is known for its heavy-duty products and also chainsaws. If you’re willing to buy heavy duty chainsaws or accessories, I will surely suggest you buy them from Husqvarna.
How To Maintain a Chainsaw?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions by any chainsaw user. Because as many of us know how to use a chainsaw, a maximum of us don’t know how to keep their chainsaws on point. So, let’s go through the three caring steps to keep your chainsaw well maintained.
- We should check the oil level of the bar and the chain before using the chainsaw every time.
- It’s important to keep the chain sharp. A sharp chainsaw chain will undoubtedly make the cutting more efficient as well as prevent kickbacks. Moreover, it increases safety.
- We have to clean the debris from the saw every time after use. Some people wait to clean the saw before using it for the second time. That’s not the ideal thing to do. Because that how some debris might get stuck permanently and then you’ll have to use an awful lot amount of oil to clean and it takes a lot of time.
Owning is chainsaw is not an easy thing. Just like if you own a vehicle, you have to take proper care of it. You have to check the tires, the engine and also, you have to keep the vehicle clean. Just like that, a chainsaw is also like a vehicle for you. If you have a regular necessity of firewood, then you will be using your chainsaw three to four times every week.
Thus, you will be needed to take proper care of your chainsaw.
A chainsaw can be almost indestructible. The word “almost” makes it pretty clear that in spite of being indestructible, this piece of machinery needs to be taken care of. So, all the mentioned pointers are ought to be maintained. If you think that you will use the chainsaw once in every month and spare yourself from all the hard work, that’s not going to work.
The frequent use of these items makes them better by making you an efficient user. If a machine stays turned off for a long time, the whole thing might not work properly. So, be sure of keeping your chainsaw at a regular check.
How To Sharpen the Chainsaw Chain?
The first thing after knowing about maintenance you’ll ask how you can sharpen the chainsaw chains properly. But before knowing that, you have to know why sharpening is important.
- Sharpening increases, the efficiency of the chain.
- Makes the wood-cutting easier and less time-consuming.
So, the time you spent sharpening, will help you spend less time while cutting down wood.
To sharpen the chainsaw blade, you’ll need a file. Filing is not that hard and pretty easy to do after one try. Just follow the following steps-
- Keep the chainsaw in a secured position so that it doesn’t move when you’re filing.
- Don’t forget to engage the breaks before starting to file.
- First, start sharpening the cutting teeth.
- File at the right angle.
- File every cutting tooth using a similar and equal stroke.
- When one side is done, just turn the saw over and follow the same steps.
That’s how you can sharpen the chainsaw blade. You don’t need to pay anyone to do that, it doesn’t take much time so, try to do it on your own and save money.
Which Chainsaw Sharpener Should You Buy?
The chainsaw sharpening can be done both buy physical labor and buy some electric help. If you don’t mind working by yourself and burning some calories, go for the non-electric units and if you don’t want to drop a sweat, I can also suggest an electric unit for you to use.
Stihl 2 in 1 Easy File is the one you need if you don’t mind the physical work. A four-star rated 2 in 1 file that is actually a great choice.
Tek Motion Electric is actually the top rated electric sharpener for your chainsaw. It’s a bit expensive but if you mind the hard work you have to do by using the analog sharpener, it will not seem that expensive.
How to Clean a Chainsaw?
Yes, the chainsaw can also become dirty. And no, not only wiping from the outside with a piece of cloth is not enough. There’s a proper procedure to clean a chainsaw.
- First, Locate the cover of the clutch and safely remove it.
- Then clean the brake band of the chain.
- After that, Locate the cover of the cylinder and remove it
- Then clean the air filter
- Use a piece of metal to rub and clean the blade but occasionally.
- Clear out the fan and intake, because sometimes small pieces of wood might get stuck.
- Finally, don’t forget to have a look at the flywheel fins properly. Sometimes debris can block the air from cooling the machine. Make sure that doesn’t happen.
So, pretty easy steps, right? And those who have been spending money, we can surely say we feel sorry for you because cleaning a chainsaw is not more than a 45-minute work. We can do it for ourselves.
What Are the Safety Measures Before Using a Chainsaw?
Well, unlike others I will not say you will have to wear gloves, Chainsaw Chaps and glasses and also an earplug because everyone knows that. Let me give you some pointers that actually means something and you might not have knowledge of.
Through following these steps, you must ensure the brake is working properly. First, place the chainsaw on a steady surface. Then, release brake and trigger the throttle.
Now activate the brake by forcing your left wrist alongside the kickback protection. Do not release the handle. It will cause the chainsaw to stop revolving immediately and you’ll understand if your break is working properly. If it doesn’t stop, take it to a chainsaw repairing shop.
Now check the following stuff:
- Throttle Control.
- Chain Lubrication.
- Don’t keep the screws and bolts loose, tighten them if necessary.
Apart from wearing gloves and glasses, these are the important measures that you need to take before using a chainsaw after using it several times. Because, after quite a few uses, the efficiency of any device can get choppy. The basic chainsaws don’t have the potential to be indestructible as like as a factory grade chainsaw. So, it needs proper care to be efficient for a very long time.
I hope the question “how tight should a chainsaw chain be” is answered properly through the article. Also, I have added almost all the important information that you need to know before and after owning a chainsaw. If it ever crosses your mind that you’ll do these one day, then don’t wait for that day to come, start doing all these from now to keep your chainsaw working perfectly.