How Tight Should A Chainsaw Chain Be?

Written By James
Updated July 26, 2021 by James

How Tight Should A Chainsaw Chain Be?

What Is The Ideal Chainsaw Chain Tension?

Chainsaws are noisy, dangerous and notoriously hard to start.

In order to keep them balanced, you need to know the correct chain tension for your saw.

Once you have a correct chain tension, you can safely cut all year round without risking your safety and without having to strain every time you need to start the saw.

The ideal chainsaw chain tension is ¼ inch (6mm) of play when held at both ends.

But chainsaw chain tension is dependent on the application and type of chainsaw.

Tension should always be set according to manufacturer's guidelines.

How to tighten chain on electric chainsaw?

You need to tighten your chain if you think it's loose or if it seems to be wearing out.

If your saw is using a single-speed saw, you need to adjust the chain with the engine running.

You should check and adjust your chain once a month during the cutting season.

You will need to:

  1. Remove the spark plug.
  2. Find the correct gauge for the chain you are using.
  3. Use your wrench to loosen the chain tensioner pin.
  4. Use your fingers to push the chain up the guides to the correct tension.
  5. Replace the spark plug and chain cover.
  6. Turn the saw on and let it warm up a minute.
  7. Run the saw

Why Do I Need to Tighten the Chainsaw Chain?

To ensure that the chainsaw will work better, it is necessary to tighten the chainsaw chain.

It is important that the chain is tight to prevent the coming loose chainsaw chain.

A loose chainsaw can result in damage to the machine, as well as injury to those nearby and it will cause a loss of power and performance.

Tightening Process

Tightening the chain of the chainsaw is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your chainsaw.

Checking and tightening the chain should take place after every few hours of use of the saw.

The tightening process of a chainsaw is to put tension on the chain as it cuts through the wood.

This is to prevent the chain from bouncing on the sprocket and bearings, replacing the teeth, and stopping the chain from rotating.

Can you over tighten a chainsaw chain?

You should not tighten a chainsaw chain beyond the maximum recommended torque.

Excessive tightening can cause damage to the chain and bar.

Over-tightening a chainsaw chain can cause damage to the saw and render it useless.

The correct  chain tension adjustment pin should be measured by how tight chain fits around the bar.

How often should you tighten chainsaw chain?

It is necessary to inspect the chain before you use it.

If the chain is loose, tighten it to ensure the chain bar is in contact with the chain.

Make sure you tighten the chain to its proper chain tensioning pin regularly.

As a chainsaw user you need to ensure your chainsaw chain adjuster cuts with ease, you should periodically replace it with a new one.

However, you should always consult your chainsaw's manual before replacing the chain.

Testing the tension of your chain

When inspecting your chainsaw chain, check that it is not loose chain and that the proper saw chain tension adjustment is good.

It is essential to proper saw chain tension when the chain is new, and to check it regularly afterwards.

A chain is too loose when it no longer fits the bar tightly.

But before you begin using it make sure that the chain is correctly lubricated so that it will not damage the sprockets and the chain loop.

To test the tension of the chain, hold the chain depth gauge gently between your fingers and try to pull it apart.

It should be tight enough to prevent it from slipping through the sprocket teeth.

If you have to make some adjustments screw, tighten the cordless chain adjustment by turning the roller on the side of the sprocket, or loosen it by turning the sprocket's nut.

Proper chain tension

There are a lot of different chainsaw chain links out there, and some are very simple and easy to use, while others are very complicated and hard to use, let alone maintain.

But many chainsaw users often confuse the tools that they use to maintain their chainsaw with the tools they use to cut trees.

The chainsaw chain tensioner is one of these tools.

If your chainsaw chain is loose, it will wear down faster and be harder to cut with.

To set the proper chainsaw chain tension:

  • Start with the bar on the ground and pull the bar toward you with the chain loop around it.
  • Tighten the adjustment screw on the side of the bar with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Tighten the screw until the chain  loop is taught and lightly tap the bar rail a few times with a hammer to set the tensioning screw.

Chain tensioner mechanism

Chainsaw Tensioner Mechanism is a mechanism that helps to hold the guide bar nuts in place in place between the threads, so the bar nose does not move when the chainsaw is in us

Chainsaw Tensioner Mechanism is made up of a spring, backplate, tensioner arm, tensioning screw and a locking nut.

The tensioner is also responsible for ensuring the chain moves at the correct speed.

The chainsaw tensioner is a mechanism used to tighten the chain in chain-driven saws and is constructed using a lever, spring-loaded arbor, and cam.

Chain maintenance techniques

A proper saw chain maintenance is a highly-effective, flexible and relatively simple tool for chain depth.

The potential risks of using a chainsaw are heightened if the chain is not well-maintained or damaged, as the teeth will not be sharp, preventing a clean cut.

For the maintenance of chainsaw chain, it is recommended to use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

The chain should be cleaned before the first use, and at least once a month after use.

First, inspect the chain for dirt. Any dirt should be removed using a brush or a cloth.

After cleaning the chain, lubricate the chain.

Once the chain is clean and lubricated, it can be used.

Chainsaw chain maintenance is different for each manufacturer.

Read your instruction manual carefully, as every manufacturer has their own unique maintenance plan.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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