Are you a chainsaw user who is worried about the chain tension being frequently out of place? Have a look at these guidelines to help you on How Tight Should The Chain Be On a Chainsaw
Saw chain tension is extremely important for the chainsaw’s efficiency. Before starting work, the chain tension should be assessed, and it should be verified on a frequent basis throughout the project. If a chainsaw chain is allowed to expand excessively loose, it can slip right off the bar while in use, putting the user in danger.
Understanding chain tension might be difficult, especially if you’ve never altered it before. Therefore, if you’re curious about how tight should the chain be on a chainsaw, keep reading because we’ll show you how.
How Tight Should Your Chainsaw Chain be?
Without adequate chain tension, your chainsaw will function poorly, possibly resulting in early wear of parts such as the chain, guide bar, clutch, and so on. Regrettably, there have been no formulas or hard and fast guidelines for tightening your chainsaw chain.
The most important thing to remember is that it all relies on your preferences and the type of work you undertake. To put it another way, you must sense the amount of strain in the chain to determine if it needs to be relaxed or strengthened.
Push the chain out from the guide bar to test if the drive links are connected or not to examine if your chainsaw’s tension needs to be tweaked to what extent. In a nutshell, your chainsaw chain ought to be snap tight, as experts refer to it.
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Snap tight means that you’d be able to draw your chain up till the drive links are slightly exposed but not clear of the guide bar. When you tug on your chain, it should snap back into alignment if everything is in position.
How To Tighten a Chain On a Chainsaw
There are several simple steps to follow if you wish to tighten a chainsaw chain. Although tensioning a chainsaw chain is simple and takes very little time, it’s critical to follow each step precisely. Let’s take a detailed outlook of each.
1. Find the Tension Screw
The first step is to locate the tension screw for starting the process. The tensioning screw may be in several locations depending on the manufacture and type of your chainsaw. The side covering and the front of the chainsaw are common places for adjustment hooks. The adjustment points are contained under a side cover releasing knob on certain chainsaw variants, such as the Oregon CS300.
2. Adjust the Tension Screw
Tightening the screw tightens the chain; releasing the screw loosens it. Before continuing, examine the chain to ensure that it is properly tightened. To compress, twist the adjustment screw clockwise, and to loosen, turn it counterclockwise.
3. Use the Correct Tools
To release your tensioning pin, utilize a chainsaw scrench. This pin is hooked to a screw and lifts the bar for tensioning reasons. Keep the bar’s nose up as you increase the tension, and don’t let go of the bar’s nose until the attachment nut is tightened.
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Repeat the solid-nose guide bar procedures, then give the tensioner an additional quarter to half turn for a sprocket-nose guide bar. The ends of the bottom tie straps and cutters will keep coming up against the base of the guide bar rail and firmly engage it.
4. Tighten the guide bar side nuts
It’s critical to lift the chainsaw’s nose while locking the nuts that hold the side panel and guide bar in place. A small gap between the chain and the guide bar is required for proper adjustment. As a result, loosening the bolts will make it easier to fix.
Some chainsaws, on the other hand, may have their brakes mounted directly to the side panel. As a result, before lifting the side panel, make sure the brakes are unlocked.
5. Testing the tension of your chain
There are two ways to check your chain tension. To maintain proper saw chain tension, do a “snap” test. Carefully pull the chain on the guide bar’s bottom down until one or two drive links are free of the guide bar rails, then release it. The chain should easily snap into place.
Experts frequently employ the pull test. It’s easy to understand and implement. Pull the chain away from the bar to conduct the “pull test.” Pull as far as you can securely without letting go of the chain’s grasp. The chain should slightly lift away from the bar, but the driving links should not escape the bar groove fully.
Inspect the saw chain tension on a frequent basis, particularly during the first couple hours of the use. Stop cutting and then let the saw settle before realigning the tension if the chain gets loose. If you’re having trouble tensioning your chain, it’s possible that you’re using the wrong size chain.
How Often Should You Tighten The Chain On a Chainsaw?
When your chainsaw is shiny and new, it goes through a break in period that is detailed in the owner’s manual. In comparison to a chain that has been used for some time, you will need to fasten the chain more commonly during this time. Any imperfections on the friction surfaces should smooth out over the break-in phase, and the screws on the chain drive connections should be firmly seated.
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After a few cuts, check the chain tension and make any necessary modifications. The break-in time should last between 5 – 10 gas tank fillings, according to several reputable brand operator manuals.
Furthermore, after you’ve finished cutting wood, relax the chain considerably. This ensures that the chain does not hold the guide bar too firmly after calming down, which is especially critical if you alter chain tension while working, as many expert loggers practice.
Reasons For a Loose Chainsaw Chain
If you’re curious about why your chainsaw chain eventually comes loose, don’t panic; almost everyone who uses a chainsaw has experienced this. The best part is that it’s a simple fix and tightening chain on the chainsaw afterwards is a joy.
There are a variety of resources available to help you figure out how to remedy a chainsaw tension issue. You can become an adept chain tightener if you use all the materials available to you. However, if you continue tightening it, the process can become aggravating.
Chain Is Not Set Adequately
Among the most typical reasons for your chain loosening is that it was not set correctly. Whenever you go through the chain tension procedures, make sure you finish by adjusting the tension, so it doesn’t fluctuate as you operate the saw.
Although some chainsaws include an automated tensioning handle, other versions only have one or two bolts. Those bolts essentially clamp the location of your chainsaw bar in reference to the inner sprocket, ensuring continuous chain pressure.
Worn out Drive Sprocket
You may have reinstalled the chainsaw chain, however, the drive sprocket might just be the problem due to wear and strain, leading the chain to fall off frequently. Weary drive sockets lose their tensile strength over time, making it more difficult to keep the chain in its optimal situation.
If this is the case with your chainsaw, you can expect the blade to constantly toss the chain out of the grooves if you’re utilizing it to cut wood.
This is simple science, and it states that when a metal is heated, it stretches. As you are using your saw, it will gradually heat up and grow. This is especially prevalent if you keep your chainsaw in a cool place. After that, even if you lock it perfectly, you’ll likely just had to adjust it again after using the chainsaw for a bit. As a result, a chainsaw chain can be tight at first and later loosen.
Only if you live in an extremely hot or very cold climate, you may well not notice this as a reason of your chainsaw chain weakening. Temperature changes will have a greater impact on chain pressure in this domain.
The bar heel is not good
Although most individuals will increase the chain tension as soon as the guiding blade breaks grip, that’s never a long-term answer. It’s possible that the problem is more serious, necessitating the help of a qualified chainsaw service or repair shop.
A tattered bar heel, that is the most probable villain, is among the most typical chainsaw issues with a chain you can’t even cut. The chainsaw bar heel, which is placed near the driving sprocket, is a critical feature of this tool.
Since the grooves are much less efficient as the bar heel wears down, the chain travels a longer distance. Anticipate the chain to leap off the guiding bar as the space between them grows.
The bar rails may be fatigued
Insufficient chain tension, a damaged drive sprocket, or a dull bar heel aren’t the only causes of slipping chains. Because of bar rails being in a bad shape, there’s a good risk the saw blade will continue to come off.
This element is very important in operational sawing operations, and it is the portion that endures the most abuse over its lifetime. If the chainsaw is regularly operated in overdrive mode and the chain revolves at a great speed, the bar rails will be stressed beyond their limits.
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This means, that there’s a good probability it’ll move in a place you don’t want it to and crash into the ground, causing damage. The chain’s drive links will gradually lose their grip on the guiding bar if not repaired. It will slip off regularly if this happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do chainsaw chains stretch?
During typical use, chainsaw chains stretch and droop on the guide bar of the saw. If a saw chain is allowed to expand too freely, it can easily slip off the bar while in use, putting the user in danger. The tension of the chainsaw chain must be checked and adjusted on a regular basis.
How to tighten a chainsaw?
To tighten chainsaw chain, there are some easy steps to follow. A stench will be required to complete the task. Begin by releasing the sidebar nuts, which will provide space for the link and chainsaw guide bar, as well as easy accessibility to your chain. When tightening the chain on your chainsaw, make sure to keep it upright. This will assist you in achieving correct chain tension.
How tight should the chain be on a chainsaw?
A correctly tensioned chainsaw chain should always be somewhat loose on the chainsaw guide bar, but not so slack that the driving links can be pulled out of the bar nose.
Wrapping up How Tight Chainsaw Chain Should Be
Understanding how to tighten a chain regularly is a must-have skill for any chainsaw operator. The chains are made from metal, which expands and contracts because of use as well as environmental elements such as heat.
We’ve attempted to address all the crucial topic areas about which you might be unsure. It is extremely simple to compute the proper chainsaw chain strain, and it will not undertake a large portion your time.
I’m Thomas Steven with more than 12 years of experience in woodworking. It has always been my passion to become a successful woodworker. I have completed hundreds of successful projects. This blog is a way of sharing my woodworking experiences and what tools get the best results. I write about woodworking while being an associate with Amazon and I earn a little commission from every qualifying purchase.