How to Replace and Put Chain on a Chainsaw?

Whether you cut wood professionally or as a hobby during your downtime, it’s best to equip yourself with the intel about maintaining your chainsaw. The chain on a chainsaw can get hot and eventually stretch out and become loose. This can slow down your cutting process or even become a hazard over time.

To maintain your tool, you just only need to carry some items alongside the chainsaw to keep it running at the optimal speed for as long as possible.

Follow this article to learn about the guidelines required to fix and maintain a chainsaw to handle any wood cutting project!

Tools You’ll Need

  • ½ inch chainsaw wrench
  • Paintbrush
  • Leather gloves

Reasons to Replace the Chain

  • The chain can often break or lose its edge when cutting onto sturdier items. Some teeth that also break off if forced onto a surface, if so, it’s best to replace the chain.
  • If the chainsaw blade is filed down or gets too small, it can easily get damaged or break under pressure.
  • If the chain becomes loose on its own after a while, it’s best to replace it instead of readjusting it. As it can snap while you’re applying tension and cause an accident.


  • Clean out a space to reassemble the chainsaw, lay down some newspaper or cardboard.
  • Make sure the replacement chain is compatible with your chainsaw, talk to a professional your local hardware store for more info.
  • Gather all your tools before settling down for maintenance.
  • Use a chainsaw chain sharpener if the blades get blunt after maintenance. Also you can use a file or Dremel to sharpen the chainsaw chain. It’ll help the electric chainsaw to be in good condition.

How to Replace and Put Chain on a Chainsaw?

Below, I’ll detail the entire process in the easiest manner.

  • Step 1: Cleaning the Chain

Wear your leather gloves before proceeding to this step. Clean out any debris from the guide bar and the chain using your paintbrush.

This will help loosen the tension on the chain when replacing it with the new one. Apply oil using a rag to remove any stubborn grime or dirt along the chain. For detailed learning on cleaning chainsaw chains and other parts, do read this article!

  • Step 2: Remove the Plastic Housing

Use the slotted end of the wrench to remove the bar nuts and housing. This will relieve any tension on the bar and help remove the chain easier.

Unlock the brake before removing the housing, if your chainsaw brake is attached to the side plate. Without this step, it would be impossible to reinstall the replacement chain.

  • Step 3: Remove the Old Chain

As the sprocket plate is off the saw, just pull the bar away from the chain to release tension and separate the chain. Make sure to pull the bar inside the tool to make the chain lose before removing it.

  • Step 4: Install the New Chain

Before you move on with this step, you should familiarize yourself with the guide hole, tension stud, and groove on the bar. The teeth of the chain should be facing away from you when you’re securing it. Align the chain along the bar and secure it on the grooves.

Make sure you line up the screw holes and tension stud to the guide hole properly before you apply tension to it. Pull the chain to get the exact tension needed and replace the housing.

  • Step 5: Adjust the Tension

Set the screws in place and check the tension before securing it into place by hand at first and then with the wrench. If the tension is exact, then the chain should rotate perfectly along with the sprockets when you’re pulling it. Apply your preferred oil to lubricate the sprocket plate and guide bar.

If you need to apply extra tension, then pull the bar away from you to tighten the chain. Seat the bar onto the adjustment pin to make sure it’s secured correctly. [Learn how to tighten chainsaw chains]

  • Step 6: Secure the Nuts and Test It out

Secure the side plate nuts and rev it up to start the chainsaw. If the chain gets loose again, readjust the nuts with your wrench. Restart the chainsaw multiple times to make sure the tension is right before you start cutting again.

Find the Best Chainsaw Chain on the Market

When you’re looking for a replacement chain, it’s best to know what exactly to look for. There are a few qualities to look for when you’re searching for the best chain for your chainsaw.

  1. Chrome-plated cutters: Cutters that feature a blue tint in the metal is the best quality to look for on the chain.
  2. Oil reservoirs: Chains that have small holes to carry oil keep the cutters lubricated for longer periods.
  3. Oil carry holes: These cutters hold oil inside the chains to help overheating and lubrication of the chain.

Maintain Your Chainsaw!

Whether you use it daily or once every couple of months, any chainsaw requires maintenance and a steady hand.

Learning about how to care for it will not only keep it running for a longer period of time but also can help you avoid some severe accidents in the process.

Keep all the items mentioned above, along with your chainsaw, for quick fixups during large projects to help maximize efficiency! Check out our article on how to untangle a chainsaw chain.

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