How to Tighten Chainsaw Chains and How Tight It Should Be?

The proper performance of a chainsaw often depends on its chain tension. It is the most crucial and important part of your chainsaw. To ensure proper and exact cuts, the chain needs to be perfectly set on the bar.

But sometimes, due to regular usage or excessive workload, the chain of the chainsaw can get loosen. It also can turn dangerous for users to work with as it runs the risk of jumping off the chainsaw bar and injuring the person working with it.

Many chainsaws, mostly the light-duty ones, can often fix the tension automatically, but in other conditions, the adjustment needs to be made manually.

Now, in this article, we’ll teach you how to tighten chainsaw chains and also tell you how tight it should be.

Performing a Snap Test to Measure the Chain Tension

Before you can adjust a chain, you need to know exactly where the problem is and the extent of it. The popular and most effective way to do so is to perform a Snap Test.

But wait, before you proceed any further, remember to take proper safety measures. Wear a helmet and gloves. And before you start working, make sure the electric chainsaw is disconnected from a power source.

Like we have already mentioned, it is one of the quickest ways to measure if your chain tension needs any adjustment. After you have disconnected your chainsaw, the next step for you is to hold the saw by one hand and grab the chain with two fingers of the other hand.

Then what you have to do is push the chain up and swiftly release it back. If the chain has perfect tension, it is bound to fall back on the bar without drooping along the side of the bar.

If, though, it does seem to be sagging, that’s your cue that the chain is asking for help. Now it is your time to tighten the chain.

Chainsaw Chains 

How to Tighten Chainsaw Chains

Now that you know how to determine the bad tension of a chain from a good tension, time to dive into the actual task.

Things You Will Need

Along with the safety kits, you might also need a screwdriver set, some clothes for cleaning up the oil, clutching tools to ensure the adjustment is right, and best bar and chain oil. You should also get a chainsaw sharpener out there.

If possible, please try to have the user manual close by, and if you can get someone to help you with the work, that’s always a pleasant bonus.

Step 1: Loosening the Screws on the Side Bar

You need to place your chainsaw on a flat surface first. Make sure the spark plug is disconnected. The first step is to loosen the screws on the side of the guide bar. This is done to make sure the bar and the chain have the room it needs to perform further adjustment tasks.

But if you completely remove the screws, don’t forget to keep the screws safely. A magnetic wristband can be very helpful for you in this case. [Check our article to find the best magnetic wristbands in the market]

Some chainsaws, however, can have brakes attached to it directly to the side panel. In that case, you’ll have to unlock the brake before you can remove the side panel.

Tighten Chainsaw Chains

Step 2: Adjusting the Tensioning Screw

In the next step, you’ll have to adjust the tensioning screw. Tension adjustments are generally situated at the side of the guide bars. The next step is fairly intuitive.

Tighten the screw, and the chain will be tight, and if you loosen the screw, the chain will be loosened. But before you can move further, double-check to see if the chain has acquired its correct tightness.

Step 3: Tightening the Screws Back up

The next step is to tighten the nuts situated at the side of the guide bar. Make sure you lift the tip of the bar slightly upward while tightening the screw. This step ensures that the guide bar and the side panel are safely back to their place.



And, that’s about it. It is fairly easy to follow the steps by which you can very easily tighten the chain of your chainsaw. But yes, do make sure not to over-tighten it.

If, however, you think you’d rather seek help from an expert, by all means, do that. But if you’d rather do it by yourself, follow the safety protocol and be thorough about the work you’re doing.

Also, for a good chainsaw, check out our Husqvarna chainsaw reviews.

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