How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain?

Having a chainsaw will provide many perks for you. However, it comes with a frustrating con, which is the chainsaw chain being tangled once you store it. You might imagine a situation where your headphones get tangled in your pocket, but unfortunately, the untangling will not be as simple.

The chainsaw chain is made up of razor-sharp edges, which make it quite hard to control.

Nevertheless, this article is here to help. Here, we’ll show you how to untangle a chain saw.

Tools Needed to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

No matter how frustrating having to untangle a chainsaw chain may sound, if you have the right tools, the job can be made easier by a significant amount. The tools that are required to untangle a chainsaw chain are as follows.

  • A Flat Surface

This could be a sturdy wooden table on the floor where you can lay your chainsaw chain down and focus on untangling the bits. It could be any flat surface you could find, like your work station or a park bench table. Try to avoid tables that scratch easily or floors that have expensive tiles on it.

  • Chainsaw Gloves

If the chainsaw chain is not razor-sharp, that defeats the entire purpose of having a chainsaw, let only having to untangle a chainsaw chain.

Chainsaw Gloves

So you can always expect your chainsaw to have needle-like edges, which will cut you if you handle it improperly. This is why you must use chainsaw gloves or any kind of leather gloves while handling the chainsaw chain.

  • Tools

You cannot untangle a chainsaw chain if it is still on the chainsaw blade. Hence you have to remove the chain to lay it down on the flat surface. Removing the chain varies as each chainsaw model is built differently from each other.

So it is recommended to read the manual of your chainsaw and follow the directions of how you may remove the chain. However, general workman tools like the screwdrivers or wrenches will come in handy in this process.

  • Lubricating Oil

You need lubricating oil if you are planning to untangle a fairly old chainsaw chain, especially the one that has rust or junk trapped inside the links. The oil will help to loosen those tight spots so that it’s easier for you to untangle the chain.

  • Protective Goggles

This is essential while handling old chains. And this rust and debris trapped between the links make it tough to maneuver the chain, and if you do it by force, the debris can fly off and get your eyes.

Sometimes small pieces of metals could break out of the chain as well. So it is essential to have safety goggles with you when you untangle your chainsaw chain.

How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain?

Now is the time to tell you how easy it is to untangle a chainsaw chain in the simple steps mentioned below.

  • Step 1: Prepare Everything

Before you begin the actual process, it is advised to just lay everything down at first. Remove the chain from the chain blades. Place in on the flat surface. Make sure you have your gloves and goggles on you. Make sure the tools and the lubricating oil is nearby. Now that everything is set, you may begin.

  • Step 2: Find the Two Opposite Ends or Loops

The next step is to find the two opposite loops on the chain. To do this, you must hang the chain from two points with both your hands on the loops on the opposite ends allowing the tangles to unfold. Keep on doing this to the entire chain to untangle some of the easier tangles.

  • Step 3: Make the Loops Bigger

From step 2, you know the nature of the tangles by now. Now your job is to make sure the loops are bigger and wider now. You do this the same way you did step 2.

Hang the chain from your hands and slack the chain up until each loop is at least 3 inches wide or wider. Remember, the wider the loops, the easier the job becomes for you.

  • Step 4: Untangling the Chain

Now you continue to keep holding the loops in your hands and try to raise the lowest part of the hanging chain. The lowest part of the chain is supposed to come straight out in a vertical position when you do this as chainsaw chains are rigid and unyielding.

You navigate the movement of the links using your hands. To make this easy, you may use lubricating oil. When the lowest part is straight and upwards, gravity will do its job and force that tangles towards your hands to free on its own by dragging it downwards.

  • Step 5: Spread the Chain Apart

However, if the tangles are way serious, then you have to lay the entire chain down and work on each tangle individually using a screwdriver or a wrench.

The main aim is to make lay the chain down a straight line. That’s when you know that you have untangled all the tangles and you can good to go. This process will be more time-consuming.


  • Make sure that an old chain is free of rust and debris, and it is well oiled so that it is easier to untangle.
  • Always wear protective gear to make sure the sharp razor-like needles are not harming you, or nothing is going into your eyes.
  • Do not twist the chain because it damages the chain’s teeth.


As mentioned earlier, if your chainsaw chains are not sharp, then the entire point of untangling a chain is lost. If you own an old chainsaw chain, make sure it’s sharpened and cleaned before you untangle it. Read here on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a File or Dremel.

Or you can check out some chainsaw sharpener reviews online to make sure you have the best sharpener for your chainsaw.

See how untangling a chainsaw chain is not as complicated and technical as one would imagine. With the right tools and knowledge, anybody can untangle a chainsaw chain at home. So let’s get that chainsaw chain untangled in no time friends! In case you need a new chainsaw chain, get help from here! And to know how to use a chainsaw, this article may help you.

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