The chain is one of the most important parts of the chainsaw. When you are using your chainsaw, you need to pay attention to the chain because it can stretch and become loose at the wrong time, and it can be very dangerous.
Over time, the chain on your chainsaw will become loose, and new chains will stretch a lot more when you are breaking them in. You need to pay attention so that you can tighten a loose chain before you turn the chainsaw on, as loose chains are dangerous.
Why Do Chainsaw Chains Stretch?
When your chainsaw chain is new, you will have a break-in period. It is normal for it to stretch during this time.
In fact, you will need to tighten it more often, and you will find that it stretches quite a bit the first few times that you use it.
The length of the break-in period varies between models. It will also depend on how often you use it and how long you use it.
You need to check the tension of the chain each time you set out to use it.
When you operate your chainsaw, the chain will go through tension and friction. This causes it to become hot, and the heat also loosens the chain.
Another cause of stretching is called “wearing off.” This is the process that causes the chainsaw chain to loosen because it gets worn down over time.
If you have been using a chain for a long time, you might notice that it gets loose more frequently.
Chainsaw chains experience the most stretching in the beginning and at the end of their useful life. They loosen from stretching when you are breaking them in and then again from wearing off.
Is it Possible to Prevent the Chainsaw Chain From Stretching?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent your chainsaw chain from stretching. It will always stretch in the beginning while you are breaking it in and again at the end due to wear and tear.
For this reason, it is always important to check your chain for tension before you use your chainsaw. You should check it every time you use it because it can be very dangerous if you run the chainsaw with a loose chain.
Why Is it Dangerous to Use the Chainsaw with a Loose Chain?
The chain is held along the chain bar. When it grows loose, it can come off the bar while you are using it.
Many chainsaws have a chain catcher, but it can still be dangerous. In addition, a loose chain can make the chain bar wear down more quickly.
This can lead to damage of the chain bar and the guide bar, which will be more expensive. You can prevent all of this by making sure that your chain isn’t loose before you get started using your chainsaw.
How Can You Recognize That Your Chainsaw Chain Is Stretched?
It takes some experience to learn how to look at your chain and know that it is stretched. You need to first learn what the chain should look like, and you will then know how to see and feel the difference when it is stretched.
You can follow some steps to determining whether your chain has stretched.
First, you should place the chainsaw on level ground or on a table. Make sure that it is turned off and not running at all.
It should also be cooled down, so if you have just finished using it, you should wait a while until it cools down.
You should look at the part of the chain running down under the guide bar. You should check to see if it sags down.
Look to see if there is a space between the chain and the guide bar. There should not be a space, and if you see one, you should tighten the chain.
You can also look to see if the chain is close to the guide bar. Grab part of the chain, and you should use gloves to protect your hands because the chain can be greasy and sharp.
If the chain is not stretched, you can pull on it. It should move slightly, but it should stay on the slides of the guide bar.
How to Tighten Your Loose Chainsaw Chain
It is easy to tighten your chainsaw chain as long as you know how to do it. Before you get started, you should make sure that you have the chainsaw turned off and cooled down.
Keep in mind that when you use your chainsaw, the bar and the chain will get very hot, and you can burn yourself if you don’t let it cool down before you start trying to tighten it.
Remember that when the chain is hot, it will loosen because heat causes the metal to stretch more. You should make sure that it is cooled completely before you try to tighten it.
If you tighten it when it is hot, it will tighten up as it cools, and then you could find that it is overtightened when it cools off.
Make sure that you place the chainsaw on level ground or a table. You can also try to place it in a vice because it will be very safe and stable there.
It is important to consider safety because the chain is sharp and can be very dangerous.
Once the chainsaw is stable, you should loosen the bolts that are there to hold the bar in place. You will feel the bar loosen as you loosen the bolts.
Then, you should look for the chain adjustment screw. You can tighten the chain here.
You will find that different chainsaws use different methods to adjust the chain. Usually, you will find the tension adjustment screw near the base of the bar.
When you look for it, you should look in several different places. You might find it on the outside of the bar between the two bolts, or you might find it on the inboard side.
The other possibility is that it is a chainsaw with an adjustment dial that doesn’t require any tools at all.
You should lift the bar with one hand as you adjust the chain tension slowly. You need to go slowly so that you can see and feel how tight the chain is.
Keep going until it is as tight as you want it to be. Once you have finished, you can tighten the bolts around the bar again.
Once the bolts are tight again, you need to recheck the chain. If you find that it is too tight, you can loosen it a little bit.
How Tight Should You Make the Chainsaw Chain?
When you want to tighten your chainsaw chain, it is important to know how tight the chain needs to be. It should not be so tight that there is no give, but it shouldn’t be loose either.
Being too loose or too tight can be dangerous and damage your chainsaw. You can test the tension of the chain to determine whether it is too loose or too tight.
You can place the chain between your index finger and your thumb. You should be able to lift it up, but only a small amount.
You should also be able to pull the chain outside the bar a little bit, but the chain guides should still be in the bar. These are the bottoms of the chain teeth.
Then, if you let go of the chain, it will snap right back into the bar.
The chain will rotate easily around the bar if it has the right amount of tension. It should move easily but still stay on the chain.
You should also remember never to move the chain backward because this can cut you or cause the chainsaw to jam. Always check in your user’s manual to learn any details specific to your chainsaw.
Is it Possible to Tighten the Chain on Your Chainsaw Too Much?
It is actually quite easy to over-tighten the chain. When you tighten the chain, you will only need to turn it a few times because you can tighten it too much with just a few revolutions.
You may only need a half of a revolution to do the trick. Make sure that you are keeping an eye on it while you tighten the chain.
The problem is that if you tighten the chain too much, it can place extra pressure on the bar, and it may cause the top to wear off much faster than otherwise.
How to Know When a Chainsaw Chain Is Worn Out
When your chainsaw is new and has the right level of tightness, it is very sharp, and it cuts through wood very easily. You can trim branches, cut limbs, cut down entire trees, and remove stumps with a chainsaw that is in good condition.
However, you need to have a sharp chain that is the right tension level. When the chainsaw is in good shape, it will cut through the wood very easily. If you have to force the chain through the wood with too much pressure, then the chain is dull.
Another sign that the chain is going bad is smoke. There is a lot of friction when the chainsaw is on, but you will see smoke if there is too much friction.
The friction will be too intense if the teeth are dull or if the tension isn’t right. Another way to find out if your chain is worn out is if you have uneven cuts or a shaky performance.
The teeth could be dull, or the chain could be loose. If you find out that the chainsaw has a loose or worn chain, you will need to tighten or replace it.
How to Know When to Replace the Chain on Your Chainsaw
If you check your chainsaw regularly, you will not have much trouble knowing when to replace the chain. You need to pay attention to how the chain is cutting.
If you are having trouble cutting through wood, you will know that it is time to replace the chain. In addition, if it keeps coming loose after you use it, it is probably close to being worn out.
As long as you pay attention to the chain and check it each time you use it, you will know when it is time to replace it. Make sure that you check the chain each time you use your chainsaw.
How Often Should a Chain Be Replaced?
People usually want to know how often they should replace the chain on their chainsaws. The truth is that a chainsaw can last for five or more years, and if you don’t use it often, it could last even longer.
The life expectancy of your chainsaw chain will be determined by how you use it and maintain it rather than by a set period of time. You should get hundreds of hours of use out of each chain.
Keep in mind that the teeth of a chainsaw are similar to the teeth on a serrated knife. They are steel blades, and if you take care of them, they will last a long time.
You should make sure that your chainsaw chain has the right amount of tension, and you will want to sharpen it when it gets dull.
The one thing that can cause you to replace your chain sooner is if you damage it. For example, if you hit a rock, it can break the chain such that you will need to replace it.
People often wonder if chainsaw chains can stretch because they can come loose. The fact is that they do stretch, but you can manage it by tightening them.
When you go to use your chainsaw, you should check to see if the chain is the right tension. It is easy to adjust it if you need to; simply follow the steps to tighten it.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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