How to Tighten Chain on Electric Chainsaw – A Step By Step Guide

You have always wanted to get an electric chainsaw for cutting wood and have finally bought one. While we should congratulate you, we must also remind you to properly use it, keeping the chainsaw chain in the correct tension for your safety.

And to do that, you will need to learn how to tighten the chain on electric chainsaw to retighten it to the saw bar properly.

As a newbie, you might feel a little hesitant to make such adjustments on your own. But to be honest, tightening an electric chainsaw chain is a very straightforward process. You can easily do it yourself.

how to tighten the chain on electric chainsaw

And once you have done it for the first time, the next times will be effortless. Let’s methodically follow through tightening an electric chainsaw’s chain given in this article, shall we?

What Exactly is a Chainsaw Chain?

Chainsaw ChainIf you are new to using chainsaws, you might not have a proper idea about a chainsaw chain. But don’t worry; we will try our best to help you understand what a chainsaw chain is.

After all, without knowing what you are dealing with, you can’t expect to do a good job, right?

A chainsaw chain is one of the main components of an electric chainsaw. Multiple steel links joined by rivets make up the chain’s body, which sits on the saw bar. It’s one side has flat drive links, while the other side consists of razor-sharp cutting teeth.

As you can guess, the cutting teeth are used for cutting through wood and other materials. On the other hand, the flat drive links connect the chain with the saw bar.

Anything sharp is dangerous. The same goes for the chain of an electric chainsaw. So you better be careful while using it.

And that includes ensuring correct chain tension. Because a loose chain can cause kickback and make you suffer from serious accidents. So better be careful, and always check the chain’s tightness before using the chainsaw for home or professional purposes. Okay?

How to Check the Chainsaw Chain’s Tightness?

But how will you know if the saw chain needs tightening? For that, you will need to understand how to check a chainsaw chain’s tightness. So let’s see what it entails.

Checking the tightness of chainsaw chainChecking a chainsaw chain’s tightness is easy. You just need to know what you are looking for and how to look for it. That’s all.

You can use your eyes to judge a chainsaw’s chain-tension. Look at the bar. Are the chains at the bottom side of the bar hanging too loosely? Then it must need a tightening.

To be even surer, you can pull the chain with your hands. If the flat links get off the bar, then the chain needs a tightening. But if they don’t, then you are good to go.

What you will need

By the way, remember to keep these things near hand while you are trying to bring your chain back to correct tension.

  • Protective gloves to protect your fingers from sharp blades
  • A wrench to loosen up and tighten the holding sidebar nut
  • A Screwdriver to adjust the chain tension

You can get these from any hardware store.

How to Tighten Chain on Electric Chainsaw: Steps

Now we have our equipment. It’s time to begin understanding the process. We have made a step by step guideline to help you out.

Checking the Power

It may seem a very useless and casual step, but truthfully, this is extremely important. Remember to always unplug the device or turn it off before you begin. We don’t expect accidents here.

Thus, if the saw was being used before, wait a while for the machine to cool down. Working on a hot chain will not only scald your hands but also cause faulty chain tension.

Loosening the Nuts

Now use a wrench to loosen the bar holding nuts. There are two nuts used to hold the bar. You should loosen them enough to make the bar a bit loose, but there is no need to completely remove them.

Adjusting the Chain Tension

Now hold the bar tip-up. Now use a screwdriver to turn the adjustment screw to adjust the chain tension while holding the bar’s tip-up.

To Tighten

To make the loose chain tighten up, turn the adjustment screw in the clockwise direction. Remember to pay attention while tightening. Too much tightening can damage both your bar and chain thus hinder the chain rotation.

We suggest you don’t turn the adjusting screw in 360-degrees in just one turn. Rather turn the screw half-turn and if the chain is still loose, then continue in this method till it fits snuggly underside the bar.

To Loosen

But keep in mind, too much tightening is not good. If the bar is warm, the chain of the bar’s underside should have an approximately 1.3 millimeters gap between the chain and the bar’s underside. Because after cooling down, the chain’s size will decrease, and that gap will ensure that it won’t snap due to pressure.

If you feel that the chain is too tight, you can re-loosen it. Just do the opposite of the tightening. Use the screwdriver for turning the adjustment screw for a 1/4th of a full turn in the counterclockwise direction and recheck the chain tension.

Retightening the Nuts

After your chain’s flat drive links are again seated snugly into the guide bar’s groove, it’s time to retighten the nuts. Just keep holding the nose of the bar up and use the wrench to tighten the nuts.

And that’s all to chainsaw chain tightening. See? It’s simple and quick, just as we told you before.

A few tips Regarding Chainsaw and its Chain

Here are a few tips to make your chainsaw usage smoother.
Electric chainsaw chain sampleRemember to check chain tension while cutting

When friction occurs, the generated temperature and movement cause the chainsaw chain to get loose. So when you use your chainsaw, keep in mind to check the chainsaw chain’s tension at regular intervals.

We suggest you pay special attention during the first half-hour while you are using the saw. Immediately stop cutting and let the saw sit still if the chain seems loose. After it cools down, readjust the tension.

This attention will also help you estimate the time intervals you need to check the saw-chain tension. You can just set up a timer to remind you to check the chain tension to concentrate better on your work.

Change bar sides at regular intervals

Let us ask you, what side of the bar suffers from more pressure and thus wear and tear? The bottom part, of course!

So what will happen when pressure keeps accumulating in just one side of the bar? That side gets damaged quickly. As a result, a new bar needs to be bought.

But if you flip the bar after a regular number of uses, it will split up the damage. Thus you will be able to use one bar for a longer time.

Last Words

In this article, we have tried our best to give you a thorough understanding of tightening the chain on the electric chainsaw. As you can see, the procedure is very simple and fast. So, try doing it by yourself and save your money and time.

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