How to Untangle the Chainsaw Chain – 5 Easy Steps!

If you use/going to use a chainsaw for cutting wood or tree, then one of the common problems that you may face is the tangled saw chain. To survive the situation without postponing the work or destroying the chainsaw, you must learn how to untangle the chainsaw chain.

Untangling a chainsaw’s chain isn’t a difficult task if you go along with the proper instruction. However, we people make it too complicated and seek help from professionals or consider it too easy and destroy the chainsaw.

Also, some of us face a more dangerous situation because of the lack of carefulness. As the chain is made of metal and its metal teeth are very sharp, it may cause harm and cut on the hand.

how to untangle the chainsaw chain

That’s why, at first, we have to ensure our safety than other steps. So, let’s dive into the detailed guideline.

Safety Precautions Before Untangling the Chainsaw Chain

No matter if you are untangling a new chain or an old one, you need to follow some precautions to stay safe.

So, here are the safety accessories you must have before untangling your chainsaw chain.


chainsaw gloves for chain untangling safety
Chainsaw Gloves

Before start working on the chain, we highly recommend you to wear chainsaw gloves, which are very durable and tough enough to protect your hands from getting hurt.

If you don’t have chainsaw gloves, then get durable and tough work or leather gloves. To keep your hand safe from deep cuts, gloves are the perfect option for you.

Protective Goggles


Protective Goggles for Chainsaw Chain Untangling Safety
Protective Goggles

While untangling the chain, especially the old rusty chain with dirt and allergic germs, make sure you are wearing protective goggles. To keep your eyes safe there is no alternative to a protective goggle.

Don’t get hurt and harm yourself to save a couple of bucks!

Once you are ready with the safety gears and your tangled chain, it’s time to gather some tools and equipment.

Required Tools & Equipment

A strong table

We recommend using a robust wooden table, worktable, or any old table that you are not using anymore.

As the chain causes damage or at least puts some minor scratches on the table, that’s why we recommend you use either an old table or a robust and durable table.

You can also do it on the ground but make sure the ground does not have expensive mats or tiles.

Lubricating oil

Chainsaw Lubricating Oil
Chainsaw Lubricating Oil

Lubricating oil works great for the corroded and dirty chain of the chainsaw. Untangling old chains is quite challenging as they’ve stubborn rust and grease, and dirt on their surface.

However, using some lubricating oil or engine oil (as an alternative to lubricating oil) will give you a smooth experience as the lubricant will slacken each chain’s connection.


Allen Wrench for Untangling Saw Chain
Allen Wrench

We advise everyone to keep a toolbox while untangling a chainsaw. Well, if the chain is still locked up in the chainsaw blade, then you need tools to remove the chain from the chainsaw.

To take the chain off, you may need a screwdriver or an Allen wrench. These tools will help you to remove the board and the guide bar of the chainsaw. However, it depends on the model and body type.

Now, as you are ready with your gears, it’s time for untangling the chain.

Untangling the Chainsaw Chain

Well, now we are sharing the easiest and coolest process of untangling a chainsaw chain. Here is the five-step guideline that will help you get a straight and useable chain for your chainsaw.

Step -1: Get the chain prepared

The truth is, we don’t know what the situation of your chain is! Is it new or old? Is it jammed in the chainsaw? That’s why we are merely answering all the situations over here.

  • If it’s a new chain: avoid the sharp edges and wear the chainsaw gloves or at least durable and uncuttable gloves to avoid cutting your finger or hand.
  • If it’s an old chain: use lubricating oil to make it smoother from harsh. Make sure you don’t sprinkle the oil here and there to avoid the accident. If it’s too rusted, then give it an oil bath.
  • If it’s jammed in the chainsaw: Use the tools (screwdriver or Allen wrench) that suit your chainsaw and open your gasoline or electric chainsaw to get the chain off the chainsaw.

We hope you have got your chain ready now. So, let’s start the real mission of untangling.

Step -2: Finding two opposite loops of the chain

This is the starting point, and most of us get puzzled here. Well, don’t get puzzled. Just look for the best two opposite loops.

Once you find both loops, now put each hand on both loops and hang it down by holding the two loops with the two hands’ help.

If you don’t have a much-complicated chain untangling condition, it should be solved by now. Even if it is not, don’t worry. You have reduced the complication of the tangles, which means you can move to the next step.

Step -3: Convert two loops to one loop.

Well, now it’s high time to convert two loops into one loop. How? As you have discovered two opposite loops of the chain, now keep making one loop bigger until it becomes one single loop.

Keep your hands on two opposite loops and use the slack on the chain to make the chain larger.

Step -4: Untangling the chain.

After slacking once you have made the chain a one loop chain, now finally it’s time to untangle it. Still, keep two hands on the chain and try to find out the lowest part of the chain.

Once you have discovered the lowest part, let it take an exact straight down (it looks like a vertical position).

Once you keep the lower part vertically, now you can easily lift the part, untangle the chain because of the gravitational force.

The science behind this is simple! As you provide more energies against the gravity, the gravity starts opening the distorted parts of the chain automatically.

To open all the chain’s distorted parts, follow this step after making two loops for 2/3 more times until all the distorted portion gets opened.

Step -5: Spreading them one by one.

Even after following all these tricks, if you haven’t got any results or still there are distorted portions available in the chain, then now it’s time to go deeper. Now, you have to untangle every distorted portion by focusing on each of them.

To make it less complicated, we recommend you to spread each one of them as much away from each other as you can until all the messy distorted loops portion is gone.

Congratulations! You have successfully untangled your chainsaw chain.

Here is a bonus section for you to make the chain long-lasting.

How to Take Care of Your Chainsaw Chain? 

  • Don’t cut anything without wood; otherwise, it’ll damage the chain, even the chainsaw as well.
  • Try to maintain a fine tensioning modification into your chain and bar to enhance the chain’s long life.
  • To keep the chain smooth, use lubricating oil in your chainsaw’s chain and bar.
  • For newbie chainsaw users, we recommend a low kickback chain.
  • Check the chain tension to avoid dropping down the chain.
  • When you are not using the saw, put a protective cover on the bar.


In the end, when you are untangling the chain, don’t forget to wear the protective gears. Also, don’t waste too much time untangling each distorted portion; instead, learn and try the methods we’ve provided.

We hope you have got your chainsaw chain untangled with the help of this guide. Also, don’t forget to let us know your untangling experience in the comment section below!



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