Which Way to Put Chain on Chainsaw: Quick & Efficient Tips



Which Way to Put Chain on Chainsaw

Replacing or re-installing a chain on a chainsaw might seem like a daunting task, but with the right know-how, it’s quite straightforward. In this in-depth guide, we will take you through the steps on which way to put a chain on a chainsaw, ensuring you get back to your cutting tasks with confidence and safety. Before we begin, it is essential to acknowledge that a properly fitted chainsaw chain is crucial for both the performance of your saw and your personal safety.

Importance of Direction in Chain Installation

Understanding the importance of the chain’s direction on your chainsaw cannot be overstated. If you install the chain backwards, it will make the chainsaw ineffective at cutting, and can also lead to increased wear and tear on both the chain and the chainsaw itself. This could result in a dangerous situation where complete chain failure becomes a possibility. To avoid these risks, follow the steps we outline carefully.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • New chainsaw chain or existing chain (if in good condition)
  • Screwdriver or chainsaw tool
  • Protective gloves
  • An open workspace with ample light

Step-by-Step Chain Installation

  1. Turn off the Chainsaw
    Make sure the chainsaw is completely turned off and the engine is cool before attempting to replace the chain.
  2. Wear Protective Gloves
    Chainsaw chains are sharp. Wearing protective gloves will help prevent injury during the installation process.
  3. Loosen the Chain Tension
    Use your chainsaw tool or screwdriver to loosen the tensioning screw, which will allow you to remove or replace the chain easily.
  4. Remove the Guide Bar Cover
    Unscrew and remove the guide bar side panel to gain access to the chain.
  5. Taking off the Old Chain (if applicable)
    Carefully remove the old chain from the guide bar. Take this opportunity to clean any debris or buildup from the bar and sprocket area.
  6. Attach the Chain to the Guide Bar
    Starting at the sprocket, loop the chain around the guide bar, ensuring it fits into the bar’s groove snugly.
  7. Reattach Guide Bar and Adjust Tension
    With the chain in place, put the guide bar side panel back on and hand-tighten the nuts, but do not fully tighten. Adjust the chain tension so that the chain snaps back after being pulled away from the bar.
  8. Tighten Nuts and Test Chain
    Once the chain is properly tensioned, completely tighten the guide bar nuts. Ensure that the chain moves freely without slack.
  9. Test the Chainsaw (without cutting)
    Start the chainsaw and let it run for a few seconds while watching the chain. Make sure it does not come off the guide bar and that it rotates around smoothly.

Troubleshooting Common Installation Errors

ErrorPossible CausesSolutions
Chain not movingImproper tensioning, ObstructionAdjust tensioner, Check for obstructions
Chain coming off guide barToo much slack, Worn barRetension chain, Replace guide bar if necessary
Chain not cuttingInstalled backwards, Dull teethReinstall chain correctly, Sharpen or replace chain


Installing a chain on your chainsaw is a straightforward process that requires attention to detail. Always keep in mind the importance of installing the chain in the correct direction, and ensure you have performed adequate checks before using the saw. Remember, safety should be your number one priority when dealing with chainsaw maintenance or operation. With the information in this guide, you are well-equipped to replace and install chainsaw chains correctly and safely. Stay in the loop with Chainsaw Hive. Dive into our Knowledge category for compelling and informative chainsaw content.

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