Why is My Chainsaw Burning the Wood? Avoid These Mistakes



Why is My Chainsaw Burning the Wood

Your chainsaw may burn wood due to a dull chain, improper chain tension, or inadequate lubrication, causing excessive friction during cutting.

If you’ve ever used a chainsaw to cut through wood, you may have encountered an issue where the chainsaw begins to burn the wood instead of cleanly slicing through it. This not only creates a burnt wood smell but may also damage both the wood and the chainsaw. In this article, we’ll explore several potential causes for this problem and offer solutions to help you keep your chainsaw in top condition.

Common Reasons for Chainsaw Burn

There are several factors that contribute to a chainsaw burning the wood instead of cutting it. Below, we’ve outlined the most common reasons and the appropriate solutions:Additional rows can be added here

Dull Chainsaw BladeOne of the leading causes for a chainsaw to burn wood is a dull blade, which can’t cut efficiently.Sharpen the teeth of the blade or replace the chain if it’s beyond sharpening.
Incorrect Chain TensionA chain that’s too tight or too loose can cause friction, leading to burning.Adjust the chain tension according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Improper Chain LubricationWithout enough lubrication, the chain generates excess heat.Ensure regular chain oiling and check the oil level before use.

To know more: How to Tell If Chainsaw Chain is on Correctly

Detailed Troubleshooting

How To Tell If Your Chainsaw Chain Is Dull

The first and foremost sign of a dull chainsaw chain is when the chainsaw is more inclined to produce sawdust rather than small chips during the cut. Additionally, increased pressure may be needed to cut through the wood, and there might be visible signs of wear on the teeth. A dull chain requires immediate attention to prevent any further burning.

Adjusting Chain Tension For Optimal Performance

A properly tensioned chain should be snug against the guide bar but still able to rotate freely. If the tension is incorrect, refer to the user manual for your specific model for adjustment instructions. Remember that the chain can expand with heat during use, so it’s important to check the tension regularly.

The Importance of Proper Chain Lubrication

Lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of your chainsaw. The lubricant helps to cool the chain and reduces friction between the chain and the wood. Before each use, make sure to fill the chainsaw’s oil reservoir and check for proper oil flow to the chain.

Preventative Maintenance

  • Regular Inspection: Before and after each use, inspect the chainsaw for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Clean Air Filter: A clogged air filter can cause the chainsaw engine to overheat, indirectly affecting the cutting process.
  • Check Spark Plugs: Faulty spark plugs can affect the engine’s performance, which can impact the chain’s speed and effectiveness.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, store your chainsaw in a clean, dry place away from any flammable materials.


Understanding why your chainsaw is burning the wood is crucial to diagnosing and fixing the problem. By keeping the blade sharp, maintaining correct chain tension, ensuring proper lubrication, and carrying out regular maintenance, you’ll prolong the life of your chainsaw and enjoy a more efficient wood cutting experience. Let Chainsaw Hive be your guide to all things chainsaw in our Knowledge section.

About the author