How to attach the chain to the saw correctly

How to Attach a Chain to a Chainsaw

The size of the new chain depends on the length of the bar. Usually, a guide bar lasts twice as long as a chain, but only if it is made of quality material. To find out the right length of the chain for your tool, you need to measure the size of the bar. Usually the length is indicated on the side of the tire, but over time all markings wear off. You can find out the tire length by referring to the machine’s data sheet, or measuring it with a ruler.

Measuring the bar length. how to measure correctly

If it is decided to change the bar together with the chain to a larger size, it can be done in exceptional cases, when the power of the chainsaw corresponds. If you install a larger tire on a domestic saw, it will not be able to cope with the task in terms of engine power. The tool’s data sheet tells you the recommended mounting length for the guide bar.

What to do if the chain sags

If the chain slackens, you run the risk of injury to the operator, because the saw blade can break or just come off the guide bar sprockets. Naturally modern chain saws have safety and emergency stop systems, but these systems are not always working correctly.

The principle is not to install on a chainsaw chain with defective or broken saw chain links, in addition to the threat to break at any time, such a chain will grind guide bar grooves, which will lead to its warping, uneven cutting and failure guide bar.

Why the chain can sag, even after a short period of use?

there can be problems with the guide bar. Occasionally, due to operator negligence or due to severe wear on the threads of the fixing bolts at the point of attachment of the guide bar, vibration can occur, which causes loosening of the chain tension

You need to check the condition of the fixing bolts and change them for new ones if necessary When the bolts are fairly tightened, these problems do not appear. No matter which chain wears out over time, if you’re pretty careful with your chainsaw. If the sprocket is stretched due to natural causes, it is best to buy the newest sprocket. The sprocket is misaligned

Sagging can occur because of misalignment of the sprocket teeth. In that case, it will be best to go to a service center, for repair and an option for the position of the drive sprocket. To fix the sprocket in position is difficult, because you have to remove many small parts, remove the guide bar, and then reassemble in reverse order.

Diagnosis and Proper Chain Care of a Chainsaw

The productivity of the chainsaw depends on a number of factors:

If the degree of tensioning influences the performance of the chainsaw, the sharpening of its teeth influences the cutting speed

That is why it is important to pay special attention to the following points. If the teeth are sharpened well, the cut is much more efficient, precise and safe

There are no specific guidelines on how often a sharpening should be performed, but professional sawyers recommend that it should be done several times a day. This is because the teeth dull quite quickly through intensive sawing.

Most chain sharpening is measured with reference to the chainsaw’s cutting performance. The tool also needs sharpening when the guide bar starts to run to the side. Another measure of bluntness is the condition of the chips. As a rule, properly sharpened teeth produce uniform chips. In this case the sawdust is rectangular or square. If the chain is blunt, dust will be in the chips and filings will resemble the shape of a needle from a simple hacksaw.

If you regularly check the tension of the chain and sharpen it in time, the chain saw will last a long time. Cutting even very hard wood is not a problem.

If you are not experienced enough, you should call in a professional. Professional sawyers will assess the chainsaw and its components after their first inspection. They will determine how worn it is, if the chain is too tight, and how sharp the teeth are.

Severe saw blade wear

The guide bar lasts much longer than the chain. This does not mean, however, that you can operate it forever and not have to think about replacing it. It is customary to change the guide bar after 2-3 worn chains. Before you change your chainsaw guide bar you need to assess its technical condition. If your chainsaw is equipped with a chinese guide bar, it will wear out sooner than the chain. That is why when you find a crooked wood cut with a chainsaw, it is necessary to diagnose the tire.

To see if the guide bar is worn, remove it and inspect it. Wear is usually revealed by shortening one of the beads. Sometimes it’s very hard to find visually, so a caliper is needed. A difference of a few tenths of a mm indicates that the guide bar needs to be replaced. There is also a simple way to check the wear of a guide rail with a straight edge. To do this, the rail is placed on a flat surface, and an angle must be placed on its side. If the upper and lower walls of the guide bar are in contact with the guide bar, it is in good condition.

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That’s interesting! You can only extend the life of the chainsaw guide bar by periodically turning it upside down. To do this, always make sure that the tool is equipped with such a possibility, as indicated by the corresponding markings on the headset.

Accelerated wear and tear can occur due to improper functioning of the oil pump. If the lubrication is applied without long intervals, the friction increases accordingly and thus the parts wear out more quickly. If the lubricating mechanism works properly the service life is prolonged not only for the grease fitting but also for the tool.

Sharpening with a machine tool

The most effective method is considered to be with the use of an electric machine, which allows to achieve factory accuracy. Let’s figure out how to sharpen the chainsaw chain in this way, achieving the desired result with minimal time and labor costs. The saw is placed in a special hole. It is necessary to loosen the screw that clamps the chain and adjust the desired level of sharpening according to the tables or to the bluntest prong. The process is carried out in accordance with the selected parameters, after which the saw is treated with machine oil. Two techniques can be used when sharpening with the machine

  • Consistent action on the teeth one by one, changing the polarity from time to time.
  • Teeth sharpened one by one, right side first, left side second, thus avoiding the necessity of reversing the polarity.

Sharpening the chain with the chain sharpening machine Source

See the video for instructions on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain using a machine tool:

Why the chain gets blunt

There are several reasons why inexperienced users quickly blunt the chain. This is mainly due to the following causes:

  • The use of low-quality oil which is not recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Incorrect setting of parameters, the clearance between the edge and the limiter must be 0.7 mm;
  • Failure to lubricate the tool before use. Before each use, lubricate the drive sprocket with M8 oil.
  • The chain is not tensioned properly; when installed, it must fit precisely into the grooves found on the bar.

Chain tension

Chainsaw chain together with the guide bar in operation experience the greatest loads, unlike other parts of the chainsaw. Over time, it lengthens in size due to the boring of the gaps in the connecting links. This process takes place with any kind of chain and it is necessary to periodically control the tension and wear of the chain while using the chain saw.

If the chain is too tight, the efficiency of sawing decreases, the engine and transmission are exposed to increased loads. The guide bar gets very hot because of increased friction, the chainsaw goes into fuel overrun.

If the need arises to shorten

Often when working in the woods or on a remote construction site you will not be able to find a replacement for a tensioned chain. After taking all the advice and convincing yourself of the necessity of shortening the chain it is important to know the sequence of actions and possible ways of replacement.

They are not numerous and depend on how many links need to be removed, and under what conditions the repair will be made.

Important to know: The chainsaw chain consists of cutters and connecting links that are riveted together in the factory. Connect shortened chain in the same way, but with homemade rivets.

Each link (the chisel and its connecting links), has two of these rivets. If the nearby “native” connecting links are damaged, you can use elements from any other similar chain of any, even automotive, equipment. You just have to file the profile, especially at the bottom where it has a small groove.

We also suggest you read about the rules of electric welding for beginners in the following article:

The easiest way is to get a long chain in which you can easily remove several segments. That at least makes it possible to use the original links. They are removed with a hacksaw for metal, but it is better to use an emery.

Initially it is necessary to grind off the unnecessary rivets, and then cut off the excess section. To do this, you need to pick up a knife and beat out with a homemade piercing rivet of the unnecessary links.

When making a new chain you have to rivet the links by yourself. The rivets themselves can be bought in the store, but if you do not have them, use steel wire, or better yet, a short bolt with a flat head. Riveting is done on a rigid base (metal workbench or vise). Slide the riveting elements one after the other through the future rivets and use a hammer to flatten the rivets from the opposite side.

You might also be interested in sharpening your chainsaw chain with your own hands. Read about types and features of modern chainsaws here.

And in this article you can learn how to repair a STIHL 180 chain saw.

Step by step installation algorithm

Not all new chain saws have an adjusting wheel which makes the saw blade much easier to fit. Systems with the setting wheel among home chain saws is a rarity. That’s why it is important to know the chain fitting technique and sequence on the chainsaw.

The main points to pay attention to:

  • Prepare a level surface on which you will assemble the chain and bar. This minimizes the chance of damage to the chain saw or loss of small parts. Place the bar and the chain next to it in parallel on the prepared surface.
  • Remove the sprocket guard, on modern chainsaws just unscrew the wing nut, on older models you may need an appropriate size ring spanner.
  • At the base of the guide bar, turn the tensioning sprocket all the way to the right. Only in this position is the chain installed.
  • Then the chain is slipped one link at a time onto the fixing groove of the guide bar. Install the chain from the top of the guide bar, gradually rotating it so that the bar is always on top and the chain is always on the bottom, this will ensure that the chain is always taut and fits into the guide bar groove without any problem. When you do this, be sure to wear thick protective gloves, because your fingers will be touching the cutting edge. When viewed from above, the cutter is always positioned forward toward the end of the guide bar.
  • Put the bar and chain on the drive sprocket.
  • Reinstall the sprocket cover in its original location. Make sure all mounting pins are in line with the holes. Improper installation with a skewed or incomplete fit can give rise to excessive noise and rattling.
  • Make sure that the guide rails “fit” into the special mounting groove.
  • After installation, check that the chain is locked in place on the chainsaw and on the bar. Everything must be mounted securely with no backlash.
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An important point is the amount of tension in the chain after installation. Proper tensioning is very easy to achieve and should take no more than three minutes. First loosen the nuts on the chain guard. Use the freely rotating adjusting screw to catch the correct tension, so that the chain does not pull away from the edge of the guide bar more than 3-5 mm.

All that remains is to tighten the nuts and check the tension. If adjustments are needed, readjust the tensioning again.

Important to know: when the chain is in motion, the friction forces cause the chain metal to become hot and expand, and the chain is longer. This is why it is important to check the tensioning at regular intervals and adjust it in time.

The following video shows a clear procedure on how to fit the guide bar and chain to your chainsaw:

How to tension the chain correctly

You may need to tighten the chain on your saw in the following situations:

When operating the electric saw, the chain should not be allowed to slacken. Also do not overtighten. Slack tooling can come off the bar and damage it. Severe overtightening can cause the chain to break or cause rapid sprocket failure and bar wear.

Tip! Do not tighten until the chain has cooled. If this is not done, the harness will compress and deform the tire when it cools.

To tighten the chain on the machine, do the following.

  • Loosen the bar retaining screw or nut (depending on machine model).
  • Increase the tension of the tool with the adjusting bolt. To check if the harness is properly tensioned, pull the chain back in the center of the bar and look at the drive link. Check that the drive link is correctly tensioned and the chain is centered on the bar.
  • When tension is correct, tighten the clamping screw (nut).

How to prevent

The saw chain must be made of high-quality metal to avoid loosening and breaking the tension. Check that the chain is greased before starting work and retighten the adjusting bolt systematically. Read more about how to start your chainsaw correctly. During scheduled maintenance, keep an eye on the condition of the drive sprocket, which is sometimes the cause of breakage.

You can shorten or replace a chainsaw chain link at home. It is not necessary to buy expensive equipment for working with rivets. This procedure can be carried out with simple locksmith’s tools. The length of the bar and its tensioning directly affects performance, risk of injury. Before starting the saw, you should check the tension of the blade, if necessary, tighten the adjusting bolt.

How to get the chain and bar on the chain saw correctly: assembly

The procedure under consideration is quite simple. It is characterized by the following features:

  • First of all the chain brake is released.
  • The tensioning screw is in close proximity to the bar.
  • The next step is to tighten the cutting attachment in a clockwise direction.
  • If the chain is difficult to move, the fixing screw must be loosened.

Modern chainsaw designs greatly simplify such work. This is why it can be done by yourself even if you do not have any special tools.

Rebuild saw blade with your own hands

To solve the problem of sharpening the chain, special devices are used. Proceed according to tooth geometry. One of the cutting edges has a slightly beveled top part, so the operator needs to sharpen the tool 2-3 times during intensive work.

The interaction of the cutting edge with the ground blunts it, and the chips change their size. The saw slides on the surface of the wood during operation. The main sign of a blunt tool is an increase in feed torque and fine shavings. When working with a blunt instrument, the operator quickly tires, and the result of labor changes not for the better.

For the work of sharpening the teeth prepare the tool:

Taking into account the contours of the tooth surface and the metal composition of the chain links, a round file is used for sharpening. The main condition for a good result is the correct positioning of the file when sharpening the tooth. The top of the file should be lifted 20% of the tool diameter above the tooth flank. Hold the file at a 90° angle vertically and 30° horizontally.

The handpiece is clamped to the tooth, and the tool touches it firmly, allowing the file to be at the proper height for the job.

Before starting work the tire must be secured. The first movements of the file should be smooth and gentle, with regular turns of the tool. First renew the teeth in one direction, and then sharpen the opposing elements.

It is necessary to distribute the pressure on the teeth evenly and make the same number of movements with the file.

Use a template to prevent the depth stop from being chipped and place it in the kerf while adding an extra piece. Links should not be interchanged while working, otherwise the function of the saw could be impaired. Using special kits allows you to make a correct sharpening of the tool with an even processing of the edges of the tooth.

See also  How to find out the size of the chain for a chainsaw

The general scheme of the operation consists of several points:

  • fixation of the chain brake;
  • mounting of the tool according to the template;
  • marking of the first tooth;
  • of directly performing the process.

A correctly installed chain on a wood-cutting tool will prevent production losses, make the entire work process safe, and allow you to cut wood for any purpose without problems.

A chainsaw can be used for quite a lot of work. The main cutting element of such a tool is represented by a chain with various blades. Modern versions are characterized by the fact that they can be serviced independently. The cutting edge wears out quickly if you cut for too long or if you don’t follow the basic recommendations. That’s why the chain has to be removed and sharpened, and then installed. This procedure has quite a few features, which we will talk about in more detail below.

How to put the chain on the chainsaw correctly: direction

When considering how to correctly put the chain on the chainsaw, let us note the point that the modern version of the tool has a special setting wheel. It makes the procedure much easier. Among its features we will note the following points:

  • Considering how to put the chain on the chainsaw correctly, we note that first it is necessary to prepare a flat surface. This prevents the tool from being damaged. After that, the main part of the tool, the bar and the chain are laid out separately.
  • The next step is to remove the chain guard, which is intended to protect the chain sprocket. In most cases it is fixed with a usual wing nut.
  • On the bar, the tensioning sprocket is turned to the right until it stops. It is in this position that the installation of the tool is carried out.
  • Then the chain is gradually slipped onto the clamping element. Quite a common question is which side of the element is placed. Installation begins at the top and the chain is rotated so that the bar is on top. Such operations should only be performed with thick gloves that can withstand the cutting edge. The cutter on the face must be placed forward.
  • Both elements are put on the sprocket.
  • The next step is to reattach the chain sprocket cover. It is important to make sure that the pins are in line with the holes. If it is not properly secured, it can cause rattling or other problems.
  • Make sure that the guides are in the special groove.
  • Visually check the condition of the chain after fixing it.

The next step is to check directly that the chain has not been overtightened. To do this, release the chain brake and pull it back in line. Checking is carried out exclusively in special gloves.

In general, we can say that the procedure under consideration is quite simple to perform and it does not require special tools. But not all chainsaws are as easy to service as the ones listed above.

There are a lot of chainsaw chain models on the market now. To begin with you need to know what size fits your chainsaw and not to make a mistake in the purchase. The second step is to install it correctly on the chain saw. This is a somewhat time-consuming process, but if you know how to put and adjust the chain on the saw bar yourself, the good owner should not have any problems. We have tried to describe in detail the process of installing the saw blade on the chainsaw.

We hope that after reading this article, you will succeed from the first time. But to minimize problems with the chainsaw and chain in the future, don’t forget the 3 basic rules:

  • If the chain is worn and saggy. replace it with a new one;
  • If your sawing is vibration and the cut is poor, check the tension in the chain on your chain saw;
  • Never use chain saws that are defective or have been repaired by a dubious professional. your health and the health of those around you are far more important than spending a little money on a new, repaired chain.

Necessary devices and tools for tightening the chain on a chainsaw

In order to tension it properly, you need some simple mechanics and tools. With STIHL chain saws, tensioning is easy with a built-in chain tensioner. This method is very simple and very fast. To tension or adjust the slack in the chain, the manufacturer recommends the following:

  • Using a wing nut, unscrew the sprocket cover;
  • Rotating the adjusting wheel determines the desired chain length, tensioning it to the desired degree;
  • The sprocket cover is closed again and the chain is secured to the bar.

If it is impossible to tension the chain of a chainsaw with the built-in mechanism, use these tools (by the example of a Sparky electric saw):

  • angle grinder with a metal disc;
  • hexagon socket wrench, diameter 5 mm;
  • piece of wire;
  • A wooden stick or a sturdy chip;
  • flat screwdriver.

After the electric saw is de-energized unscrew the screws with an allen key, remove the housing cover, unscrew the tensioning screw with a screwdriver and remove the stem nut. The side of the screw adjacent to the body of the saw is ground with a disc. Then assemble the saw in reverse order. Sawdust is needed to clean the body from sawdust.