4 Signs of a Worn Chainsaw Chain

Whether you’re one of the country’s 55,300 professional loggers or a homeowner with a large yard, having a well-functioning chainsaw is a must.

For a chainsaw to work properly, you’ll need to be sure you don’t have a worn chainsaw chain.

To help you figure out if your chainsaw chain is worn, we’ve come up with a list of warning signs to look for as you use the saw.

Here are 4 signs of a worn chain.

Top 4 Signs You Have a Worn Chainsaw Chain

1. Smoke

If the chain of the saw is generating a lot of smoke as you cut into the wood, this is a sign something is wrong with the chain. Check to see if the chain lubrication is working properly, and if the chain has the correct tension.

Once you rule out any lubrication and chain tension issues, then the smoke is a signal of a worn chain.

2. The Chain Doesn’t Bite into the Wood

As you cut logs using the chainsaw, the chain should pull itself into the wood as it cuts. If you must apply a lot of pressure to the engine unit of the chainsaw to get the chain to cut, this is a sign the chain is worn and not cutting properly.

Should this happen to your saw, you’ll want to inspect the chain and determine whether it needs replacement or sharpening.

3. Rattling and Bouncing

Another sign that you have a worn chainsaw chain is if the saw blade rattles and bounces as you are making the cut. This will make it difficult to get the chainsaw to cut precisely because it will be hard to position the blade correctly.

As with the other warning signs, if you find this happening to you while you use the chainsaw, it’s time to inspect the chain to see if it needs attention.

4. The Chainsaw Pulls in One Direction

If you find the chainsaw is producing a crooked cut, this might also be a sign of a worn chain. A crooked cut can occur when the teeth on one side of the chain are dull and the sharper side pulls the saw in the other direction as it cuts.

If you’re felling trees you need to be precise with the cut for reasons of safety so this issue needs resolving.

It is also possible that you have uneven cutting teeth lengths on the chain. In either case, you’ll need to inspect the chain to identify and address the problem.

Dealing with a Worn Chain

Once you’ve discovered you have a worn chainsaw chain, you’ll need to either sharpen or replace the chain depending on the issue.

If you are going to sharpen the chain, you’ll want to make sure you understand the basics of chain sharpening. Incorrectly sharpening the chain will cause the chainsaw to cut poorly.

When sharpening the chain, you can use a file or an electric chainsaw sharpener to help you do the job. Either method will remedy a worn chain in need of a good sharpening.

Knowing the warning signs of a worn chainsaw chain will make sure your saw runs smoothly and does the job right.

When it comes to important information about chainsaws, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out all our chainsaw guides.

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