How to put a chain back onto a chainsaw

How to put a chain back onto a chainsaw

Using a chainsaw can be a great way to cut down a tree. They can go through the hardest of woods in just a really short amount of time. And if it’s sharp enough, the cut should be as flat as smooth as velvet. However, as the chain is a separate part from the bar, it is of course, able to come off. And what goes off, must go on.

In this article, will be looking at how to put a chainsaw chain back onto the chainsaw. It’s not a particularly difficult task, but for some reason many people still struggle with it.

How to put a chain back onto a chainsaw

Why does it happen?

There are two main reasons why your chain would come off. The first one is that you’ve taken it off. This might be because you need to clean it or sharpened it. Both of these tasks will be incredibly difficult to do if the chain is still attached to the saw.

 Or maybe it didn’t come off on purpose. Annoyingly, a lot of the time, the chain is not meant to come off, but it still does! Whatever the reason for your chain coming off, if you want to continue using it, you’ll need to know how to get it back on again.


Before we can start with the tutorial, it’s important, we can understand, how a chain looks. There are two sides of the chain. The top side is where the teeth are, the teeth are what lock themselves into the woods, and cut it when they pull. On the bottom of the chain, we have little notches that lock themselves into the bar. These are what allow the chain to spin at incredible speeds without coming out.

By understating this, you’ll know how to put a chain back onto the bar. Now on with the tutorial.

How to put a chain back onto a chainsaw 2

Step One: Take Cover!

The first thing you’ll need to do is to take the cover off. How to do this will depend on what type of chainsaw you’re using. With the cheaper ones, often there is a screw with you can turn to remove it without having to use any tools. But with the higher quality ones, you’ll often have to use either a screw driver or a wrench, sometimes even both.

Once the cover is off, it’s time to get scrubbing. Making it clean will not only make it easier to put the chain back on, but it will also make the chainsaw run much smoother.

Step Two: Put it back

When that’s all clean, you’ll need to put the chain back on again. Usually, behind where the bar cover would usually be, there will be latches which you can put the chain onto in order to keep it secure. When you put it on, make sure all of the notches on the bottom are locked into the bar. Doing both of these things, will mean that the chain can be as secure as you could possibly  get it. When it’s on, depending on the chainsaw, you might have to put the cover back on. But there are other chainsaws where the tightening needs to be done before you put the cover back on.

Step Three: Make it tight

On most chainsaws that you can buy nowadays, the chain can be tightened using a knob on the side of the bar, most of the time, tightening using this method will not require you to use any tools. However, on on some older models, you may need to use a wench to tighten up the saw. Having a tight saw is vital for ensuring that it’s able to do it’s job properly and stay on. You don’t want to go through all of that effort just to have to do it again just hours later.

Whilst it’s easy to not tighten a chain enough, it can also be just as easy to tighten it too much. So how do you know when it’s been tightened to the ultimate amount?
There are several tests that you can do, but the one I have found to be the most effective is the pull test. To do this one, carefully pinch onto one of the teeth and pull it up. The notches that lock themselves into the bar should be revealed but not completely come out. If they come out, you’ve not tightened it enough, but if they don’t move at all, it’s too tight.

If it keeps happening

If the chain keeps on coming off then, and you’re confident that you’re following the correct procedures, then it’s likely that you’re not the one who’s at fault. But rather the manufacturer is. Even the best chainsaw makers on the planet can sometimes make a faulty saw. Almost all chainsaws will come with at least a 2 year warranty. This means that within the first two years of you buying it, you can get it sent away, either to be repaired, or to get a new one.

Why it matters

The chain being on properly is vital. In the best-case scenario, it won’t come off, but it still won’t be able to cut as efficiently as it would be able to if it was.
When it does come off, the best case would be that it will cause an annoyance when you have to put it back on again. But if you’re not so lucky, then it might end up hitting you or someone else, this can be very dangerous indeed, and might even end up with you being in the hospital.

All chains come of the saw at some point. Be that because it’s fallen off or because you’ve taken it off to be cleaned. When this happens, you’ll need to take the cover off, and give what’s underneath a good clean. Then put the chain back in making sure to lock the notches on the bottom into the bar. After that, tighten it, usually using either wrench or the tightening knob on your saw. To tell if it’s tight enough, when you pull the notches should come out a bit but not all the way. And if it keeps coming off talk to the manufacturer.

Read more:

Electric chainsaw Sharpeners: Tips and Tricks

How to Use an Electric Chainsaw? You Guide Here

Chainsaw Sharpening Tips & Tricks

Electric chainsaw Sharpeners: Tips and Tricks

If your chainsaw isn’t sharp, then it won’t be able to cut down trees every efficiently, the teeth will not be able to lock themselves into the wood properly. This can increase the chances of bounce back, and cause the cut of the tree to not be very smooth at all.

The best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain is with an electric sharpener. This is a much quicker method than using the old fashioned filing rod, and you won’t have to pay for every individual chain like you would do if you went to a hardware store.

In this article, will cover 8 tips and tricks for using an electric chainsaw sharpener.

Use a Sharpie

Use a Sharpie

This first step involves a high advanced piece of technology. Not really. It involves a Sharpie, or any other brand of permanent marker. If your chain is silver, like most chains, it would be best to use a black Sharpie. However, if you have one of those black chainsaws, then you might to get a more brightly colored Sharpie, perhaps a gold one would do the job best.

For this trick, you need to mark the first tooth that you’ll be sharpening so that you know when to stop.

Where to put the wheel

When you bring the wheel down it can sometimes be quite difficult to know where it ought to be in relation to the tooth. The perfect place for it to be would be just about scraping the edge of the tooth. This means that it will sand down the sharp part, and make it even sharper.

If it’s too far forward, you will end up sharpening to top of the tooth, which will not be going into the tree and therefore doesn’t need to be sharp. But too far back and you won’t even be sharpening the tooth at all but rather the gap between the teeth. Again, this will not be going into the tree and therefore doesn’t need to be sharpened.

Alternate the teeth

Something that many people might not know about chainsaws is that each tooth is alternating. What do I mean by this? It makes no sense!
What I mean is that if one tooth has it’s sharp side of the left, then that means that the teeth either side of it have their sharp side on the right. By doing this, the chainsaws will have a better grip, and will, therefore, be able to lock themselves better into the wood. When you’re sharpening a chainsaw, skip every other tooth, and then go back to do all of the teeth which you haven’t sharpened yet.

Secure it

When you’re sharpening a chainsaw, the last thing you’ll want is for the machine to wobble around, this can make it incredibly difficult to work with, and will even be a rather large safety hazard. So before you get sharpening, you’ll need to make sure it’s secured firmly onto your work desk. How to do this will depend on what sharpener you’re using. Some of them come with a clap, others will need to be drilled onto the table.

If you hit a nail

One question that gets asked by a lot of people who are new to chainsaws is “How often should I sharpen my chain?”

And the simple answer is ‘whenever it gets blunt’. Aside from this, there is no one size fits all answer that can please everyone. How often your chainsaw gets blunt will depend on the type of metal the chain uses, how often you use it, and what sort of wood you use it on. But there is one occasion where you need to stop what you’re doing and sharpen the saw ASAP. This is when you accidentally hit a nail or other metallic object when you’re cutting.


I think it goes without saying that chainsaws are very sharp and very dangerous. This means that when you use them, even if it’s just to sharpen them, there are risks involved. Although if it’s not attached to the bar, you don’t need to worry about the chain coming off and hitting you in the face, you still risk getting a nasty cut, this could be on a tooth, or on the filing disk. Make sure you take the right safety precautions, this could mean wearing gloves, or using a cover for the disk.


Many of us like to save money, and buying an electric chainsaw sharpener is a great way to do that, as it means you won’t have to take it into the shop every time you want your chain to become sharper.

However, don’t just buy the cheapest one you can find. These ones are more likely to break, and therefore will cost you more in the long run. So it’s going to be better for your bank account to invest a bit more into a higher quality machine.

chainsaw sharpening tips


When you first start doing something, you’re not going to be very good at it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Everything in life takes practice in order to fully master the skill. And the same applies for chainsaw sharpening.
When you first buy your first sharpening machine, don’t just start on the chains you want to use. Instead, find a couple of old chains that you don’t use anymore (or ask your friends for some), and practice on them. Once you’ve mastered the skill, you can get to work on your own chains. This way, you will reduce the chances of breaking anything.

And there we have our 8 tips and tricks on how to use an electric chainsaw sharpener. Use a Sharpie to mark the first tooth. Make sure the disk is just about scraping the edge of the tooth. Do every other tooth, the spin the chain around, and do the rest. Make sure the machine is secure before you get to work. Shapen it asap if you hit a nail. Always keep safety in mind. Invest in a good one, as it will last longer. And practice on an old chain before you sharpen your good ones.