How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be? FineChainsaw

Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by Sarker C. Weber

Do you ever tighten your chainsaw chain? Then you may find this task a bit tricky.

I am pretty sure another question came into your mind “How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be”?

If your chainsaw chain is loose, it can jump off anytime. A jump-off chainsaw is dangerous enough to lead you to serious injury.

And if your chainsaw chain is too tight, it can grind your chainsaw motorThis can damage your chainsaw.

To avoid this goldilocks zone,” you have to adjust the chainsaw chain, and the process is simple enough to ensure a well-tightened chain.

In the balance part of this article, you will learn a lot about chainsaw chain adjusting.

But before going to the main show, I will give you some initial ideas to have a straightforward chain tightening process.

To make a well-informed purchase, read our reviews: Best beginners chainsaw reviews, Best chainsaw for milling,  Best top handle chainsaw reviews, Best carving chainsaw reviews

Why Does A Chainsaw Chain Lose Its Tension?

You will not get a specific answer to this question. A chainsaw chain will lose gradually.

Generally, whenever you use your chainsaw, you should do maintenance after every use. Otherwise, it will lose its tension.

Because of this, the chain loses its tension and comes out of the bar.

This lack of strength makes future cutting operations harder than before. You may face a serious injury.

While cutting any wood, the chain may come out from the bar, and it can tear anything.

This unwanted situation may lead you to any danger. Who wants to face this risky situation, will you? I believe you are unintentionally saying, “NO.”

What Is The Solution?

Chainsaw Tension Test

Expert addressed, regular maintenance of chainsaw will help you to get rid of this problem.

However, as I said earlier, after every use, you need to inspect the chain tension.

Sometimes it is tough to find some free time to ensure this type of minor maintenance.

However, safety and security is the foremost priority. Keeping this motto in mind, you should inspect your chain tension once a week or a fortnight.

Are you worried about how difficult this test can be? Wave your hands to your worries because no additional equipment is required to accomplish this test.

There are two methods to inspect the chain tension. I am outlining them below.

The Snap Test

To achieve the snap test, firmly hold and pull out the saw chain from the bar. Give it the freedom to go as far as it can.

Then gently discharge the chain, and if it returns to its place quickly, your saw chain PASS the Snap Test.

But if it shows a different character means if you are unable to pull the chain from the bar, that confirms your chain tension is too tight.

Or, after releasing the chain, your saw chain is too loose if it shows the difficulty in coming back to its place.

Don’t you think this test is a helpful one?

The Pull Test

It’s a straightforward method to inspect the tension. Yet, you may find the process is a bit similar to the snap test.

First, comfortably pull the chain away from the bar. Then keep on going as far as you can go. Keep your eyes on the grip, and you shouldn’t lose it.

You want the chain to partially lift away from the bar, but the drive links should NOT come completely clear of the bar groove.

Look at the below photos about what you are looking for.

This is too loose chain.

How tight should a chainsaw chain be

This is too tight a saw chain.

how tight should a chain be

If your methods confirm that your saw chain is too tight or too loose, You need to resolve the issue. Give a smile because I have covered this option too.

How To Tighten A Chainsaw Chain? A Step By Step Guideline.

A saw chain tightening process is a straightforward and quick process. Anyone can perform this process. However, the Below equipment is mandatory.

  • A screwdriver.
  • A nut opener.

Let’s get started,

Step 01: Firstly, place the chainsaw on a flat surface. Use the nut opener to remove the nuts. A few areas you may not need to remove the nuts; you need to lose them.

Step 02: Lose the nuts slightly. As you have taken off the nuts, now you can adjust the screws inside the board.

After finishing this step, follow the steps below to accomplish the process correctly.

Step 03: Now, it’s time to perform with the screwdriver. First, you need to tighten the screws inside.

You have to follow this process intently because screws need to be tightened to their maximum level.

Don’t stretch too much; also, it may make the saw operation hard.

Step 04: Once you finish tightening, it’s time to check the tension. It is okay if the chain comes out by three/ fourth of the drive links.

Did you find any problem while the chain was restored? If NO, then you have accomplished the tightening process.

If YES, then again, you need to adjust the chain tension.

Note: It is important to roll over the chain. The chain should give you a smooth performance. But be careful not to roll over the chain in a reverse direction.

This careless act may create a jam in your chain. Then, you have to run to professionals to correct the problem.

Benefits of Tightening a Chainsaw

You will get a clump of benefits after tightening your chainsaw. Notable benefits are added below:

  • Efficient performance: After tightening the saw chain, you will get improved performance. Your chainsaw will penetrate any hard surfaces. So, you will find an improvement in your chainsaw performance. Moreover, the chain will also remain in a steady position.
  • Reduction of time: As the chainsaw will work more efficiently than before, it means you can complete more work within a short period. The chain will move faster and cut the wood as fast as possible and the time. You can utilize this, saving time for other productive work.
  • Improves longevity: The tightening process will enhance the saw chain durability a lot. Also, regular maintenance will confirm a long-time service of a chainsaw. Due to this, you don’t need to replace the chain at regular intervals. This means it will create an impact on saving your bucks.

Safety Precautions

Many users don’t pay attention to safety precautions. Even keep their eyes close regarding this, thinking that nothing will happen. Use below safety precautions to keep yourself safe.

Using Hand Gloves

The chainsaw chain is made of sharp metal. Therefore, you should not handle chains barehanded.

If you do so, you lead yourself to a dangerous situation, and you may regret that. So, wear gloves before you start tightening the chain.

Do Proper Care

Besides, any time you may face the problem without any signal while tightening the chain.

Without any sign, while pulling off the chain, it may come out from the bar. So, when you are working with the saw chain, do proper care.

Confirm Using Accurate Tools

Don’t let you fall into trouble by using inappropriate tools for tightening a saw chain. 

For example, a small screwdriver may not give you proper support while entering into the tightening point. And don’t provide any extra force. Otherwise, any valuable tools may break.

So, it is a wise decision to confirm using the accurate tool during the tightening operation.

(F.A.Q): Frequently Asked Question About How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be?

 What is the processing time of tightening a chainsaw chain?

If you follow step by step process correctly, the tightening process will not exceed 5 minutes. I believe you found the process pretty simple. Also, you can have a look at the operation manual to learn more.

Question: What is incorrect tension?

An incorrect tension refers to the slag state of a chainsaw chain. Under this condition, the chain hangs from the bar. Any operation becomes tough. Even the chain may come out from the bar with force causing damage around.

Question: How often should I need to clean the chainsaw?

 After you finish every work, clean your chainsaw without fail. It will help to get extended time service from a chainsaw.

Final Words

Now you know how tight should a chainsaw be. Now tighten your chain and slice those woods.

Happy sawing!

Read our Latest Blog

How to Measure a Chainsaw Bar in 3 Simple Steps

Gas vs Electric Chainsaws: How to Choose the Right One?

Different Types of Chainsaws and Their Uses