A chainsaw is a mechanical power-driven cutting tool that uses teeth set on a chain to fulfill its objective. The teeth move around the edge of a blade and provide you with great strength for activities like tree felling, bucking, pruning, cutting firebreaks in wildfire suppression as well as harvesting of firewood.
If you own a chainsaw, you already know the basics of how to use it. What you may need help with is the changing of the blade once it becomes blunt or uneven.
While it is possible to go out and get this done by a professional, it is handy to know how you can do this yourself! This will save you time as well as money in the long run.
The steps in the process of chain replacement are very simple and can be completed in five minutes but there are some things that can make all the difference between a chain that has been installed correctly and an incorrectly installed one, which will give you trouble.
First, let’s check whether you need to change your chainsaw’s blade.
After that, gauge which replacement chain matches your chainsaw perfectly by checking the size, measurements and type of chain that your chainsaw requires.
Is It Time to Change the Chain?
Over time, the chains will lose their sharpness and working becomes harder. There are a few signs that you must look out for to gauge whether it is time to change the blade on your chainsaw.
The first is that you have to apply pressure on the engine unit for the chainsaw to cut. Here the saw chain stops pulling itself into the wood, making your job tougher.
The second sign is that the chain is creating fine sawdust instead of coarse strands while doing a split or crosscut.
Another sign is when smoke starts to crop up despite the chain lubrication and chain tension working as required. The chainsaw could also be running one direction making the cuts crooked.
This usually happens if the cutting teeth on one side of the chain become dull or if the length of the cutting teeth is uneven.
Lastly, keep a lookout for a rattling sound or odd bouncing when you’re trying to make the cut with your chainsaw. This causes great difficulty when you’re trying to achieve precise positioning while working.
Are you experiencing these problems with your chainsaw?
If the answer to this is yes, it is possible that you need to change the blade of your chainsaw. There is no reason to worry – here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this!
How Can the Chain Be Changed?
As was discussed earlier, the first step is to match the right replacement chainsaw chain for your tool.
The steps involved in changing the chain for most chainsaws are very similar to this article should help most chainsaw owners even if the model they own is different.
You just need the wrench that most probably came with your chainsaw. If that was not the case, a flat head screwdriver and a socket wrench will do the job just as well.
Step One – Release the Nuts and Unlock the Brake
First, you will be required to remove the guide bar side panel. There are usually two nuts that hold together the side plate on most chainsaws.
These nuts can be unscrewed with the help of the wrench, which will allow you to remove the plate and access the chain.
In some models, the chainsaw’s brake is attached to the guide bar side plate. In such a situation, you have to ensure that the brake is unlocked before removing sprocket the plate.
If this removal is done with the brake in the locked position, it will be difficult or impossible to reinstall.
Step Two – Release the Chain Tension
Pull the nose of your chainsaw’s bar away from the tool so that it is released from the tensioner. This is done only after the sprocket plate is off of the saw.
Step Three – Remove the Old Chainsaw Chain
It will be easy to remove the chain from the guide bar after all that slack in it. Simply pull the drive links out of the guide bar and let the other end of the chain slip around the clutch drum.
Step Four – Loosen the Tensioning Screw
Now it is time to find the tensioning screw on the inside side of the guide bar and loosen it. This makes installing the new chain easier.
Step Five – Thread the New Chain On
This step requires you to be a little more careful as it involves threading the new chainsaw chain around the tool’s clutch drum.
Make sure that the drive links are engaging in the sprocket. The rest of the drive links have to be threaded into the guide bar and around its nose in a similar way.
Step Six – Align the Guide Bar
Once the chain has been threaded in an effective manner, you need to put some tension into it. This can be done by pulling on the nose of the guide bar, away from the tool.
While you are pulling the guide bar, it is important to ensure that it is seated on the saw’s adjustment pin.
Step Seven – Side Plate to Be Put Back
If the guide bar is positioned properly, the side plate above it is ready to go back on. Replace the plate along with the nuts that hold it into position.
Keep in mind that the nuts should not be tightened all the way yet. Let the guide bar move a little as the chain is being tightened to the correct tension.
Step Eight – Correct the Tension by Tightening
Use the same tensioning screw that you had dealt with earlier to adjust the tension on the chainsaw chain. This is found on the side of the guide bar.
Step Nine – Tighten the Nuts on the Side Plate
This is the last step in the process and the replacement is now complete.
Now that you have the guide to change the chain on your chainsaw, be careful in the process. Make sure it is done in safe surroundings and that you have familiarized yourself with the instructions.
Once you’re through with the process, you will have a great chainsaw in impeccable condition again!