Knowing When and How to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain

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If you do use your chainsaw often, there comes a time when you might have to brush off the dust and put your chainsaw to use. More often than not you might notice that it does not work as it should, more sluggish than usual. This usually makes cutting more time-consuming and strenuous. Chainsaws can do a pretty good job if they are well-maintained, it is also a good idea to look through the manufacturers’ manual to know better ways to keep your chainsaw functional.

These are the signs that your chainsaw chain needs to be replaced:

  • Tension Problems
  • Look For Signs of a Dull Blade
  • Missing Teeth
  • Reduced Performance
  • Seeing Smoke During Cuts
  • The Chainsaw Feels Unbalanced
  • You have to force the Chainsaw into the Wood
  • Rust
  • Past The Safety Lines
Knowing When and How to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain 1
Chainsaw

The chainsaw chain needs to function effectively, and sometimes no matter how well you have it maintained, there will come a time when you have to replace it. If your chainsaw chain is dull or you find yourself struggling to cut through wood, it might be time to replace it. You might not need to replace your chainsaw if you can sharpen the chainsaw. However, it is best to figure out when the right time to do so is so that you can carry out sawing without a struggle.

What are the signs of a chainsaw chain that need to be replaced

● Tension Problems

If you find yourself constantly adjusting your chainsaw and it keeps getting loose, you should replace the chain immediately. When there is too much tension, it becomes too hard to cut, over time the chainsaw chain will force you to use excess force just to complete basic tasks. The straps become loose, which makes it hard for the teeth to stay connected to the bar. Having a loose chain is dangerous. There are chances of kickback scenarios or snaps, which could lead to injuries. In case you are straining to tighten a chainsaw chain, then replacing it would be a better option to avoid further problems.

● Look For Signs of a Dull Blade

One of the indicators that your chainsaw chain is due for replacement is if it is still dull even after sharpening. These are the signs you to look for:

  • Are you forcing the chainsaw onto the tree? Any dull chain will not cut well when you try to cut the tree.
  • If you see sawdust whenever you are making split or crosscuts. A dull chain will form sawdust instead of coarse strands, so get a replacement.
  • If your chainsaw chain direction is specific, and you can only run it in one direction, be sure to replace it. This is because it does not offer the flexibility required when using it. Instead of continually sharpening it, replacing it would be the best course of action to take.

● Missing Teeth

Another way to know your chainsaw chain needs replacement and not just the regular sharpening is if there are missing or uneven teeth. Most of the time, this happens if the chainsaw hits an embedded nail or a rock, and sometimes you might not notice the damage until it is too late. Missing and uneven teeth lead to uneven cuts that affect your work.

● Reduced Performance

If your chainsaw chain finds it hard to slice through wood, you need to take serious action. This involves replacing the chainsaw chain so that you can cut through wood easily. You should pay attention to how the chainsaw chain feels as you cut through the wood so that any underlying problem is noticed and fixed.

In case it bounces back and prevents you from getting an accurate cut, you should consider replacing it. A shaky chainsaw chain causes poor performance and uneven cuts. This is usually as a result of a worn-out chain. You will notice that the cuts appear deeper on one side, making it hard to achieve the expected results.

● Seeing Smoke During Cuts

Smoke is an indicator that your chainsaw is not operating as it ought to and could be wearing against the wood instead of cutting. You will see fine dust instead of chips, this is an indicator that the cut is not as perfect as you want.

Although there is a lot of friction during the cutting process, your chainsaw should be strong enough to withstand it. The smoke shows that the teeth are dull due to too much friction. This usually leads to heat build-up. It not only affects the performance but also causes damage to the tool if used quite often while in the same state.

● The Chainsaw Feels Unbalanced

If you notice that no matter how well you adjust your chainsaw, it still fails to operate the way you would want it to, you might want to get down to the root of the issue. If you’re experiencing struggles when cutting trees or find it hard to get past the trunks. You should search for a different type of chainsaw chain. The right one would help to improve your cutting technique, make it easy for you to finish the job.

● You have to force the Chainsaw into the Wood

Chainsaws are designed in such a way that you do not have to force it into the wood continuously. However, if you find yourself having to do so, it means that it is no longer effective. Your chainsaw is trying to let you know that it needs a new chain so that you can carry out your job effortlessly.

If your cuts are crooked, and you are finding it difficult to have a clean-cut, it is time to change the chain. If you also find that you are wasting too much of your time trying to cut through wood and sharpening no longer helps the tool to stay effective, then a replacement sounds like a perfect plan.

● Rust

In most cases, you will only have rust in your chainsaw chain if you have not been properly oiling and cleaning your chainsaw. If you are fond of storing your chainsaw in damp or moist places, be ready to say hello to some rust. We recommended that you keep the tools in a conducive place to increase its longevity. However, in the case of rusts, chainsaw replacement is essential.

● Are You Past The Safety Lines?

Every chainsaw has safety lines to show how far the chain should be polished. Going past those limits could cause the chain to fall apart, and that puts you and anyone else using it at risk. Once you notice that you are past your safety line limits, you should replace the chainsaw chain.

Replacing Your Chainsaw Chain

When you visit the stores to buy a chainsaw chain, we, assume your goal is to take home the best chainsaw chains available. It is advisable to have a few chains that you can swap often, this will increase performance and not slow your work down. To know how to choose the right chains, follow these guidelines:

● Drive Links

The length of the chain is not only determined by the inches but a combination of drive links and pitch. You can match the drive link number of the new chain with that of the old one so that you get an accurate swap. In case you are unsure of the drive links, count them, the numbers are listed on the manufacturer’s manual.

● Gauge

You should know the width of the drive links that will fit in the guide bar. Most companies display the measurements at the top of the bar so that it is not too hard to find.

FAQs on Chainsaw Chain Replacement

● How Do I Know The Chain’s Size?

The best way to know the right size of the chain is to look at the pitch, the pitch refers to the chain size. Measure the distance between the three rivets and divide them by two. Also, the seller can help you to get the right chain.

● Can I Swap Chainsaw Chain Brands?

It is okay to mix different brands but make sure that they are original. Find a professional and reputable dealer known to offer quality chainsaw chains to their clients.

● When Should I Sharpen my Chainsaw Chain?

The best way to extend your chainsaw’s life expectancy is by sharpening it. However, you need to know that these tools can only be sharpened a few times before they need replacement. There is no set number of times for sharpening a chainsaw, but on average, it is about four to five times. This depends on the operating conditions, usage, and maintenance processes.

Conclusion

Before you decide to replace your chainsaw chain, you should have noticed some decrease in power delivery and cutting efficiency. Although sharpening your chainsaw chain might increase life expectancy, it doesn’t have an infinite life, you will have to replace it eventually. Handling chainsaw chain issues on time will help you to carry out all your tasks with more convenience

There are lots of great manufacturers that supply incredible chains that would allow you to get back to work. Most of them have reliable and cost-effective chains, Once you see any of the signs listed above, it is time to purchase a new chain,. Make sure your chains are lubricated all the time, this increases the lifespan of your tools. If possible, avoid hitting rocks and nails as they reduce the durability of your machine.