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When Is My Chainsaw Chain Worn Out?

A chainsaw is one of those power tools that homesteaders should own as it helps you carry out different tasks, including pruning or cutting trees and logs at a fast rate. You should make sure that you do not only have a powerful tool but also a sharp one. It does not matter if you’re cutting trees or logs, using a dull chainsaw chain could cause severe accidents and damages to you and your machine.

When Is My Chainsaw Chain Worn Out?

There are several signs that show if your chainsaw chain is worn out:

  • The Chain Comes Off the Bar easily
  • There is smoke.
  • Some teeth are missing
  • The chainsaw chain is chipped.
  • A lot of rust.
  • You cannot cut through wood as well as you would have expected.
  • The Chainsaw Has a Shaky Performance
  • It becomes Hard To Position Your Chainsaw Chain

The right chainsaw chain will help you achieve your logging endeavors and finish the tasks on time. Some chainsaw chains are more durable than others, which is something you should know to help you determine the right chainsaw chains to invest in at any time. Every single time you use your chainsaw chain, the sharpness reduces, and you are expected to sharpen it often. Proper maintenance and oiling keeps it functional and makes it easy to identify when there are issues. However, with time, you will be required to replace it since it consistently wears out.

Have you ever wondered when the right time to look for a chainsaw chain sharpener is? Well, this article is for you! It will give you detailed information on some of the signs to look for, and other determining factors that help to know when a chainsaw chain is worn out, so read on to get all the info!

Signs That Your Chainsaw Chain Is Worn Out

There are a couple of evident signs that indicate that the chainsaw chain either needs to be replaced or sharpened. Keep reading, as this guide will help you make the right choice on whether you are to sharpen or replace your chain.

● If Your Chainsaw Chain Is Not Cutting Well

Whenever you choose a good quality chainsaw with a good chain, it is pretty easy for you to cut the logs and trees. However, if the chainsaw chain becomes dull, it becomes quite complicated, and you end up taking more hours to finish a single task. In other cases, you will find yourself pressing the chainsaw chain hard against the wood for it to cut. In other instances, you will also have uneven and crooked cuts, and these are all indications of a worn-out chainsaw chain. Sharpening your chainsaw chain might be an ideal solution; however, it will only work for a while before you consider replacing it.

● If The Chain Comes Off the Bar Guide

In case there is damage to your chain or the bar guide, then the chain will come off pretty quickly. It can be quite dangerous to operate such a chainsaw as it leads to accidents. Constantly inspect the bar guide and the chain to make sure that everything is intact. In case the bar guide is worn out to the extent that the rails are shallow, you need to replace it.

● Smoke

Smoke coming from a chainsaw chain is an indication that the machine is worn out, or there is a further complication that must be handled immediately. The machine is a powerful tool and is meant to handle friction well, seeing smoke shows there is tension in some parts of your chainsaw. Therefore, if you notice that there is more smoke than usual, it is proof that something should be fixed. In most cases, the smoke is a result of dull teeth that might be causing a lot of heat buildup through excessive friction. It is not only harmful to your performance but also damages your chainsaw chain.

When you see the smoke, it is a sign that you should sharpen your chainsaw chain before it gets worse. In such a case, you are sure that your chainsaw is experiencing a lot of friction and heating up too fast. It affects your work and causes serious problems if you do not fix the problem immediately.

● If The Chainsaw Has a Shaky Performance

You need a chainsaw that cuts through the wood without experiencing any shaky performance. That means your cuts should be even. If not, you end up cutting too deep into one side, which shows that your chainsaw is worn out and needs to be sharpened or replaced depending on how long you’ve had it. If the chainsaw bounces back to you, that is an indication that there is a problem with some of its parts. You must look forward to fixing it if you want to finish the tasks efficiently.

● Becomes Hard To Position Your Chainsaw Chain

It is pretty easy to position the chainsaw if the teeth are sharp, but it becomes almost impossible to do so with a dull chainsaw. If you find out that your chainsaw keeps on moving into different directions as you try to position it, the chain is worn out and must be sharpened. That makes your job easy and ensures that you can complete the tasks on time. Due to safety concerns, you should never work with a chainsaw chain that is hard to position as it causes accidents.

● If The Chainsaw Teeth Are Damaged

Never work with a chainsaw chain that has broken or damaged teeth because the chances of harming yourself are high. Damaged teeth are an indication that the saw is no longer in the right condition to perform the tasks as needed, and that it is the right time for a chainsaw chain replacement.

● Chainsaw Chain Gets Chipped

Another thing that proves your chainsaw chain is not in good condition is if it is chipped or broken. The small chips are easily repairable; however, if the damage is grave, it is impossible to fix it. That means your only choice is to replace your chainsaw chain, which is why you need to examine the extent of the damage to know if your chain is worn out.


The best way to ensure that you never make mistakes and try to use a worn-out chainsaw chain is if you know all the signs to look for, so here is a summary just for you!

  • Check if there is smoke.
  • Check if the chainsaw chain has some missing teeth.
  • See if the chainsaw chain is chipped.
  • Rust.
  • A case where your chainsaw chain cannot cut through wood pretty quickly as you would have expected.

Measures That You Can Take

Before you consider replacing your chainsaw chain, it is best to do everything in your power to keep it in good condition. These are a couple of precautionary measures you should take at home:

  • Invest in the right chainsaw chain oil.
  • Clear any blockages only on the chainsaw oil parts.
  • Make sure that the air filters are clean because it is the best way to improve its performance and keep the chainsaw running for a long time.

FAQs about Chainsaw Chain Wearing Out

● How Many Times Are You Required To Replace Your Chainsaw Chain?

With proper maintenance procedures, you are in a position of using your chainsaw chain for about five years. There is no exact number of times to replace the power tool; however, look at the tasks at hand and how fast the machine wears out.

● How Do You Know That Your Chainsaw Chain Requires Sharpening?

The visible signs are, if you cannot hold it in one position, or if you cannot have even cuts. Also, make sure that you can work without struggling. If that does not happen, be sure to sharpen your chainsaw chain.

● Is It Worth Sharpening Your Chainsaw Chain?

If you notice that your chainsaw chain direction is changing quite often and that you are struggling to carry out regular tasks, sharpening it is essential. You must look at the number of years you have had the saw to know if it is worth buying a sharpener or a new tool. However, a chainsaw chain sharpener is worth the investment because you can use it anytime your saw is dull.


The life expectancy of a chainsaw is dependent on various factors. That includes; the type of wood you are cutting, quality of the chainsaw chain, and the duration of each task. You should always make sure that your chainsaw chain is well-maintained to increase durability. It is recommended that you regularly sharpen your chainsaw chain a couple of times and only replace them if too much metal has been removed. Also, determine whether to have your chainsaw chain replaced or sharpened based on the damage.

Once you notice some of the things mentioned above, it is best to start proper care of your chainsaw chain and decide if buying a new one is the solution or sharpening it. Having a chainsaw chain sharpener is recommended. It makes the working conditions more comfortable as you will have a saw that operates as required. Replacing or sharpening your chainsaw chain is dependent on the extent of the damage on your machine. If you decide to sharpen your chainsaw chain, make sure you understand the basics so that it is pretty easy to do it.