How to shorten a chainsaw chain at home

Why does the chain stretch on a chainsaw?

The chain on any chainsaw stretches over time, this applies not only to budget models, but also to well-known brands such as “STIHL”. This process is facilitated by the following reasons:

  • Poor adjustment of the oil pump. Leads to improper oil flow, increasing metal heat during sawing.
  • Felling and construction in adverse, extreme conditions. Particles of dust, dirt or sand get on the links of the headset and act as an abrasive material. Gradually wipe the joints.
  • Use of waste or low-quality oil with m metal particles.
  • Installing a new headset without adjusting the adjusting bolts after each use.
  • Reducing natural tension after long and intense work.

Stretching the chain is normal for a saw headset. It can be controlled using the recommended oil manufacturer, following the rules for operating the tool. Failure to pay attention to the tension can lead to tool breakage, reduced productivity and serious injury during operation.

Important! The oil should be selected taking into account the technical characteristics of your saw model. The instructions always indicate which mixture should be used.

Rivet punch

It is a mechanical device similar to a conventional press. The package includes an anvil, grooves for fixing the saw headset with different tooth pitch. For convenience, there are interchangeable rivet extrusion tips. The tool is only intended for separating links.

What tools will you need for home repairs?

You can carry out the work using the most accessible tools. Depending on the skills and abilities, you may need:

  • vice;
  • angle grinder;
  • a hammer;
  • chisel;
  • file;
  • beard;
  • pliers or passages.

Some craftsmen also use an electric welding machine. It is not recommended to use it, since the seams after welding quickly deteriorate under the influence of vibration during intensive operation of the chainsaw. This method is only suitable for gear chains that transmit forces to the drive sprocket.

Connecting links

  • Install the link with new rivets on the chain. Lay on the anvil, open side up.
  • Put the top plate on the rivets, tap several times with a hammer for a tight connection.
  • Attach the barb to the rivet, make 1-2 hard blows with a hammer. Achieve a pronounced thickening, flattening of the metal. Repeat the operation on both sides of the link.

After work, you should check that the chain is movable, all its elements move freely in different directions. This avoids jamming during the sawing process.

Important! The headset must not be mounted on a chainsaw if the links cannot move freely. After repairs or changes in length, check each element.

Removing rivets

To separate the links, physical effort is required, since high-quality steel is used for the manufacture of the headset. Before starting work, fix the chain firmly in a vise to avoid injury during the removal process. File off the protruding part with a file or a file. The rivet itself can be removed with your own hands in the following ways:

How to shorten chain sawing machines

  • Continue to grind with emery until the jumper is exposed. Attach a barb, hollow out the metal with a hammer.
  • Grind off the rivet with an angle grinder. The disadvantage of this method is that the circuit itself can be damaged. Work must be done carefully, periodically wetting the area with water.
  • After clamping the chain in a vice for the guides, cut the rivets with a chisel.

If you need to increase the number of links or remove one of them, then you need to remove at least two rivets (left and right). When using an angle grinder, the metal may become hot, so wait until it cools down after grinding or wear protective gloves.

Riveting machine

Used in conjunction with a punch for riveting and rolling saw chains with different pitches. The cutting depth of the headset can vary from 1.1 to 2 mm. Includes rotating inserts, anvils marked A or B (difference in pitch).

The mechanism of work. the saw chain with a new link and fresh rivets is attached to the guides. After that, the site is pressed with a roller against the built-in anvil, the engine is started. During rotation, it presses and crushes the rivet. During the process, it is required to tighten the adjusting screw slowly. The advantage of the riveting-rolling machine is that rivets do not differ from factory rivets in terms of quality and strength, they can withstand heavy loads.

Important! It is impractical to purchase machines for a home workshop. They have a high cost and are aimed only at working with a chainsaw headset.

Repair errors and their consequences

The quality of work to shorten or increase the size of the chain on a chainsaw depends on adherence to the technological process. Major mistakes:

  • the new element of the headset does not match in pitch, thickness or size of the teeth;
  • setting the element in the wrong direction;
  • the chain does not match the length of the bar;
  • the rivet is loose or crooked.

Violation of the operation scheme can lead not only to damage to the tool, but also dangerous injuries. You should carefully check each element of the headset even before you start sawing wood.

Range of saw chain repairing machines

A special machine for riveting chainsaws is included in the list of working equipment of specialized workshops. The offered assortment includes several budget and branded models of imported production.

Riveting machines of STIHL, Husqvarna and Champion brands are characterized by increased capabilities and comfortable level of work.

Technically sophisticated devices ensure high quality riveted joints, saving labor time and material costs.

Feasibility of self-repair

shorten, chainsaw, chain, home

Experts advise to rivet and repair the damaged chain with minimal loss of quality, using the technical potential of the service workshop. Despite the assurances of manufacturers about the problems and complexity of self-repair, a significant part of users prefer to master the methods of restoring the working capacity of saw sets on their own.

  • owner’s residence at a great distance from service points;
  • the high cost of the repair services provided by the services;
  • lack of necessary equipment.

It is not advisable and unsafe to compensate for the natural wear of the chain by shortening. Operating the saw headset with an extended chain is inevitably accompanied by:

  • forced wear of the tire and the rim of the drive sprocket;
  • an increase in engine load;
  • increased trauma risk of sawing works of different levels of complexity.
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Post-repair restrictions

The problem is that a hastily repaired part contains one or more “weak links”. In this state, the operating time of the headset under heavy loads is significantly limited, and increased requirements are imposed on the full operation of the lubrication system.

It is possible to use the restored chain in working mode, provided that the repair was carried out by an experienced riveter who has at his disposal a riveting machine and other special equipment.

Criteria for self-selection of a saw chain

In everyday life, the quality of removable sawing equipment from leading European brands is highly valued. Guide bars and chains from STIHL and Husqvarna enjoy unofficial reference status.

When purchasing a product, you must make sure that the model in terms of length, pitch and thickness of the shank meets the design standards of the chainsaw. The entire chain assortment is divided into five size groups ranging from 1/4 to ¾ inch.

Small-cube models of budget-class chainsaws are equipped with products with a smaller pitch, chains with an increased pitch and thickened shanks. a characteristic feature of the headsets of powerful and productive professional chainsaws.

Pro tips for preparing a new chain for use

Practice has proven the effectiveness of stabilizing the internal structure of the saw chain metal. Sufficiently prolonged heating of the product in an oil bath with a constant temperature of 60-70 ° C, eliminates internal stresses, contributes to the restoration of the crystal lattice of the metal.

The optimal heating time for the tool steel from which the cutting links are made can vary for 7-10 days or more.

The initial stage of repair and restoration work

All known methods for shortening a saw chain assume criteria for rejecting damaged cutting and connecting links, a sequence of working steps determined by the technology. Cutting and connecting links are assembled with factory rivets, which in all characteristics comply with the current standards.

The use of homemade components is not recommended in any case. Special rivets for chains are extremely rare on sale, therefore, in most cases, the problem is solved by installing the necessary parts removed from the dismantled section of the chain.

How to eliminate the risks of acquiring a low-quality fake

When buying a branded chain on the market, the risks of acquiring a Chinese chain counterfeit are not excluded. The task of self-selection is complicated by the lack of a reliable way to distinguish a high-quality branded original from a fake, which is an order of magnitude inferior in terms of work resource to branded products.

External and internal factors of accelerated wear

The reason that the chain is intensively stretched on a chainsaw may be the wrong choice of chain oil or the replacement of the recommended material with an oil substitute, a malfunction of the lubrication system or inaccurate adjustment of the oil pump with variable performance.

Filling the lubrication system with material of substandard density and viscosity negatively affects the lubrication and cooling efficiency of the working surfaces, the performance of the pump supplying chain oil to the saw headset.

Filling with summer oil can create a lot of problems when operating a chainsaw at a low air temperature of 10 ° C. As a result of an oversight, a breakdown of the oil pump drive is possible, a decrease in its performance to the level of oil starvation.

Adjusting the saw chain tension

A professional feller will never start using a chainsaw until he has checked the chain tension. If it is weak, the headset will dangle when driving, jump off the tire and may well burst. Excessive tension also does not bode well. increased engine loads and rapid wear of structural elements critically reduce the working life of the tool.

On most models, the saw chain tension will secure the bar. This means that if it is insufficient or excessive, the tire will have increased play, or its sprocket will be pinched and will not be able to move the headset.

The procedure for tightening the saw chain is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  • Checking the chain stroke.

To do this, approximately in the middle of the tire in its upper part, the chain is taken by the tooth and pulled up vertically. With optimal tension, about a third of the shank will remain in the groove of the bar, and the chain itself rotates freely by hand. If not, then it is overtightened or weakened.

  • Security control.

Before proceeding with the repair, you must make sure that the chainsaw is turned off and its accidental start is completely excluded.

  • Assessment of the degree of tension.

To do this, turn the chain by hand along the mowing line of the working stroke. If the headset is loose, you will notice slack at the bottom of the tire.

  • Tensioner check.

This assembly is located inside a cover that fixes the busbar, which is located near the brake clutch. Loosen the locking nuts and turn the tensioner (adjusting bolt) until the normal tension is achieved while maintaining the smooth running of the chain and the required hinge play.

Do not change the chain or adjust it while it is hot. When cooled, the metal shrinks, so a headset adjusted in this way can deform the tire or damage the engine.

Adjusting the saw chain tension

A professional feller will never start using a chainsaw until he has checked the chain tension. If it is weak, the headset will dangle when driving, jump off the tire and may well burst. Excessive tension also does not bode well. increased engine loads and rapid wear of structural elements critically reduce the working life of the tool.

On most models, the saw chain tension will secure the bar. This means that if it is insufficient or excessive, the tire will have increased play, or its sprocket will be pinched and will not be able to move the headset.

The procedure for tightening the saw chain is carried out according to the following algorithm:

To do this, approximately in the middle of the tire in its upper part, the chain is taken by the tooth and pulled up vertically. With optimal tension, about a third of the shank will remain in the groove of the bar, and the chain itself rotates freely by hand. If not, then it is overtightened or weakened.

Before proceeding with the repair, you must make sure that the chainsaw is turned off and its accidental start is completely excluded.

To do this, turn the chain by hand along the mowing line of the working stroke. If the headset is loose, you will notice slack at the bottom of the tire.

This assembly is located inside a cover that fixes the busbar, which is located near the brake clutch. Loosen the lock nuts and turn the tensioner (adjusting bolt) until the normal tension is achieved while maintaining the smooth running of the chain and the required hinge play.

Do not change the chain or adjust it while it is hot. When cooled, the metal shrinks, so a headset adjusted in this way can deform the tire or damage the engine.

Instructions: How to shorten a chainsaw chain with your own hands at home?

The chain is considered a consumable for a chainsaw. often than other elements it fails and begins to sag, especially with frequent use. With intensive work, the metal of the links begins to heat up, which leads to stretching of the saw headset, a decrease in tension. To avoid planned replacement, the chain can also be shortened at home. The procedure is simple to implement, but you need to know how to properly remove the rivets and reassemble all the components.

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When a chainsaw chain repair is needed?

The condition of the saw chain affects not only the convenience and quality of the cut, but also the consumption of fuel and lubricants. In addition, the operation of a faulty chain can lead to both complete failure of the tool units and injury. Therefore, before starting work, it is imperative to check the condition of the chainsaw, the presence of oil and a combustible mixture, as well as the integrity of the body and the operability of the controls.

The life of a chain depends on many factors. the materials from which it is made, the operating conditions, the manner of the operator, etc. In normal operation, a professional chainsaw is serviced every day. As for the home instrument, it is not used as much. But you should still prepare for cutting by drying and cleaning the material from dirt and foreign objects.

The chain of a household chainsaw must be repaired immediately if signs such as:

  • slowdown and difficulty in cutting;
  • runout or increased vibration of the guide bar;
  • chip heterogeneity;
  • carbon deposits on the mowing line, cut and shavings;
  • the characteristic smell of burnt wood or overheated metal;
  • dust emission during cutting, etc.

If you have the necessary tools, knowledge and skills, it is not at all necessary to contact the service center when these symptoms occur. stretching, sharpening, etc. can be done independently. Direct visual inspection of the saw chain allows you to verify the presence of faults, as well as to identify their degree and determine the appropriate remedy.

The chainsaw loves work, so you should not allow it to be idle for a long time. If you are not going to work with the tool in the near future, it is necessary to properly prepare it for storage.

When a chainsaw chain repair is needed?

The condition of the saw chain affects not only the convenience and quality of the cut, but also the consumption of fuel and lubricants. In addition, the operation of a faulty chain can lead to both complete failure of the tool units and injury. Therefore, before starting work, it is imperative to check the condition of the chainsaw, the presence of oil and a combustible mixture, as well as the integrity of the body and the operability of the controls.

Shorten a Chainsaw chain or make a new chain

The life of a chain depends on many factors. the materials from which it is made, the operating conditions, the manner of the operator, etc. In normal operation, a professional chainsaw is serviced every day. As for the home instrument, it is not used as much. But you should still prepare for cutting by drying and cleaning the material from dirt and foreign objects.

The chain of a household chainsaw must be repaired immediately if signs such as:

  • slowdown and difficulty in cutting;
  • runout or increased vibration of the guide bar;
  • chip heterogeneity;
  • carbon deposits on the mowing line, cut and shavings;
  • the characteristic smell of burnt wood or overheated metal;
  • dust emission during cutting, etc.

If you have the necessary tools, knowledge and skills, it is not at all necessary to contact the service center when these symptoms occur. stretching, sharpening, etc. can be done independently. Direct visual inspection of the saw chain allows you to verify the presence of faults, as well as to identify their degree and determine the appropriate remedy.

The chainsaw loves work, so you should not allow it to be idle for a long time. If you are not going to work with the tool in the near future, it is necessary to properly prepare it for storage.

Connecting links

  • Install the link with new rivets on the chain. Lay on the anvil, open side up.
  • Put the top plate on the rivets, tap several times with a hammer for a tight connection.
  • Attach the barb to the rivet, make 1-2 hard blows with a hammer. Achieve a pronounced thickening, flattening of the metal. Repeat the operation on both sides of the link.

After work, you should check that the chain is movable, all its elements move freely in different directions. This avoids jamming during the sawing process.

Important! The headset must not be mounted on a chainsaw if the links cannot move freely. After repairs or changes in length, check each element.

Required tools

Well-known chainsaw manufacturers like Champion and Goodluck advise against making chain reduction at home. But if you have the skills to work with power tools, then such manipulations are quite easy to carry out. For. to shorten the chain take the following:

  • vice;
  • a hammer;
  • file;
  • beard;
  • pliers;
  • electric welding machine (for some saw models it may not be needed).

Chainsaws & Tools : How to Shorten the Chain on a Chainsaw

The video below shows the main nuances that you need to pay attention to while shortening the chain on the saw.

Package contents and rules of use

Typically, a chainsaw comes with about three chains and two tires as standard. It is advisable to turn the latter over every 3 hours of tool operation. After the same time, most saw manufacturers (STIHL, Husqvarna, etc.) advise changing the chain. If you follow these simple rules for using power tools, you will avoid frequent breakdowns and permanent repairs. But most do not adhere to all recommendations, as a result, they need to take the saw to the master or make adjustments on their own.

After a long time of operation, the chain must be pulled. If you do not know how to properly make such repairs, then it is better to seek professional help. The basic principle of tensioning a dusty chain is shown in the photo below.

When you notice that this no longer helps and the mechanism inside the saw does not give the necessary stretch, you should shorten it. If you do not do this, then the drive sprocket may deteriorate in the chainsaw. Such a strong stretch of the chain occurs when the file is actively used. If it is not changed or shortened, then you will have to buy a new tool, which is much more expensive.

After prolonged use, the chain on the chainsaw may break and it will be necessary to replace it. In such a situation, you can take the missing part from another tool. It doesn’t have to be the perfect fit, because you can always just shorten it to the desired length. But be sure to consider the size of your saw bar. Some users of such garden tools specifically replace chains on budget chainsaws with better ones from professional models. This option for improving your garden tool is quite cheap and you can do it yourself.

How to shorten the chainsaw chain yourself

If you have a summer cottage, or you live in a private house, then most likely there is a chainsaw in your arsenal of garden accessories. This device is a great helper for anyone who has a garden on their site. Quite often, the owners of such devices are faced with the problem of how to shorten the chainsaw chain on their own. This problem is especially urgent for villagers.

Manufacturers

It must be remembered that every chainsaw needs careful and regular maintenance. After prolonged use, it becomes necessary to shorten the chain. The most common manufacturers of these garden tools are:

  • STIHL;
  • Champion;
  • Goodluck;
  • Husqvarna.
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Before using the saw in your area, carefully read the instructions for it.

Why does stretching occur??

Quite often, the problem can arise that the chains are stretched and need to be shortened. So for what reason is the stretching of this important saw element:

  • Most often, such a nuisance happens due to the fact that the chain itself is of very poor quality. Fakes from thin and cheap materials have flooded the domestic power tool market;
  • But there are other reasons for chain stretching as well. One of them is the poor-quality assembly of the file mechanism itself. Because of this, the chain is constantly overheating and stretching;
  • If you want to prevent the chain from shortening, check that the oil supply to the driven sprocket is adjusted. When using the saw, make sure that the lubrication hole of the mechanism is not clogged with sawdust and debris. In addition, remember that every saw needs regular maintenance and periodic adjustments;
  • In some cases, the sprocket will wear out resulting in severe chain stretching. A similar reason occurs due to the passage of the protrusions that direct the movement. As a result, there is strong friction, which provokes stretching.

A chainsaw is a must-have for everyone who has a summer cottage or a private house. But if you want it to serve you as long as possible, then it is necessary to periodically carry out in-line repairs and debugging of all mechanisms. Particular attention should be paid to stretching the chain. Before use, it is advisable to carefully read the instructions, which describe the basic recommendations for using the file.

How to shorten a chainsaw chain with your own hands. procedure

Often during the operation of the chainsaw, the saw chain stretches, which makes it impossible to further use the tool. Today, there are specialized workshops that provide services for shortening chainsaw chains, but it is possible to shorten the chainsaw chain with your own hands at home or right at the workplace.

Tools that you need to shorten

You can properly shorten the chainsaw chain with your own hands using special tools.

Rivet Removing Machine

For disassembly, a specialized machine is used. a punch. The machine is designed as a small mechanical press. In its lower part, a removable anvil is installed, which has grooves of different sizes. The working rod of the device also has nozzles of different diameters. This makes it possible to use the machine for chains from different manufacturers. The rivet is removed by squeezing it out of the seat.

Caution: The diameter of the removable stem tip must not exceed the diameter of the hole in the side plates.

Reasons for chain stretching

The chain of a chainsaw, regardless of the manufacturer, can stretch for several reasons:

  • Incorrect operation of the oil pump. Insufficient oil supply leads to overheating of the chain and its rapid stretching.
  • Natural wear and tear. Occurs as a result of prolonged use of the tool.
  • Using poor quality lubricant.
  • Violation of the rules for operating a chainsaw.

Important: If any irregularities in the operation of the oil pump are detected, it is necessary to eliminate the malfunctions, ensure the normal lubrication of the saw blade. Failure to do so may result in drive sprocket failure. You should also pay attention to the quality of the oil. The presence of various kinds of abrasive microparticles in the oil is not allowed.

Rivet removal methods without the use of specialized devices

There are several ways to remove rivets without using specialized tools:

  • Grind off the protrusions on the emery. When using this method, it is necessary to control the degree of pressure on the rivet in order to avoid damage to the working parts.
  • Cut with the cut-off wheel of an angle grinder. It should be borne in mind that in this case the metal heats up, which will affect its properties.
  • Cut the heads with a file or file. With this method, the risk of link damage is minimized.
  • Chop down using a chisel. Before starting work, you will need to securely fasten the chain in a vice.

After the outer protrusions are completely cut off, you will need to knock the rivet out of the seat. To do this, you need to choose a punch, the diameter of which will correspond to the diameter of the hole. The punch must be put on the rivet and knocked out with a sharp blow with a hammer. After completing these steps, the chain will be disconnected.

Caution: To avoid damage to the links, they must be securely fastened. In addition, the punch should be installed strictly perpendicular to the rivet cut.

Rivet setting machine

After disassembling and removing the chain element, it is necessary to reconnect the working links. For this purpose, a riveting machine is used. The assembly process takes place using a special work roller, which is driven by an electric motor.

The rivet is clamped between the stationary anvil and the work roll. The operator independently sets the pressure of the work roller using the adjusting screw. During the rotation of the roller, the edge of the rivet is gradually crushed, which makes it impossible to disconnect the links from each other.

Reference: using machines to shorten the chainsaw chain allows you to bring the build quality as close as possible to the factory sample. However, these devices are quite expensive, and their purchase for home use is unprofitable. In addition, it is not always possible to use specialized devices right at the workplace. In this regard, it is possible to shorten with improvised tools.

How to rivet a chainsaw chain

To assemble the chain, you will need to install a repair link on it. It must be borne in mind that its dimensions must strictly correspond to the dimensions of the working links. Installing a spare part with a different pitch or profile can damage the drive sprocket, driven sprocket and saw blade of the chainsaw.

The repair link is sold with rivets that you just need to fasten. To do this, you need to lay the chainsaw chain on the anvil. After that, place the punch on the new rivet and flatten the head with a sharp blow with a hammer. It is necessary to rivet until the resulting thickening covers the hole in the outer plate.

When flattening, control the degree of clamping of the side plates. After assembly, the installed link must move freely along the axis. Installing a chain with a jammed link on a chainsaw is not allowed. Failure to follow this rule can lead to more serious damage to the device.

Some people use electric arc welding machines for assembly. In this case, the edges of the rivet are welded to the outer link plates. The use of electric welding involves heating the metal to a high temperature. As a result of overheating, the properties of the metal change, it becomes less wear-resistant.

Recommendation: after assembling and installing the part on the chainsaw, you need to check its performance with a minimum load. Only in case of normal operation can the load be increased.

From the information described above, it follows that chain stretching on a chainsaw is a fairly common phenomenon. It is quite possible to shorten the chain at home, you just have to enlist the traditional tools that almost every owner has in stock.