How to shorten a chainsaw chain correctly

How to reduce the chain length on a chainsaw by yourself

Not all modern chainsaws are equipped with the adjusting wheel, which greatly simplifies the procedure of setting the saw blade. Systems with a setting wheel among household chainsaws is a rarity at all

Therefore, it is very important to know the technology and sequence of chain installation on a chainsaw

The main points to pay attention to:

  • Prepare a flat surface on which you will assemble the chain and guide bar. This will minimize the chance of damage to the chain saw or loss of small parts. Lay the bar and the chain next to it in parallel on the prepared surface.
  • Remove the sprocket guard, on modern chainsaws it is sufficient to unscrew the wing nut, on older models, you may need an appropriately sized ring spanner.
  • At the base of the guide bar, turn the tensioning sprocket all the way to the right. This is the only position for installing the chain.
  • Then the chain is placed link by link on the guide bar fixing groove. Install the chain from the top of the guide bar, gradually turning it so that the bar is always on top and the chain is at the bottom, this allows the chain to always be tightened and to fit into the guide bar groove without any problem. When you do this, be sure to wear thick protective gloves, because your fingers will be touching the cutting edge. When viewed from above, the cutter is always forward toward the end of the guide bar.
  • Put both the tire and the chain on the drive sprocket.
  • Replace the chain sprocket cover. Make sure all mounting pins are in line with the holes. Loose or misaligned installation can be the cause of unusual noise, rattling, and banging.
  • Make sure the guide rails “fit” in the guide groove.
  • After tightening, check that the chain is locked in place on the chainsaw and bar. Everything should be mounted securely with no play.

An important point is the amount of tension in the chain once it is installed. It takes no more than 3 minutes to achieve the correct tensioning. First loosen the nuts on the cover plate. Use the freely rotating adjusting screw to check that the tension is correct so that the chain is not pulled away from the chain guide bar edge by more than 3 to 5 mm.

Now just tighten nuts and check tension. If adjustment is necessary, tension again.

How to install the bar and chain on a chainsaw, see the following video, which provides a clear algorithm of how to do it:

Can I shorten the chain on my chainsaw?

The chainsaw chain must be in good condition to meet the chain’s operating conditions. Any defect, whether it is sagging of the chain or deterioration of quality of a cut, often occurs due to its stretching.

From an operator safety point of view, further use of the chainsaw is not permissible. At the most unexpected moment a sagging chain can break and cause injury. The chain should be replaced with a substitute chain or shortened at a repair shop or the workplace.

Is it always necessary to repair the chain??

Chain slack in a chainsaw chain is not always a reason to repair it. You first have to make sure that it cannot be tightened (adjusted).

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Chain stretching due to long working hours is a typical case. As you work, the metal in the chain gets hot, and the links gradually stretch due to the expansion of the metal in the volume. That is, the chain gets stretched every time, which sometimes can be corrected by partially reducing the time you have to cut. But this is not the solution when you have to work it intensively all shift in industrial environments or when preparing firewood for the winter.

Another thing that makes it hard to operate a chain, even with a new chain, is the incorrect length. This can only happen when purchased by inattentive users, or caused by the current lack of the right chain. Which is not too dangerous, because you can always find a way out by shortening the chain manually. In doing so, the strength of the chain links remains at a sufficiently high level.

Chain tensioning adjustment is usually done manually with the saw’s tensioning bolt in the area of the toothed stops.

Using a straight screwdriver on the bar and drive sprocket, the chain, after closing the side cover, begins to gradually tighten.

You should not tighten the chainsaw chain as far as it will go, as you risk stretching the links again soon. Usually leave a small amount of chain pulling to be checked by hand. It should yield slightly to the bar by about a millimeter.

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If it is necessary to shorten

Often when working in the woods or on a remote construction site you will not be able to find a replacement for a sprained chain.

Once you have taken all the tips into account and you are satisfied that it is necessary to shorten the chain, it is important to know the sequence of actions and possible ways of replacement.

shorten, chainsaw, chain, correctly

They are not many and depend on how many links need to be removed, and in what conditions the repair will be made.

Good to know: A chainsaw chain consists of cutters and links that are riveted together in the factory. Connect the shortened chain in the same way, but with homemade rivets.

shorten, chainsaw, chain, correctly

Each link (the chisel and its connecting links), has two of these rivets. If the near “native” connecting links are damaged, you can use elements from any other similar chain of any, even automobile, equipment. You just have to file the profile, especially at the bottom where it has a small groove.

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It is easiest to take a long chain, in which you can easily remove several segments. At least in this way you can use the original links. They are removed with a metal hacksaw, but it is better to use an emery.

Initially it is necessary to grind off the unnecessary rivets, and then cut off the excess section. Use a craft knife to pry the rivets out of the superfluous links.

When joining a new chain, you have to make a homemade riveting of the links. You can buy rivets in a store, but if you don’t have them, use steel wire, or better yet, a short bolt with a flat head. Rivet on a rigid base (metal workbench or vise). Slide one after the other through the future riveting elements and flatten them on the underside with a hammer.

Matching the chain to the stretching

There are no special solutions for this. You just have to keep in mind the complex wear and tear of the chainsaw. Either replace it completely if you work continuously or make sure you extend the life of the main part of it, i.e. the guide bar and sprocket.

The chainsaw can only work for a long time if it is made up of several additional chains. Professionals in particular do not disregard this circumstance and buy an additional bar and/or several chains together with the saw.

Keep in mind: by alternating between changing the chain in time and turning the bar over, you can push back the moment of wear on the cutting attachment as much as possible, and thus resort to shortening the chainsaw chain less often.

In this video you will learn how to shorten the chain on your chainsaw:

Check tension

It is important to check the tension in good time. As previously mentioned, the cutting edge can wear out quickly if there is a lot of slack or tension

The work to check the condition of the chain is carried out as follows:

  • First of all the brake system is disengaged.
  • The chain on the bar is held by hand while wearing gloves.
  • If it runs in the right direction and there is no slack, everything is normal.
  • If it runs tight, you should loosen the tension a little, as there is a possibility of tearing at the time of operation.

Proper use of chain saw significantly extends its service life. The basic recommendations are as follows:

Clean spark plugs from time to time to ensure an easy start. Over time, soot may appear on the surface, which significantly complicates the procedure of ignition of the fuel mixture. The bearings are lubricated regularly. A special grease or engine oil is used for this. If the unit runs dry there is a possibility of considerable wear and tear. Adding lubricant solves quite a few problems. The air filter must be regularly greased, or in some cases greased with oil. If necessary, the filter is replaced with a new one

Do not forget that the filter element prevents contaminants from getting into the cylinder block. Before starting work, make sure all fasteners are properly tightened. This requires a visual inspection every time before using the chain saw. The chain sprocket must also be lubricated at all times

It can also get blocked. If not, it will wear out quickly. Chain should be sharpened and oiled periodically. Operation with significant defects is not recommended, as this significantly increases the degree of wear.

it is necessary to have timely maintenance, because otherwise even a high quality tool will not last over a long period of time. In some cases, it is necessary to rent the saw to special companies, which provide the appropriate services.

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Chain tensioning on a chainsaw not only affects the proper operation of the machine, but also the safety of the operator working with it. A chainsaw is a very dangerous tool, and a loose saw chain can lead to unfortunate consequences. A tightened chain increases the load on the saw chain. Therefore, before each start of the machine, make sure that this important element has the correct tension.

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Possible causes of spontaneous saw chain breakage are

In case of chain break on chainsaw it is necessary to find out the reason of failure, to determine expediency of repair of damaged part or installation of a new one.

Unfavorable external conditions are the most common causes of chain breakage:

  • Excessive tensioning;
  • Wear of the guide bar or mismatch of the shanks with the width of the working slot;
  • Use of the saw set with high and constant loads;
  • Overheating of the headset due to lack of lubrication;
  • Wrong type of chain and configuration of drive sprocket rim.

Accessories and rules of use

Usually a chainsaw comes standard with about three chains and two bars. It is desirable to recline the chain every 3 hours of operation. After the same length of time, most saw manufacturers (STIHL, Husqvarna etc.) start to shorten the drive sprocket and then the chain saw.д.) advise to change the chain. If you follow these simple rules for using power tools, you will avoid frequent breakdowns and constant repairs. But most people don’t stick to all the recommendations and end up having to take the saw to a service technician or make adjustments themselves.

Pull chain after long period of use. If you don’t know how to do this correctly, you ought to call in a professional. The basic principle of tensioning a dusty chain is shown in the photo below.

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

After prolonged use, the chain on the chainsaw can 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 size, you can always cut it to the right length. But be sure to take into account the size of the bar of your saw. Some users of these garden tools purposely replace chains on budget versions of chainsaws with higher-quality chains from professional models. This option of improving your garden tool is quite cheap and you can do it yourself.

How-To Properly Adjust The Chain Tension On Your Chainsaw. Video

shorten, chainsaw, chain, correctly

Negative consequences of improper repair of the chain

Considered the option of repairing the chain is not the most reliable, because no one will guarantee you the high quality of the final product. The possible consequences of such a repair are as follows:

Scheme of chain sharpening with a file.

  • During welding (especially at low current) there was excessive heating of the circuit elements, which caused changes in the physical properties of the metal. The soft metal will not allow the chain to stretch along its entire length, but rather at the point of welding. The chain guides would shift and other chain components (sprocket, guide bar) would be damaged quickly.
  • The welding depth is greater than planned. The inner part of the rivet is welded to one (or more) parts of the link, which has become a violation of the mobility of the links. The consequences will be the same as described in the first case.
  • Welding quality is poor. In this case, a chain breakthrough could occur during operation. The reason is that the chain is subjected to very high lateral loads in operation, so the unreliable welding will quickly “wear out”. The possibility of injury would be very high.

Manually sharpening the chain with a file (file)

The first thing worth mentioning is that the manual method is applicable only when there is no critical wear on the teeth. It only corrects the tooth. For a badly worn chainsaw chain, you should use electric machines or an additional tool. Let’s assume that the wear of the links has not reached that critical value. What we will need for mechanical sharpening? Only two tools. a round file and a flat file. The flat type will be needed for undercutting the depth stop, and the round type for correcting the edges of the tooth. Good tip! There are special kits for sharpening saw chains, which are usually sold in specialized stores. Such tools cope with the task most effectively, they are convenient and guarantee a good result.

FES 1814C ; FES 2016C ; FES2216

You have selected a tool? Let’s move on to preparation step 1. First of all you should clean and inspect the chain

Watch for possible imperfections, like broken or bent teeth.2. The bluntest or most damaged tooth is chosen as the reference

Once it has been sharpened, all other chain elements will also adjust to it.3. To start working you just place the saw straight, make sure it is stationary, tension the chain and engage the chain brake.Now let’s go directly to the formation of the recommended angle and cutting edges

Here it is important to master the basic method of sharpening with a circular file: 1. Position the file 1/5-1/4 of its own diameter above the tooth plane

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Work in a horizontal plane perpendicular to the vertical plane of the bar, following the recommendations for sharpening angle (e.g. hold the file at 30° to prepare the chain for crosscutting wood).

Move the file toward the lateral cutting edge, exerting effort evenly and turning it slightly about its own axis.

Chainsaw Chain Repair

Useful tip! Make the same amount of file movements and control the effort for each tooth. This ensures uniform sharpening and maintains the same tooth length.It sounds easy? You actually need some skill. For those who are just figuring out how to sharpen a chainsaw chain with a file there is a way to make it easier. Use additional mechanical aids, like rails, templates, mandrels, etc.д.

Once all teeth have been sharpened, it’s time to go about correcting the depth stop with a flat file. A special filing template is used to make this work easier. Useful tip! How to Make Sure a File is Sharpened? Use the old tried and tested method for checking and sharpening. Paint the cutting edges and then file 2 or 3 times with a file and see the result. The painted material is ground down evenly? You are on the right track!

How to make proper rivets with an electric drill?

Do not be afraid: to get a machine tool for you no one offers. Use an ordinary drill. The entire process of manufacturing rivets with an electric drill and an ordinary file will be described as follows. From a nail, the cross section of which is equal to the cross section of the inside of the rivets (check the caliper), cut out a blank. a piece of length about 7 cm. How you can shorten the chain on a Chinese chainsaw.little as the right way. This workpiece is fixed in the head of the electric drill. As it appears on the chain to replace the sprocket on a chainsaw. The drill itself must also be firmly fixed.

On a wooden bar is fixed two notches, the distance between which will be equal to the width of the inside of the rivet. It can not be done quickly, but you need to achieve absolute precision. The only thing left to do is to arrange a uniform feed of the bar on the workpiece. We advise to use a piece of board, one end of which we fix to the stationary part of the workbench with a wide door hinge, and on the second end of the board we fix a bar with flats.

Check the perpendicularity of the location of the files and the workpiece, and you can begin work. We turn on the electric drill and smoothly lower the file. They will make grooves on the workpiece. It is not recommended to make rivets in one go, because it is not necessary to overheat the metal, but it is necessary to control the thickness of the workpiece on the sharpened part. A very narrow part of the rivet for you can also destroy, so you need to achieve the greatest accuracy. If you were able to do it right, then all that’s left is to cut the rivet off and use it to connect the chain links.

It is better to cut the rivet by hand, without using an angle grinder. How to shorten the chain on a chainsaw: tips and. Do not forget that when cutting metal at high RPM there will be a significant increase in material temperature, which is very unneeded. Finished riveting is of the same quality as the original product, so the rebuilt chain is durable for a long time to come. The bad moments when using homemade rivets will be virtually eliminated. The main thing that when installing rivets you do not forget to align the side parts of the links (you had to bend them when dividing the chain). Even a slight protrusion of these parts from the design norm will lead to early wear of the drive sprocket.

It is recommended to make several rivets at a time, using the method described above. It is not only about having such necessary elements in stock (although this is also fundamental). It is more important to choose the most suitable size out of all products: any deviation from the norm would make the chain vulnerable to heavy loads.

The use of reclaimed chains is not recommended when working with dense species of wood.

We’ve covered all the issues related to self riveting, we’ve paid attention to tools and machines. We advise to buy expensive repair equipment only if you work with the saw constantly. Please note that a wrongly riveted chain can damage not only the tool but also the operator.

If after reading the article you still have questions, you can write them in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев, we will answer them without fail.