How To Shorten A Chainsaw Chain

Post-repair restrictions

The problem is that a hastily repaired part has one or more “weak links” in its composition. 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 performed by an experienced riveter who has a riveting machine and other special equipment at his disposal.

Possible causes of spontaneous saw chain breakage

How To Shorten A Chainsaw Chain

If the chain on the chainsaw breaks, it is necessary to find out the cause of the malfunction, establish the expediency of repairing the damaged part or installing a new one.

Typical reasons for saw chain breaks are unfavorable external factors:

  • Excessive tension;
  • Wear of the guide bar or inconsistency of the shanks with the width of the working groove;
  • Operation of a fixed kit with large permanent loads;
  • Overheating of the headset due to lack of lubrication;
  • Inconsistency of the chain of the tire type and configuration of the crown of the drive sprocket.

How to eliminate the risks of acquiring a low quality counterfeit

When buying a branded chain on the market, the risks of acquiring a Chinese counterfeit chain 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 life to branded products.

How and how to shorten the chain on a chainsaw: recommendations of professionals

Situations are NOT rare when, when installing a shorter tire on a chainsaw, you have to change and follow the chain. This information will tell you how to shorten the chain on a chainsaw in such a way that the part has completely worked out its resource. Another option. Adjustment of a long chain to a shorter standard guide bar possible.

For repairs, NOT stretched chains with a small resource development are used, which received partial damage when breaking or hitting cutting links on metal inclusions contained in the wood.

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 of the tool steel from which the cutting links are made can vary for 7-10 days or more.

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 headset.

Filling of summer oil can create many 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.

Equipment and rules of use

A chainsaw usually comes standard with about three chains and two tires. It is advisable to turn the latter over every 3 hours of tool operation. After the same time, most dust manufacturers (Stihl, Husqvarna, etc.) advise changing the chain. If you follow these simple rules for using power tools, you will avoid frequent breakdowns and constant repairs. But most do NOT adhere to all the recommendations, in total they need to take the dust to the master or do the adjustment on their own.

After a long time of operation, the chain must be pulled. If you do not know how to properly make such a repair, 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 actively using the file. If it is NOT changed or shortened, then you will have to buy a new tool, which is much more expensive.


It must be remembered that every chainsaw needs careful and regular maintenance. After prolonged use, there is a need to shorten the chain. The most common manufacturers of THESE garden tools are:

  • Stihl;
  • Champion;
  • Goodluck;
  • Husqvarna.

Before applying in your dust area, carefully read the instructions for it.

Required tools

Renowned chainsaw manufacturers like Champion and Goodluck advise NOT to do 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:

  • Pressure;
  • A hammer;
  • File;
  • Beard;
  • Pliers;
  • Electric welding machine (for some models, dust may NOT be needed).

The following shows the main nuances that need to be noted when shortening the chain on the saw.

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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.

Why stretching occurs?

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

  • 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. One of them. This is a poor-quality assembly of the saw mechanism itself. Because of this, the chain is constantly overheating and stretching;
  • If you want to prevent the chain from shortening, then 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 blocked by sawdust or 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, which direct the course of movement. As a result, there is strong friction, which provokes stretching.

Chainsaw. This is a necessary thing for everyone who has a summer cottage or a private house. But if you want it to serve you as long as possible, then you need to periodically carry out thread repairs and debug all devices. Particular attention should be paid to stretching the chain. Before implementation, it is advisable to carefully read the instructions, which describe the basic recommendations for using the saw.

Consult an experienced welder

The question may arise about the advisability of repairing the chainsaw chain, since the consequences of its repair can be so serious. But this is all only because of an inept quarrel. An experienced welder will do this work quickly and efficiently, which will reduce the likelihood of negative consequences to almost zero. And when rivets are used without further quarrel, the previously named moments simply disappear. The only question is where to get such rivets. But making them is not so difficult if you have a lathe available.

How to remove rivets?

The main parameters of the chainsaw chain.

Chainsaw chain is difficult to disconnect. The rivets are made of high quality steel and have a geometric shape that does not allow you to simply knock the rivets out of the link. The inner part of the rivet has a larger radius. On this thickening, the link turns, and the outer parts of the rivets have only a connecting function, so it is enough to simply securely fix them on the outside of the chain. The rivet is removed as follows: the chain is fixed in a vice, and the protruding part is seamed. When sewing, try NOT to damage the side parts of the links.

It is not recommended to use an angle grinder, as the parts will heat up very quickly, which will lead to a change in the physical properties of the metal. It is better to use a file or file for sewing. Seam is done on both sides of the link. Now the rivets can be knocked out of the chain using a barb, slightly bending the side parts of the links.

Chainsaw tooth device diagram.

It is also profitable for trading organizations to sell chains in their finished version than small parts for repair. For these reasons, it will be very difficult to find a suitable rivet with the required geometry. Making it at home will be even harder, so you have to use an old rivet.

As you may have guessed, the chainsaw chain is about to Disconnect twice. Do not forget to calculate so that the number of guides on the inner side of the chain and the distance between These protrudes are combined with the leading sprocket of the chainsaw. If you are shortening the original chain, then this is not necessary. And if this is a chain from another model of a chainsaw, then everything needs to be measured very well and calculated. A deviation in the chain pitch (even a small one) from the parameters set by the design will lead to the fact that the chain will stretch again in the shortest possible time (at best) or break the chain saw sprocket. The tire will also come to an end, as the driven sprocket will quickly overheat.

Equipment and rules of use

The saw must include several chains (at least 3) plus 2 bars. It is recommended to turn the tire over after 3 hours of operation. After another 3 hours, the chain is replaced. Such simple rules can significantly extend the life of all the elements of the chainsaw. And in life we ​​practically DO NOT adhere to the recommendations and are guided by our own ideas about the appropriateness.

Comparative table of characteristics of chain chainsaws.

After a certain time of operation of the chainsaw, we simply tighten the chain. And at a certain moment we notice that the tensioning system no longer allows the chain to tighten. The chain is stretched to the limit. You cannot continue to work with it, since the stretched chain will begin to break the drive sprocket, as a result of which the tire wear will greatly increase. The chain must be shortened.

Another reason why you have to shorten the chain. “Fitting” a longer chain from another chainsaw to your tire. This is also common, as there is an opinion among users that better chains are made for “professional” chainsaws.

Required tools

Chainsaw manufacturers claim that it is impossible to shorten the chain at home, since the very technology of their manufacture is very complex and requires high-precision equipment. Practice shows that nothing is impossible. In order to shorten the chain, you need:

  • Pressure;
  • A hammer;
  • File;
  • Beard;
  • Pliers;
  • Electric welding machine (in some cases, you can do without it).

How to make the right rivets with an electric drill?

Chainsaw chain structure.

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Do not be afraid: no one offers you to buy a machine. Use a conventional drill. The whole process of making rivets using an Electric Drill and a regular Needle File will be described as follows. From a nail, the diameter of which is equal to the diameter of the inner part of the rivets (check with a caliper), a blank is cut out. A piece about 7 cm long. This workpiece is fixed in the head of the Electric drill. The drill itself must also be securely fixed.

Two Needles are fixed on a wooden beam, the distance between which will be equal to the width of the inner part of the rivet. You may not be able to do this quickly, but you must be absolutely precise. It remains only to organize a uniform supply of the bar to the workpiece. We recommend using a piece of board, one end of which is Fixing to the fixed part of the workbench using a wide door hinge, and at the second end of the board Fixing a block with Needle.

We check the perpendicularity of the location of the files and the workpiece. And you can get to work. Turn on the Electric Drill and gently lower the Needles. They will make grooves on the workpiece. It is not recommended to make rivets in one go, since the metal does not cost overheat, but it is necessary to control the thickness of the workpiece on the machined part. A too thin part of the rivet can damage you too, so you need to achieve maximum accuracy. If you were able to do everything correctly, then all that remains is to cut the rivet and use it to connect the chain links.

It is better to cut the rivet by hand, without using an angle grinder. Do not forget that when cutting metal at high tool speeds, a significant increase in the temperature of the material will occur, which is very undesirable. The finished rivet is NOT at all inferior to the factory product in quality, therefore the restored chain will last for a long time. Negative moments when using homemade rivets will be practically eliminated. The main thing is that when installing the rivets, you DO NOT forget to align the side parts of the links (after all, they had to be unbent when the chain was split). Even a slight protrusion of THESE elements from the design norm will lead to premature wear of the drive sprocket.

It is recommended to make several rivets at once as described earlier. The point here is not only to stock up on such necessary elements for future use (although this is also important). The most important thing from the total number of products is to choose the most suitable size: any deviation from the norm will make the chain vulnerable at high loads.

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

Linking links

If all the parameters of the chain are combined with the parts of your chainsaw, then you can start connecting the links. We connect the links to a rivet, tightly pressed their side parts. Rivet the protrusions It will not work, since they are grinded flush with the links. We’ll have to use electric welding. For this, the electrode must be taken of the smallest diameter.

Determination of chain wear: a. Wear of teeth, b. Installing an additional fixing plate on the key link.

It is not recommended to start welding immediately, as it is a very delicate job. Practice doing this first on the second details. So you will at least roughly understand at what current you need to cook and what time to quarrel to choose. And the electrode will become shorter, which will make it possible to produce a quarrel more accurately. A very short period of time is enough for the rivet to “grip”. After training, we perform a row of rivets with the side parts of the link. It remains only to grind off excess metal on both sides with a file and the chain can be considered ready for use.

Rivet setting machine

After disassembling and removing the chain element, the working links must be reconnected. For this purpose, a rivet-rolling 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 roll 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: the use of machines to shorten the chainsaw chain allows you to bring the build quality as close as possible to the factory sample. However, these devices have a rather high cost, 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, you can shorten the tool at hand.

Rivet removal methods without the use of specialized devices

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

  • There are protrusions on 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.
  • Saw off the heads with a file or a file. With this method, the risk of link damage is minimized.
  • Cut down with the introduction of 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 select a Punch, the diameter of which will correspond to the diameter of the hole. The punch must be placed on the rivet and knocked out with a sharp blow with a hammer. After performing THESE actions, the chain will be disconnected.

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

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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.

Rivet Removing Machine

A specialized machine is used for disassembly. 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.

Reasons for chain stretching

A chainsaw chain, regardless of 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.
  • Use of poor quality lubricant.
  • Violation of the rules for operating a chainsaw.

Important: When detecting irregularities in the operation of the oil pump, 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 types of abrasive microparticles in the oil is not allowed.

Tools that will be needed to shorten

You can correctly shorten the chainsaw chain with your own hands with the introduction of Special devices.

How to shorten a chainsaw chain with your own hands: sequence of actions, process nuances and instructions

The condition of the chainsaw must meet the technical requirements of its operation. Any defect, whether it be chain slack or a deterioration in the quality of the cut, often occurs due to its stretching.

From the point of view of operator safety, further operation of the chainsaw is not permissible. At the most unexpected moment, a sagging chain can break and injure him. Replace with another spare chain or have it shortened in a workshop or work place.

If it becomes necessary to shorten

Often in the forest or on a remote construction site, you will not be able to find a replacement for your extended chain.

Having taken into account all the tips, and making sure of the need to shorten the chain, it is important to know the sequence of actions and Possible replacement methods.

There are not so many of them and depend on how many links need to be removed, and in what conditions the repair will be carried out.

Each link (cutter and links connecting them) has two such rivets. In case of damage to nearby “native” connecting links, you can use elements from any other similar chain of any, even automotive, equipment. You just need to adjust the profile with a file, especially from the bottom, where it has a small groove.

Chainsaw chain diagram

The easiest way is to take a long chain, in which you can remove several segments without any problems. So, at least, it becomes possible to use the native links. They are removed with a hacksaw for metal, but it is better to use emery.

Initially, it is necessary to grind off the unnecessary cap, and then cut off the excess area. To do this, you need to pry with a knife and knock out the cap from unnecessary links using a homemade punch.

The types and characteristics of modern chainsaws can be read here.

Is it always necessary to repair the chain?

Chainsaw chain slack is not always a reason to repair it. You must first make sure that it is completely not subject to tension (adjustment).

Here are some typical cases:

  • Chain stretching.
  • Inconsistency of the new existing circuit with a short bus.

Chain stretching due to prolonged use is typical. During operation, the metal of the chain heats up, and the links gradually stretch due to the expansion of the metal in volume. That is, the chain stretches every time, which can sometimes be eliminated by partially reducing the cutting time. However, this does not go out, when she has to work intensively all shift in industrial conditions or when preparing firewood for the winter.

Another circumstance that does not allow the normal operation of dust even with a new chain is the discrepancy in length. This can happen only when inattentive users buy, or is caused by the lack of the required chain at the moment. Which, in principle, is not so dangerous, since you can always find a way out of the situation, finished it manually. In this case, the strength of the connection of the chain links will remain at a sufficiently high level.

Chain tension adjustment

Chains are usually tensioned manually using the saw tensioning bolt located in the area of ​​the bumpers.

Using a straight screwdriver installed on the bar and the drive sprocket, the chain is gradually tightened after closing the side cover.

It is not worth pulling the chainsaw chain all the way, as you risk stretching the links again soon. Usually a small amount of chain pull is left, checked by hand. It should be slightly evacuated from the tire by about a millimeter.

Chain selection taking into account tension

There are no specific solutions in this regard. You just need to remember about the complex wear of the chainsaw equipment itself. You should either change it entirely during continuous operation, or take care of extending the service life of its main part, that is, tires and sprockets.

The performance of the chainsaw will be longer only in an additionally completed composition in the form of several chains. Professionals in particular DO NOT neglect this circumstance and purchase an additional bar and / or several chains with the saw.

Here’s how you can shorten the chain on a chainsaw: