How To Tighten A Chain Saw Chain

What You'll Need
Chain saw tightening tool
Safety goggles
Blanket or large cloth

For proper operation as well as safety, knowing how to tighten a chain saw chain is an important task which needs to be performed frequently. Until the chain is broken in it may need to be tightened every few minutes. Keep in mind that an improperly tightened chain may lead to serious damage.

Step 1 – Preparation

Before you begin, place a protective cloth over your clean, level workspace. Check to make sure the oil and gasoline chamber tops are securely fastened.

Step 2 -Loosen Bar Cover

Use a wrench or screwdriver to loosen the locking nuts on the bar cover.

Step 3 – Screw Adjustment

Adjust the bar by turning the screw toward the front to gain tension. Turning it toward the handle will reduce tension or loosen the chain.  It is important that when tightening by the adjustment screw you turn it forward slowly. Do not over tighten the adjustment screw. This should result in only about a 1/4-inch of play between the chain and the bar. If there is more than a 1/4 inch of tension the saw will overheat and stop moving.

Step 4 – Re-tighten Bar Attachment

Once you have set the chain saw chain tension properly, re-tighten the bar attachment nuts on the side of the chain saw.

Step 5 – Check the Oil

It is a good idea to check the oil whenever tightening, replacing or sharpening the chain. Proper oil amount will keep the chain saw engine from overheating. Most chain saws have an automatic pump that dispenses oil when operating although you may need to push the pump valve once or twice before starting the engine.

Step 6 – Check the Cut

Don a pair of safety goggles and make a cut through some wood making sure that the chain moves continually and does not get stuck. If the chain stops during operation, repeat the steps above.

Always check with your manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines for proper maintenance of your chain saw.