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How to Fit a Replacement Chainsaw Chain

If looked after you should not have to replace the chain that often, it is recommended to sharpen your chainsaw chain after about 2 uses. However eventually the chain made need replacing or even the bar and in this guide we should you exactly how to do this.

When selecting which chain you need always make sure you purchase the correct size as these cannot be shortened or extended. To measure, take a measuring tape and from the base of the bar to the nose you’ll have your chain length. Or you can count the amount of drive links which spread out over the chain, these are the links on the inside of the chain which slot into the bar.

Once you have got the correct chain and bar you can now begin.

This video shows an example on how to remove or replace the part on a typical machine, some models may be different but the procedure should be similar.

  What You Will Need:

  Step 1 - Safety Advice

Usually this line will be basic and small however because of how dangerous chainsaws can be even when not in use it is recommended to take precautions. When beginning any work disconnect the spark plug as this will instantly stop any possibility of the machine from starting up.

  Step 2 - Removing the Bar & Chain

To begin you first need to locate the two nuts which hold the clutch cover in place. Using a socket, remove the nuts and put them to one side - to remove the chain you need to push the bar in. This will then allow you take the chain off, along with sliding the bar off the chainsaw.

With the clutch cover removed it is recommended to give the area a good clean, you may notice that it has a build-up of dirt and debris. Also, make sure the chain break is clean and clear and has no damage.

  Step 3 - Fitting the Chain Bar & Chain

Next we are going to replace the chain bar, insert the new bar - once it’s in position you can now look at replacing the chain.

To ensure you have the chain facing the correct position you need to face the blade links, which are the sharp edges of the blade pointing in the direction it’ll turn. This will be along the top and over the edge. Once you’re happy the chains in the correct position you can now hook it over the sprocket and make sure you now feed the drive links into the groove on the bar.

  Step 4 - Applying Tension to the Chain

We can now start to put the chainsaw back together and we can begin with the now clean clutch cover - however make sure you line the adjustment pin first making sure it’ll line up with the hole on the bar.

Once in place you can now loosely tighten the nuts so that it holds the cover in place but does not secure it completely. You can now adjust bar to set the correct tension - to do this you just need to tighten the screw which is positioned on the side of the bar.

So how tight does the chain need to be?

Looking at the bottom, you’ll see the cutter links, and the ones in-between, the tie-straps should just be nicely touching the bottom of the bar. If you pull the chain down slightly it should spring back up and another quarter turn on should fit it perfectly.

Once you're happy with the tension you can take your socket and tighten the nuts so they are nice and tight.

  Step 5 - Generously Lubricate the Chain & Bar

Before we are finished you will want to lubricate the chainsaw, chain and the bar; the chainsaw should have an oil reservoir, simply unscrew the cover and pour in the lubrication oil.

Next, you want to locate the tiny hole on the end of the chainsaw bar, you can either pour the lubricant or using an oil can you will need to get oil in that hole. Then taking an old cloth you can spread the lubricant over chain, ensure you give the chain a good coating of oil. This, of course, will allow the chain to turn smoothly when in operation.

And finally - if you disconnected the chainsaw by the spark plug make sure you reconnect it and away you go.

There you have it! You’ve just successfully replaced a blunt blade and damaged bar onto your chainsaw extending the overall lifespan. Many may consider scrapping the machine and replacing it, however, this is a waste of money especially when you can replace it so easily.


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