Chainsaw Chain Keeps Coming Off: Causes And Fixes

James Lawson
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If you’ve ever experienced your chainsaw chain coming off in the middle of a project, you know how frustrating it can be.

Not only does it mean a break in your work, but it can also be dangerous if the chain continues to spin after coming off.

To avoid this, it’s important to understand the possible causes and know how to fix them.

In this article, you’ll learn about the common causes of chainsaw chain coming off, and how to make sure your chainsaw is running safely and efficiently.

We’ll also discuss how to check the chain tension, chain brake, chain sprocket, chain drive links, and chain guide bar to ensure they’re all properly functioning.

With this knowledge, you can get back to your project confidently knowing that your chainsaw won’t let you down.

Checking the Chain Tension

You need to make sure the tension is just right – if it’s too loose, you’re in for a real headache!

To check the chain tension, first make sure the chain is correctly aligned on the bar. If it’s off-center, the chain will have too much slack, resulting in it coming off more easily.

Next, check that the chain is sharp enough. If the blades are dull, they won’t cut through the wood as effectively and will not put enough tension on the chain. To sharpen the blades, use a round file to sharpen each cutting edge. This will help ensure that the chain is tight and secure.

Finally, make sure the clutch drum is not too worn. The clutch drum is responsible for keeping the chain tensioned, and if it is too worn, the chain will be loose and prone to coming off. If the clutch drum is damaged, replace it with a new one for optimal performance.

Transitioning from this, it’s important to also make sure that the chain brake is properly adjusted.

Checking the Chain Brake

Make sure the chain brake is working properly; if it’s not, it’s time to take a trip down Memory Lane and get to the root of the issue. The chain brake must be adjusted to ensure optimal performance of the chainsaw. Here are the steps to check the chain brake:

  • Check the Bar Tensioning:

Ensure the saw chain is properly tensioned, with just enough slack to allow the chain to move freely around the bar. Check the bar to make sure it is level with the chain. Adjust the bar and chain tension as needed.

  • Inspect the Chain Brake:

Visually inspect the chain brake to make sure it is functioning properly. Test the chain brake to make sure it will engage when the trigger is released. Adjust the chain brake as needed.

  • Test the Chain Brake:

Start the chainsaw and activate the chain brake. Carefully check the chain brake to make sure it is engaging and disengaging properly. Make sure the chain brake is not engaging prematurely.

Once the chain brake has been checked and adjusted, it’s time to move on to checking the chain sprocket for proper tension and alignment.

Checking the Chain Sprocket

If your chainsaw isn’t running as smoothly as it should, it’s time to check the chain sprocket to make sure it’s tensioned and aligned properly.

First, you’ll need to check the chain length, as a too-short chain can cause the sprocket to become misaligned. You’ll also need to check that the bar is well lubricated, as this helps to keep the chain moving smoothly and prevents it from coming off.

Once these two components have been checked, you’ll need to make sure that the sprocket is properly aligned with the bar. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust it so that the chain runs smoothly and without any hiccups.

Next, you’ll need to check the chain drive links, to make sure that they are properly tensioned and aligned.

Checking the Chain Drive Links

It’s essential to ensure the chain drive links are tensioned and aligned correctly, as this helps your chainsaw run smoothly and efficiently.

To check the chain drive links, you’ll need to check the alignment and tension. Make sure the chain is flat and the links are clean of any debris. If the chain is damaged or worn, it’s best to replace it.

Proper tension is essential for the chain to stay in place and prevents it from slipping off the bar. The tension should be tight enough that you can’t pull it off the guide bar by hand. If the chain is too loose, it will need to be tensioned with the chain tensioning screw. If the chain is too tight, you can use a chain-tensioning tool to loosen it.

Once the chain drive links are tensioned and aligned correctly, your chainsaw will run efficiently.

Checking the Chain Guide Bar

You’ll want to make sure your chain guide bar is in good condition, as this helps your saw run better and last longer. In order to do this, you’ll need to check for four things:

  1. Proper storage: Make sure the guide bar and chain are stored in a place with low humidity.

  2. Chain sharpening: Inspect the chain for sharpness. If there’s any damage, you’ll need to sharpen it.

  3. Check for damage: Inspect the guide bar for any cracks or damage. If there’s any damage, you’ll need to replace it.

  4. Cleanliness: Clean the guide bar and chain with a degreasing agent to remove any built-up dirt and debris.

It’s important to regularly check the guide bar and chain for any signs of damage or wear. This will ensure that your chainsaw is in good working order, and will help it to last longer.

Regular maintenance and proper storage of the guide bar and chain will also help to maximize its performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I check the chain tension?

To ensure that your chainsaw chain stays on, you should regularly check the chain tension.

Proper storage and regular maintenance are essential for proper chain tension, so you should check the tension at least once a month.

To accurately assess the tension, the chain should be pulled away from the bar, and the tension should not be too high or too low.

If it’s too low, the chain will come off during use, so it’s important to keep the tension just right.

What type of oil should I use for lubricating the chain?

When it comes to lubricating your chainsaw chain, it’s important to select the right oil. Choose an oil that is designed specifically for chainsaws, as this oil will provide superior lubrication and protect your chain from wear and tear.

Make sure you use a light oil that won’t gunk up the chain, as this will reduce its efficiency.

Additionally, regularly check your chain tension to ensure that it is operating at the correct tension and lubricate it often to keep it running at peak performance.

What safety precautions should I take when using a chainsaw?

Using a chainsaw is like a tightrope walk: one wrong move and you could send yourself tumbling. To ensure your safety, it’s important to take the proper precautions when operating the saw.

That means wearing protective gear such as eye protection, hearing protection, and chaps, as well as following safety protocols, such as having a firm grip on the chainsaw and maintaining a safe working distance.

Taking the time to prepare yourself before using a chainsaw is essential to keep yourself and others safe.

How do I sharpen the chain on my chainsaw?

Sharpening your chainsaw chain is an important part of maintaining it and ensuring safe and efficient operation.

To properly sharpen a chainsaw chain, you’ll need a few sharpening tools, such as a round file and guide, a flat file and guide, and a depth gauge tool. By following proper technique, you can ensure your chain stays sharp and in good condition.

Start by using the round file to sharpen the cutting teeth of the chain. Then, use the flat file to sharpen the depth gauges. Finally, adjust the depth gauges with the depth gauge tool to the recommended level.

With regular maintenance and proper technique, your chainsaw chain should stay in good condition.

What are the most common causes of a chainsaw chain coming off?

Have you ever encountered the problem of your chainsaw chain coming off? It can be a real pain, especially when you’re in the middle of a job. Luckily, understanding the most common causes of this issue can help you prevent it from happening in the future.

In most cases, the issue of a chainsaw chain coming off is due to either binding tension or chain wear. Binding tension occurs when the tension of the chain is too tight, causing it to come off the guide bar. Chain wear, on the other hand, is when the chain has become too worn over time, resulting in it slipping off the bar.

Knowing these common causes can help you avoid this issue in the future.


It’s frustrating when your chainsaw chain keeps coming off, but don’t worry! With a few simple checks, you can get it back up and running in no time.

Make sure you check the tension, chain brake, sprocket, drive links, and guide bar. If all of these are in good shape, then your problem should be solved!

But if not, don’t hesitate to seek out professional assistance. With the right help and a bit of patience, you’ll soon be able to tackle those tough jobs with confidence.

So don’t let a loose chain keep you from getting the job done; keep checking, and you’ll be back on track in no time!

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