Why Does Your Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

James Lawson
Affiliate Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this website are affiliate links, which means that we may earn a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. However, all our recommendations are 100% genuine and unbiased, and we have a strict editorial process to maintain high standards. Thank you for supporting us!

Have you ever been out in the yard, cutting wood with your trusty chainsaw, only to find that the cuts are coming out crooked?

It’s a frustrating experience, and you’re probably wondering what’s causing it. It’s like your trusty saw has become an unruly, bucking bronco, refusing to be tamed.

In this article, we’ll break down the causes of why your chainsaw might be cutting crooked and show you how to get it running smoothly again.

Let’s dive in and get to the root of the problem.

Checking the Chain Bar

You’ll want to take a look at the chain bar, as it could be the reason why it’s not cutting straight.

First, you need to check the chain bar’s alignment. Inspect the bar to ensure it is straight and not bent or warped. You may need to check the guide that the chain bar runs through as well, to make sure it is correctly aligned and not blocked in any way.

It’s also important to take a look at the chain itself, to make sure it’s not kinked or bent.

Next, you’ll want to examine the chain tension. Test the tension by pressing the chain against a hard surface to make sure it doesn’t move. If it does move, you may need to adjust the tension or replace the chain.

You should also check for loose screws or other parts that could be causing the chain to cut crookedly. Checking these components can help you identify the source of the problem and determine the best way to fix it.

Examining the Chain Tension

Checkin’ the chain tension is key to makin’ sure those cuts stay straight – or don’t, if that’s what you’re goin’ for.

Adjusting alignment and maintaining balance are key components in keeping the chain tension even. To do this, you’ll want to first ensure that the drive links are in proper alignment with the bar groove. If the drive links are off, you’ll need to loosen the tension adjusting screw and then move the bar so that the drive links fit snugly into the bar groove.

Once you have the drive links locked in, you can then adjust the tension adjusting screw to make sure the chain is tight, but not too tight. It’s important to make sure the tension is just right.

Too much tension will cause the cut to be crooked and too little tension will cause the chain to skip on the bar. If you have the right tension, you’ll be able to make sure the chain bar and chain are in proper alignment and the chain will stay straight during the cut.

Checking the Chain Sharpness

Feelin’ around the chain links and runnin’ your fingers along the cutting edges can give you an idea of how sharp the chain is – if it’s dull, it’ll feel rough and jagged.

It’s also important to note the type of blade you’re dealing with. Some blades need regular sharpening, while others are designed to be self-sharpening, relying on the pressure of the chain oiling to keep them sharp.

If your chainsaw isn’t cutting properly, it’s important to check the sharpness of the blade to ensure it’s up to the task. If it’s not, you may need to sharpen it with a file and/or a sharpening stone.

Once your blade is sharp enough to cut through wood, you’ll be able to move onto checking the chain speed.

Checking the Chain Speed

The speed of the chain is essential for a clean, straight cut – if it’s too fast, you’ll end up with a crooked result. Checking the chain alignment and adjusting the chain speed is an important part of the process.

The chain speed should be checked with the engine running and the chain stopped in order to ensure that the speed is appropriate. If the chain is running too fast, it will create a sawing motion, resulting in a crooked cut. The chain speed should be adjusted to a slower speed so that the chain is just barely rotating when the engine is running. This will ensure that the chain is cutting in a straight line and not creating a sawing motion.

After ensuring that the chain speed is appropriate, the next step is to ensure proper fuel quality. The fuel should be clean and free from debris and water, as these can cause the chainsaw to run irregularly and cause it to cut crooked. The fuel should also be changed regularly to keep the engine running optimally and prevent the chain from cutting crooked.

Ensuring Proper Fuel Quality

Ensuring proper fuel quality is critical to ensure your chainsaw runs smoothly and won’t cut like a drunken sailor!

Before starting your chainsaw, it’s important to check the air filter and spark plug to make sure they’re both clean. A dirty air filter can restrict air flow, causing the fuel to not burn properly, resulting in a rough running engine.

The spark plug should also be checked to make sure it’s in good condition and firing properly. If the spark plug is damaged or not firing correctly, it can cause the fuel to burn unevenly, resulting in an inconsistent cut.

If your chainsaw isn’t cutting straight, it’s important to check the fuel quality and clean the air filter and spark plug. This will ensure your chainsaw is running at its peak performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of oil should I use in my chainsaw?

If you’re looking for the oil to use in your chainsaw, it’s important to choose the right oil for the job. Two-stroke engine oil is the best for this type of equipment, since it’s designed to be used in engines that require both fuel and oil.

It can also be diluted with gasoline to get the perfect lubrication balance. For most chainsaws, 10 parts gas to 1 part oil is the ideal ratio. Make sure you check your chainsaw’s manual to get the exact mix you need.

Is there a difference in performance between gas and electric chainsaws?

When it comes to chainsaws, electric and gas models both have their pros and cons. Electric chainsaws are more lightweight and easy to start, but they lack the power of gas models.

Gas chainsaws provide more power and fuel efficiency, but they require more maintenance and can be difficult to start.

When it comes to kickback prevention, electric chainsaws usually perform better than gas models. This is because their slower blade speeds make them less likely to kickback.

Ultimately, it depends on the job at hand. Gas models are better for bigger tasks, while electric models are better for smaller tasks.

How often should I sharpen the chain on my chainsaw?

Sharpening the chain on your chainsaw is an important part of keeping it in top condition. Depending on the type of chain you have, you should sharpen it every 10-20 hours of use.

It’s best to use a round file to sharpen the chain, and to sharpen it at the correct angle for your chain type. Make sure to file in the same direction as the chain’s rotation.

If you don’t have the proper sharpening equipment, it’s best to take your chainsaw to a professional to be serviced.

Is it safe to use a chainsaw on large logs?

You can certainly use a chainsaw on large logs, but it’s important to remember safety first.

Kickback prevention is essential when working with a chainsaw – when the chain of the saw meets resistance, it can cause the saw to jerk back quickly and unexpectedly, which can be deadly.

To prevent kickback, make sure to use the right size and type of chainsaw for the job, maintain the chain correctly, and always use protective gear.

Tree felling requires precision and skill, so make sure to approach each cut slowly and carefully, and keep your hands away from the chain.

With the right precautions, you can use a chainsaw safely and effectively on even the largest logs.

How do I know when my chainsaw is due for maintenance?

You should check your chainsaw’s maintenance schedule regularly to ensure it’s running optimally.

Common maintenance tasks include chain tensioning, cleaning and sharpening the chain, replacing the air filter, and checking to make sure there are no loose bolts.

To tension the chain, loosen the bar nuts, then turn the tension screw until you can just barely fit a piece of paper in between the bottom of the guide bar and the chain.

Cleaning and sharpening the chain should be done about every 5 hours of use, and the air filter should be replaced every 50 hours.

Finally, check to make sure all the bolts and nuts are tight, and that the chain brake is working properly.


You may be wondering why your chainsaw is cutting crooked. It could be due to a number of factors, so it’s important to take the time to check a few things.

Inspect the chain bar, examine the chain tension, check the chain sharpness, and ensure the chain speed and fuel quality are correct. If you take the time to evaluate the situation, you can get to the root of the problem.

The crooked cut is like a jigsaw puzzle; the pieces need to fit together for a clean, straight cut. With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you’ll be back to chopping like a pro in no time.

Leave a Comment