Chainsaw Chain Direction: How to Replace the Chain Professionally

You may never have taken note of the right chainsaw chain direction. You only operate it without being conscious of the direction it should rotate in. However, using the chain saw while the chain is rotating on the wrong direction can cause fatal accidents. I’m not kidding.

Usually, all new chainsaw runs in the right direction. The problem comes when you do the replacement of the chainsaw chain. Especially, if you have never done it before or you just aren’t careful enough to take note of the mistake you are doing when doing the replacement.

Thanks to garden home care, we are here to help you learn how to replace the chainsaw chain professionally to avoid accidents. Still, there is more to learn from this article to get the best from this must-have tool.

But before we learn how to replace the chain, here’s the big question;

How Do You Know The Right Replacement Chainsaw To Buy?

Before you can make a purchase, you need to understand a few things. You see, chainsaw without the right chain cannot be of any help to you. A chainsaw chain can fail to perform excellently if it is loose and tight.

That’s why you need to know the right bar length measurement, the gauge and pitch, and the right number of legs for the chain.

Let’s take a minute and discuss them.

The Gauge

How thick are the drive links of your chain? You see, if the chain doesn’t fit well on the guide bar, the chainsaw can’t perform well. Do you agree? How do you tell the chain gauge measurements? On the guide bar, right at the user guide, you should see these measurements. Usually, these measurements in inches are; 0.063, 0.058, 0.050, and 0.043.

However, the most common chain gauge measurement is 0.050 inches. Get this right. We don’t mean that you should ignore the details on your chain saw guide bar so as to buy the .50-inch gauge. No, always confirm the details.

The differences you see in these gauges determine the kind of duty the chainsaw can handle. For instance, if you want a heavy duty chainsaw, you should look for one with a higher gauge.

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Chain Pitch

How close the chain links are is what we are referring to as the pitch. In other words, it is the measurements between links.  Just like the gauge, a large pitch, also indicates that the chainsaw should be used in heavy duties.

Such may be in the rescue centers, military sites, industrial zones and the like. One of such kind of chainsaws is one that has a 0.404-inch pitch. Otherwise, if you want one that can handle duties around your home, we recommend you go for the 3/8 low profile pitch.

However, these are not the only available pitches. No, you will also find 1/4, 3/8, and 0.325 pitches; all in inches. Usually, the pitch measurements are usually indicated on the guide chainsaw. You can check to verify which one is right for your chainsaw.

Drive Links

Well, get ready to count the number of drive links (lugs) on your current tool before ordering a new chainsaw chain. You may have to count twice or thrice to be sure you have the right number. This is the only perfect way to tell the right chainsaw chain to order.

You may argue out, why not avoid all that trouble and just measure the length of the chainsaw chain? Well, that’s a good idea. Nonetheless, you should know that the length of the chainsaw is a sum of the chain’s pitch plus the number of drive links.

That being said, you could go wrong by using that criteria.

Which Is The Right Chainsaw Chain Direction?

If you cannot tell if the chainsaw chain in rotating in the right direction or not, there’s no way you can tell if it is time to set it right or not. True?

So, here’s what to do to ascertain if the chainsaw chain direction is correct.

Asses the Top of the Chainsaw

You should know that the pointy blades teeth’s edges should face the direction the blades rotate.

Additionally, you should note that the blades should rotate away from the machine’s body. Also, the chain should be rotating smoothly on the chainsaw; in clockwise direction. That is why the blades sharp edges should be rotating in the same direction as the chain. Otherwise, when you start using the chainsaw, it will look like it is blunt because it won’t cut.

Asses the Bottom Side of the Chainsaw

Contrary to the direction the teeth should face at the top of the chain during rotation; at the bottom, they should face the body when rotating. This should be the case because the chain is moving in a circular motion which makes the blades to face different directions at the top and at the bottom while rotating. Still, it should rotate smoothly.

Inspect the Tool

Once you are sure the chain is well positioned and facing in the right direction, it is time to test the tool to know if it is working as it should.

So, you can test it on a small log of wood. How do you know that the chain saw is rotating in the right direction? It is easy.

While you are sawing, the wood should not produce smoke.

If however, the chainsaw chain direction is correct but the tool isn’t cutting fast like before, chances are that the blades need sharpening.

That should not worry you. You can sharpen the blades.

If you do not know how to sharpen chainsaw blades, here’s a resourceful article you should consider reading. Alternatively, you can watch this video by Husqvarna Australia.

How Do You Tell It Is Time To Replace The Chainsaw Chain?

Various things will act as indicators that it is time to replace the chainsaw chain. Such includes, the tool cutting unevenly, chain shaking while cutting, declined cutting speed, damaged blades, and emission of smoke while cutting.

Let’s discuss further.

Damaged Blades

In case you notice that one tooth on the chainsaw is bent or broken, it is unwise to continue using your chainsaw. Chainsaw chain direction can be affected by one damaged tooth. Though people use their chainsaws even with a missing or damaged tooth, we recommend that you replace it as soon as you can.  This helps to have the chain rotate smoothly without using much energy.

Emission of Smoke When Cutting

Chainsaws should not produce any smoke when cutting. If you, therefore, notice smoke when using your tool, check if the lubrication and the chainsaw chain direction as well as tension are correct. The other cause should be the sharpness of the blades. Check if they are blunt. Usually, this is one of the primary factors as to why the chainsaw chain produces smoke while in operation.

Smoke is usually due to too much friction. You need to sharpen the teeth. If the problem persists, replace the chainsaw chain.

Uneven Cuts

Uneven chainsaw cut means that the chain is not rotating smoothly. It can make the tool to bounce back while you are using it, which exposes you to some safety risks. Several things cause the issue of uneven cuts. For instance, blunt teeth, incorrect setting of the chainsaw chain direction, bad tension, and incorrect gauge depth. If, however, after confirming if all these issues are okay you find they are in order, it is the right time to order a new chainsaw chain and replace the old one.

Seeing Saw Dust Instead Of Coarse Chips

A chainsaw that is in good working condition should leave behind coarse chips and not sawdust. In fact, it most cases, you realize that you are using extra effort than you needed to; it is a sign that the chain has a problem. You could consider sharpening the teeth or replacing the chain if you had sharpened it or if the teeth are fully worn-out.

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Parting Shot

Good care and maintenance of your chainsaw chain offers long life to the tool. However, with extended usage, the chain will definitely wear out. Its performance, as we have discussed in this article will be one way to tell you it is time to get a new chain.

Ensure that you strictly follow the guidelines we have provided herein when choosing the right chain for your old chainsaw. Also, remember to set the chainsaw direction accordingly.

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