Electric saw chain, lubrication, sharpening

The bar and chain are the elements of an electric saw whose main function is to cut wood. The condition and serviceability of the saw chain of the garden tool largely determines its effectiveness on the site: the ability to cut down dry trees or accurately saw logs. To keep a power saw in high working order, its operator must monitor the condition of the bar and chain, regularly apply new oil to lubricate them, and change the sawing elements as they wear out.

To evenly sharpen the saw blade of an electric garden saw, its owner has 3 options. The first method is manual. It consists of using two files. round and flat, as well as the holder needed to fix the tool round. A circular file should be selected with the pitch of the chain in mind. the larger the pitch, the larger the diameter of the file to be used. A flat file is needed for dressing the stop, so it may be of any size.

The procedure for sharpening the chain with files is as follows:

  • First a holder with a pre-fixed round file must be placed on the electric saw’s cutting chain. The bar is marked with arrows that should be parallel to the guide bar;
  • Next, check the sharpening angle. After making sure that the upper blade of the chain cutting tooth is positioned at an angle of 25-30°⁰, you can start sharpening;
  • The operator’s movements should be steady and forward only. Each cutting tooth of the chain must be sharpened the same amount of times.

The second method of sharpening the cutters of an electric saw is to use a set of files and a special template. The necessary parameters are already marked on the template: the angles of inclination and the tooth treatment. Sharpening the chain of the electric saw with a template also allows the limiter tooth to be sharpened evenly.

During the restoration of the cutting teeth, the template is applied to each of them in turn. It is equipped with moving rollers on which the file slides while working on the chain. The sharpening angle is not disturbed, which makes the restoration of each tooth even.

The only disadvantage of this method is the need to use a separate template for each specific type of cutter, taking into account the chain pitch. the width of its shank, the drive link, and other parameters.

The third method of sharpening is using an electric sharpening machine. This option is considered the simplest, fastest and most convenient. Most machines come complete with metric and graduated scales that allow you to restore almost any chain, regardless of its pitch and number of links.


Using an electric tool is suitable for people who regularly fell and saw logs. In other cases it is not necessary to buy special tools.

Causes of premature chain failure

chain, electric, correctly

The accelerated lengthening of the part occurs during the running-in phase and in the last quarter of the service life. During these time intervals, the chainsaw requires extra attention and maintenance.

  • The cause of this early chain loss may be inadequate material quality, inappropriate crowning and excessive wear of the drive sprocket, a faulty or ineffective lubrication system.
  • Complete chainsaw chain performance also greatly depends on the condition of the bar and drive sprocket, the quality of chain oil and performance of the lubrication system, timely and correct sharpening of the cutting links edges.

According to professional sawyers, the operator’s style and the level of usage influences the durability of the handset. The chains of the budget group are exposed to a greater extent to stretching, more expensive branded assortment by technical and working properties has no remarks.

Which chain on the STIHL 180?

Tank 0.25 l oil tank 0.15 л
Chain pitch 3/8″ Number of chain links 50.
Class Cat Brand Country Germany
Chain thickness 1.3mm Speed (rpm) 14000
Manufacturer’s item numbers 11302000108 Busbar length (mm) 350

To tension the chain, you need to:

  • Loosen the fastening nut on the guide bar and chain.
  • Use the adjusting screw to adjust the chain tension.
  • Use the clamping nut to fix the guide bar in the optimal position.

How to install it correctly

The installation process for the purchased accessory depends on the type of accessory tensioning or the type of saw. For example, if a power tool with side tensioning, it is recommended to follow this sequence of actions:

  • Release the brake by pulling the safety bar in front of you.
  • Release the tension by turning the screw with a screwdriver and then tighten the nut.
  • Lift the cover that covers the chain.
  • Remove the chain from the sprocket guide, which will allow you to dismantle it.
  • Installing the new chain starts at the front of the bar. To do this, put the bar on top of the sprocket.
  • Insert the bar in its original position.
  • Tension the chain with the tensioning screw, ensuring slight tension.
  • Insert the protective cover and tighten the nut.

If the tool has a quick tension, the procedure for installing a new cutting attachment is as follows

  • The saw is unbraked.
  • Lock the nut on the handle. A nut can also be used to secure the guard, and the guide bar can be clamped.
  • Remove the housing by turning the bar counterclockwise. This will enable the old one to be disassembled definitively.
  • Tuck in the chain. Start with the sprocket. Be sure that the cutting edge is pointing towards the housing.
  • Tension the product by adjusting the guide.
  • Put the sprocket cover back in place by screwing the sprocket.

If you follow these tips, you can quickly install a new chain in place of the old one.

How to lubricate the chain?

Chain and bar lubrication is essential for the chain and bar to function as intended. There is a pump in the machine that feeds the lubricant from the tank to the cutter through holes provided. Lubricating the chain is done as follows:

If you fail to lubricate the chain on your chain saw, you will have cutting problems immediately, so it is important to check the oil level and the quality of the oil.

Why is the chain coming off, why is it coming off?

If you are wondering why the chain on your chain saw is coming off, it means there is something wrong with the mechanism. There are three basic things that can cause this problem: the bar is not working properly, the chain is stretched, and the sprocket is not attached properly. Let’s take a closer look at each of the possible causes.

Tire problems

If there are problems with the bar, the tension of the chain almost always loosens. This problem usually occurs at the tire mounting location.

This place is in the groove between the outer plate, which is on the chain guard, and the inner plate, which is on the engine housing. The housing, along with the bar, is secured with a bolt. This attachment is called an “engine assembly”. The drive sprocket and bar mount are protected by special covers.

If the fixing bolts come loose, the bar starts to move or vibrate. If the guide bar is serviceable, the chain tension should be fine. After tensioning, it will go at least five working days without tightening. That’s why you need to tighten the bolts that hold the tire in place.

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To understand how to tighten the chain on a chainsaw, you must first find and lower the chain brake. The tensioning screw is next to the bar, turn it until the chain is tensioned on the bar. Then the chain is pulled back clockwise. If it doesn’t move, you need to loosen it a little by turning the tensioning screw in the opposite direction.

The chain is stretched

If you have a sagging chain on your chain saw, it is an indication of a malfunction in some mechanism, one of the variants being the wear of the chain itself.

Over time, the metal deforms and the chain becomes 0.5-1 cm longer. The best way to solve this problem is to buy a new chain, but there is a way to get the old one to work again. Experts say it’s very difficult and almost impossible, but we’ll tell you how you can do it at home.

For this we will need:

An ordinary chainsaw chain is made of strong steel, so it is hard to detach. Loosen the chain on the inside of the rivet, which serves as the connecting mechanism.

First of all, you have to fix the chain in a vice, and then gradually grind down the protruding part. Sharpening should be done with a file or file. an angle grinder is not recommended, because there is a risk of damaging the side of the links. After grinding, the rivets are knocked out with a bead. A broken rivet should not be thrown away. You may not be able to find a replacement. Petrol saw manufacturers do not make separate parts for the chain, because they do not expect customers to be able to repair the chain themselves. You will most likely not be able to make a new rivet yourself, so you must install the old one.

To shorten the chain, split it in two places. But remember, the number and spacing of guide lugs on the inside of the chain must match the drive sprocket.

Important! When welding a link, set the current to the minimum value. Choose the electrode with the smallest diameter so you don’t hit the neighboring links.

After removal of one or more links (depending on the degree of chain stretching) the chain can be connected. Connect on the old rivets, while pressing them tightly on the sides.

Next we need a welding machine. A rivet must be welded to the sides of the link. After that, use a file to file away the excess, which was formed when working with welding. The chain is considered to be working again.

The drive sprocket is loose

One possibility for a slack chain on your machine is a problem with the drive sprocket. Most often it happens because the sprocket is not properly fastened. Now we’ll show you how to attach the sprocket correctly and then put the chain on the chain saw.

First remove the engine guard. Next, remove the spark plug protective cap, pull out the air filter. Then with a special wrench to unscrew the candle. In its place, a special stopper is placed, which fixes the piston in a certain position. Using a wrench (you can use a universal wrench for angle grinder) turn the clutch disk clockwise until the piston reaches its highest position. If you look into the hole in the plug, the piston should remain at the bottom. A thick rope can be used as a stopper, it is better to fold it several times. After locking, the drive sprocket can be clamped by turning the clutch disc counterclockwise.

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After locking it is necessary to do everything in the reverse order, i.e. to assemble the chainsaw. Put the chain on the bar and let it hit the sprocket that holds it in place. The bar is put into the fixing holes and screwed on. Then there’s the guards.

How to sharpen the chain of an electric saw with your own hands?

Like any tool, an electric saw can lose its life over time because working with wood dulls even the sharpest and most reliable materials. Depending on the intensity, the time when you need to sharpen the chain of your electric saw with your own hands can be different. If you do not sharpen the individual chain teeth in time, not only will they lose their initial shape and become unusable, but the chain will have to be replaced. As soon as you see signs of dullness, you need to take adequate action. sharpen the chain of your electric saw.


Please remember that chain sharpening should be done with extreme care. if you think that a file and a few sharpening strokes are enough to improve the cutting edge, they are not. You will need a set of at least four tools:

  • Caliber.
  • A flat file is used to change the parameters of the depth limiter.
  • Round file with reference lines.
  • A rim to determine the angle.

If you are in doubt, how to sharpen the chain on a power saw, leave it to professionals, but most users have no difficulty with this issue, since you need to leave the chain on the bar, with the bar itself secured in a vise, for a reliable fixation and easy access to the links. Note that the diameter of the file must match the teeth.

Equipment for sharpening chains

There are more effective ways to sharpen the chain of an electric saw, using manual and electric machines for this purpose. Electric machines require access to a power source, but have a host of advantages, including:

  • Possibility of working with different chains on electric saws.
  • Cutting depth and pitch can be adjusted.
  • Creating a limiter as accurate as possible.
  • You can set the desired cutting angle.

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The chain does not turn on your electric chain saw. Reasons and Repair

Most often, the cause of this breakdown is a factory defect or wear of the plastic sprocket of the reducer, to which the electric saw bar is attached. During operation the drive sprocket is the first to take the load that is transmitted by the power unit of the saw. Over time the teeth can slip. After that, the motor and other important mechanisms of the electric garden tool start to overheat.

At the first sign of malfunction, replace the sprocket as soon as possible. To do this, disassemble the tool and carefully remove the worn part. Then the place underneath needs to be cleaned of the old fluid and a new sprocket needs to be installed. Finally the part should be generously lubricated with thick oil.

In some cases, it is not the built-in sprocket that fails, but the elements next to it. High stress elements include coupling cup, spring, bearing and cam. These parts are usually irreparable, so the operator will have to replace faulty parts before other elements of the power saw fail.

To prevent excessive wear of drive components in the future, their condition and the amount of lubrication must be monitored constantly. The user of the garden saw should at least once a month inspect the gears and gearbox and, if necessary, clean them and change the lubricant.

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