How to fit a chain to your chainsaw

The size of a new chain depends on the length of the bar. Tires usually last twice as long as chains, but only if they are made of quality materials. In order to specify the right length of the chain you buy for your tool, you need to measure the size of the bar. Usually the length is indicated on the side of the bar, but the markings eventually wear off. You can find out the tire length by referring to the machine’s data sheet or by measuring it with a ruler.

Measuring the Tire Length. How to Measure It Correctly

If it is decided to replace the bar and the chain by a larger size, it can only be done in exceptional cases where the chainmaker’s power output is appropriate. If you install a larger bar on a domestic saw, it will not be able to cope with the power of the motor. The tires recommended for installation of the appropriate length are indicated in the tool passport.

Three main sharpening mistakes made by beginners

There are a number of recommendations on how to sharpen a chainsaw chain to avoid the typical mistakes common to beginners:

  • It is necessary to make the same number of movements for each tooth;
  • it is necessary to apply the same force to all teeth to avoid unevenness;
  • If the chain is too dull, the file is not suitable and the use of an electric saw is recommended;
  • The angle is set taking into account the direction in which the logs will be sawed in the future.

When using a file, keep in mind that it removes metal shavings from the chain as it moves forward.

See the video on how to sharpen a saw with an angle grinder:

It is recommended not to catch the saw chain on the teeth when making backward movements. Generally, all chains are sharpened at a 30° angle, but once the process is complete, it is important to check with a pitch pattern. Do it with the following algorithm:

  • a template is applied to the chain;
  • check how far the depth stop extends;
  • The limiter is trimmed with a flat file.

Usually the depth gauge at the stop is 0.65 mm, but in general it is allowed to vary if necessary within 0.45. 0.80 mm.

How to properly sharpen the chainSource mauro-gianvanni.see

How the chainsaw chain lubrication system works?

Chainsaw lubrication is always based on the oil pump. The oil hose ends at the point where the guide bar connects to the crankcase of the existing chainsaw. In turn, the chainsaw headset has a hole or grooves, through which the regular oil disperses to all working organs.

The design and operation of the lubrication systems used in modern chainsaws stands out for their simplicity. This makes it possible to repair the mechanism to every owner of a gasoline-powered tool.

chain tensioning

The chainsaw chain, together with the guide bar, is subjected to the highest loads during operation, unlike other parts of the chainsaw. It is lengthened in size over time by boring out the gaps in the connecting links. This process takes place with absolutely all kinds of chains, that’s why it is necessary to watch periodically for correct chain tensioning and its wear during chainsaw operation.

If the chain is too tight, cutting efficiency is reduced, engine and transmission are exposed to increased loads. The guide bar gets very hot due to increased friction, the chainsaw goes into fuel overrun.

How to fit the chain and guide bar to your STIHL chain saw

Innovative types of chainsaws enable their owners to do the job without making special efforts. The job gets done in no time at all if the chain is fitted correctly and in time.

Before you start assembling your chainsaw, make sure all the components are in place. It is also important to be safe and always wear gloves for protection. This is absolutely necessary for any contact with the saw chain, because of the risk of injury from the chain teeth.

Saws come with quick tensioning device, side tensioning device, and front chain tensioning device.

Follow the step-by-step instructions and get the saw ready for work.

A quick tensioning device for the chain

To tension the chain, you must use the spindle adjuster wheel. It is not necessary to use any other tools for this.

  • Prepare the surface for your work. It has to be comfortable and flat. To avoid damaging the surface and the tool itself, cover it with something soft, like a rug. now lay the tire, chain and motor unit separately on the surface.
  • The next step is to open the wing nut, and then remove the chain sprocket cover.
  • Turn the sprocket mounted on the bar to the right as far as it will go.
  • Gradually put the chain on top of the bar, starting from the top of the bar. It is important to note the correct direction of the chain. Don’t forget to wear protective gloves.
  • Now turn the chain over so that the bar is on top of the chain.
  • Re-check that the chain is accurately positioned and running in the correct direction. The cutter on top of the bar should be facing forward.
  • Slide the chain and guide bar assembly onto the sprocket. In the process, the guide bar is sliding onto the collar bolt.
  • Now put the sprocket cover back on the engine block, making sure all pins are in their holes. Turn wing nut until chain sprocket contacts engine housing. The sprocket cover does not need to be fully tightened.
  • Next, turn the clamping screw in the direction of the top of the bar. The drive chain links must fit into the bar groove.
  • Tighten the wing nut until the sprocket cover sits firmly on the engine block. Close the wing nut before locking it.
  • Check visually that there is no slack in the chain.
  • Next, check if our chain is not overtightened. To do this release the chain brake, pull the chain by hand in a straight line (don’t forget to wear protective gloves).
  • After that the saw is ready for operation and only the last step is left. activating the chain brake.

Mounting the saw chain and guide bar with the quick chain tensioning device therefore has its distinct advantages, namely that the chain can be tensioned without any problems and without any additional tools.

chain, correctly, chainsaw, stretched

Side-mounted chain tensioning device

Let’s look at the step-by-step installation instructions for the side chain tensioning device.

  • As with the quick tensioner, the first step is to prepare a working surface, on which we lay out the block, combination wrench, bar and chain.
  • Hold the engine block upright and loosen the nuts with the combination wrench. Now you can remove the chain sprocket cover.
  • Turn the chain tensioner to the left so that the tensioning element makes contact with the recess in the housing.
  • Then, just as with the quick tensioner, carefully slip the chain onto the bar. Start the process from the top of the bar. It is important to check that the chain is guided correctly. Wearing gloves is still a precondition for protection when handling the sharp chain cutters.
  • Turn the chain so that the bar is completely on the chain.
  • Re-check accuracy of location and direction of chain movement. the bar nose should be facing forward.
  • Slide the chain and guide bar assembly onto the sprocket. In the process the guide bar is sliding onto the collar bolt.
  • Put the cover on the motor block and tighten the nuts. Now the chain and bar are firmly fixed, and it is possible to correct the chain tension.
  • If the chain is stretched weakly and sags, its links will not be in the groove of the bar.
  • Then turn the chain tightening screw until the chain slackens just a little and the chain links fit into the guide bar groove.
  • Lift the top of the bar up and tighten the screw a little more. The chain links should be completely in the groove.
  • Use the combination wrench to tighten the nuts.
  • Check again that the chain is in the groove. And check that there is no slack.
  • Then we check that the chain is not too tight. To do this, release the chain brake, pull the chain in a straight line (do not forget to wear protective gloves). If the chain does not move, you need to unscrew the nuts again and repeat the manipulation described above.
  • You can activate the chain brake and start working.

Front chain tensioner

Now how to install the chain with the front tensioner.

  • Lay the chain saw’s individual components. engine block, chain, guide bar and combination wrench. on a surface covered with a soft mat.
  • As with the side chain tensioner, bring the motor unit upright and loosen the nuts with the combination wrench. The chain sprocket cover can now be removed.
  • The chain tensioning device should be turned to the left so that the clamping element moves back from the sprocket.
  • Next, slide the chain onto the bar, starting at the top of the bar.
  • Turn the chain so that the bar is completely on top of the chain.
  • Check that the chain is correctly positioned on the bar. This should be positioned so that the teeth on top of the bar are facing forward.
  • Next, take the chain and bar, and slide the chain onto the sprocket by sliding the guide bar over the collar bolts.
  • Put the sprocket cover back on the engine block and handscrew the nuts. The bar and chain are now secured and the chain tension can be adjusted.
  • When turning the clamping screw to the right, the chain links engage in the bar groove.
  • Lift the top up, turn the chain clamping screw a little more. That should bring the chainsaw links into the groove.
  • Now tighten the nuts with the combination wrench.
  • Check for slack in the chain and whether the chain is in the groove.
  • Then check that the chain is not over tightened. To do this, release the chain brake, pull the chain along the line of travel (don’t forget the protective gloves). If the chain won’t move, you need to unscrew the nuts again and repeat the above-mentioned steps.
  • The saw is now ready for use. All that remains is to activate the chain brake.

Preventive maintenance

You use only high-quality metal links to prevent slack in the tension of the saw and to keep the chain from breaking. Check that the chain is lubricated before use, and systematically retighten the adjusting screw. Read more about how to start your chainsaw correctly. For routine maintenance, check the condition of the drive sprocket, which is sometimes the cause of breakage.

Shortening or replacing a chain link on a chainsaw can be done at home. It is not necessary to buy expensive equipment for working with rivets. This procedure can be done with simple locksmith tools. The length of the bar and its tensioning directly affects performance, risk of injury. Before starting up the saw it is a good idea to check the blade tension and tighten the adjusting screw if necessary.

How to shorten the chain on a chainsaw: tips and recommendations

it is not uncommon that when a shorter guide bar is fitted to a chainsaw the saw chain has to be changed as well. This information will tell you how to shorten the chain on a chainsaw so that the part fully exhausted its resource. In another variant. it is possible to fit a long chain to a shorter regular guide bar.

To repair a chain which has not been stretched and has a relatively low service life and which has been partially damaged by a chain breakage or by metal particles in the wood may be used.

chain, correctly, chainsaw, stretched

expediency of independent repair

Specialists advise to rivet and repair the damaged chain with minimal loss of quality, using the technical potential of the service shop. Despite the manufacturers’ assurances about the problems and difficulties of self-repair, a considerable part of users prefer to learn how to repair saw headsets on their own.

  • residence of the owner at a great distance from service and maintenance points;
  • high cost of repair services provided by the service;
  • lack of necessary equipment.

It is neither practical nor safe to compensate for the natural wear of the chain by shortening it. Operating a saw set with a stretched chain is inevitably accompanied by:

  • Severe wear of the guide bar and sprocket rim
  • increased load on the engine;
  • increased risk of injury when sawing at different levels of difficulty.

External and internal factors for accelerated wear and tear

The chain on a chainsaw becomes very stretched, so it may be caused by wrong selection of chain oil or substitution of the recommended material with an oil substitute, a faulty lubrication system or a faulty variable capacity oil pump.

Density and viscosity of lubricant with substandard material have an adverse effect on the lubrication and cooling efficiency of the running surfaces and the performance of the chain oil pump in the saw head.

It can be very troublesome to fill a chainsaw with summer oil if it is operated in colder temperatures from.10°С. Damage to the oil pump drive system, loss of capacity to the point of oil starvation, can occur as a result of unattended inspections.

Possible causes of spontaneous saw chain breakage

In case the chain on the chainsaw is torn, it is necessary to find out the cause of the malfunction, determine the advisability of repairing the damaged part or installing a new one.

Unfavorable external factors are typical causes of saw chain breakage:

  • excessive strain;
  • Wear of the guide bar or mismatch of the shanks with the width of the working groove;
  • the saw set is used with high and constant loads;
  • Overheating of the headset due to lack of lubrication;
  • Mismatch between chain and bar type and drive sprocket rim configuration.

Peculiarities of home repair

Many experienced users prefer to repair chains with their own hands. the success of accomplished work depends on special skills and tools, knowledge of constructional peculiarities of different purpose models.

In particular, it is not difficult to dismantle and reassemble wear-resistant counterparts. Carbide compound is only applied to the cutting edges of the saw links. In the case of fasteners and rivets, standard metal is used.

With greater or lesser success riveting chainsaw chain can be done at home, and if you have the right tools, even in the field. Please note that special care must be taken during the following operation of a self-repaired headset. At the first opportunity, preferably the repaired connection in the hospital.

Post-repair restrictions

The problem is that a hastily repaired part has one or more “weak links” in its composition. In such a condition the time of operation of the headset under heavy loads is considerably limited, there are higher demands on the proper functioning of the lubrication system.

The repaired chain can be used in service provided that the repair has been performed by an experienced riveter with a riveting machine and other special equipment at his disposal.

Initial stage of repair and overhaul work

All known methods of shortening saw chain presuppose criteria of defective cutting and connecting links, technology-defined sequence of working operations. The cutting and joining links are assembled with factory rivets which in all respects correspond to the standards in force.

The use of self-made components is not recommended in any case. Special rivets for chains on sale are extremely rare, so in most cases the problem is solved by installing the necessary parts removed from the dismantled segment of chain.

Sequence of removal and reassembly

At home, it is easier to disconnect the chain by sawing off the heads with a file, after which the shortened rivets are easily knocked out with a thin steel rod. A clamping base with a suitable chain pitch makes the job easier. Rivets extracted with this device can be used without restriction.

The ends of the shortened chain can be joined in a bench vice. Slightly tap the rivets in the chain elements from the opposite side around the circumference with a medium-sized hammer. The finished connection must be free of play, also no tight fit is allowed.

When assembling the various types of saw chain you must comply with the spacing of the cutting links in accordance with the instructions of the chain manufacturer.

Range of machines for repairing saw chains

The special machines for riveting chainsaws are the work equipment of specialized workshops. The available range includes several budget and brand-name imported models

STIHL, Husqvarna, and Champion brand riveting machines offer enhanced features and a comfortable level of operation.

Necessary tools and appliances for tightening chain on chainsaw

In order to tension it correctly you need some simple mechanisms and a few simple tools. With STIHL chain saws, tensioning is easy with a built-in chain tensioner. This method is as simple as possible and is very quick to tighten. To tighten or adjust the slack in the chain, the manufacturer recommends the following

  • unscrew the sprocket cover with a wing nut;
  • Turn the adjusting wheel to determine the required length of the chain, tightening it to the desired degree;
  • The sprocket cover is closed again and the chain is secured to the bar.

If it is impossible to tension the chain of a chainsaw by the built-in mechanism, use such tools (by the example of a Sparky electric saw):

  • an angle grinder with a metal disc;
  • hex wrench, 5 mm in diameter;
  • A piece of wire;
  • A wooden stick or a strong chip;
  • flat screwdriver.

After having switched off the electric saw unscrew the screws with an allen key, remove the body cap, unscrew the tensioning screw with a screwdriver and take out the rod-nut. The side of the screw adjacent to the body of the saw is ground with a disk. Then the saw is assembled in the reverse order. A chopper is required to clean the body of sawdust.

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