A Step-by-Step Guide for Checking Chainsaw Tension

When it comes to operating a chainsaw, ensuring the proper tension of the chainsaw chain is crucial. A well-tensioned chain not only enhances the performance of your chainsaw but also improves safety during operation. In this article, we will guide you through the process of checking the tension of your chainsaw chain, step by step. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to maintain your chainsaw chain in optimal condition, ensuring efficient cutting and reducing the risk of accidents.

Importance of Chainsaw Chain Tension

The tension of the chainsaw chain directly affects its performance and durability. A chain that is too loose may derail or slip off, causing potential injuries and damage to the chainsaw. On the other hand, an overtightened chain can put excessive strain on the chainsaw’s engine, leading to premature wear and decreased cutting efficiency. So, it’s very important to consider it at the initial stage to choose the best chainsaw. Therefore, it is essential to check the tension of your chainsaw chain regularly.

Tools Required

Before you begin, gather the following tools:

  1. Chainsaw

  2. Chainsaw wrench or screwdriver (specific to your chainsaw model)

  3. Gloves

  4. Safety goggles

Step 1: Preparation

For your safety, always start by wearing protective gloves and safety goggles. Ensure that the chainsaw is turned off and the engine is cool before proceeding with the tension check.

Step 2: Inspecting the Chainsaw Chain

Take a close look at the chainsaw chain. Look for any visible signs of damage, such as broken or chipped teeth, excessive wear, or loose rivets. If you notice any significant damage, it may be necessary to replace the chain entirely. Regular chain maintenance, including sharpening and lubrication, is essential for optimal performance.

Step 3: Adjusting the Chain Tension

Locate the tensioning mechanism on your chainsaw. It is typically located near the guide bar. Use the appropriate chainsaw wrench or screwdriver to adjust the tension. Turn the tensioning screw or knob clockwise to tighten the chain or counterclockwise to loosen it. Refer to your chainsaw’s user manual for precise instructions on the correct tensioning method for your specific model.

Step 4: Testing the Chain Tension

Once you have adjusted the tension, it’s time to test the chain’s tension. With your gloves still on, manually lift the chainsaw chain from the guide bar. The chain should lift easily, but it should not sag or hang loose. A properly tensioned chain will stay snugly in place on the guide bar.

Step 5: Maintenance Tips

To ensure the longevity and performance of your chainsaw chain, consider the following maintenance tips:

  1. Regularly inspect and clean the chain to remove dirt, debris, and sawdust.

  2. Keep the chain properly lubricated using chainsaw bar oil to reduce friction and prevent overheating.

  3. Sharpen the chain regularly to maintain its cutting efficiency.

  4. Check the chain tension before each use of chainsaw and adjust as needed.

  5. Store your chainsaw in a clean and dry place, away from extreme temperatures and moisture.


Checking the tension of your chainsaw chain is a vital step in maintaining the performance and safety of your chainsaw. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your chainsaw chain is correctly tensioned, enabling efficient cutting and reducing the risk of accidents. Remember to always prioritize your safety by wearing appropriate protective gear and following the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific chainsaw model.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How often should I check the tension of my chainsaw chain? 

A1: It is recommended to check the chain tension before each use and adjust as necessary.

Q2: Can I use any chainsaw wrench or screwdriver to adjust the chain tension? 

A2: No, it is essential to use the specific chainsaw wrench or screwdriver provided by the manufacturer for your chainsaw model.

Q3: What should I do if my chainsaw chain is damaged or worn out? 

A3: If the chain is significantly damaged or worn out, it is advisable to replace it with a new chain for optimal performance and safety.

Q4: Is it necessary to wear safety goggles while checking the chain tension? 

A4: Yes, wearing safety goggles is crucial to protect your eyes from any potential debris or chain-related accidents.

Q5: Can I adjust the chain tension while the chainsaw is running? 

A5: No, always ensure that the chainsaw is turned off and the engine is cool before adjusting the chain tension.



Written by Scarlett Watson

Story MakerVideo MakerContent Author

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