Have you ever been in the middle of a big project and realized that your chainsaw needs a new chain? If you are new to chainsaws, you might be wondering how to change your chainsaw chain safely. Or maybe it has been a while and you just need a refresher.
When your chain has reached the end of its life, you can quickly replace the chain on your power chainsaw with one simple tool and a few minutes. Here is a quick step-by-step process on how to do so.:
-New chain for your power chainsaw’s make and model
–Chainsaw Scrench (screwdriver/wrench)
Step 1 – Materials and Plan
Verify that the chain you are purchasing fits your chain saw by the make and model and the bar length. For example, I am replacing a chain on a Husqvarna, T435 Power Chain Saw with a 14” bar.
I have chosen a S52 low kick chain as my replacement chain. It has 52 Drive Links and uses 5/32” file to sharpen.
Step 2 – Loosen The Current Chain
With all the items present, verify your saw chain lock is released. You can check this by simply pulling the chain on the bar – it should slide freely.
Using your Chainsaw Tool, place the proper end on the nut holding your chainsaw side plate and loosen. Once you loosen the nut a rotation or two, using the straight screwdriver end of your chain saw tool, back the chain tension screw off until your chain is loose on the bar. (depending on the size of your saw, you may have two nuts holding the cover on.)
Step 3 – Remove the Old Chain
Once the chain is loose, you can remove the nut and then remove the side cover.
Slide the bar back toward your clutch and remove the bar and chain.
Step 4 –Clean up and Inspect Saw and Bar While the Chain is Off
I generally take this opportunity to clean up the clutch area and my side cover as the chain lube and sawdust like to gum it all up.
This is a great time to inspect your bar for any damage that may cause your chain to jump off track or break you chain if not repaired.
A simple hand file can clean up any burrs if you have any minor dings on the bar. If you have any major flattening of the bar or a spot where you can see the drive links when the chain is on the bar, I would recommend you replace the bar as well as this will likely lead to your chain jumping or possibly breaking during use.
Step 5 – Replace Bar and Place New Chain
Once you have everything cleaned up, put your bar back on the stud for the side cover and place the new chain over the clutch sprocket.
Place the chain drive links into the bar channel and make sure it is aligned with the sprocket and the bar.
Step 6 – Replace Cover and Adjust Tension
Replace the side cover ensuring to get the chain tension stud in the chain tension adjustment hole on the bar.
Before completely tighten the nut on the side cover, adjust the tension of the chain to allow for 1/8-3/16” flex in the chain when you check its tightness.
Tighten the side cover nut and recheck your chain tension so that is rolls freely and has not become tighter once you tightened the side nut.
Step 7 – Get Back to Work
Finally, start your saw and get back to work!