How to Adjust Tension in Chainsaw Chain


The chain of the chainsaw is among the most fundamental components that cast a direct effect on the efficiency of the chainsaw. To use your chainsaw with full of its efficiency, it is inevitable to adjust the tension in the chain. If the chain is looser than required, it will get off from the bar, and if it is tighter than required, spinning of chain on the bar will not be possible. In both of these scenarios, you will not be able to perform the job. So, considering the importance of the tension in the chain of a chainsaw, here are all the details about, “How to Adjust Tension in Chainsaw Chain”.

It is common for the chain to get loose with time; especially, after multiple turns of use. It can come off the bar and pose a serious threat to the safety of users. To avoid any serious problems while working with a chainsaw, it stands necessary to ascertain the tension in the chain; if the chain is not tight enough, you must not start using the chainsaw unless you adjust the tension in the chain.

So, without making any further ado, let us move to our topic of the day and see how to adjust tension in the chainsaw chain – it will not only keep you safe from any unpleasant incident, but you will also be able to enjoy the best working efficiency from your Chainsaw. 

How to Tighten a Chainsaw Chain?

Adjusting the tension in the chain of your chainsaw is not a difficult task, however, it can be challenging for beginners. Usually, the procedure of tightening the chain is similar in most chainsaws, but now in advanced chainsaws, there is a mechanism named a “side-mounted tension system” – this system eliminates all problems because you can easily adjust the tension in the chain using a wrench.

But if your chainsaw demands manual tightening of the chain, you should follow the below-mentioned step-by-step guide. 

Step 1: Place a Chainsaw on Flat Surface 

When it comes to dealing with any repairing task of your chainsaw, you should place it on a flat surface before doing anything. There is a chain on the bar which can be dangerous if not dealt with carelessly. So, it is recommended to place your chainsaw on a flat surface before you do anything with this.

After placing it on a flat surface, clean it thoroughly using a cloth. Removing the dust from the chainsaw can further add to the life and serving capacity of the chainsaw. 

Step 2: Locate the Tensioning Adjustment Screw 

If you want to save time, you should go through the section about adjusting tension in the chain enshrined in the user manual that comes in the box of your chainsaw. Going through the user manual, you can more easily locate the tensioning adjustment screw. However, in most chainsaw brands these screws are on the side of the chainsaw case.

Usually, you will find them near the bolt that keeps the guide bar in place. Now, you can tighten the chain without any problem. 

Step 3: Loose the Bolts That Hold Guide Bar 

Before you start doing anything with the tensioning pin, it is recommended to loosen the bolts that hold the guide bar. You can easily do this with the help of the socket of the scrench. Do not completely open the bolts because it is not required.

Secondly, while doing this, you are certainly not required to separate the protective housing or casing of the chainsaw. Only loosen the bolts to the extent that they could wiggle. Having loosened the bolts, you are ready to adjust the tension in the chain of the chainsaw. 

Step 4: Use Screw Driver to Turn Tensioning Pin 

If you use your chainsaw for hours, you may need to adjust the tension in the chain of your chainsaw multiple times. If you are dealing with a hard wood, you may need to repeat the process sooner than expected. 

To adjust tension, enter the screw driver in the tensioning pin and move it clockwise – it will tighten the chain on the bar. If you want to loosen the chain, you should rotate the tensioning pin in anticlockwise direction. 

Step 5: Check the Tension in Chain 

You will not be sure about the tension in the chain of the chainsaw unless you check it. For this purpose, take the chain away from the bar, and then leave it. If the chain comes back to its original position, it indicates that the tension in the chain is enough. But if it doesn’t sit back to its position, you need to adjust it again.

On the other hand, if you are unable to identify a visible gap between the chain and the bar while taking the chain away from the bar, it means that the tension in the chain is more than required. Now, you should reduce the tension.

Remember, neither the loosened chain nor an over-tightened chain will work for you. Adjust the tension carefully to keep using your chainsaw in service for a longer run. 

Step 6: Tighten the Bolts 

In the last step, you need to retighten the bolts which you have loosened to adjust the tension in the chain. The tightening of these bolts will rejuvenate a strong grip on the bar of the chainsaw again. Now, start your chainsaw, put it on the wood, and start cutting.

If it cuts well, the tension in the chain is fine; but if the cutting patterns are crooked, you may need to adjust the tension again.

So, these are simple to-follow steps in the answer to your question that how to adjust tension in chainsaw chain. 


Adjusting the tension in the chain of chainsaw is not a very difficult task, but beginners may not be familiar with the right technique of adjusting the tension in the chain of chainsaw.

So, to make it easy for readers, there has been added a detailed guide on how to adjust tension in chainsaw chain. Following these simple steps, you can easily bring required tension in the chain of your chainsaw. 



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