chainsaw chain direction

Chainsaw Chain Direction: Which Way Is Correct?

Without having the chainsaw blade on the right way, you’ll have a very difficult time cutting anything as it will appear that the blade is dull. Moreover, if you’ve stopped halfway through working to change the chain only to find out that the chainsaw chain direction is wrong, you’ll have to take everything apart and start again, wasting valuable time. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; here is our quick guide on which way does a chainsaw blade go and how to put a chain on a chainsaw.

If you’ve found yourself staring blankly at the chain and wondering what the correct chainsaw blade direction is, don’t panic. Follow these simple steps to succeed every time. 

1. Remove The Chainsaw Casing

Before you do anything else, you will need to remove the casing from the chainsaw as this will give you access to the blade inside. 

2. Remove The Chain

Next, you will need to take the chain off and lay everything out in front of you. Now comes the fun part.

3. Find The Direction Of The Cut

When fitting the blade, one of the first things you will need to do is identify the chainsaw direction. This can feel intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but there are some pretty simple methods to help you. You can perform just one or do all three to be more thorough.

You should check the cutter. This part of the chain should be facing forward. This part of the chain is the bit that does all the work; hence the name. To determine which way it is facing, look at the shape; the front part of the cutter should be slightly taller than the back. Of course, you could touch it to find out but there is a safety risk here so we wouldn’t advise it.

You might also look at the drive link; this should also be facing forwards. This part of the chain is shaped like a wave and this slots into a groove on the bar. This wave should be pointing forwards and you’re good to go.

Finally, you may wish to check the position of the guide. This part of the chain is designed to control how much wood is cut at a time, therefore controlling how aggressive the cut is. This should be sitting directly in front of the cutter.

4. Reassemble And Tighten The Chain

Now you have established that the chainsaw teeth direction is spot on, you’re ready to put the tool back together. 

It’s important not to overtighten the chain as this will affect how smoothly it moves when cutting, but you also don’t want it to be too loose.

When To Replace A Chainsaw Chain

The most obvious way to tell when your chainsaw blade needs to be replaced is that it isn’t cutting as it should. This will be obvious by looking at the speed and quality of the cut as well as how easy the tool is to handle.

When cutting, you may notice that the chain drags in one direction leaving you with a more jagged cut. Moreover, a dull blade might cause bouncing or shaking while you are using the tool or may require you to push rather than the tool doing the hard work.

Chainsaws should leave behind chips of wood as opposed to fine sawdust so if the tool starts creating this, it’s a sign that the chain needs replacing. Furthermore, your chainsaw may smoke even if it is lubricated and tight.

Final Thoughts

A chainsaw is a powerful and invaluable tool but knowing how to maintain it is important if you want to get the most out of it. One of the most important aspects of this is understanding the correct chainsaw direction which can be determined by looking at which way the various components of the chain are sitting.

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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