Introduction: How to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain

About: I am a 18 year old engineering student who dabbles in woodworking, welding and occasional chainsaw carving.

The chainsaw is one of the most versatile and useful power tools out there. They can be used to prune trees, cut them down, carve ice sculptures, mill lumber and more. Like every tool however, they require maintenance and need to be taken care of to last a long time. Poorly maintained chainsaws can become tiresome to use, more dangerous to the user and often will become less efficient and have a shorter lifespan.

The chainsaw guide bar and chain are the 2 components that need frequent replacement on a chainsaw because they wear the most. Chainsaws can be sharpened for longer periods of time, however they eventually wear to the point where sharpening wears the teeth too small for efficient cutting. The guide bar on chainsaws will also wear and needs to be replaced occasionally. Worn guide bars can become hazards as they are more likely to throw the chain than new guide bars, causing potential injury.


- New guide bar

- New chain

Step 1: Obtaining Tools

Tools required will include an adjustable wrench and a flat head screw driver. Many chainsaws come with a tool called a "scrench" which is a screw driver and wrench put together. These can be used to tune chainsaws just as well as the tools we are using and will work just as fine

Step 2: Loosening the Bar

Chainsaw guide bars are usually held on by 2 nuts. Take the adjustable wrench and loosen them. Once loosened, you can twist them off by hand. Remember "lefty, loosey"!

Some chainsaws have a knob rather than nuts. These chainsaws will require a different way of taking off the bar.

Step 3: Popping Off the Old Chain

Next, simply take the cover over the bar off and slide the bar back before pulling the chain off

Step 4: Add New Guide Bar

Next, install the new guide bar. Do this by sliding the slots in the guide bar to the bolts. Ensure the stainless steel tension bit is lined up with the hole in the guide bar when you put the over back on.

Step 5: Fit Chain on and Tension It

Fit the chain around the groove in the guide bar and add the cover. Put the bar nuts on, but do not tighten them. pull the bar out as far as it will go with the chain on and then use the screw driver to turn the tensioning screw clockwise until the chain pulls up. Pull the chain around and adjust the screw as required. The chain should be loose enough that it rolls freely but tight enough that it springs back when pulled from the bar. Also be sure to ensure the chain is in the correct direction. The teeth on the top of the bar should have their teeth pointing forward, look at the photo with my finger if you need so see what I mean. Otherwise, your saw wont cut!

Step 6: Final Steps

Tighten the bar nuts again and fill the saw with some chainsaw bar oil. It doesnt hurt to take your finger and dab a little bit of oil on the chain to lubricate it before running it for a few minutes to break the chain and bar in. You have just replaced your chainsaw chain and bar. Be safe and enjoy the efficiency and pleasure of using a saw with a fresh chain. Happy cutting!