When to Replace a Chainsaw Chain: Ultimate Guide

It goes without saying that chainsaws are particular types of equipment. This actually makes sense when you think about it. After all, it has to spin a barbed chain at a very high speed to shred and rip apart wood.

When to Replace Chainsaw Chain

But just like other equipment, the chainsaw also needs to be maintained, and one of the essential parts that will require regular maintenance is the chain. 

And you should have knowledge about when to replace the chainsaw chain. The chain often dulls out quickly, and as you probably know, a dull chain is not only dangerous but also ineffective when it comes to cutting. That’s why many pros in this field sharpen their chains regularly.

However, it may come a time when you just have to give up sharpening your chain and get a new one.

When Right Time to Replace Chainsaw Chain?

Although you could sharpen your chain following a few easy steps, when you determined you are ready to replace the chain, you need to watch for a couple of signs. These signs include:

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Need more Force to Cut Wood

If you use a lot of force to cut through wood or the chain keeps pulling itself into the wood, you need to think about making a replacement. Dull blades will not eat into what you are cutting well and will force you to apply a lot of force, resulting in undue stress to the bar and engine. It will also dull the chain further.

When It Makes Rattle

A chain bounces or rattles around when cutting needs to be replaced. This will also affect your cutting accuracy and produce poorly cut wood.

Engine Emits Smoke

If your oil is in good condition, but the engine produces a lot of smoke, then the chances are that you are experiencing some issues with your blades’ sharpness.

Dull Chainsaw Chain

Blade Becomes Dull

If you start experiencing a sudden drag towards a sudden direction while cutting, it shows that the cutting teeth on one side of the blade are dull or the cutting teeth’ lengths are uneven. So have a suitable easy used blade sharpener to make it sharp again.

Saw Dust Becomes Fine Dust

You may also want to look at the sawdust. If you make splits or crosscuts and find that the chain creates fine dust instead of coarse strands, you should sharpen or change the chain.

Chainsaw Dust

But if you have just sharpened the blades and still notice these signs, then it is time to change it. At this point, you have no choice other than to replace the chain. If you have a pole saw for excluding lawn, you should care about the same process as a pole chainsaw.

Check to See If there are Missing Teeth

Another sign that you need to replace your regularly used loving chainsaw chain rather than sharpening it is when you notice damaged, broken, or missing teeth on the chain. Although this might seem like common sense that you must replace the chain, you would be surprised at how many people would overlook the aspect of safety just to complete the job quickly.

These signs are an indication that you need to get a new chain. They are not very expensive, and the good part is that you get a chain that will cut more effectively.

Actually, some people wouldn’t care about sharpening their chains. They would just get a new one and fix it. While it is true that a brand-new chain cuts well than one that has been sharpened, you may also want to learn how to sharpen, and they know the correct blade direction.

How to Get the Chainsaw Chain Direction Right?

Although chainsaw looks good, they should not toy around. This equipment must be used correctly, and it can be dangerous if not maintained and used successfully. Many chainsaw accidents are reported every year, but this should not scare you from using this equipment. It is meant to ensure that you use it correctly and maintain it accurately.

If you have recently replaced or repaired your chainsaw’s chain, it is essential to ensure that the blade is set correctly.

Ensuring that the chainsaw chain is in the right direction is vital for your safety and the chainsaw’s function. Using a chainsaw that has been incorrectly chained is like using a dull knife to cut groceries. It will not cut efficiently and is likely to injure you. Here are the steps to install the chain correctly.

Look at it from the Top Side

The chain blades are usually on the top side of the chain. Like a knife, they have dull and sharp edges. The chain moves in a clockwise direction; therefore, you have to ensure that the sharp edges are facing in that direction. In other words, they should point away from your engine when they are on the top side of the machine.

Chainsaw Top Handle

Look at it from the Bottom Side

The chainsaw motor rotates the chain in a circular motion; therefore, it feeds it back into the machine’s body. That means that when the teeth are at the top of the rotation, they should face away, but they should meet you when they are at the bottom. If you notice that this is not the case, you need to remove the chain and install it again to get the blade correctly.

A similar result was discovered for chainsaw lovers.


If you have already installed the chainsaw chain and are unsure if you have installed it properly, you can try it out by cutting a wood log. If the chain rattles excessively or the wood trunk starts burning and smoking, you will know that you have not installed the chain correctly.

Another sign that you have not installed the chain correctly is when the cutting is too slow. It means the blades are dull. There are no sharp edges completely. It means the dull edges are the ones that are in contact with the wood and so they cannot be cut. But if the blade is installed correctly and you experience this, you should probably sharpen the blades or install a new one.


Knowing how to install the chainsaw chain can go a long way in ensuring that your chainsaw operates effectively and reduces the risk of accidents.

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