How To Untangle A Chainsaw Chain Within 7 Easy Steps?

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Nothing is worse than a tangled chain interrupting your chainsaw work, isn’t it? If you’re facing this problem, you’ll be surprised to find out how easy it is to untangle a chainsaw chain.

Untangling a chainsaw chain is very easy, as long as you know the right method – the Double-loop Method. Many people try to attempt untangling the chain, only to make it worse, and the whole thing gets busted. In this article, you will get to know how to untangle a chainsaw chain without cutting it.

How to untangle a chainsaw chain?

It isn’t difficult to untangle a chainsaw chain after all. In fact, there is a tried and tested method that you can use. This will help you combat even the most knotted chainsaw chains. Commonly known as the double loop method, it will work like a charm and help you untangle the chain. It will work each time and come in handy time and time again.  Interestingly, this method isn’t just used by chainsaw users, but it also helps bikers with their chainsaw untangling issues.

Before beginning, it is important to maintain that you should follow all the safety protocols. It is better to always be safe than sorry. No matter what type of chainsaw chain you’re using, it’ll contain a series of sharp blades. It can be tricky to handle these blades, and they can easily cause cuts. It will be even more tricky if you’re dealing with a new chainsaw chain with extra sharp blades. You should wear the necessary safety gear, including safety gloves to prevent any accidental cuts or snagging.

Regardless of how snarled your chain is, you will still be able to untangle it using this simple method. Although you don’t require a lot of tools for this method, a deeply tangled chain might require screwdrivers or wrenches. Here is how to untangle a chainsaw chain easily.

1. Prepare the chain

To work with a chainsaw chain, you’ll need to remove it from the chainsaw.  Of course, you won’t be able to untangle the chain if it is still attached to the chainsaw. You should remove the chain from your chainsaw slowly and safely before laying it on the workspace.

This step will involve preparing the chainsaw chain depending on its situation. This will depend on the fact if your chainsaw is old or new? Is your chainsaw jammed? This is why you should answer these questions and get a better understanding of your chainsaw’s situation.

  • If it is a new chainsaw chain – New chainsaw chains are very sharp. Wear chainsaw gloves and avoid sharp edges to avoid accidental cuts.
  • If it is an old chainsaw chain – After a few uses, the old chainsaw chain becomes slightly blunt and dry. Use lubricating oil for making it smoother. Remember to not sprinkle the oil here and there. If the chainsaw is too rusted, generously give it an oil bath.
  • If the chainsaw chain is jammed – If it is jammed, use the tools that suit the chainsaw like an Allen wrench or a screwdriver, and open the chainsaw to get the chain out.

2. Lay the chainsaw chain on a flat surface

You should decide the area where you are going to untangle your chainsaw chain. It is important to use a clean and flat surface. This will help prevent any dust or dirt from coming in contact with the blades when you’re straightening.

It would be perfect if you could find a surface that you wouldn’t mind getting a few scratching. A wooden table will work just fine. 

3. Lubricate the chainsaw chain

Ensure that your chainsaw chain is clean of any debris or gunk. A dirty chainsaw chain can easily be the reason why it got tangled in the first place. In case it is an older chainsaw, you should look to add bar and chain oil to help it function smoothly. Oiling the chain will help loosen up the tangle.

If it is a small knot, the chain might come undone and end up making the rest of the steps unnecessary. A well-lubricated chain will help make the entire untangling process more manageable. If the chain is dirty or stiff, it will continue to get tangled and not be able to move smoothly. New chainsaw chains generally come lubricated properly, so this step may not be needed for new chainsaws. However, if your chainsaw is slightly old and used, then remember to include this step.

4. Find two opposite loops of the chainsaw chain

This will be the starting point. Many people get puzzled at this point. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, you just have to look for the two opposite loops. Once you’re able to find the best loops, put each hand on the loop and hang it down. Do this by holding the two loops with the help of your two hands.

As long as you don’t have an overly complicated chainsaw chain untangling situation, it’ll be solved by this point. Even if it isn’t, you shouldn’t get stressed. With this step, you have managed to reduce the complexity of the tangles, which means you’ll be able to untangle your chainsaw chain in the next step or two.

5. Convert the two loops into a single loop

Now comes the time to convert the two loops into one loop. Once you’ve discovered the two opposite loops, keep making one loop bigger and the other smaller. Do this until the two of them turn into a single loop. Remember to keep both of your hands on two opposite loops. Then use the slack of the chain to make the loop larger.

6. Untangle the chain

After you’ve slacked and turned the two loops into a single loop, now comes the time to untangle the chain. Keep your hands on the chain and then try finding out the lowest part of the chain. 

Once you’ve discovered it, let it take you straight down (it’ll look like a vertical position). Keeping the lower part vertical, now you’ll be able to easily lift the part, and untangle the chain. Gravitation force will be pivotal in this step.

For opening all the distorted parts of the chain, repeat this step after making two loops a couple of times. Do this until all the tangled portions get untangled.

7. Spread them one by one

After following these steps, if you still haven’t got the desired results or there are any distorted portions available, then you’ll need to go deeper. Now, you will need to untangle all the distorted portions of the chainsaw chain by focusing on each one of them individually.

For making this less complicated, you should spread each portion as far away from each other as possible. Do this until all the distorted loops are gone, and the chain is untangled.

Untangle Chainsaw Chain | Unknot | 'Easy Procedure'

How to prevent a chainsaw chain from tangling?

The best way of dealing with chainsaw chain tangling is to prevent it from happening entirely. Although it isn’t necessarily preventable all the time, there are some measures that you can take to reduce the risk. These measures will help you reduce the chances of the chainsaw chain tangling. Proper maintenance and care of the chainsaw and its chain will give your chainsaw a longer and untangled lifespan.

The easiest way of taking care of your chainsaw is to ensure that it is always clean, well-oiled, and sharpened. Remember to clean the debris off the chainsaw after each use and store it in a dry place. The chainsaw shouldn’t get damaged or rusty. If you take proper care of your chainsaw chain, then you’ll more often than not prevent tangling.

chainsaw chain

If the chain is new, then it needs to be oiled properly and kept relatively clean. This will make the entire situation much smoother to handle. Even if you own a chainsaw with an old chain, then also you need to use lubricating oil. Clean off any debris and dirt, and you’ll not just make untangling quick and straightforward, but it’ll be easily preventable. A few old chains end up getting tangled because they aren’t sharp, so you can prevent tangling if you frequently sharpen the chain teeth.

  • Don’t cut anything that isn’t wood; otherwise you’ll end up damaging the chain. Not just that, you will also damage your chainsaw.
  • Check the chainsaw chain tension as it’ll avoid dropping down the chain.
  • For keeping the chainsaw chain smooth, regularly use lubricating oil in the chain and guide bar.
  • For beginner chainsaw users, it is recommended that you should use a low kickback chain
  • Try your best to maintain a fine tensioning modification in the chainsaw and bar. This will enhance your chainsaw chain’s lifespan.
  • When you’re not using the chainsaw, remember to put a protective cover on the guide bar.


There you have it, thanks for reading. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how to untangle a chainsaw chain within minutes. If you repeat the above-mentioned double loop method multiple times, your chainsaw chain will be untangled with ease. You can then get to work seamlessly. While this method may seem easy and not glamorous, it gets the job done each time.

However, remember that dealing with a chainsaw is always a risky business, especially with sharp chain teeth. Make sure that you’re wearing a proper pair of gloves and safety goggles to make yourself safe from potential accidents. The gloves will keep your hands safe from the sharp chainsaw chain. Meanwhile, the safety goggles will help keep away sawdust and oil from your eyes.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.