Which Way Does Chain Go On Chainsaw?

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Are you a newbie chainsaw owner struggling to work your way around the machine because you don’t know which way does chain go on chainsaw? If yes, then you are definitely in the right place.

Which way does chain go on chainsaw is a common answer that most newbie chainsaw users have. In your chainsaw, the chain’s direction is based on the direction of the chainsaw blade, which usually moves clockwise. This means that the blade rotates from the central machine and then goes back. Similarly, the chain will also move from “in” to “out” and the inner back machine area. To put the chain in your chainsaw, you’ll need to identify the chain’s direction and reassemble the chainsaw.

In this article, you will get to know all about the chainsaw chain’s direction, which way does chain go on chainsaw, how to put the chain in your chainsaw, and the problems that arise if you put the chainsaw chain in the wrong direction, among others. Continue reading to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Understand the direction of the chainsaw chain

It is essential for your chainsaw’s chain to run in the right direction. Otherwise, it’ll be ineffective and dangerous to you. When you can avoid this situation, what is the point of using a chainsaw, running in the wrong direction? It is important that you check the required chainsaw chain direction before using it. Typically, a chainsaw won’t cut right with a backward chain.

In fact, from the perspective of safety, if the chainsaw chain has been set backward, then it’ll technically mean that all the cutters need to be facing you, which can be pretty dangerous. It doesn’t require a lot of science for understanding this situation, and it’ll be important for you to run your chainsaw effectively.

Which way does chain go on chainsaw?

The chain direction is based on the blade’s direction, which usually moves clockwise. This means that the blade rotates from the central machine part and then goes back. Similarly, the chain will also move from “in” to “out” and inner back machine area.

For a general view, you must carefully assess your chainsaw’s chain. You need to find cutters that face forward, a guide, and a drive link that moves forward. Understanding your chainsaw chain’s parts will help you set the chain more easily. Most chains have a similar pattern, and you’ll be able to replace the chains easily.

How to put the chain on your chainsaw

If you’re about to check/change the direction of your chainsaw chain, you need to remove the casing chainsaw. Once you’ve removed the chainsaw’s side case, you will find the chain and the bar guide. After that, take out the bar guide and chain and separate them from the chainsaw. Now, you’ll need to follow these steps – 

Step 1: Identify the direction of the chain

Finding the right chainsaw chain direction will depend on its parts. Therefore, it’ll be necessary to identify three major parts to know the exact chain direction. You can even use just one part for identifying it – 

  1. A cutter is essentially an edge-shaped part tasked with cutting the materials. However, you should check if the cutter has extended from the chain and is pointed forward. If yes, then the chain is in the right direction.
  2. A drive link is the chain’s pointed part with a wave-like shape and will get fixed in the grooves in the guide bar. You will need to see if the drive link has been pointing forward similar to the cutter or not. In case it is forwarded, the chain will be in the right position.
  3. The guide isn’t a metal-based long sheet, instead, it is a small piece that moves toward the front. It’ll make sure for a specific amount of wood during cutting. In case the guide moves toward the cutter, this means that the chain is perfectly in the right direction.

Step 2: Reassemble the chainsaw

After you have identified the right chainsaw chain direction, you should start placing the chain and the bar guide back to their respective positions. However, ensure that you do not connect the backward chain and tightly reassemble both things.


How to ensure that your chainsaw chain’s direction is right

1. Check from the top view

If you are checking your chainsaw from the top view, you’ll notice that the top of the chain has got different blades. These blades have got two edges, one of which is sharp while the other one is dull. A chainsaw blade will always rotate in a clockwise direction. 

The direction of chainsaw blade should always be in the same direction, irrespective of the type or model of the chainsaw. The sharp edges of the blades must always face a clockwise direction. If you’re checking from the top of the chainsaw, you must notice that the sharp edges are facing the direction opposite the chainsaw body or motor. From that, you should view the right direction and position of the blade from the top.

2. Check from the front and side view

If you’re checking the blade from the side, you need to be seeing the chainsaw blade on the right-hand side and the chainsaw engine on the left-hand side. It means that the blade’s direction must be from left to right, which is a clockwise direction. This will be the right direction. Otherwise, your blade will be running in the wrong direction.

Moreover, check your chainsaw from the front view. If the chainsaw blade is in the right direction, you will notice it coming from the upside to the downside. If it is moving backward, then it means you have placed it wrongly, and you haven’t achieved an effective cut.

3.  Check from the bottom view

It should go without saying, but the view of the chainsaw blade from the bottom would be the opposite of the view from the top. If the blade is placed in the right direction, then you need to be able to check from the bottom that the blade will be facing toward the body or the engine. In other words, if the chainsaw chain replacement direction is done correctly, the blade will face the engine or the body. Meanwhile, the sharp edges will always rotate in a clockwise direction.

Problems with having the chainsaw chain in the wrong direction

1. Waste of good bar oil

If the hammer of your chainsaw is fixed on the wrong side, it’ll cause a lot of wastage in the bar oil. This will, in turn, do more harm to your chainsaw. Usually, the bar oil is kept in order to be used until a certain task or project has been completed. However, once the chainsaw blade is placed in the wrong direction, it’ll cause a lot of wastage in the bar oil.

2. Damage your chain link

The chain link is an important part of the chainsaw and the moment it gets damaged, the chainsaw might not be able to operate effectively as it should. You need to set the link in the bottom position so that you’re able to ensure that it is offering enough support to the blade and hence allows for easy and effective propelling. Always ensure that the drive link has been fixed so that you can avoid unnecessary damage to yourself or your project.

3. It might cause you to doubt yourself

Placing the chainsaw blade wrongly is among the most annoying things that can happen to a homeowner user when it comes to using the chainsaw. To be able to place your chainsaw chain currently is one of the most important skills that chainsaw users need to demonstrate in order to prove their abilities. For instance, as a seasoned chainsaw user, imagine you have to help your friend with a task, and you keep on struggling with mounting the chainsaw in the right direction. It’ll show you a great level of incompetence, especially to your friends, and it might even cost you your job.

4. Create unnecessary stress on the guide bar

The guide bar is the most important part of your chainsaw when it comes to cutting wood. If there is a wrong alignment in terms of the direction of the chainsaw blade, there will be plenty of problems. In this case, what will usually occur is that you will end up getting a considerable amount of stress on the guide bar as the chain will be forced into the wood. Cutting will not be possible, which is why you will likely end up damaging the guide bar.

chainsaw chain and bar

5. Motor deterioration

As you need to put in a lot of pressure in order to cut the wood with dull edges, the chainsaw will be affected and the lifetime of the motor will decrease gradually.


What is the right way of putting the chain on your chainsaw?

The blade direction will determine the right way of putting the chain on your chainsaw. The pointy edges or cuts need to be placed in the direction of the blade rotation. Consequently, you should ensure that the cutting edges are on the top side of the chain bar. The chain has to move towards the outer part of the bar and away from the main device area.

Can you put a chainsaw chain backward on your chainsaw?

Putting the back side of the chain on your chainsaw bar will not help in cutting at all. Therefore, placing the pointy part of the chain outward will be necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be able to move the chain from both sides.

Why does your chainsaw chain get dull so quickly?

Identify the type of wood or material you’re cutting. For instance, if you’re cutting muddy wood or hard material like metal or concrete, the chainsaw will be likely to experience dullness. Moreover, you should avoid using your chainsaw in the dirt.

Why does the chain keep coming loose?

An obvious reason for your query will be the chain’s substandard setting. As long as the chain isn’t properly set on the bar, it’ll keep on losing its place. This is why you should follow the setting steps carefully while making sure that you’re setting the tension correctly to avoid potential slips.

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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.