Should Chainsaw Chain Be Tight?

Achieving the perfect tension for your chainsaw is essential and can be tricky. When your chainsaw chain gets too loose, it can drop away from the chainsaw, which could lead to a dangerous scenario as it poses a danger to your arm, your face, and other parts of your body.

However, when your chainsaw chain becomes too tight, you might be putting the motor at a major risk because it could practically destroy it. This post might put you in a dilemma while pondering the perfect tension for your chainsaw chain. Should it be loose, or should it be tight? Read along to find out the perfect answer to this question.

Should a Chainsaw Chain Be Tight?

Your chainsaw chain should be “snap tight,” as experts recommend. In essence, “snap tight” refers to raising your chain until the drive links are exposed but still secured to the guide bar. If your chain has been appropriately positioned, pulling on it will cause it to snap back into place.

This means your chain should be tensioned on the chainsaw so that it does not slip off the driving links or become overly tight.

How Do I Know If My Chainsaw Chain Is Tight Enough?

A chainsaw’s exact tightness can be easily discovered. You can make use of your fingertips to check it. To do this, take hold of the chain, extend it as far as you can, and then let go. It is sufficiently tight when it returns to its initial position after release. If not, this indicates that it must be slightly tightened.

You also must maintain regular chainsaw tension checks by paying detailed attention during the first half hour of use. If the chain is loose while working, you must stop cutting and let the saw cool off before readjusting the tension.

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How Tight Should The Chain Be On A Husqvarna Chainsaw?

When pondering the perfect chain tension on your Husqvarna chainsaw, it is important to note that the Husqvarna Chain is meant to be tight enough to remain in place on the link drives. With this done, the chain is also expected not to come off when pulled. Don’t forget to allow the link drive’s chain to move slightly.

You can use a confirmation method to confirm if you have the perfect chain tension on your Husqvarna Chainsaw. 

The technique entails tightening and then releasing the chain when the tightening process has been completed. The chain has to be tightened if it returns to a location other than where you begin the tightening process.

Turn a little more and double-check. Once the chain returns to its original place, this shows that you have achieved the perfect chain tension on your Husqvarna Chainsaw.

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Can You Over-Tighten a Chainsaw Chain?

Yes, you can over tightening your chainsaw chain. However, a chainsaw’s damage and serious harm can result from overtightening the chain. A perfect chainsaw chain can be moved on the bar with your hands.

The driving sprocket and bar nose will experience excessive stress if your chainsaw chain is overly tight, leading to premature wear.

Additionally, the chain can break suddenly and bite into the bar rails. Consequently, the clutch and bearing may also be harmed, and the chainsaw will use additional bar oil.

How Often Should You Tighten The Chain On Your Chainsaw?

Should Chainsaw Chain Be Tight

It is typically suggested to correctly tighten chainsaw chains after the break-in duration, which you will find in your chainsaw instructional manual for new chainsaws.

The break-in period is the time frame during which the friction surfaces will progressively get smoother. The chain links’ rivets can also be left to sit correctly. Usually, this time frame corresponds to one petrol tank refill.

In addition, remember to gradually loosen the chain each time you use the chainsaw to cut wood.

This keeps the chain from firmly grasping the bar once it has cooled. It also guarantees that the next time you use your chainsaw, it will be gentler on the clutch and bearings in the drive sprocket, extending the chainsaw’s life.

Chainsaw Chain Tightens On Its Own

A dry chain and bar can make your chainsaw chain tighten. It is advisable to frequently look for oiler holes that can become blocked by too much oil.

You also must constantly check the tanks for any debris obstructing oil flow. However, the drive sprocket needs to be replaced immediately if the problem already exists there.

Chainsaw Chain Keeps Coming Loose

Chainsaw users believe that when chains get loosed more frequently, this signifies an immediate chain replacement. However, you might not be required to replace your chainsaw chain as this problem is fixable.

One of the significant causes of your chainsaw chain getting loose frequently is the guide bar. To confirm this, you must first remove the clutch cover and check your guide bar a few times. If the chain does not fit snugly on the adjustment pin, here is one reason why it may be loose. Additionally, there can be issues with the thread at the bar studs.

Chainsaw users are meant to be cautious of these indicators since loose chains are frequently caused by worn-out threads and can seriously hurt users.

Another element that contributes to loose chains is the chain tensioner pin. The issue can be resolved by moving the pin away from the bar and power head.  The tension screw should then be turned clockwise. And if none of these work, you might have no other alternative than to change the tension pin.

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How Tight Should A Chain Be On A Stihl Chainsaw?

One of the top chainsaw manufacturers is Stihl. The chain shouldn’t come loose from the link drives on a Stihl chainsaw.

To tighten the chain on your Stihl chainsaw, disconnect the brakes, which are frequently accessible at the side panel. Once the sprocket can be moved down freely, loosen the two nuts that hold it in place. To avoid damaging your sprocket, please avoid yanking on the bolts.

Lift the chainsaw bar with one hand while fixing the adjustment screw with a screwdriver.

Examine the guide bar, which is positioned a few inches away from the sprocket’s cover nuts, to find the Stihl Chainsaw chain tensioner. Place the chain against the chainsaw’s underbelly to properly tighten it and continue tightening until the ideal tension is reached.


Discovering the perfect chain tension for your chainsaw can be a big hurdle, especially if you are a beginner. You don’t want it to be extremely tight, and to be sure it’s not loose to prevent damage.

This article has provided the perfect outline for achieving the ideal chain tension for your chainsaw.

Hopefully, with time, you’ll realize it’s not as difficult as you thought. And can perfectly tighten a chainsaw’s chain by yourself without the help of a guide. However, it is important to ensure that you frequently check the tightness of your chainsaw chain.

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