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Which Way Does a Chain go on a Chainsaw?

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We all know the struggle of having to replace your chainsaw’s chain right in the middle of a project.

It gets in the way of progress and can be a pain having to take your chainsaw apart and put it all back together. What’s an even bigger pain is getting everything put back together, trying to work with a backwards chain, and having to take your machine apart again.

Putting a chain on a chainsaw the right way is a rather important step in properly using your chainsaw.

If you don’t get the chain on the right way, you will end up with a seemingly dull blade and have to take it all apart again to reverse the chain.

So, let’s try to prevent this little mistake by putting the chain on the right way the first time.

I found this video helpful:

Set The Bar

The easiest way to replace or correct a chain on a chainsaw after you’ve taken the machine apart is to start by reattaching the chain bar to the body of the chainsaw.

Once attached, adjust the bar so it is not so long and the chain will fit more loosely and be easier to put on. If you don’t do this, you will be fighting the chain the entire time.

After your bar is in place, it is time to mount your chain.

Check Blade Direction

The important part of mounting your chain is to make sure the blades are facing the right direction.

chainsaw chain direction

Image courtesy of The Home Depot

Again, if the blades of the chain are not facing the correct way, you will think the blade is dull because it is cutting in the wrong direction

 The correct direction for a blade to face is with the pointy edge of the blade teeth facing toward the way the blade rotates.

Essentially, you want the pointy edges of the blades rotating on top of the chain bar, moving toward the tip of the bar, and away from the body of the machine.

Now that you’ve got it going in the right direction rotate your chain and get it set in place.

Tighten the Blade

After you’ve rotated your chain and your drive links settled into place on the chain bar, it is time to tighten it so you can get back to work.

Don’t over tighten your chain, but don’t under tighten it either.

You want the perfect tension for the chain to rotate smoothly and for your safety as well.

Though it doesn’t take much time to reset or replace a chain, it is always much easier to just do it right the first time.  So take your time and do it right.

All types of chainsaws will eventually need their chains replaced, so become familiar with the process. If you are in the market for a new one, you can read my product guides below:

Here is a list of the best selling chainsaw chains on Amazon

Bestseller No. 1
Oregon S62T AdvanceCut 18-Inch Chainsaw Chain, Fits Echo, Craftsman, Poulan (2-pack)
18-in chain, 3/8-in Low Profile pitch, .050-in gauge, 62 drive link length; 2 loop value pack
Bestseller No. 2
Oregon D72 AdvanceCut 20-Inch Chainsaw Chain, Fits Husqvarna, Remington, Makita, Stihl and others
Pitch: 3/8", gauge: .050", drive link count: 72; LubriTec keeps your chain and guide bar oiled for less friction and longer life
On SaleBestseller No. 3
Husqvarna Chainsaw Chain 16" .050 Gauge .325 Pitch Low Kickback Low-Vibration
Great cutting performance and bore cut; Well suited for commercial cutters, arborists and occasional users.
Bestseller No. 4
Oregon S56T 2-Pack AdvanceCut 16-Inch Chainsaw Chain Fits Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, Remington
16-in chain, 3/8-in Low Profile pitch, .050-in gauge, 56 drive link length; 2 loop value pack
On SaleBestseller No. 5
Oregon S40 AdvanceCut 10-Inch Chainsaw Chain, Fits Craftsman, Poulan, Remington
Precision cutting chain, heat-treated, and hard-chromed cutter chain; Unique cutter design cuts smooth and fast with minimum kickback

Author: Matt Hagens

Matt Hagens

Hi, I’m Matt the owner of Yard Care Life. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Learn more about me and find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2 thoughts on “Which Way Does a Chain go on a Chainsaw?”

  1. Great explanation! Very helpful for a newbie and I love this HUSQVARNA 455 (1pull everytime) I was cleaning it up and removed the chain put it up during summer and went to use it & it was like dull. Chain was backwards

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