When to replace a chainsaw chain?

When to replace a chainsaw chain?

Just as every machine and tool we use has its own lifespan, so does a chainsaw chain. Even if you don't use your chainsaw too often, after some time you will notice that your chainsaw is slower, it takes longer to cut and bound the chain is another very common sign that something isn't right. On the other hand, if you maintain your chainsaw properly, still there will come a time when it will be necessary to change the chain and in this article, we will draw your attention to the most common signs that indicate it's time for a change.


Parts of the chain

All the chainsaws on the market are pretty the same when we talk about the length of the chain. It's around 50 rotations per second. As you can see it's a powerful number and using it to cut the spinning effect will cause a huge amount of friction that will lead to a dilapidated chain. later in this chapter, we will briefly present all parts of the chain.

Guide bar - this is not part of the chain, but it is something that holds the chain and allows it to turn. The bar and the chain must be very well-oiled while working to ensure nice movement around the bar. This way your cut will be clean and any problems with chain teeth will be avoided. 

Drive links - these are actually metal teeth that are located opposite the actual teeth. They maintain the chain and allow it to move easily around the guide. When it is damaged or poorly lubricated, it will not sit well next to the guide and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Depth gauge - as their name says, this part of the chain will control how deep the teeth will cut into the wood while working. They are often expended and are one of the main reasons to change your chain.

Left and right cutters - these are the long teeth responsible for cutting. They alternate with each other to allow even cutting. For every gallon of gas consumed, it is necessary to sharpen the chain as part of normal maintenance.


When is the right time to replace your chain

First of all, observe and notice some of these signs:

Does it pull your chain into the wood or do you have to force it on yourself? The blunt chain won't cut properly and you will have to apply a greater force to it which can cause an additional load on the engine as well as the blunting of the chain.

Does your chain bounce when you cut? This not only affects the accuracy of the cut but also indicates that the chain is worn out and needs to be lubricated or even replaced.

If you see smoke when cutting even though the chain is lubricated, you are probably having problems with the sharpness of the chain.

If your chainsaw works in one direction when cutting, it means that the cutting teeth are blunt on one side of the chain or that the lengths of the cutting teeth are uneven.

Don't forget to check the sawdust as well. Each blunt chain will create fine, soft-to-the-touch dust, not coarse nor as it should.

If you’ve just sharpened your chain, but you’re still noticing some of these listed signs, it’s probably time to change your chain completely.

Chainsaw Chain details

Check for any missing teeth

Another reason why you should change your chain is definitely the damage or cracking of the teeth on the chain. While everyone should change the chain as soon as they notice it, a lot of people in a hurry ignore it and thus seriously endanger themselves and their health. So if you see that something is wrong with the teeth on the chain, change the chain immediately, it's not such an expensive investment.

Having already mentioned the costs, some people as soon as they notice some irregularities go for a new chain, they don’t even try to sharpen it. It’s true that no chainsaw cuts as well as a new one, but if you can sharpen a relatively new chain, do it.


Things to pay attention to when changing the chain

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a new chain. It is always a good idea to have more chains attached to your chainsaw. Their regular replacement helps to evenly wear the saw, and they can come in handy in case of failure or wear of one of the chains. Also, you must know to choose the right chain for your chainsaw. Be aware of the gauge, the number of drive links, and the pitch to fit your bar. Not all chainsaws are the same, don't forget that.


Final thoughts

You will surely see for yourself when is the right time to replace your chain. Your chainsaw will be less efficient. Of course, the rule of maintaining and lubricating the chain is desirable and you will extend its service life, but it doesn't have an infinite service life and you will have to do the replacement. In this article, we have listed the most common signals that indicate it's time for a change. Also, try to have at least one chain in reserve.