How to Tighten the Chainsaw Chain?

tighten chainsaw chain

Ever had problems tightening the chain on your chainsaw?

It is a general headache for most people who use a chainsaw, especially when its chain turns loose during a task.

But it is more catastrophic if you are confused about how to get it fixed.

While I might have come a long way on my woodwork journey, I have struggled with improving the tension of a loose chain on a chainsaw, significantly.

Frankly, on one occasion, things nearly got out of hand. But that’s a story for another day.

Without any more diversions, let’s get you started on tightening the chain on your chainsaw.

What you need for this task

  1. Wrench
  2. Screwdriver

Before proceeding to tighten the chain on a chainsaw, an understanding of the different circumstances of a chainsaw’s chain is important.

When the drive links of the chain can be lifted easily from the bar nose, then the chain is anything but taut.

In situations like this, tightening the chain is important to avoid an unpleasant occurrence such as damaging the bar or an occupational hazard.

Also, every chainsaw comes with its own wrench and screwdriver; so get them ready for the task ahead.     While most professional woodworkers have their ways of boosting the tension of their chainsaw, there are no delineated variations for tightening the chain of a chainsaw.

How to Tighten the Chainsaw Chain – Step by Step Instructions

While tightening the chain of a chainsaw might seem like a walk in the park, you will need to do it in an orderly manner as jumping any step can affect the performance of your chainsaw.

Follow these instructions, and you would have your chainsaw restored to its proper working condition.  

  • Step 1Adjusting the chain would only be possible if you loosen the nuts holding the guide bar and chain in position. Use the wrench to loosen the nuts to allow you access to the guide bar and the chain. Depending on your chainsaw model, you might have to remove the brakes before you dislodge the nuts responsible for keeping the side panel firm.

how to tighten the chainsaw chain

  • Step 2: Tighten the tensioning screw

The position of the tensioning screw is not fixed. Sometimes, it is located below the nuts (like in the picture above), but it could also be located between the guide bar and the side panel of the chainsaw.

Its condition will depend on your use of the chainsaw. Clean this screw and tighten or loosen it using the screwdriver while keeping an eye on the chain.

Adjusting the screw will either tighten or loosen the chain. It is important the chains have their drive links in place within the bar nose without exactly sacrificing their freedom.

  • Step 3: Tighten the nuts on the panelOnce you have confirmed that the chain of the chainsaw is accurately set on the guide bar, reconnect the nuts on the panel which are holding the guide bar in position using the wrench.


Hopefully, you have tightened the chain of your chainsaw to its functional position.

Without the wrench and screwdriver of your specific chainsaw, tightening the chain of your chainsaw might be difficult.

If you have any questions or you would want to provide suggestions regarding how to tighten the chainsaw chain, please let us know and we will respond quickly.

And if you found this step by step guide on tightening the chainsaw chain useful, endeavor to share.

Read more: How To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

Further reading:

Recent Posts