How to Tell When a Chainsaw Chain is Worn Out

When you need to change the chain on your saw, you will need to know how to check if it needs to be replaced. Replacement of chainsaws should be done to maintain performance and safety.

Running a chainsaw with a dull blade can make your saw difficult to start, or even stall it completely.

There are several ways to tell if a chainsaw chain needs to be replaced. The easiest way is to look at the tops of the teeth. If you notice that they are missing you will need to replace the chain.

This can be caused by hitting a rock or piece of dirt.

Some Signs That a Chainsaw Chain is Worn Out

Dents in the Chain

The best time to replace your chainsaw chain is when you first notice that it has been dented while using the device. Remember to inspect the machine before starting it, so you will know the condition of its parts, including the tire and chains.

Dents in the chain will break through the metal when the chainsaw is in operation, which can cause damage to the chainsaw engine.

Chain is Rusty

Rust occurs on even the most well-kept chains. It is always advisable to carry out frequent maintenance checks on your chainsaw. This should ensure that it is well-oiled and free from rust.

When you are checking for rust, start by looking at the bar/guide bar and how shiny it is. If it feels like sandpaper, you need to replace the chain immediately.

An oily chain attracts less dust and once cleaned, oil is applied to prevent the chain from rusting.

Dull Chainsaw Chain

A dull chainsaw chain not only ruins the cutting performance, but also increases the cutting time and puts extra physical strain on you.

The result is going to be more cuts than necessary and the work becomes slow. To avoid such problems, it’s essential to inspect the chainsaw chain frequently and ensure that it remains in good shape without any issues.

Smoke From The Exhaust

The first thing to look for is how much smoke comes from the exhaust while you are cutting wood.

If you are getting any type of smoke while cutting, even if lubrication and tension are correct, your chainsaw is struggling to cut and may simply be wearing against the wood rather than cutting it.

Usually, you will notice finer dust rather than chips before you get to this point as the saw won’t be cutting as efficiently.

Chainsaw Has Shaky Performance

When you use the chainsaw, it should cut through the wood without experiencing any jagged or shaky performance. If this does not happen, then your cuts are uneven.

You end up cutting into one side of the wood and leaving a bit sticking out from the other side.

If it can’t cut through a piece of wood, then you need a new one. It should leave even cuts and not just slice one side of the wood. The safest option is to replace the chain every 50 hours of use.

Chainsaw Chain is Chipped

The chainsaw chain should not be chipped or broken. If you find a few chips on your chain, it is not yet considered worn out. However, if there is noticeable deformity in the appearance of the chain, then there might already be problem with your chain.

A chipped or broken chain can cause your chainsaw to vibrate harder, causing it to wear out faster. What’s worse is that you can tell that the chain is still good even if there are already small chips and damages.

If the chips go deeper into the actual metal portion of the chain, you need to replace it immediately since it is already affecting the function of your chainsaw.

How Long Does a Chainsaw Chain Last?

If your saw is brand new, expect at least 5 years out of your chain. Depending on the frequency of use, a chain can last for decades.

That’s why it’s important to take precautions to ensure that your chain lasts as long as possible.

Do You Need to Sharpen a New Chainsaw Chain?

No, you don’t need to sharpen a new chainsaw chain. The manufacturer shaves off a little bit from the chain break-off point when they ship them out to you. This is so you can cut down your first tree without having to sharpen it right away.

How Many Times Can A Chainsaw Chain Be Sharpened?

You might be surprised to know that a chainsaw chain can be sharpened as many as 10 times in its lifetime and still operate safely. If there is uneven wear, a professional can utilize an edger attachment to regrind the cutters.

The only way to determine how long a chain lasts is by usage, a task that becomes a little easier after a few sharpening sessions.