Why Won’t My Chain Fit On My Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are really useful for any gardener and homeowner, assisting in a huge range of tasks. While they can be simple to use, there’s a lot to know about your chainsaw, such as why your chain won’t fit on your chainsaw.

Without matching a chainsaw chain length, drive links, gauge, and pitch to your chainsaw, the chain won’t fit on the guide bar. The measurements for these aspects are stamped on your chainsaw bar or written in your chainsaw manual. They will match a certain chain length that will fit your chainsaw.

Let’s talk more about fitting your chain to your chainsaw.

Why won’t my chain fit on my chainsaw?

There are a variety of reasons that can cause your chainsaw chain to not fit on your chainsaw, including wrong chain measurements or worn-down chains. We’re going to go through a quick list of possible reasons your chainsaw chain isn’t fitting on the chainsaw.

Measuring a chainsaw chain to fit chainsaw

The first thing to consider is that you have grabbed the wrong sized chain for your chainsaw bar. Every chain comes with specific pitch, gauge, and drive link measurements that need to match your chainsaw. The measurements needed to fit your chainsaw can be found in the user manual and sometimes stamped on the bar. To check that your chainsaw chain matches these measurements, you can measure the chain yourself. We walk you through measuring these aspects below.

If your chain used to fit your chainsaw but is now coming off of the bar, there are a few reasons that can contribute to this. This includes worn-out sprockets and/or chainsaw bars. This can reduce the tension in the chain and cause it to come loose from the bar. You could have the chain tension set wrong in the first place – also another contributor to chainsaw chains not fitting. Be sure to check that you have correctly tensioned your chainsaw chain before deciding if it is the wrong size altogether.

Sometimes there isn’t a quick-fix DIY solution, such as if a worn-out bar heel is causing your chain to not fit/stay on the chainsaw bar. The bar heel is positioned near the machine drive sprocket. When a chainsaw bar heel wears out, the chainsaw grooves become less effective, lengthening the distance the chain must travel. This causes the chain to detach from the bar. A problem like this is best solved by a chainsaw maintenance service.

How do you fit a chain on a chainsaw?

All chainsaws should have a list of specifications in the manual regarding chainsaw and chain sizes. This should include the necessary pitch, gauge, and drive links that will fit that specific chainsaw. To make sure your chain will fit your chainsaw, you can measure the chain itself and see if the results match the chainsaw specifications.

The first step is to measure the pitch of the chain. To do this pick any three consecutive rivets to measure the distance between. Rivets are the studs that hold the links together. Measure from the first stud to the third stud, then divide the length by two. This gives you the size of your pitch.

Why won't my chain stay on my chainsaw?

To measure the gauge on your chainsaw chain, you are just measuring the thickness of the drive links. You want to measure the section of the drive link that is meant to fit into the groove on the guide bar. It’s very difficult to accurately measure the gauge with a tape measure, which is why a vernier calliper is recommended for this task. This measurement is vital because if the gauge is too big, it can’t fit into the groove of your chainsaw bar.

Your chainsaw bar will also have space for a certain number of drive links, which is why you must measure these on the chainsaw chain. This task is easier than the others. The drive links are the teeth on the underside of the chain (where you also find the gauge). All you need to do is count how many points there are. Then compile the drive link number with the pitch and gauge and you know the length of the chain. Compare these with the measurement guidelines for your chainsaw and you can find and fit the right chain to your bar.

Do all chains fit all chainsaws?

You can mix chainsaw chain brands and chainsaws, for example, a Husqvarna petrol chainsaw and an AR-Pro chain. This is provided that the chain has the right pitch, gauge and drive link measurements to fit the chainsaw bar.

If you grab a chain that is too small for a chainsaw, the chain can’t properly wrap around the sprocket and bar. This will ruin the tension in the chain and increase the risk of the chain coming out of the grooves.

If you think you need a specific brand for your chainsaw chain, check the brain of the current chain on the chainsaw. You can do this by looking at the links on the chain. Usually, there will be some labelling of the brand that the chain is produced by.

Remember to always check the measurements of your chainsaw bar and chain to make sure they are the right match. Not all chains will fit your chainsaw and the wrong chain increases the safety risks when working with your chainsaw.

Why do my chains constantly come off my chainsaw?

There are two main aspects that can contribute to your chainsaw chain coming off of the chainsaw. One is the chain tension, the other is the bar condition.

Chain tension causing chain to come off chainsaw

Get chain to stay on chainsaw

The first thing to check is the chain tension on your saw. There can be different tension systems. But most chainsaws use springs to keep pressure on the blade and hold it tight against the bar. For this system to work, however, you’ll need to keep it lubricated. It is recommended to apply bar oil each time you refuel your chainsaw. Without proper lubrication, the chain won’t travel tightly and well on your chainsaw. This will cause it to slip off. Make sure that the chain tension is correct with oil application to prevent this from happening.

Chainsaw bar condition

If the tension system is working properly, and the chain still isn’t staying on, you may need to replace the bar. Over time, even high-quality bars can be worn down. This can make it harder for the chain to stay in the right place and keep it tight. If the bar is wearing out, you can either replace it with a new one or you can have it re-profiled by a professional. A new or serviced bar will help keep your chainsaw chain locked in place and allow you to continue working safely with this equipment.

There are other reasons that can contribute to your chain not staying on your chainsaw. We recommend talking to a professional service person at Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers to get to the root of the problem.

Looking for more helpful chainsaw advice? Check out more of our Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers resources! We have a whole chainsaw chain guide for your benefit. For quality chainsaws for sale, check out our range of Husqvarna battery chainsaws and Husqvarna petrol chainsaws.

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