How to Remove and Reassemble a Chainsaw Chain: Step-by-Step Guide

Ever found yourself revving up your trusty chainsaw, only to hear that dreaded clinking sound? You’re not alone. Removing a link from your chainsaw chain can be a real head-scratcher, but fear not – we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to get your chainsaw back in action in no time.

Imagine this: you’re all geared up for a day of tackling those overgrown branches, but your chainsaw chain has other plans. Fret not, as we’re here to guide you through the process of taking out that troublesome link. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to troubleshoot this common chainsaw woe like a pro.

Assessing the Situation

When dealing with a chainsaw chain issue, the first step is to assess the situation. This will help you determine the best course of action to take. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Check for Tension: Ensure the chainsaw is turned off and look for any looseness in the chain. Proper tension is crucial for smooth operation.
  • Examine the Links: Inspect the chain for any damaged or worn links. These may need to be replaced rather than removed.
  • Identify the Problematic Link: Pinpoint the link that is causing the issue. It might be bent, damaged, or simply in the wrong position.
  • Consider the Tools Needed: Depending on the problem, you may require specific tools to safely remove the link.
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Before proceeding, ensure you have a clear understanding of the issue at hand. This evaluation will guide you through the rest of the process effectively.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

To successfully take a link out of a chainsaw chain, you’ll need to gather the right tools to ensure a smooth process. Here’s what you’ll require:

  • A chainsaw chain breaker: Used to push out chain links.
  • Pliers: Can help with handling small parts and easing the process.
  • Gloves: Essential for protecting your hands during the manipulation of the chain.
  • A clean cloth: Useful to wipe off any dirt or grease that may hinder your work.

Before you start the process of removing a link from your chainsaw chain, ensure you have these tools at your disposal. With the right tools on hand, you are well-equipped to tackle the task effectively.

Loosening the Chain Tension

To loosen the chain tension on your chainsaw chain, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate the chain tension screw on the side of the chainsaw.
  • Step 2: Use a screwdriver to turn the tension screw counterclockwise, loosening the chain.
  • Step 3: Check the chain’s tension by lifting it in the middle. It should have a little give, but not be too loose.
  • Step 4: Make small adjustments as needed until the chain is at the appropriate tension for smooth operation.

After Loosening the Chain Tension, you can proceed with removing the link from the chainsaw chain.

Removing the Link

When removing a link from your chainsaw chain, you’ll want to ensure safety by wearing protective gloves and following these steps:

  • Locate the master link, often distinguished by its different shape or color.
  • Use needle-nose pliers to remove the retaining clip from the master link.
  • Slide the master link out to separate the chain.
  • Carefully detach the chain from the guide bar and sprocket.
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Additional Tips

Here are some tips to streamline the process:

  • Keep track of the order of the chain links as you remove them.
  • Inspect the chain for any signs of damage or wear as you work.

Enjoy a smooth chain removal process with these guidelines.

Reassembling the Chain

After successfully removing the link from the chainsaw chain, Reassembling the Chain is the next crucial step in getting your chainsaw back in action. Here are some essential tips to guide you through this process:

  • Inspect the Chain: Before reassembling, carefully inspect each chain link for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Correct Order: Ensure you place the chain links back in the correct order to maintain the chain’s functionality.
  • Master Link: Reattach the master link securely, ensuring it clicks into place.
  • Tension Adjustment: Check the tension of the chain by pulling it away from the guide bar – it should have a snug fit without being too tight.
  • Guide Bar: Once the chain is back in place, carefully position it on the guide bar and sprocket, ensuring proper alignment.
  • Test: Before operating the chainsaw, give the chain a gentle tug to confirm it’s securely in place.

Remember, a properly reassembled chain is essential for the safe and efficient operation of your chainsaw. Follow these steps attentively to ensure a successful reassembly process.


That’s it! Reassembling a chainsaw chain after removing a link is a crucial task to ensure safe and efficient operation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently put the chain back together, check for proper tension, and align it correctly. Remember to always inspect the chain for wear or damage before reassembly and test it before use. With these tips in mind, you’re all set to tackle this maintenance task like a pro. Happy chainsawing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How important is it to inspect each chain link when reassembling a chainsaw chain?

Inspecting each chain link is crucial to check for wear or damage that could affect the chain’s performance or safety during operation.

Why is it essential to place the chain links back in the correct order during reassembly?

Placing the chain links in the correct order ensures that the chain functions smoothly and efficiently, reducing the risk of malfunctions or accidents.

What is the significance of securely reattaching the master link when reassembling a chainsaw chain?

Securely reattaching the master link is essential to maintain the integrity and strength of the chain, preventing it from coming apart during operation.

Why is checking chain tension important after reassembling a chainsaw chain?

Checking chain tension ensures that the chain is properly tensioned to prevent slippage or excessive wear, enhancing safety and cutting performance.

What role does aligning the chain on the guide bar and sprocket play in chainsaw operation?

Aligning the chain on the guide bar and sprocket ensures smooth movement and proper engagement, optimizing cutting efficiency and reducing strain on the chainsaw motor.

Why is it recommended to test the chain before operating the chainsaw after reassembly?

Testing the chain before operation allows you to ensure that it functions correctly, identifying any issues or abnormalities that need to be addressed for safe and efficient chainsaw use.

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Jackson Hill is a passionate arborist with years of experience in the field of trees. He developed his fascination with trees at a young age, spending countless hours exploring the forests and climbing trees. Jackson went on to study arboriculture and horticulture at Michigan State University and later earned a degree in forestry from the University of Michigan.

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With his extensive knowledge and expertise, Jackson has become a trusted authority on trees and their impact on the environment. His work has helped shape the field of arboriculture and he continues to be a leading voice in the industry.

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