Why your chainsaw isn’t working properly [3 common reasons]

In this post, I’ll be going over some of the most popular reasons why your chainsaw is not working properly. I’ll be revealing the symptoms and how to fix the issue.

Not tensioning the chain

Many chainsaw users believe they can just tension their chainsaw once and they’re all good to go. This is true in some cases but not for all. If you use your chainsaw in a cold climate, you’ll be tensioning your chain more often.

For example, let’s say you’ve just tensioned your chain and it cuts great, but after a few minutes, the cutting isn’t as effective. This is because you need to tension your chainsaw after it’s warmed up. The chain will stretch after it’s warmed up, causing the chain tension to loosen.

More chainsaw guides here.

Not sharpening the chain teeth properly

There are 2 main parts of a chain, the actual teeth/blades which are responsible for the cutting and the rivet/shoulder which looks like a round chunk on the chain. When your chain becomes dull, you’ll need to sharpen it. Keep in mind that when you sharpen the teeth, you’ll be decreasing the size of the teeth. 

Eventually, the teeth will become smaller in height than the shoulder part of the chain. When this happens, your chainsaw won’t be cutting properly. Not because the chain isn’t sharp enough but because the shoulder is bigger than the teeth so the blades/teeth aren’t connecting with the wood.

You don’t want the blades to be smaller than any other part of the chain as it won’t connect with the wood.

Full of debris

Your chainsaw being full of debris is the most common reason for overheating. The best way to clean it is to open up the side cover and spray it with an anti-greasing chemical. Let the chemical sit for a few minutes and then wipe off the gunk on your chainsaw. 

Repeat this again for the best results. Make sure you’re getting into every crevice of the chainsaw, leaving no part untouched. After you’ve cleaned it, you need to re-grease it with some motor oil to make sure it does not overheat and components are working as they should.


So those were 3 of the most common reasons why your chainsaw isn’t working. Of course, your chainsaw may not be working for other reasons but by checking the 3 issues listed above, you would’ve helped narrow things down dramatically.

Posted in Homeowners on Jan 08, 2021