How to Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

Having a stretched chainsaw chain can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you depend on it for important tasks like cutting your firewood and trimming your trees. Thankfully, we figured out how to fix a stretched chainsaw chain, and we’re here to share our knowledge with you!

How to Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to quickly correct the issue, and rest assured that your chainsaw will continue performing at its best. Keep reading our blog post to learn exactly what you need to do to repair a stretched chainsaw chain! 

What Causes a Chainsaw Chain to Stretch?

Before diving into the fix, it’s important to understand why chainsaw chains stretch in the first place. The main reason is due to heat and friction created during use. Over time, this causes the chain to become longer, and therefore loose on the bar. Another factor that can contribute to a stretched chainsaw chain is the lack of proper tensioning when installing the chain.

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

  1. A flathead screwdriver
  2. A chainsaw file kit or a depth gauge
  3. A pair of pliers
  4. A chainsaw sharpener (optional)
  5. A bar and chain oil (optional)

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

Step 1: Identify the Problem 

The first step in fixing a stretched chainsaw chain is to identify the extent of the issue. Start by inspecting your chainsaw chain for any signs of wear and tear, such as visible gaps between the teeth or uneven lengths in comparison to new chains. If you see these symptoms, then it’s safe to say that your chainsaw chain needs some fixing.

Step 2: Adjust the Chain Tension 

Using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the bolts on the chainsaw bar and let go of any tension in the chain. Then, with your pliers, pull the slack out of the chain until it is taut against the bar. Make sure to keep an eye on the tension as you tighten back up the bolts. Adjusting the chain tension is important to prevent further stretching and maintain optimal performance.

Step 3: Check the Depth Gauges 

If after adjusting the tension, you still notice that your chainsaw chain is stretched, then it’s time to check the depth gauges. These are responsible for controlling how deep the saw cuts into wood and can affect how well your chainsaw performs. Using a depth gauge tool or a flat file, make sure to even out any uneven depth gauge heights.

Using a Depth Gauge Tool or a Flat File

Step 4: Sharpen the Chain (optional) 

A stretched chainsaw chain is often a sign of dull blades, which can also affect the performance of your chainsaw. If you notice that your chain is excessively stretched and is unable to maintain its tension, then it’s time to sharpen the blades using a chainsaw sharpener. This will not only improve the overall quality of your chain, but it can also prevent further stretching in the future.

Step 5: Proper Maintenance

To prevent your chainsaw chain from becoming stretched in the first place, it’s important to properly maintain it after each use. This includes cleaning and drying the bar and chain, checking for any signs of wear and tear, tightening the tension regularly, and using bar and chain oil to reduce friction. Regular maintenance will not only prolong the lifespan of your chainsaw, but it can also save you from having to fix a stretched chain again in the future.

Following these simple steps will help you fix a stretched chainsaw chain and ensure that your chainsaw is always ready for any task. Remember to always take the necessary safety precautions when handling and repairing your chainsaw, and if you’re unsure about anything, it’s best to consult a professional. Now go out there and tackle those tough-cutting jobs with confidence! Happy sawing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

1. When using a chainsaw, it is important to regularly check the tension of the chain. This will prevent it from stretching too much and becoming loose.

2. Before starting any cutting tasks, make sure that the chain is properly tightened. If you notice any signs of sagging or slack in the chain, stop immediately and adjust the tension before continuing.

3. Always use high-quality oil when lubricating the chainsaw chain. This will reduce friction and wear on the chain, preventing it from stretching unnecessarily.

Always Use High Quality Oil

4. Consider investing in a bar groove cleaner tool. Over time, dirt and debris can build up in the grooves of the guide bar, causing improper alignment of the chain which can lead to stretching. By cleaning these grooves regularly, you can prevent this issue.

5. Avoid using the chainsaw in extreme temperatures, as this can cause the chain to expand or contract, leading to stretching. If you must use the chainsaw in extreme conditions, make sure to regularly check and adjust the tension of the chain.

6. When storing your chainsaw, make sure to release any tension on the chain. This will prevent the chain from stretching while not in use.

7. Ensure that you are using the correct size and type of chain for your chainsaw model. Using the wrong chain can put unnecessary strain on the chain, causing it to stretch.

8. Regularly inspect and replace any worn or damaged parts of the chainsaw, such as sprockets, bearings, and guide bars. These components can greatly affect the tension and performance of the chain.

9. If you notice excessive stretching on a new chain, it could be a sign of a bigger issue such as a damaged bar or improper cutting technique. Consult with a professional to determine the root cause and fix it before further damage is done.

10. Finally, always remember to follow proper maintenance procedures for your chainsaw, such as regularly cleaning and sharpening the chain. This will not only prevent stretching but also ensure a longer lifespan for your chainsaw overall. 

Following these tips and tricks will not only help you fix a stretched chainsaw chain but also prevent it from happening in the future. And by taking good care of your chainsaw, you can ensure safe and efficient use for all your cutting needs. Happy sawing!

Precautions Need to Be Followed for Fixing a Stretched Chainsaw Chain

1. First and foremost, it is important to make sure the chainsaw is turned off before attempting to fix a stretched chain. This will prevent any accidents from occurring.

2. Wear proper appropriate gear, including gloves and eye protection, when working with a chainsaw. This will protect you from any potential injuries.

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

3. Allow the chainsaw to cool down before attempting any repairs. A hot chain can be dangerous to work with and may cause burns.

4. It is recommended to have a basic understanding of how chainsaws work before attempting any repairs. This will ensure that the repair is done correctly and safely.

5. Use only manufacturer-recommended tools and replacement parts when working on your chainsaw. Using incorrect tools or parts can cause further damage or malfunctions.

6. Keep the chainsaw clean and free from debris to prevent any potential issues with the chain. Regular maintenance and cleaning will also help prevent a stretched chain from occurring in the first place.

Keep the Chainsaw Clean

7. Read the manual provided by the manufacturer for specific instructions on fixing a stretched chainsaw chain. This will ensure that you are following the correct steps and using the appropriate tools for your particular chainsaw model.

8. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with fixing a stretched chainsaw chain on your own, it is best to seek professional help. Improper repairs can lead to serious accidents and injuries.

Following these precautions will not only help you fix a stretched chainsaw chain but also ensure your safety while doing so. Remember to always prioritize safety when working with power tools, and never hesitate to seek professional help if needed. With proper care and maintenance, your chainsaw will continue to function effectively for a long time. Happy sawing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if My Chainsaw Chain is Stretched?

A stretched chainsaw chain can be identified by looking at the space between each cutter on the chain. If the space looks uneven or larger than usual, this is a sign that your chain has become stretched. Another indicator is if the chain keeps slipping off the bar during use.

How Do I Fix a Stretched Chainsaw Chain?

The most effective way to fix a stretched chainsaw chain is by using a chain breaker tool. This tool will push out the rivet holding together the links that have become stretched, allowing you to remove them and reattach the remaining un-stretched links. You can then reattach the chain using a chain tensioner to ensure it is at the correct tightness.

How Can I Prevent My Chainsaw Chain From Becoming Stretched?

One of the best ways to prevent your chainsaw chain from becoming stretched is by properly maintaining and lubricating it. Make sure to clean your chainsaw after each use and regularly check for any damaged or worn-out parts. It’s also important to properly tension your chain before each use to prevent it from becoming too loose.


All in all, knowing how to fix a stretched chainsaw chain is an important skill for any chainsaw owner. By regularly checking and maintaining your chainsaw chain, you can prevent it from becoming stretched in the first place. However, if it does become stretched, using a chain breaker tool and following proper tensioning techniques can easily fix the issue. Remember to always prioritize safety when working with a chainsaw and consult a professional if needed. Happy chainsawing!

Leave a Comment