Chainsaw Maintenance

The New chainsaw chain keeps coming off [Latest Guide]

Are you having a hard time keeping the new chainsaw chain from coming off? Whether you’re a new chainsaw user or have been using them for some time, it can be extremely frustrating when the new chainsaw chain keeps slipping off. 

Well, there are many reasons that cause this issue. What causes this, and how can it be fixed? That is what you’ll learn about in

So let’s get started and figure out why your new chainsaw chain keeps coming off.

Why Does New Chainsaw Chain Keep Coming Off?

It’s okay for an old chain to come off, as it’s already too old and can be replaced. However, nothing can be more annoying when a new chain has this issue. 

So, what causes this issue even in a new chain on your chainsaw? There are many reasons for it. 

Bar Heel or Rail is in Worn Out

One of the most common reasons why a new chainsaw chain keeps coming off is due to a worn-out bar heel or rail. The bar heel is a small metal piece located at the end of the chainsaw bar that keeps the chain in place.


If this part is worn out, it can cause the chain to loosen and eventually come off. The rail is part of the chainsaw that the chain rides on. Over time, this part can become worn out or bent, causing the chain to derail.

Incorrect Chain Tension Setup

Another reason why a new chainsaw chain keeps coming off is due to an incorrect chain tension setup. Chainsaw chains need to be set up with the correct tension to ensure that they stay in place while in use.


If the chain is too loose, it can easily come off the chainsaw bar. On the other hand, if the chain is too tight, it can cause excessive wear on the chainsaw bar and chain.

Drive Sprocket Needs Replacement

The drive sprocket is a small gear located on the chainsaw’s engine. Its purpose is to drive the chainsaw chain around the bar. 

If the drive sprocket is worn out or damaged, it can cause the chain to derail. In this case, you may need to replace the drive sprocket to solve the problem.

Hardware Failure

If your chainsaw chain is coming off, it could be because of a hardware failure. For example, the chain tensioner, which helps keep the chain tight, could be loose or broken. The clutch, which helps the chain rotate, could also be damaged.


And the chainsaw bar—the part of the chainsaw that the chain wraps around—could be worn out. If any of these parts malfunction, they can cause the chain to come off.

Temperature Changes

Temperature changes can significantly impact the performance of a chainsaw chain. For instance, if the chain is too cold, it won’t fit securely onto the chainsaw bar, making it more likely to come off. 

On the flip side, if the chain gets too hot, it can expand and create a gap between it and the bar, which can also cause it to come off. 

Keeping your chainsaw chain at the right temperature is important to ensure it works properly.

Too dry or too dirty

When using a chainsaw, it’s important to keep the chain properly lubricated. If the chain is too dry, it will cause friction and wear on the chain and bar, potentially leading to the chain coming off. 

On the other hand, if the chain is too dirty, it won’t be able to properly absorb the lubricant, again leading to the chain coming off. To avoid this, be sure to keep your chainsaw chain well-lubricated!

The wrong type of lubricant used

Using the wrong type of lubricant on your chainsaw chain can be a recipe for disaster. Chainsaw chains need a special kind of lubricant that can stand up to the high-speed and high-friction environment of chainsaw use. 

If you use a lubricant that isn’t designed for chainsaws, it can wear down the chain prematurely and eventually cause it to come off. 

So, make sure you use the right type of lubricant, and your chainsaw chain will stay on track!

These are the reasons why your new chainsaw chain keeps coming off. 

How to Tighten a Chainsaw Chain? [Explained]


After knowing why the chainsaw chain is coming off, you must now be willing to learn how to tighten the chainsaw chain. So, that’s what I’m going to teach you now, step by step. Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Turn off the Chainsaw

Before tightening the chainsaw chain, ensure the chainsaw is turned off and the spark plug is disconnected. This will prevent any accidental start-ups while you are working on the chainsaw.

Step 2: Loosen the Chain Tensioner

Using a chainsaw tool, loosen the chain tensioner. The chain tensioner is usually located on the side of the chainsaw and can be loosened by turning it counterclockwise.

Step 3: Adjust the Chain Tension

Using the same chainsaw tool, adjust the chain tension by turning the chain tensioner clockwise until the chain is snug against the chainsaw bar. 

You can check the chain tension by pulling the chain away from the chainsaw bar. The chain should move easily but not sag or hang away from the chainsaw bar.

Step 4: Check the Chain Lubrication

While you are tightening the chainsaw chain, take the time to check the chain lubrication. The chain should be properly lubricated to ensure its smooth operation. If the chain appears to be dry, add some lubrication oil to the chainsaw bar’s oiling hole.

Step 5: Tighten the Chain Tensioner

Once you have adjusted the chain tension, tighten the chain tensioner by turning it clockwise using the chainsaw tool. Make sure that the tensioner is snug but not too tight.

Step 6: Test the Chainsaw

After tightening the chainsaw chain, start the chainsaw and let it run for a few seconds. Observe the chain’s movement while the chainsaw is running. The chain should move smoothly and not sag away from the chainsaw bar.

Step 7: Recheck the Chain Tension

Finally, recheck the chain tension after running the chainsaw for a few seconds. It is common for the chain tension to loosen up after the chainsaw has been running for a while. If the chain is too loose, repeat the above steps to tighten it.

Are Loose Chainsaw Chains Dangerous? why!


A loose chainsaw chain is a serious safety hazard that can lead to serious injury or damage to property. The chain can easily come off the chainsaw bar while in use, resulting in serious cuts or even broken bones. 

Related: Can A Chainsaw Kill You?

Not only that, but a loose chainsaw chain can also damage the chainsaw itself. The chain won’t be tensioned properly, which can cause excessive wear on the chainsaw bar, drive sprocket, and chain links. 

This can result in costly repairs or even the need to replace the chainsaw altogether. On top of that, a loose chainsaw chain can reduce the efficiency of the chainsaw, making it work harder than necessary and resulting in a slower cutting speed and less effective performance. 

All of this means that it’s incredibly important to make sure your chainsaw chain is properly tensioned before using it.

Troubleshooting Chains That Keep Coming Off


If you have a chain that keeps coming off, you can follow the below-mentioned troubleshooting tips to fix it.

Check the Chain Size

One common reason chains come off is that the wrong size of chain is being used. Make sure you are using the correct chain size for your chainsaw. The chain size should be specified in your chainsaw’s manual.

Remove the Chain Link

Another reason chains come off is that there are too many links in the chain. Removing a link from the chain may help prevent it from coming off. Use a chain tool to remove a link from the chain, and then reattach the chain to the chainsaw.

Check the Bar Heel or Rail

The bar heel or rail can wear out over time, which can cause the chain to come off. Ensure the bar heel or rail is the right size and not worn out. If it is worn out, it will need to be replaced.

Replace the Chain

If the chain keeps coming off despite taking the above steps, it may be time to replace the chain. Over time, chains can become stretched and worn, causing them to come off more easily. Replace the chain with a new one that is the correct size for your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Question

Why does my chainsaw chain keep coming off?

Your chainsaw chain might keep coming off if it’s not properly tightened, the bar is worn, or the sprocket is damaged. Make sure everything’s aligned and in good condition.

Why does my chainsaw chain keep getting stuck?

The chain can get stuck if the wood closes up and pinches it, or if the chain is dull, dirty, or not lubricated enough. Keep the chain sharp and well-maintained.

How tight should a chainsaw chain be?

A chainsaw chain should be tight enough that it doesn’t sag from the bar, but loose enough that you can pull it around easily by hand with gloves on.

Why is my chainsaw not cutting with a brand-new chain?

If a new chainsaw chain isn’t cutting, it might be installed backward, the teeth may need sharpening, or the saw’s power isn’t adjusted correctly. Check the installation and settings.

Final Words

  • Proper chain tension is essential; adjust as needed.
  • Use the correct lubricant specifically designed for chainsaws.
  • Regularly inspect the bar, sprocket, and chain for wear and damage.
  • Follow the step-by-step guide to tighten a chainsaw chain correctly.