How To Put Chain Back On Chain Saw? – Expert Guide

A broken chain can render a chain saw useless. This is a guide on how to properly put the chain back on your chain saw. There are two types of chains, .325 and .404. The guides below will show you how to put the chain back on your saw based on the size of your chainsaw’s chain. Remember to always wear gloves when handling a chain saw or! a sharp object.

How To Put Chain Back On Chain Saw?

Can You Put a Chain Back on a Chain Saw Yourself?

Wear protective gear 

Before you start putting the chain back on your chain saw, make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses. When you are putting a chain back on a chain saw, you will be using sharp objects so it is essential that you have everything covered. You should also have a vice to hold the chain saw down while you work on it.

Take off damaged chain

To start, put your chainsaw in a vice and take off the damaged chain. If you do not have any vice grip equipment you can still accomplish this task by tying the chainsaw down and putting a big pipe over the bar to hold it in place. Make sure that you wear gloves while doing this. 

Install new chain

Once your old chain is off, remove the new one from its packaging and install it. Ensure that the teeth of the chain are facing downwards on top of the bar, then slowly tighten the chain enough so that it is secured to your saw but not tightened all the way. This allows for more flexibility during cutting operations.

Take off vice and test the chain

Once you have installed your new chain onto your saw, take it out of the vice or remove the pipe from the bar. Turn on your chainsaw to ensure that everything is functional and runs like usual. If not, move on to step 5.

Adjust tension as needed 

If for some reason your new chain is either too loose or too tight, you need to adjust its tension so that it will cut correctly. The best way to do this is by putting a screwdriver through one of the links in the chain and twisting it until it feels appropriate for cutting purposes. Do this slowly as if you twist too much in one motion, the screwdriver will strip the teeth on your chain.

Tighten the saw attachment 

Finally, tighten down your chainsaw attachment and get ready to cut. If you did everything correctly until this point, the chain should be tight enough to slice through wood like butter. Once you know what you’re doing it’s really simple.

Tools needed

Gloves, Replacement Chain, Bar and Chain Oil, Large pliers or a bar/chain tool, Saw Scabbard for safe storage of the saw.

  • Place the scabbard over the bar as if you were going to start it as this will help prevent accidentally touching the sharp bar while replacing the chain.
  • Remove the bar nuts/bolts with pliers to loosen the tensioner, remove the old sprocket, and put it in a safe place so you do not lose it or bend it. 
  • Once all of this is done take off the old chain by sliding it towards the front of your saw about 5-6 inches past your clutch cover (the reason for this is because when you reinstall the new chain that’s where you will slide it back into place.)
  • Replace with a new/repaired chain making sure you have one link overlap on each side of your bar. Make sure that the holes in your new replacement link face upwards toward your saw. Or if you have a repaired chain the link pins will face upwards. 
  • Once the new/repaired is on reinstalling everything back in place, Make sure you tighten everything securely to prevent any disasters.
  • Add bar and chain oil to the reservoir.
  • Be sure to properly maintain your saw by keeping proper bar and chain oil levels, sharpening or replacing your chain when needed with Stihl replacement chains available at Stihl dealerships across Canada 
  • Make sure you wear all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). Properly maintain your saw according to the owner’s manual 
  • Follow these simple steps for quick, efficient restarting of your saw with little to no downtime.

How Does a Chain Get Off from the Bar? 

If you are wondering how a chain can get off the bar, that usually happens when the sprocket that connects the two is no longer working. This can happen due to age or if something was done incorrectly during either installation or repair. If your new chain gets loose after putting it on, make sure to check for any damage to the saw attachment and readjust accordingly.

Preparation of Fixing the Fallen Chain

  1. Ensure that the chainsaw is turned off and cool before placing it on a flat surface.
  2. Put on your protective gear which includes gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs to prevent hearing loss from the chainsaw’s noise.
  3. Place the saw in a vice for added stability or use pipe over the bar that secures the saw into place with no tension on it then take off both of its attachments to either side of handlebars if it is a gas-powered chainsaw or remove any guards covering the blade for electric models.
  4. Unplug your chain prior to taking off its drive link unless you notice loose teeth by examining them carefully, make sure not to touch them bare because they are very sharp and can cut your fingers.
  5. Remove the damaged chain from the bar and replace it with a new one, if you plan on using a different type of chainsaw attachment make sure to use the same size for proper function.
  6. Once you have put in your new drive link tighten it by hand then retighten it according to the manufacturer’s instructions which should be available online or in a manual that came with your chainsaw. 

Safety Tips

  • If replacing an electric saw’s chainsaw blade, ensure that all necessary attachments are installed before plugging it back in when done so as not to change its setting from when you originally used it prior to taking off for repair purposes.
  • Make sure that the vice does not have sharp edges or is not rusted which can both cause injury when placing either part of the chainsaw within it.
  • When taking off guide bars do so at two points instead of just one as this will prevent tipping as well as help to protect handles from becoming loose as a result of taking things apart too quickly or improperly due to lack of knowledge or experience in the field.


  1. Chain saws are available in both gas and cordless models 
  2. They can be used for a variety of different tasks from casual yard work to intense construction 
  3. With the correct blade, they can cut through nearly anything from wood or metal beams to thick brush, trees, and other obstacles that get in your way


  1. Some models of chainsaws can be difficult to start 
  2. The noise they make while running may cause permanent hearing loss over time 

Final Thoughts

If you need help putting your chain saw back together, we’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to do it. It might seem like an easy task at first glance but if your chain is off or broken then there are some extra steps that will be needed in order for the power of the motor to transfer into cutting through logs and other objects. The process can be complicated so take our advice and don’t attempt this project without reading these instructions beforehand. We hope you enjoy using your chainsaw again soon!