How To Tighten Chain On Ryobi Pole Saw? – Complete Explanation

Chainsaws can be dangerous if not handled properly, so it’s important to make sure the chain is tight before using it. This guide will show you how to do just that in a few simple steps.

In simple words, to tighten the chain locate the adjustment knob near the handle of the saw. To tighten, turn the knob clockwise; to loosen, turn it counterclockwise.

If you want to know more follow these steps below and you’ll be able to tighten the chain on your Ryobi pole saw like a pro in no time. With a properly tightened chain, you can use your saw with confidence and safely cut through whatever material you need.

How To Tighten Chain On Ryobi Pole Saw?

Follow these steps to tighten the chain:

  1. Step 1

    Loosen the tension knob. Grab your Ryobi pole saw by the rear handle with one hand, and use your other hand to firmly grasp the exposed drive shaft. Twist this clockwise until you hear a click, at which point it should stop turning.

    You’ve now disengaged your pole saw’s chain brake. Do not proceed until you have fully loosened this knob! With that said, let go of the driveshaft and keep both hands free.

  2. Step 2

    Unhook the bar nuts from their notch at the end of the blade assembly. Use a flathead screwdriver or similar tool for assistance if necessary; also note that these are left-handed threads, so turn them counterclockwise to free them.

  3. Step 3

    Pull the blade assembly toward you until it stops. While holding the front handle with one hand, use your other hand to hold the blade steady while you unhook its bar nuts from their respective notches in the blade casing.

    Note that the other side must also be done at this point; if not, simply rotate your device around and finish disengaging both sides of the lower bar nuts using your flathead screwdriver before moving forward. Once this is complete, set aside these items for now.

  4. Step 4

    Remove the lower guard by simply pulling it off the bottom of the saw’s frame.

  5. Step 5

    Use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the nut on the bottom of the saw’s blade assembly. Be aware that this is a reverse-threaded nut, so turn it clockwise to remove it.

  6. Step 6

    Pull the blade assembly towards you until it stops. Remove your newly freed chain from around the bar (this will be easier if you open up your lower guard).

    Then, carefully remove your chain by unhooking its retaining link in order to detach one chain segment at a time. Once done, pull your blade assembly back away from you and place these two parts aside for now.

  7. Step 7

    Unscrew all three bolts on each side of the saw’s upper blade assembly with an adjustable wrench.

    Note that these are regular-threaded bolts, so turn them clockwise to remove them. Once this is complete, carefully lift off both halves of your upper blade assembly and set it aside for now.

  8. Step 8

    Remove the old chain by unhooking its retaining link to detach it one segment at a time until all links are removed.

  9. Step 9

    Place the new chain around the bar (this will be much easier if you open up your lower guard). Then, hook each link in place one at a time while paying attention to alignment. Your goal here should be approximately 3/8″-1/2″ of “play” in your chain when pressed against the bar.

  10. Step 10

    Place both halves of your upper blade assembly back on, tighten with a wrench, and replace all three bolts you removed earlier.

    Be aware that these are reverse-threaded bolts, so turn them counterclockwise to tighten them. Once done, reattach the lower guard that you set aside previously.

Tips For Avoiding Future Problems With The Chain Tension: 

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that your chain remains as taut as possible and doesn’t slip off of the bar as often as it might otherwise.

First, avoid cutting branches larger than three inches in diameter whenever possible; they will exert too much downward pressure on the saw’s bar to be safely cut with this tool.

You should also avoid cutting through the trunk of any tree, as this will cause the same problem and could damage your saw.

Finally, you should immediately check your chain tension after each and every cut and adjust it accordingly (see step 3 above to do so). This will ensure that the chain doesn’t come off in the middle of a potentially dangerous cut.

Final Thoughts:

The process of tightening the chain on a Ryobi pole saw is not difficult, but it is important to do it correctly in order to avoid damage to the saw and/or injury to the user. By following the steps I have outlined in this article, you should be able to complete the task quickly and easily.


1. What are the symptoms of a loose chain on a Ryobi pole saw? 

Symptoms of a loose chain on your Ryobi pole saw are similar to those caused by any other poorly-adjusted or malfunctioning power tool. You may experience increased vibration, insufficient cutting power, and — in the worst case — an outright loss of function. These signs could indicate that you need new chainsaw blades and/or sharpening stones for your saw.

2. How to identify if the chain is too loose?

When the chain becomes too loose, it will begin to run erratically and no longer perform as a well-adjusted saw should. If you pay attention to your device when this happens (e.g., while splitting wood), you might even notice that the motor begins to strain or growl — a strong sign that something is wrong with your blade assembly.

3. The tools and materials you will need to tighten the chain? 

The tools and materials needed to tighten the chain on your Ryobi pole saw are similar to those necessary for any other power tool, with a few notable exceptions. Rather than just one or two wrenches, you will likely require both an adjustable wrench and large channel locks in order to get sufficient torque on many bolts. The most difficult part of replacing the chain is removing the blade assembly; you might even consider purchasing another saw just for this process if it proves too difficult otherwise.