Chainsaw Not Cutting Straight – Guide For Users

Chainsaw Not Cutting Straight - 7 Basic Reasons

The chainsaw is a truly unique tool that facilitates felling trees and cutting firewood. The main advantage of this tool is the fast maximum speed and the ability to brake the blade instantly. During the operation of the tool, various malfunctions occur, and one of them is uneven sawing.

If the chainsaw doesn’t cut straight in one direction, it causes inconvenience to chainsaw users, as well as consumes a large amount of fuel. If you encounter such a malfunction, this material will show you how it can be identified and corrected chainsaw not cutting straight without needing to pay a visit to a saw shop.

Why Do Chainsaw Not Cutting Straight – Side Of the Chain

In fact, in most cases this can be corrected, and so that in the future it won’t affect you so often, let’s find out the factors.

The first factor is uneven wear the one side of the cutting teeth. Let’s say you caught a nail, the cutter starts to cut noticeably worse, and we start to press the chainsaw bar harder forcing to cut with the same enthusiasm. At this time the following happens: the sharper blades of the saw cut the timber easily, and the blades that hit the nail do not cut the layer of timber, but roll over like a car wheel over a bump.

The car has shock absorbers, but the chainsaw chain and tire do not. The blade begins to press harder on one of the ribs of the tire, which leads to uneven wear. In addition, there is wear on the shanks of the chain going on the chainsaw bar groove of the tire, and the groove itself. The blade on the tire begins to play and the longer you turn a blind eye to this, the more serious the wear will be.

chainsaw Carlton

The second reason why chainsaw is not cutting that accelerates wear is a wrong or ill-timed blade. The side of the blade on a chainsaw is the most capricious thing. According to the instructions, it should be tightened so that when you try to lift it up you can see the bottom of the three shanks, but with uneven bar (different chainsaw bar lengths) and finger strength this works poorly.

If you want to learn how tight should a chainsaw chain be so that it can cut in a straight line, this material describes detailed instructions for beginners.

A properly tensioned chain side on a cold chainsaw should not sag arbitrarily and should scroll effortlessly. But there are peculiarities on a slightly worked chainsaw, the blade heats up first and it always slackens slightly.

We were taught at school physics and remember that the metal expands when heated, but there are people who do not take this into account and hurry to tighten it. What happens next is this. Let’s say you stopped the cutter, it cools down and becomes over tightened and if you continue sawing with a small lag, the chainsaw bar will warm up and increase and again the blade will be over tightened.

An overtightened chainsaw chain increases the load on the bearings, sprocket, chainsaw bar and stretches. It is not only the overstretched blade that stretches quickly on a hot chainsaw, but also the blunt chain, which together greatly accelerates the wear of the bar and chain. We think you have already guessed that if you put a new chain on it, it will not change much, the chainsaw will be cutting crooked. Can angled cut be fixed? In most cases, yes.

The blade can be sharpened on a stationary machine. If you have already sharpened the bar, you can turn it upside down and your bar has uneven wear on both sides and you want to straighten it. To level a chainsaw tire we will need an angle, a vise, a grinder and a new scraping wheel. First, for the test, make one cut straight. The naked eye will see that the cutter goes sideways. It is necessary to remove and check the guide bar.

chainsaw Remington

Place the guide bar on a flat table and set up an angle. You will immediately see the wear on the guide bar. Clamp the grinder with the stripping disc in a vise. The table will raise to the level with the disk can be put a steel pancake and a flat chipboard further fix it with a clamp. After that, set the exact angle with a square and clamp the grinder.

It is necessary to switch on a grinder and to pass on each side on several times. Check with a square, check that the shanks of the blade hid completely in the bar’s groove, if the bar groove has become shallow have to replace. Let’s reassemble the chainsaw and see how it cut straight now.

What else can happen because of the blade? Chips or branches can get caught between the loose blade and the guide bar while you’re sawing. If your chainsaw does not have a chain catcher bar and it is extended, the chain can cause serious ankle injury by wrapping itself around it. When the blade slips off, the blade catcher takes the brunt of the impact, in addition to causing damage to the sprocket.

If the blade comes off repeatedly, deep grooves form on the sprocket. These grooves do not allow the blade to be tensioned properly, the chain sags in the bar’s groove. If you have already had something like this, change the sprocket, otherwise the chain can break, bearings can fall apart, and the sprocket which is welded to the clutch disc can fall off.

The Main Reasons Why the Chainsaw Doesn’t Cut Straight

If the chainsaw is not cutting when working, then in addition to uneven sawing, we get a number of the following negative consequences:

  • The sawyer needs to make physical effort to keep the tool to cut straight
  • Higher fuel consumption because the tool has a higher cutting path in the material to be sawed and thus cannot cut in a straight small line
  • Higher load on the drive sprocket, causing faster wear on the sprocket
  • Wear on the tire, because only one side of the tire is loaded more
  • Productivity of tool decreases
  • Produces a crooked cut. If you are preparing timber for planking, crooked trunks are considered a scrap. If the timber is sawn for firewood, the resulting curved log is not very easy to chop
  • Discomfort at work – the master quickly gets tired when working with a faulty tool that shift sideways with constant chain wiggles

parts of a chainsaw

So why can a chainsaw crookedly cut trees? Many people may think that the cause is a faulty chain saw, but in fact, there are four main causes:

  • Uneven sharpening or lopsided sharpening of the blad
  • Use of a chain or sprocket that does not match the pitch
  • Wear on the cutter headset – this is often due to wear on one side of the bar due to routine blade maintenance not being done or of you don’t keep your chainsaw bar clean and it has some dirt caught
  • Untimely retightening of the chain

If a malfunction such as uneven wood sawing occurs, it should be corrected as soon as possible. If you continue to use the tool with this fault, it will lead to wear of the motor, and the need for its repair.

Let’s consider each type of malfunction separately, and find out how to determine what is the reason why the chainsaw cuts sideways.

Useful Information: Why Is My Chainsaw Not Cutting Straight, or Not Cutting At All?

In this video you will learn through the main causes why your chainsaw doesn’t cut straight, or not really cutting at all, so you can get your chainsaw cutting like new!

Chainsaw Not Cutting Straight Due to Unevenly Sharpened Teeth

If the tool doesn’t cut straight, the first thing to do is to check the cutter teeth because you probably have a dull chain. The cutter teeth on the tool should not only be sharp, but also sharpened properly. Proper sharpening of the cutter teeth is when each tooth is ground to the same distance as the previous one.

This method of sharpening prevents the chain from becoming unbalanced during sawing and will lead to it cutting straight. The instruction manual of the tool specifies that each tooth must be ground at the same distance during the procedure. If this requirement is not met, then in addition to the fact that the chainsaw will be pulled to one side, an increase in stress on the engine cannot be excluded.

If the teeth were sharpened by a beginner, it is worth making sure after the job is done that it is done correctly and the chainsaw is cutting straight. Some sawyers rely on the simple rule that the file needs to be sharpened properly in the same amount for each cutter tooth.

However, this is not a correct assumption, because chain do not wear evenly. As a result, sharpening each tooth restores its sharpness, but not the evenness of its wear. If you see your chainsaw cut crooked, you need to check all the teeth on the chainsaw for sharpness and even wear.

This is interesting! If there is uneven wear on the chain, you need to resort to restoring them. You can only check the if the chain is properly sharpened by visual inspection.

To avoid uneven wear of the chain and uneven cuts, you should sharpen the teeth in a timely manner, i.e. every 15-20 hours of operation, a file should be sharpened. Once every 2-3 months (depending on how often the tool is used), sharpen with a special sharpening machine.

If you are not sure that you are sharpening the chain correctly, it is worth entrusting this work to a professional. Although it is a costly affair, it is much more effective.

This is interesting! It is worth paying attention to one very important nuance – if during sawing with a chainsaw a metal object, a stone or soil got under the cutting headset, it will lead to accelerated wear of the teeth. It is after such a nuance that there is often such a consequence as the chainsaw not being able to cut straight.

If the Wrong Saw Headset Is Selected

Often most sawyers simply do not pay attention to the fact that not only the chain has technical specifications, but also the drive sprocket with the crowning. All these parts have to match each other in such a technical parameter as pitch. Most chainsaws are equipped with a standard pitch of 0.325. Chain and drive sprocket, or more precisely the ring gear, must have the same pitch. If one of these parts does not meet the same standard, it will lead to accelerated wear of individual parts and the entire tool.chainsaw not cutting straight

The saw bar also has such a parameter as the chainsaw bar groove’s width. The chainsaw bar groove’s width can vary from 1.1 to 1.6 mm, depending on the power of the tool. It is categorically forbidden to install on a domestic chainsaw with a slot width of more than 1.3 mm. The standard chain in such chainsaw bars will have too much backlash, which will lead to accelerated wear of both parts of a chainsaw.

That’s interesting! If you use a chain with a chain width of 1.3 mm and a chain’s thickness of less than 1.1 mm, the unequal movement of the headset when the tool is running will lead to accelerated wear on. As a result, the chainsaw will start to cut crooked on one side due to the original width.

Never buy a tool set if you don’t know or don’t remember the exact dimensions. An “approximate” chain, or sprocket may not be the right fit for your tool and you’ll end up having to replace all the consumables. To find out the tire fit chain width, you’ll need to use a caliper or look in the tool’s datasheet.

Severe Saw Blade Wear

A bar lasts much longer than a chain. However, this does not mean that you can use it forever without thinking about replacing it. It is customary to change the bar after 2-3 worn chains. Before replacing the chainsaw, you need to assess its technical condition.

If the chainsaw is equipped with a Chinese-made bar, it can wear out faster than the chain. That’s why if you find the chainsaw crooked when cutting wood, it is necessary to diagnose the bar.

To see if the tire is worn, you must remove it and inspect it. Usually wear is shown by shortening one of the beads. Sometimes this is extremely difficult to detect visually, so a caliper should be used. A difference of a few tenths of a mm indicates that the tire needs to be replaced.

There is also a simple way to check guide link wear with an angle piece. To do this, the tire is placed on a flat file and an angle is placed on one side of the tire. If the two edges of the bar rails are in contact with the square, then the part is good. If the bar’s rails do not match the square, then you have uneven rails, which is a sign of the bar’s rails wear.

This is interesting! Increase the life of the chainsaw guide can only be achieved by periodically turning it over. To do this, be sure to make sure that the tool cutter link has such a possibility, which will be prompted by the appropriate markings on the headset.

Accelerated tire wear can result from a malfunctioning oil hole. If the lubrication is intermittently applied, friction increases accordingly and thus parts wear out faster. If the lubricating mechanism is working properly, it increases the service life not only of the headset but also of the tool as a whole.

When the Chain Bar Is Loose and What the Dangers Are

Every chainsaw needs the chain to be tensioned regularly. If this rule is not followed, the consequences can be very traumatic. Most chain saw operators know what they are talking about and how to tension or tighten the depth gauges with a gauge tool correctly. Proper chain’s tension of the cutting attachment with a gauge tool is when the three shanks are completely visible when you try to pull it away.
chainsaw oregon

This is interesting! Don’t forget that the chain should only be tensioned after it has cooled down. If you perform tensioning on a part that has not yet cooled down, it will become overtightened after it has cooled down.

If the blade is loose or overtightened, it will cause wear on the bar. And not just the guide rail, but also the sprocket, the bearing and the motor. That’s why it’s a good rule of thumb to check the chain’s tension before you use your tool.

Read also our articles: Are Chainsaw Bars Interchangeable – Detailed Manual and Main Steps How To Shorten A Chainsaw Chain.

Tire Wear – How to Fix a Faulty Blade

If the guide has uneven wear on both sides, it is recommended to replace it. However, there is a way to restore the part, which will require a minimum set of necessary tools. Alignment is carried out with the help of a grinder and a sharpening disc (not a cut-off disc). First, we check the guide rail and make sure that it has uneven wear. How to check the wear of the guide bar has already been mentioned above?

The following are instructions on how to eliminate uneven wear on the guide:

  • Remove the front panel and install the stripping wheel in the uneven chain, then clamp the grinder in a vise with your dominant hand
  • Make a flat surface on which to place the rail of the uneven chain. As a surface it is recommended to use a piece of chipboard, which should be secured with a clamp
  • Lean the angle, and align the scraping disc to the surface
  • Proceed to the alignment of the tire. To do this, place it on the surface, turn on the grinder, and move it lengthwise with equal pressure
  • When aligning the guide, it is important to choose an even speed of movement. It is necessary to mill until both edges are the same size. This should be checked for the correct size with a record straight edge and a file guide

And the alignment must be done for both sides of the tire. After the work is complete, you can install the headset on the tool and perform a test. It is important to note that alignment of a guide bar that has uneven wear on one side is only appropriate when the bar’s groove is deep enough for the blade shank to pass through. If the bar’s groove becomes shallow, the bar must be replaced.

This is interesting! It is also necessary to make sure that the chainsaw sprocket is in good working order, which may have the appropriate wear and tear.

As you can see from the material, there are many reasons why a chainsaw cuts crooked. However, even a beginner will be able to find the cause and eliminate it if you approach the issue in the proper manner. Start checking in order, as indicated in the description, and you are sure to identify the causes, which can be eliminated in different ways.

You may also be interested to know: Chainsaw Bar Oil Substitute  and Chainsaw Chain Direction.

Serg Cooper
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