Features And Parts Of A Chainsaw Every User Must Know About

15 TOP Basic Parts Of A Chainsaw - A to Z Options Guide

It doesn’t matter what chainsaw you are going to buy and what you are planning to do with the tool, it is necessary to be acquainted with parts of a chainsaw in order to feel the instrument and to use it as efficiently as possible.

What Is A Chainsaw

To understand the operating mechanisms of a chainsaw you should be aware of what is a chainsaw itself, not only know the names of parts of a chainsaw.

Chainsaws happen to be special tools obtaining sharp teeth on a chain put onto a guide bar which are driven by a certain type of power to cut mainly wood as well as some other materials.


What are these tools applied for? They are implemented to remove trees, to limb, to cut already fallen trees into pieces, to prune as well as to cut up firewood.

Actually, chainsaws don’t happen to be very challenging in use. It is just necessary to have some basic knowledge to understand the operating rules of a chainsaw and know what this instrument consists of so you could apply a chainsaw without any doubt and at the same time keep safe.

What else we should mention is that some chainsaws are suitable for various kinds of tasks, while others are specially designed to perform one particular function. Thus when you are planning to buy a chainsaw you should understand what you are going to do with the tool, so you could make it clear which chainsaw exactly you will use.

Main Parts And Features Of A Chainsaw

Power saws are designed in a wide range and obtain different elements and features, so they can be implemented by people with different levels of skills as well as to perform different tasks.parts of a chainsaw

Below you will find a list of the most important chainsaw parts with their characteristics.

Guide Bar

A guide bar is usually considered as the main part of the instrument. The length of this element defines the range and difficulty of the functions which can be performed by this chainsaw. It is also a thing along which the chain spins.

The variety of available lengths is huge and goes from 6 to 72 inches.

Guide Bar Stihl

If you are an amateur user and you just want to apply your power saw for tree trimming or firewood cutting, the perfect size of your power saw guide bar will vary from 6 to 20 inches.

But if you are planning to operate your chainsaw in a more professional way, you will undoubtedly need a guide bar of 20 inches and more.

It’s easily understandable that a longer guide bar can cope with a wider variety of tasks, but the best way is to choose the length of the bar which is suitable for a particular task, but it shouldn’t be as long as it can be since it can create some difficulties.

For instance, if you are going to cut little tree limbs, you should implement a guide bar of 6-8 inches but not the one of 36 inches long. Such long guide bars are specially designed to cut huge tree trunks.


The main thing that you should understand is that chainsaw chains can’t be universal. There have been developed three key measurements which show the main features of a chain so you can find a suitable one for your chainsaw. They are a number of links, pitch and gauge.

  • To find out a number of drive links you have to count individual links of the chain. It is highly essential to know this number since if you need to replace a chain, you should choose the correct one. You always have to remember that common length measurements such as 18 inches cannot be changed into other ones. The length of the chain depends on pitch together with the number of drive links.
  • Pitch shows the power saw users how close links are positioned on the chain. The most widely used pitch sizes are 1/4”, 0.325”, ⅜”, ⅜” low profile and 0.404”.
  • Gauge shows the width of drive links. The typical gauges are 0.43”, 0.050”, 0.058” and 0.063”.


When you know all the needed parameters, you will be able to choose a replacement chain for your tool. You should also be ready to choose your chain of several kinds of chains with the identical measurements.

Check also which is the Best 18 inch chainsaw.

Source Of Power

Not all power saws are created equal. There are several types of power sources for power saws, including gasoline, batteries and electricity. We believe that you should know advantages and drawbacks of each type so you could choose the one that is suitable for you.

A gas chainsaw is the most widely used type. Gas powered chainsaws obtain a fuel tank and are powered by gasoline. The operating times of a gas chainsaw depend on the power output and amount of load, but in general a gas powered chainsaw has the actual cutting time of 15 to 20 minutes without refueling.

They are turned on by a small rope (a pull cord, or a starter rope), lighting up the spark plug. A spark plug ensures that your gas engine is started. The way a spark plug helps is that it sends and electric impulse that ignites the fuel. Also, if you want to reduce engine noise, use a silencer!

types of chainsaw

Electric chainsaws, as it is seen from the name, are made to operate with electric power, so they require their own extension cord which is plugged into some electrical outlet. You should take into account that you won’t be able to use this power saw anywhere far from the outlet, however, the advantage of this tool is that it will work as long as it is plugged and without any other limits.

Another thing which any user should consider is that this chainsaw is a little bit less powerful than the previously mentioned gas chainsaw. They are also turned on by a pull cord.

Battery operated chainsaws can be easily enjoyed by those people who seek for a cordless instrument. These tools are powered by rechargeable batteries, so can be used in many places and at any time you need. But a drawback which you face while using this power saw is that it will operate only for about half an hour without recharging.

If you need to cut for more time, you will have to obtain extra batteries to change them when it is necessary. This type of power saws is less powerful than electric or gas options, so it is suitable for maintaining trees in the yard or simple logging tasks. To turn them on, just press the push button.

Handling Position

There are two main types of positions in which you can hold your power saw: top handle and rear handle.

A rear handle power saw is very widely used and is perfectly suitable for an amateur as well as professional use. A user applies it standing on the ground.

chainsaw is cutting the log

A top handle power saw is specially developed for professional users. They can be implemented only when you are in an elevated position, for instance, in a lift bucket.

There are two handle positions for power saw: rear handle and top handle.


If your power saw is supplied with a special pole attachment, it can be easily implemented if you need to cut high tree branches from the ground. Saws which can be put onto the pole, usually have guide bars of 8-12 inches long while the pole can reach the branches in 6 to 20 feet.Pole Worx

Chain Oilers

If you want your chainsaw to serve you for years, you have to make sure that your chain is always properly oiled.

A user should take into account that friction between the chainsaw’s bar and the chain produces a lot of heat. If the elements are not lubricated well, the motor or engine of a power saw can be damaged, the guide bar or chain can be spoiled, or the risk of kickback becomes larger.

Chain Oilers

There are three main kinds of power saw oilers which are used in power saws. They can be automatic with fixed flow, automatic with adjustable flow and manual.

  1. Automatic oilers with fixed flow put oil from the lubricant tank onto the bar and the chain regularly with a certain interval. The good thing is that you don’t have to take care of making it happen while your power saw stays oiled all the time. However, you can’t decide which amount of oil will be put onto the chainsaw, which can be highly essential if there is a huge amount of heat produced while cutting.
  2. Automatic oilers with adjustable flow work as the previously mentioned one, so it oiles the chainsaw regularly, but you can have an influence on the rate of the flow. This type of oiler is considered to be the best since it makes sure that the power saws is well oiled and in addition to this you can decide which amount of oil will be used.
  3. Manual oilers work when you push the special button and the oil gets released. It is good when you wish to decide which amount of oil to put onto a chainsaw. The downside of this oiler, however, is that you have to take care of regular oiling yourself.

Chain Brake

The chain brake, which is also named as the hand guard is essential for safe use because it prevents the chain from spinning. It is sometimes called a front handguard since it’s placed at the top handle of the tool and is situated between the chain and the plastic handle.
Chain Brake

The chain brake can be applied in two ways: you can push the handle forward with your hands, or the hand guard is started by inertia in case the saw suddenly kicks back.

The latest tools are often equipped with just a manual brake, however, some other models obtain an automatic chain brake together with the manual one.


The throttle trigger is usually placed on the lower part of the rear handle. Throttle controls the speed of the saw chain sprocket (a thin metal ring around which the chainsaw chains spin) by adding more fuel or less fuel into the engine. In order to start the saw you will need to push a special throttle button. Its acceleration is prevented by a throttle interlock.



Useful Information: The Parts of a Chainsaw

Power saws and other tools are necessary to perform any sort of significant home improvement or construction project. In this video you will gain a better understanding of parts of a chainsaw, such as: primer bulb, air filter cover, tie straps, spark plugs, choke valve, safety lock, flywheel controls, clutch stops and other parts that most chainsaws have.

Throttle interlock

The throttle interlock, which is also called a throttle lock, is also very important for safety. The throttle interlock prevents a throttle trigger lockout because you need to push a particular button before starting the throttle.
Throttle Lock

Bucking spikes

The bucking spikes, also known as bumper spikes on the saw are used to place your tool on the wood during the process of cutting. Bucking spikes also perform the safety function and prevent kickbacks. Bucking spikes are especially useful when you need to perform a buck cut. Basically, bumper spikes give you more control while you cut wood or are tree felling with a chainsaw.
Bumper Spikes

Chain Catcher

The chain catcher is an occupational safety feature. It stops the chain from being thrown back on the chainsaw owner in case the chainsaw chain breaks. The chain catcher is usually placed under the metal bar towards the front side of the motor. The chain catcher is usually constructed of plastic or aluminum so as not to break the chain.Chain Catcher

When the chain breaks and falls down, this feature catches the chain and makes it shorter so it doesn’t hurt the chainsaw owner.

Decompression Valve

The decompression valve releases compression which is kept in the combustion chamber of the engine. The decompression valve of a chainsaw is a choke valve usually placed at the top of the motor. You have to press a certain button before applying the saw in order to make the decompression valve in the combustion chamber close during the operating process.
Anti-Vibration Valve

Anti vibration system

Anti-vibration valve, also known as anti vibration handle system, is a safety feature. Since the saw happens to be really powerful during the cutting process, it produces a lot of vibration which can be really harmful for its user. That’s where the choke valve comes on stage. The anti vibration system valve is specially designed to absorb this vibration.

Air Filter

The air filter is specially designed to prevent sawdust as well as some other dirty things from getting inside of the carburetor. The air filter is usually put under the special cover. It has to be cleaned regularly to maintain the needed air flow.Air Filter


A feature that you have to take into account is that different models of power saws have various weights. A little chainsaw powered by electricity can have a small weight of 6 lbs., at the same time, bigger models which are gas powered, may obtain the weight from 20 lbs. and more.chainsaws

It’s highly essential to choose a chainsaw which you can implement conveniently, so you have to pay attention to the chainsaw weight.

Best Chainsaw Producing Companies

If you aren’t sure which chainsaw to buy, you can choose one of the best electric chainsaw which are rather trustful. They are Tanaka, Stihl, Husqvarna, Makita, Hitachi, Echo, Dewalt, Worx and several others. Shop assistants in chainsaw stores will be happy to help you if you have some doubts.chainsaws

Common Questions About Chainsaws

What Chainsaws Need Engine Oil

The answer to this question depends on a type of a chainsaw. If the model is powered by electricity or batteries, it doesn’t need bar and chain oil oil since its motor is electrical.

chainsaw is cutting the log

A gas powered chainsaw needs engine oil, but it also can vary. 2-cycle power saws aren’t supplied with a built-in system of lubrication, so they need to have oil mixed with gasoline to be put into a special tank. 4-cycle power saws have the mentioned above system, so the oil is put inside the engine and is used with a particular type of oiler.

If Your Chainsaw Is New

It will be very good if you decide to break in a brand new chainsaw before applying it for cutting. In this way all chainsaw elements can be warmed up and get ready for operating.chainsaw

Just try to follow the steps we are going to cover below:

  • If your chainsaw obtains a manual oiler, you have to push the oiling button several times. If the oiler is automatic with adjustable flow, you should make the flow bigger, so you have to turn a certain screw;
  • Then you should pull start the tool and give the engine the opportunity to idle for several minutes;
  • The next step is to turn off the motor;
  • After disconnecting the chainsaw spark plug lead don’t forget to put on special safety gloves to prevent a serious injury of the operator’s hands if, say, a kickback occurs on the user’s hands. You can also use a spark arrestor. A spark arrestor limits the size of particles sometimes found in the exhaust gases of power saws;
  • You have to make sure that the chain of your chainsaw has the proper tension so the chainsaw will work in the most effective way with a chain tensioner. A chain tensioner is a metal disc that automatically maintains the appropriate tension of the timing chain;
  • If your chainsaw is gas powered, make sure that the motor doesn’t operate at full throttle for a long time for the first 6 to 10 fuel tanks. You should prefer ½ to ¾ throttle when you start using your instrument.

Chainsaw Kickbacks

The kickback happens if the guide bar accidentally moves up and back to the user. Sometimes the sudden kickback can happen really fast and it can pose a threat to the chainsaw user.chainsaw is cutting the log

It can happen because of two reasons: either the nose of the chainsaw chain strikes the cutted object or the wood closes in in the cutting process.

The top of the guide bar of the chainsaw is often called a kickback danger zone. There is a high risk of kickback appearance in this spot. Thus it’s not recommended to implement this side of the chainsaw in order to avoid receiving an injury.

Why It Is Important To Know As Much As You Can About Chainsaws

Actually, a chainsaw happens to be a rather dangerous tool: it can cause rather severe injuries and even death of its user. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to know enough about its construction and parts of a chainsaw, how everything works and what can happen if you do something wrong.chainsaw is cutting the log

In addition to this, when you choose a saw, you should make sure that the chainsaw you are buying has all the needed safety features, health administration and efficient chainsaw parts so you can apply it efficiently, conveniently and with the least safety hazards. And don’t forget to use the safety gear!

We hope that everything that we have mentioned about parts of a chainsaw will be helpful in your future operations, and you will use a chainsaw with confidence and joy!

Check also How to store chainsaw.


Serg Cooper
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Comments: 1
  1. Dyson

    Chains fall off all the time it happens that is why there is a chain catch. If you have a burred chain from throwing the chain all you have to do is put the chain back on but leave the chain loose, tighten the bar nuts up and run the saw for a few seconds.

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