How to Tell If a Chainsaw Blade Is Installed Correctly

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A chainsaw blade must be installed corerctly to cut wood.

A chainsaw blade is the cutting tooth attached to every chainsaw chain. These teeth must be installed correctly for any cutting application. The actual blades themselves sit on top of the chain and do the cutting. These blades are very sharp and cut into the wood with each rotation of the chain on the bar. These chains, and therefore the blades, can only be mounted in one specific way to be correctly installed.


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Step 1

Check the tops of the blades to see which way the cutting edge is pointing. Chainsaw chains rotate in a clockwise direction, so the cutting edges should be facing away from the engine and to the right, on the top of the chain.

Step 2

Inspect your guide link teeth to make sure they are pointed in the proper direction. The teeth must be pointed to the right on the top of the bar, when properly mounted. On the bottom of the bar and heading back towards the chainsaw drive sprocket, they must be pointed to the left.

Step 3

Smoking and burning wood, as well as excessive chain rattle without any effective cutting when a chain is applied to a piece of wood under power, is a sure sign that the blades are mounted backwards. This is a situation wherein the chainsaw needs to be shut down immediately, and the chain needs to be put on correctly before any more cutting is attempted.


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Dale Yalanovsky

Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.