If you’ve ever used a chainsaw, you’ve probably experienced the dreaded “chainsaw bounce”. I have been cutting with chainsaws for years and have learned a lot about what causes this frustrating phenomenon.
Chainsaw bounces when cutting happens when the chainsaw jerks in your hands as it hits a hard surface like a knot or branch, causing it to vibrate and jump around.
Not only is it annoying but it can also be dangerous. So why does this happen, and how can you prevent it?
Let’s get straight into the main causes of chainsaw bounces and how to avoid them.
So what causes chainsaw bounces when cutting?
Chainsaws are designed to cut through hard materials like wood, metal, and plastic with ease.
There are several factors that can cause chainsaw blades to bounce off the material instead of cutting through it.
The most common culprits of chainsaw bouncing are improper technique and faulty equipment.
Other important factors that can affect the quality of your cuts include the following;
- Loose chain tension,
- Dull chainsaw teeth,
- Size of the material being cut
Keep reading to learn in more detail how you can prevent chainsaw bounce when cutting and what I did to reduce chainsaw bounce by 66%.
1. Improving Your Improper Technique Will Reduce Chainsaw Bounce
Inexperienced users are more likely to make mistakes in their cutting technique which can then cause them to experience recurring chainsaw bounces.
Improper technique can include anything from not holding the saw properly or using too much pressure while trying to cut through a material. To avoid this problem, practice your techniques on different types of materials until you feel comfortable enough with the process.
You should also make sure that you have the right protective gear and safety measures in place before attempting any type of cutting task with your chainsaw.
2. Checking for Faulty Equipment is Usually Overlooked
Another potential cause of chainsaw bouncing is faulty equipment and checking for damaged parts in the chainsaw itself.
If you notice constant bouncing during your cuts, inspect your chainsaw for any signs of wear or damage that could be causing this issue.
Make sure all parts are properly maintained and properly oiled before each use so that you don’t reduce the chances of something breaking and causing your chainsaw to bounce off the material.
3. Loose Chain Tension Is Also A Huge Factor
Another cause of bouncing is incorrect chain tension. The chain needs to be tightened correctly so that it’s not too tight or too loose.
Too much tension can lead to the bar binding; too little tension can cause excessive vibration and bouncing when cutting hard materials.
If your chain is loose and does not have the right amount of tension, it will cause bouncing, be uneven, and lead to slanted cuts.
So it’s important that you check the tension before each use and adjust if necessary so that you can get the best, most accurate cuts possible.
4. Sharpening Your Chainsaw Teeth
It goes without saying that a dull chain won’t cut wood easily. It will catch on knots and branches instead of gliding through them smoothly – leading to chainsaw bouncing.
To prevent this from happening, you should sharpen your chain regularly. Get yourself a square chainsaw file or sharpener and use it to file the teeth of your blade down.
This will help keep your chain sharp and prevent bouncing so that you can cut through hard materials with ease.
If you’re unsure about how to sharpen your chain properly, ask a professional for guidance or take your chainsaw to a workshop for maintenance.
5. Size of the Material Being Cut Can Cause Bouncing
The size of the tree or wood logs you are trying to cut can also have an impact on your chainsaw bounce.
If you are trying to cut through a thick piece of Oak or cedar, it will be a lot different compared to cutting through a thin piece of pine.
The bigger the log or tree branch, the more resistance it will put up against your chainsaw blade, and by extension, the more bounce you will see in your chainsaw as it tries to cut through the material.
This means that you need to be extra careful when cutting through a larger piece of wood, as it may cause your chainsaw to bounce and jolt in unexpected ways.
If you are having trouble with your chainsaw bouncing too much, try using smaller pieces of wood or branches so that the blade can more easily make its way through without any resistance.
Alternatively consider investing in a higher-quality chainsaw that has been designed specifically for cutting through thicker materials. Professional chainsaws are typically much more powerful and less prone to bouncing than other models on the market, so they may be a better option if you are struggling with your current chainsaw.
Reducing My Chainsaw Bounce By 66%
I applied the five key tips listed above to my neighbor’s chainsaw and was able to significantly reduce the amount of bouncing I was experiencing.
The first thing I did when I noticed the chainsaw bounce was to strap on a smartwatch to check how many vibrations the chainsaw was putting out.
I found that my chainsaw was emitting a vibration of 10-12 Gs, which is much higher than normal and can potentially lead to injury if it’s not addressed correctly.
To reduce the bouncing, I then checked for any loose parts in the chainsaw itself that could be causing the vibrations. Sure enough, I discovered a small crack in the housing – which could have been causing the bouncing and vibration.
Once I fixed the crack, I also sharpened the chain to ensure that it was in its best condition and adjusted the tension so that my chain was not too tight or loose.
Lastly, I began cutting through the smaller logs of wood in the pile first to get a feel for how much resistance the blade would experience on each cut.
After implementing all of these changes, I was able to reduce the amount of bouncing by 66% – and my neighbor was blown away by how much smoother the chainsaw now felt and how much easier it felt to use.
If your chainsaw bounces when cutting, then you should consider working through this guide to help you reduce bounce and increase your chances of making clean, accurate cuts.
The bottom line is there are several reasons why you might experience chainsaw bouncing when cutting with a chainsaw – from improper technique to faulty equipment.
To ensure safety and success each time you use your chainsaw for any type of project, practice proper technique, check for loose tension, and inspect for damages regularly before each use – that way you won’t have the discomfort of experiencing chainsaw bouncing or any other issues.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to master the art of chain-sawing like a pro and enjoy the smooth, clean cuts you want every time!