Chainsaws are one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal. We use them to cut logs, trim branches, and even remove tree stumps.
One of the most important things to keep an eye on, for most chainsaw users, is whether or not your chainsaw pulls to one side when you start cutting. This can be frustrating because it means that every time you make a cut you’ll have to adjust for this bias before making each subsequent cut.
I’m going to walk through how this happens and why it’s important so that next time your chainsaw starts pulling toward one side, you’ll know what’s happening and know what to do about it.
What Makes a Chainsaw Pull to One Side?
If you have ever noticed that your chainsaw pulls to one side, then it’s handy to know that this is a common problem. A problem that can usually be solved by adjusting the chain tensioner.
Chainsaws use an under-and-over system to cut wood.
The cutting teeth on the top of the blade are designed to slice through the material as they move from side to side. Since chainsaws don’t have flat blades like table saws or circular saws, there needs to be some give in the blade so it doesn’t bind up against itself during operation.
To create this “give” manufacturers attach a spring-loaded tensioner onto the bar near where the chain meets with guides at each end. These then pull and push on opposite sides of the bar’s length.
Since the slicing teeth on the top of the blade are wider than those below, there needs to be a difference in how far they pull. That’s why manufacturers attach these tensioners instead of using one large spring or weight that would try and do all sides at once: it wouldn’t work as well.
So now we know what causes your chainsaw to pull toward one side, let’s look at some steps you can take if this is happening with yours.
Chainsaws Pull Toward One Side How-to Fix It
If your chainsaw pulls toward one side, then adjusting its chain tensioner should solve this problem for you completely – but only if done correctly.
The first thing I’d recommend doing is making sure the tensioner is properly adjusted.
This can be done by checking your chainsaw’s owner manual or taking it in to a professional for just $20-30 bucks – a very worthy investment if you’re not confident in making this adjustment yourself.
If the chain isn’t tight enough, then it may slip on the bar and cause the saw to pull toward one side as you make cuts through the wood because there won’t be anything holding its teeth firmly against them during operation.
If it’s too loose though, debris could build up between the guide bars and drive sprocket causing damage down the road that will need to be repaired–so don’t go crazy with adjusting either way!
The next thing I’d suggest doing is checking if the motor on the saw is mounted off-center. This will cause the blade (and chain) to pull towards where the motor is mounted.
If you notice that the saw pulls toward one side only when it’s running, then this could be your problem – but there are other things to consider as well.
The chain tensioner will also cause a chainsaw to pull in the direction of the guide bar that has more slack on its drive link. So if you have an off-center mount for example, but both sides are tight enough, then it won’t matter much which way the chain slacks during operation anyway.
That being said though, check all possible problems before assuming they aren’t at fault here!
Watch out: If your chainsaw starts pulling toward one side after making adjustments or repairs, then chances are you’ve done something wrong and you should stop using your chainsaw immediately.
If even after checking everything here the problem remains, then you may need to take your chainsaw into a repair shop and have them look at this for you.
If something got bent or broken when trying to make changes yourself, then they can usually fix it in less than an hour – for cheap too!