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Chainsaws are powerful tools, but to keep them running smoothly, you’ll need to know how to put a chain on a chainsaw properly. Whether you own an Echo, Husqvarna, or another brand, the process is generally similar. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of putting a chain on a chainsaw, providing clarity for both beginners and experienced users.

Understanding the Basics

1. Importance of Proper Chain Installation

Putting a chain on a chainsaw correctly is crucial for optimal performance and, more importantly, safety. A well-installed chain ensures that the chainsaw operates efficiently and reduces the risk of accidents during use.

2. Compatibility with Your Chainsaw

Before diving into the installation process, ensure that you have the correct chain for your chainsaw model. Chains come in different sizes and types, so consult your chainsaw’s manual or the manufacturer’s recommendations to guarantee compatibility.

how to put a chain on a chainsaw

How to Put a Chain on a Chainsaw – Step-by-Step Guide

1. Gather Necessary Tools

Before you start, gather the tools you’ll need for the job. This typically includes a wrench or screwdriver, depending on your chainsaw model, and safety gear such as gloves and safety glasses.

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2. Disconnect the Chainsaw

For safety reasons, always disconnect the chainsaw from the power source before attempting to put on or remove the chain. This ensures that the chainsaw won’t accidentally start during the process.

3. Loosen the Nuts or Screws

Locate the nuts or screws that secure the cover over the chainsaw’s chain and bar. Use the appropriate tool to loosen these fasteners. This step may involve removing a side cover or a specific access panel depending on your chainsaw model.

4. Remove the Cover

Once the nuts or screws are loosened, carefully remove the cover to expose the chainsaw’s bar and chain. Be mindful of any tensioning mechanisms or features that may be present.

5. Place the Chain on the Bar

Now, it’s time to position the chain on the chainsaw bar. Ensure that the cutting teeth on the chain are facing forward, in the direction of rotation. Loop the chain over the bar, ensuring it sits snugly within the guide groove.

6. Engage the Chain with the Sprocket

While keeping the chain on the bar, make sure the drive links engage with the sprocket located at the rear of the bar. Proper engagement is essential for the chain to move smoothly during operation.

7. Adjust the Tension

Check the tension of the chain. It should be snug against the bar but still able to be rotated by hand. Use the tensioning mechanism on your chainsaw, which may involve turning a screw or using a specific tool provided by the manufacturer, to achieve the correct tension.

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8. Reattach the Cover

Once the chain is properly installed and tensioned, reattach the cover over the chainsaw bar and chain. Tighten the nuts or screws securely but be cautious not to over-tighten, as this can affect the chain’s movement.

9. Double-Check Everything

Before powering up your chainsaw, double-check all the connections, ensuring that the chain is correctly installed, tensioned, and secured. This extra step is a precautionary measure to guarantee safe and efficient operation.

how to put a chain on a chainsaw echol

Specifics for Echo and Husqvarna Chainsaws

1. Echo Chainsaws

When dealing with an Echo chainsaw, the process for putting on a chain is generally consistent with the steps outlined above. Echo chainsaws often have user-friendly features, and the chain installation procedure may involve a simple cover removal and tension adjustment using a screwdriver or a tool provided by the manufacturer.

2. Husqvarna Chainsaws

Husqvarna chainsaws follow a similar process for chain installation. However, it’s essential to consult your Husqvarna chainsaw manual for any model-specific instructions. Some Husqvarna chainsaws may have unique features or mechanisms for chain tensioning that require specific attention.

Common Questions About Putting on a Chainsaw Chain

1. How Can You Tell if a Chainsaw Chain Is on Backwards?

When placing the chain on the chainsaw bar, ensure that the cutting teeth face forward in the direction of rotation. Placing the chain backward will result in inefficient cutting and potential damage to both the chain and the chainsaw.

2. How Tight Should the Chain Be?

As mentioned earlier, the chain should be snug against the bar but still able to be rotated by hand. Proper tension is crucial for the chain’s movement and overall performance of the chainsaw.

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3. What Do I Do If the Chain Keeps Coming Off?

If the chain keeps coming off, it may indicate an issue with tension or alignment. Double-check the tension and ensure the chain is correctly seated on the bar and engaged with the sprocket. If problems persist, consult your chainsaw’s manual or seek professional assistance.


Putting a chain on a chainsaw is a fundamental skill that every chainsaw user should master. Whether you own an Echo, Husqvarna, or another brand, following a systematic approach ensures a safe and effective installation process. Regular maintenance, including proper chain installation, contributes to the longevity and optimal performance of your chainsaw. Always refer to your chainsaw’s manual for specific instructions and guidelines, and don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if you encounter challenges during the process. With the right knowledge and care, you’ll be ready to tackle any cutting task with confidence and precision.

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