Chainsaw Chain Direction: Check And Mount It On Your Own

Replaced your chainsaw chain lately? Are you sure you’ve got it done properly? Did you correctly mount the chain saw chain? Well, if you’ve got these questions in your mind, then you’re just like other users. Every year many people harm themselves while working with chainsaws. And wrong chainsaw chain direction is one of the leading causes of it.

chainsaw chain direction

While working, you should remember that the cutter part of the blade should be heading away. If the blade is in it in the wrong direction, it can’t cut the wood. Instead, it may cut something else. To help you deal with it, we’re here with a guideline about chainsaw chain direction. Hope it’ll be helpful to you.

Why does Chainsaw Chain need to be in the Right Direction?

From an expert point of view, we can say that it can be very time-consuming and irritating. And the worst thing is that complications can arise during the process. If you use a chainsaw daily, you should know the issues that arise when the chainsaw chain direction is incorrect.

Why does Chainsaw Chain need to be in the Right Direction

A chainsaw’s chain rotates clockwise at all times. So like others, a Stihl chainsaw chain direction is also the same. It doesn’t matter which chainsaw model is the best; it’s all the same. The pointed sides of the blade should be facing clockwise. When looking down from above, take note of the sharp corners facing the chainsaw body or motor in the reverse direction.

People who have owned and run chainsaws are aware of this, but beginners are often misled about the chain path. A saw chain’s slicing teeth are engineered to extract material in just one way. As a result, placing the chain in reverse would simply produce a lot of smoke without really cutting it.

Now coming to the chainsaw blade direction. The sharp edges of the blade are always in a clockwise direction. And the same goes for chainsaw teeth direction as well.

Here are some of the problems that can appear if you don’t put the chainsaw chain in the right direction-

  1. Since the cutters’ blunt end is hitting material rather than the sharp edge, the chain will meet more resistance. So a fracture can appear due to heavy load and friction.
  • The guide bar will encounter more stress.
  • Due to more friction, there will be a wastage of gear oil.
  • The chain itself can get damaged

Chainsaw Chain Direction: Find It On Your Own.

For those who have never had the good fortune of being taught the easiest route, getting the chainsaw chain direction right can be frustrating sometimes. For a backward chain, a chainsaw can not cut properly. Furthermore, if the chain is sideways, both of the cutters will be facing you! When using a chainsaw, the orientation of the chain is important (and safely).

Here are some of thee ways to put the chainsaw chain in the right direction-

1.   Take-off the Casing:

You’ll find a side casing in the chainsaw. Both the chain of the chainsaw and bar lie underneath it. So firstly, all you need to do this, take the chainsaw casing off. Now you can get to the bar as well as the chain.

2.   Detach The Chain

This step is easy and quick. You’ve already removed the casing. Not detach the chain and the bar from the chainsaw as well.


3.   Find the Chainsaw chain direction:

There are 3 ways by which you can check this. But following any one of the methods is enough. Still, to be super sure, you can follow all of them.

·       Is the drive link in the forwarding direction?

At once, you’ll see a wave-shaped object.  It remains firmly joined with the groove. And this is called the drive.  If the chainsaw blade direction is forwarding, then it’s in the proper direction.


·       Is the cutter in the forward direction?

From the name itself, you can know the work of the cutter. The cutter is used to cut any object. So, inspect and see the direction of the blade or cutter. There are 2 ways to check it. The first one is to check it with your hand by touching the blades. The cutter is sharp. So be careful why touching it. And the second way is to inspect the metal shape.

·       Check the guide

Check if the guide is in front of the chainsaw cutter or not. The guide isn’t a cutting tool. The guide’s purpose is to decrease the wood amount carved by the saw. Due to this reason, you can control the aggressive cuts.

Assemble Everything Like Before

If you correctly followed all the steps, then you’ve only understood the chainsaw chain direction. Now you have to put together everything. Reattach the chain and put the casing back together. It’s done.


Replacing the Chain On Your Chainsaw

Mounting a chainsaw can be easy if you know the simple techniques. If your chainsaw chain direction is wrong, try replacing the chain on your chainsaw. To do this, you’d need some tools to take everything apart. The first and the most necessary tool to have is a chainsaw scrench on hand. Any time you go out with your chainsaw to cut timber, you should carry this tool in your pocket or in the toolbox. The bar nut sizes differ by model and maker.

Disassemble Everything

Put the saw on a flat and secure surface, such as a desk or workbench, when you’re prepared to replace the chain. If you’re removing the chainsaw chain outside on an unstable board, make sure you’re wearing gloves.

  1. Unscrew the bar nuts with the scrench and the appropriate socket.
  2. While you try to detach the clutch cover, you must separate the chain brake.
  • Keep loosening the bar nut. At one point, you can easily take it off with your own hand. After that, the chain brake will be disengaged, and you can take off the chain.

Most of the advanced chainsaws have screws along their side. This provides the most convenient access and speeds up the chain tensioning operation. If you’ve found the tensioning pin, ease the chain tension with the scrench’s screwdriver end.

  • First, take the clutch cover from the clutch and set it aside. Simply grip the guide bar’s tip. Then push it in a forwarding direction and backward direction from the powerhead. As a result, the bar and cord will get loose.         

Mounting A New Chainsaw Chain: The Correct Direction 

For mounting a new chain, you’ve to disengage the old chain first. The chain remains on the guide bar. So to mount the new chain, first take the new one. And place it on a guide bar. You’ve to be very careful while mounting a new chain.

Mounting A New Chainsaw Chain: The Correct Direction

Here’s how to mount a new chainsaw chain

  • S-shaped ties have sharp, inclined edges at the front side. So, on the top side, make sure the pointed sides of these cutters are pointed towards the bar’s nose. And on the bottom side, make sure they’re pointing away from the bar’s nose. The bar’s front end, which has a sprocket that goes into the wood, is the nose.
  • When you reinstall the bar, ensure the chain is directly on top of the drive sprocket (next to the clutch drum). Make sure the back end of the bar is seated on top of the nuts. And at the same time, the tensioning pin is aligned with the opening in the bar.

Line up the clutch cover with the bar frame and tension pin as required. Firstly, you need to provide tension to the chain. And then, you should firmly lock the cover to your saw with the tool (Scrench). After that, tighten the bar nuts with your hands. Raise the bar up gently by holding it by the nose.

Check for tension in the lower end. If the chain is too loose, tighten it with a screwdriver. And after that, you’ve to check the chain tension. This is important. Because too tight a chain can get snapped and too loose won’t do the work for you. And that concludes mounting a chainsaw chain.


  1. Which way does a chain go on a chainsaw?

Ans: A chainsaw’s chain rotates in a clockwise direction at all times.

  • Which way does a chainsaw blade go?

Ans: A chainsaw chain always goes in the forward direction.  The chainsaw blade’s sharp edges should point in a clockwise direction.

  • How to Put on a Chainsaw chain?

Ans: Putting on a chainsaw chain requires two steps. The first is, replacing the old chain. And the second one is mounting a new one.


If your chainsaw chain direction is wrong, you cannot cut well with it. Alongside, you may cut yourself too. With a wrong chain direction, the chain saw can damage itself as well. So that’s why it is necessary to maintain the proper direction. This article covered everything related to the topic. So we hope you liked the article.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: