how to untangle a chainsaw chain

How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain – Expert Guide (with Video)

If you are planning to use your chainsaw to cut wood, one of the most common challenges that you may encounter is a tangled chain. While you can always bring your chainsaw to somebody who is an expert in untangling chainsaw chains, learning how to untangle a chainsaw chain can help you learn a new skill while allowing you to save a good amount of money at the same time. 

The process of untangling is an easy one if you follow the instructions. With the right safety equipment at hand, and the instructions to follow, you are now ready to start. 

What You Need

  • Gloves
  • Protective Goggles
  • Sturdy Table
  • Lubricating Oil
  • Allen Wrench
  • Screwdriver

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Prepare the Chain

It is important to prepare the chain, knowing whether it is old or now. Check if the chain is jammed in the chainsaw, or other problems need to be addressed first before starting to untangle the chain. Here are some possible scenarios that you will encounter:

  • Old Chain

To make an old chain smooth, use lubricating oil. Make sure that the oil is not sprinkled all over to avoid untoward accidents. If the chain is too rusty, an oil bath may just be the best solution. 

  • New Chain

Make sure to wear gloves as you work in untangling a new chain. Avoid the sharp edges, and make sure to keep your fingers and hand safe. 

  • Jammed Chain

If your chainsaw chain is jammed, use the right tool that suits your chainsaw, such as an Allen wrench or a screwdriver. Open your chainsaw to remove the chain from the chainsaw. 

At this point, your chain is ready. Let’s start untangling!

Step 2 – Locate the Opposite Loops

This is only the starting point of the process, and it already tends to get confusing. To simplify finding the opposite loops of the chainsaw chain, all you need to do is to look for the best two loops. Once you have located them, place each hand on the loops, hanging it down and holding the loops using the help of your two hands. 

If the chain is not that complicated, then it’s easy to solve. However, if not, at least you have worked in reducing the complication of the chain tangles, allowing you to proceed to the next step.

Step 3 – Convert the Two Loops into One

Now you can proceed in converting the two loops into one. After you have located the two ends, make one loop larger until it turns into a single loop. Hold the two loops with each hand, using the chain slack to make one larger chain. 

Step 4 – Untangle the Chain

After creating a single loop chain, now you can work on untangling it. Keep both hands on the chain as you locate the lowest part of the chainsaw chain. Next, create a straight down, vertical position. Next, lift the lower part, untangling the chain along the way while allowing the pull of the gravitational force to take play.

The explanation behind this strategy is quite easy. As you put forth energy against gravity, it starts to automatically open the tangled parts of the chain. For this to happen, you can continue with the next step after creating two looks two or three more times until all of the parts that are tangled are opened. 

Step 5 – Spread the Parts One at a Time

If you notice that the chain has not yet been untangled even after following the steps above, you may need to do something else. Untangle each part by focusing on them one at a time. This may appear complicated, but to remove such a problem, spread each part away from each other as much as possible until you can see that all of the tangled loops are gone. 

Step 6 – Let’s Sum It Up with a Video

Step 7 – Avoid Future Tangles

To avoid problems of tangling, make sure to take care of your chain. Avoid cutting anything without wood, as it may only cause damage not just to the chain, but also to the chainsaw. Enhance the life of your chain by maintaining a fine tension modification. You can also use lubricating oil to ensure that the chain stays smooth for every use. If you are a newbie, you may want to use a low kickback chain. 


Learning how to untangle a chainsaw chain is not that difficult, given that you will follow the instructions provided. Also, do not forget to ensure safety first by wearing the right protective gear. Avoid spending too much time untangling every portion which may have been distorted. Rather, follow the methods highlighted in this guide. Let us hear about your experience! Leave them in the comments section below!



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