Effortless Chainsaw Chain Brake Adjustment – A Short Guide

Working with a faulty chainsaw is hazardous to health. A bad chain brake means no control over the chain. That’s why it’s important to adjust the chain brake as soon as possible. 

So, how do you fix the chainsaw chain brake adjustment

First, remove the sprocket guard, bar, and chain. Look at the brake band and see if it’s tightened or not. If it’s tightened, reattach the sprocket guard and push the chain brake to the front. This resets the chain brake. Then fix chain tension or look for dirt inside the chain brake. 

Now, this was only a quick look and there’s a lot to discuss. Stay till the end if you wish to know more. 

Adjust the Chainsaw Chain Brake- 2 Steps Guideline

chainsaw chain brake adjustment

Take a deep breath and focus on yourself. The process is a little lengthy and requires your full attention. Also, if you have the manual, it’s time to get it.

Step 1: Reset The Chainsaw Chain Brake

If a chain brake is not properly adjusted, there’s no other way but to reset it. After that, we will take other steps and patch up smaller problems. 

That being said, here’s what you need to do – 

  1. First, gently remove the sprocket guard from the chainsaw. Some guards have a screw or two on them. If that’s the case, unscrew them and then detach them. 
  2. Now look for the bar and the chain attached to it. This process is also the same as before. Generally, a bar has two screws attached to it. Unscrew them and then safely detach the bar and chain. 
  3. It’s time to inspect the sprocket guard. Carefully look around and you’ll notice a small gear mechanism. Also, check whether the brake band is clamped down or not. A lesser diameter brake band tightens the bar wheel and restricts movement. 
  4. Push the chain brake forward. This is the default chain brake position. Now, reattach the sprocket guard without the bar and chain. 
  5. Now, pull the chain guard back and this will reset your chain brake completely. You’ll also hear a small pop. Once done, detach the sprocket guard. 
  6. It’s time to reinstall the bar and chain. Make sure the chain is properly connected to the bar. 
  7. Attach the sprocket guard with care and install the screws. 

With that, your chain brake has reset successfully. Now we can focus on chain tension and other possible problems. 

Step 2: Modify the Chain Tension 

A tightened chainsaw chain ensures efficiency and reduces the chances of getting cut. Your loose chainsaw chain may cause severe issues.

So, it’s time to adjust the chain tension and make sure the brake is functioning properly. 

Follow these instructions below – 

  1. Find the adjustment screw of the chainsaw. Usually, it’s on the left side of the bar. In some models, the adjustment screw is connected to the sprocket guard. If you have the manual, use it to locate the screw. 
  2. Turning the tension screw clockwise increases the tension and doing otherwise will decrease it. Once the chain is firmly attached to the bar, push the brake forward. 
  3. Now start the chainsaw. If the chain’s still moving, increase the tension. However, if the bar wheel is getting rubbed against the brake, decrease it. 
  4. With the chain brake pushed forward, the chain will not move. It won’t rub against the brake. This is the ideal tension for any chainsaw. Keep doing this until you reach a certain tension. 

And now your chainsaw chain brake is fully adjusted. Don’t forget to credit yourself because you deserve it. 

Fixing a Stuck/Non-operational Chain Brake

In most cases, a chain brake fails to apply proper brakes. This happens due to sawdust or gunk clogging your device. 

A chain brake full of gunk or sawdust is dangerous. A clogged chain brake fails to apply the brake freely. Thus it’s not safe to work with and should be fixed as soon as possible. 

Here’s how you can fix this – 

  1. First, open up the sprocket guard and locate the plastic guard covering the spring. 
  2. If you see gunk or saw dust clogging the spring, it’s time to wash it. Get an ultrasonic cleaner and a heavy-duty cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning is super effective against circuits or gears. 
  3. Get some lubricants and lubricate the gear joints properly. This will make your brake work like brand new. 
  4. Now, reattach the guard and the brake should be operational! 

Speaking of cleaners, these are our recommended picks – 

Now you can easily grab what you like and get started! 

Anyways, this is everything that you’ve to do. However, if you’re facing trouble, don’t be shy to call the professionals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can you over-tighten a chainsaw chain?

Answer: Overtightening a chainsaw chain can potentially break the chain. Just keep adjusting till you reach a good tension point where the chain completely stops. 

Question: How does a chain brake work on a chainsaw?

Answer: When you push the chain brake forward, it shortens the diameter of the brake band. As a result, it rubs against the rotator and stops it from turning. A proper brake will always shorten the band just enough to make the chain stop. 

Question: Why does my chainsaw chain keep loosening?

Answer: On some occasions, a faulty bar or a chain can loosen the chain. Temperature also plays an important role in warm environments. This is extremely dangerous and should be fixed as soon as possible. 

Wrapping Up 

That was all we could explain on chainsaw chain brake adjustment. Hopefully, this has helped you, even a little. 

So, how did you adjust your chain brake? Share your story with us in the comments! 

Finally, good luck! 

Kevin Smith

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