Can a Chainsaw Chain Stretch?

Chainsaws are incredibly powerful tools that can help you cut through large pieces of wood with ease. However, it’s important to keep the chain on your chainsaw sharp and in good condition, or you could find yourself struggling to make any progress. One question that sometimes comes up is whether or not the chain can stretch.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what causes chainsaw chains to stretch and how you can prevent it from happening. We’ll also discuss what to do if your chain does start to stretch out.

In general, chainsaw chains can stretch. Sagging on the guide bar of a chainsaw is caused by chainsaw chains stretching during normal use. If a chainsaw chain is allowed to become too loose, it can easily come off the bar and pose a danger to the user. Regularly inspecting and tightening the chainsaw chain is a good idea.

The amount of sagging on a chainsaw is affected by the length of time that the tool has been in use. Chains are designed to stretch slightly. If they didn’t, they would likely break when put under tension.

When a saw chain is new, it should be about 0.5 inches off the bar at the center point and no more than 0.5 inches off the bar at the tip of the guide bar nose. If a chainsaw chain is allowed to sag more than this, it needs to be tightened.

In some cases, a new chainsaw chain may not tighten enough by itself and will need to be adjusted using a guide tool from an auto parts store.

Typically, throughout regular usage, a chainsaw chain can stretch and tend to droop against the guide bar of the saw. If a chainsaw chain is left to get too slack, it has the potential to break free from the bar while in use, posing a serious safety hazard to the operator.

The tension of the chainsaw chain must be inspected as well as tightened regularly to ensure that your chainsaw chain does not become loose and stretched.

How to Adjust the Tension on a Chainsaw Chain

To ensure that your chainsaw chain is in proper operating condition, you must ensure that the tension of the chainsaw is satisfactory. But how can you know when you’ve got the right amount of tension? Let’s get down to business.

It is necessary for a chainsaw chain, when mounted on the bar of a chainsaw, to have some slack in it for it to be considered to have high tension.

It is necessary, however, to make the chainsaw chain as tight as possible so that no drive links may be pulled off the bar when you are using the chainsaw.

Therefore, for you to know that you need to have your chainsaw chains tension changed, try withdrawing the chain from your chainsaw’s bar, then you should check whether the drive links on the chainsaw will still be engaged, if not, there you have your answer, your chainsaw bar needs updating.

When you try to drag the chainsaw chain from the bar, you will see that the drive links will become detached and this is an indication that the chainsaw’s bar must be tightened.

When tightening the chain though, you need to ensure that you do not overtighten it because that is also a possibility.

You just have to make sure that there is some flexibility in the chain, however, this must ever be so much as to cause the drive links to disengage from the guide bar, which is what you want.

Overtightening the chainsaw can cause a lot of problems ad you may end up breaking your chainsaw chain in the process.

Tightening the chainsaw chain

When you are tightening the chainsaw chain, there are several steps that you need to follow and each step should be done with ultimate care as well as accuracy. The whole process though is simple and will not take much of your time.

When tightening or adjusting the chain’s tension, you need to make sure no step is forgotten. Forgetting a thing as simple as elevating the guide bar nose before you tighten, might have a major impact on the performance of the tool.

Start by loosening the nuts that are on the bar’s side panel. This helps in providing the necessary space for the chain to be adjusted.

You will find the adjustment screws situated on side panels. When you tighten the screws, you will notice your chain becoming tighter, while releasing the screw will result in the chain becoming loose. Before continuing, double-check the chain to ensure that it is at the proper tension.

The next step is for you to tighten the nuts. is critical to elevate the chainsaw’s snout when tightening the bolts that hold the side panels as well as the guide bar in place.

It’s that simple provided you get the right information. Your chainsaw chain has now been appropriately tensioned, and you may proceed.

Maintain these chainsaws plus the chains in the greatest possible working order. You may also want to take your chainsaw to a repair or replacement service if you face any problems.


A chainsaw chain can stretch. Therefore, it is essential to constantly check on your chainsaw to ensure that it is in the finest working condition possible.

The chainsaw chain should be tightened to a great amount that offers flexibility but not too much flexibility. Furthermore, you must make sure that it is not too overtightened because this may also cause several problems.