How Can I Know if a Chainsaw Chain is Backwards?

Chainsaws are one of the most dangerous power-tools you can own. Careful maintenance and expertise are very important when it comes to owning a chainsaw. Knowing the technical aspects is vital to operating a chainsaw safely. Today, we are going to look at how to tell if your chainsaw chain is on backwards.

If you’re unfamiliar with a chainsaw the best thing to do is take it to an expert. Fiddling around with a chainsaw without knowing what you’re doing is dangerous and can result in a serious injury. Having said that, if you notice that chainsaw is blunt or not performing as well as you hoped, it may be because your chainsaw chain is on backwards.

A dull chainsaw can be the result of a backward chain. The backward chain can easily go unnoticed because the chainsaw will still cut. Dull chains can be very dangerous if they get stuck in what you are cutting. Regularly performing a chain check is vital to safe usage. The amount of power running through the tool can easily break a bone or dislocate your arm from the socket. Knowing how to tell if the chain is on backwards can be the difference between a useful tool and a dangerous one.

Applying all safety precautions

There is a simple way to tell if your chainsaw chain has been fitted incorrectly. First of all, make sure the chainsaw is turned off, not spinning and all the safety catches are on. If your chainsaw is electric, make sure it is removed from the socket. If the chainsaw turns on during a check you can easily lose a finger or a limb so take all the precautions necessary to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Checking the blade

Once the chainsaw is fully turned off and all safety precautions have been applied you are ready to begin. Take your hand and run it along the top edge of the chainsaw. Do not apply any downward pressure and wear protective gloves; if the chain is on correctly, the blades will still be sharp and can slice through your skin. You shouldn’t be applying any pressure at all to the surface of the blades during the check.

Chainsaws cut using the bottom bar of the blade. This means that the blades on the upper half of the saw will be facing away from, on the lower half they will be facing toward you. As you run your hand along the blade feel which way hooks you. On the upper half, it should hook you hand as you run it toward you. On the lower half, it will hook your hand as you run it away from you.

If in doubt, take it to an expert

If your chainsaw is on backwards or is simply blunt take the saw to a sharpening expert. They will be able to tell if your chain is on backwards and can easily replace the chain if required. Always remember to take all the safety precautions and, if possible, rely on an expert for the maintenance and checking of your saw.

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