How to change a chain on a stihl chainsaw- The Brief Procedure!

Are you tired of struggling with a dull or damaged chain on your Stihl chainsaw?

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a weekend warrior, knowing how to change the chain on your Stihl chainsaw is an essential skill for maintaining its performance and safety.

In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of replacing the chain on your Stihl chainsaw, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this task with ease.

As any experienced lumberjack will tell you, a sharp and well-maintained chain can make all the difference in your cutting efficiency and overall productivity.

However, many individuals may feel intimidated by the thought of tinkering with their chainsaw’s components.

Fear not! By following our comprehensive guide on how to change a chain on a Stihl chainsaw, you’ll gain valuable insights into this fundamental maintenance procedure.

So grab your safety gear and let’s dive into the world of Stihl chainsaws as we unravel the secrets of chain replacement!

Importance of maintaining a sharp chain

There’s no denying the significance of maintaining a sharp chain when it comes to operating a chainsaw.

A sharp chain not only enhances cutting efficiency but also ensures safety during operation.

A dull chain may lead to rough and uneven cuts, causing strain on the motor and reducing the tool’s overall lifespan.

Moreover, it increases the risk of kickback, potentially putting the operator in harm’s way.

By prioritizing regular sharpening, users can not only optimize their chainsaw’s performance but also mitigate safety concerns.

In addition to improved efficiency and safety, a sharp chain can also significantly impact the quality of work produced.

Whether you’re dealing with basic yard maintenance or more advanced woodworking projects, a well-maintained chain leads to cleaner cuts and smoother operations.

This is especially crucial in professional settings where precision and speed are paramount.

By prioritizing maintenance practices like regularly filing your chainsaw’s teeth or investing in high-quality sharpening tools, operators can ensure that their equipment consistently delivers top-notch results.

List necessary tools and equipment to change chain on stihl chainsaw

When it comes to changing the chain on a Stihl chainsaw, having the right tools and equipment is essential for a smooth and efficient process.

  • The necessary tools include a wrench or socket set for removing the nuts holding the bar in place, a screwdriver for adjusting chain tension, specialized tools like a file guide and depth gauge tool for sharpening the new chain, and of course, a new replacement chain designed specifically for your Stihl model.
  • Additionally, having protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and sturdy work clothes is crucial to ensure safety during the chain replacement process.
  • Furthermore, investing in a good quality bar cleaner and some lubricant can help maintain the longevity of your chainsaw’s bar and chain.
  • Proper maintenance not only ensures optimal performance but also minimizes wear and tear on your equipment.
  • Lastly, don’t forget about safety measures – always make sure that the chainsaw is turned off and disconnect its spark plug before beginning any maintenance or repair work to prevent any accidents.
  • By gathering these essential tools and following these safety precautions, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle replacing the chain on your Stihl chainsaw with confidence.

Removing the Old Chain

When it comes to removing the old chain from your Stihl chainsaw, precision is key.

  • Start by ensuring the chainsaw is completely turned off and disconnected from any power source.
  • Next, carefully remove the guide bar and chain cover to expose the old chain.
  • Paying close attention to how the old chain is positioned on the guide bar will make reinstalling the new one much easier later on.
  • Once you have access to the old chain, use a pair of thick gloves for protection and firmly grasp it near the middle.
  • Slowly rotate the chain around the guide bar, checking for any stuck or damaged links along the way.
  • Take your time with this step to avoid potential injury or causing any further damage to your equipment.
  • By methodically removing the old chain, you’ll pave the way for a smooth transition to installing a new one and ensure optimal performance from your Stihl chainsaw in no time.

Step-by-step guide with visuals- Installing the New Chain

As you prepare to install the new chain on your Stihl chainsaw, start by carefully examining the sprocket and bar on the saw.

  • Take note of the direction of the teeth as you do this—ensuring they point in the right direction will prevent unnecessary friction and ensure a smooth cutting experience.
  • Now, carefully loop the other end of the chain over the sprocket at the tip of the bar, making sure that all drive links fit snugly into their corresponding notches along its length.
  • Once in place, use a flat-head screwdriver to adjust tension by turning clockwise until it feels just right—tension is important for both safety and optimal performance.
  • Confirm that everything is securely in place before giving your newly installed chain a test run; ensure it moves smoothly around both sprockets without binding or slipping out of alignment.
  • Remember, safety is always paramount when working with chains and power tools.
  • Before beginning any cutting project, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the tool’s operation and follow all manufacturer guidelines.
  • Upon completing the chain installation, it is important to inspect and maintain your saw regularly.
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of damage or wear on the chain links, drive sprockets, and guide bar.
  • Replace any worn components promptly to prevent accidents or stalling during future projects.
  • Additionally, proper lubrication plays a crucial role in maintaining smooth operation and prolonging the life of your chainsaw.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for guidance on selecting the appropriate chain oil and how frequently it should be applied.

Tips for ensuring correct tension and alignment

Ensuring correct tension and alignment is crucial when changing the chain on a Stihl chainsaw.

One tip to keep in mind is to adjust the chain tension so that it fits snugly around the guide bar without sagging.

This will prevent excessive wear and potential kickback during operation.

Additionally, checking the alignment of the chain with the guide bar is important for smooth and efficient cutting.

Ensuring that the cutting teeth are properly aligned with the grooves in the guide bar will help maintain a balanced and controlled cutting experience.

An overlooked but essential tip for correct tension and alignment is to regularly clean and inspect the guide bar, sprocket, and drive mechanism for any signs of damage or wear.

This proactive approach can prevent premature chain failure and ensure optimal performance from your Stihl chainsaw.

Furthermore, utilizing a proper sharpening tool to maintain sharpness on the chain’s cutting teeth can also contribute to maintaining proper tension and alignment over time.

Testing the new chain for performance

In the world of chainsaw maintenance, testing the performance of a new chain is a crucial step that can make all the difference in your cutting experience.

Once you’ve installed the fresh chain on your Stihl chainsaw, it’s time to put it to the test.

Take it through various cutting tasks, from softwoods to hardwoods, and observe how smoothly it glides through the wood.

Pay attention to its efficiency and speed as well as its ability to maintain sharpness over time.

Moreover, consider testing the new chain’s ability to handle different types of cuts, such as cross-cutting or rip-cutting.

Each type of cut puts varying amounts of stress on the chain, so evaluating its performance in these scenarios will give you valuable insights into its durability and effectiveness.

By thoroughly testing your new chain for performance across a range of conditions and cutting tasks, you’ll be able to ensure that it meets your expectations and delivers optimal results during real-world usage.


In conclusion, changing the chain on a Stihl chainsaw is a straightforward process that can be easily accomplished with the right tools and knowledge.

By following the steps outlined in this article, users can ensure their chainsaw operates at peak performance and remains safe to use.

It is important to regularly inspect and maintain the chain to prevent accidents and ensure longevity of the equipment.

Additionally, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific instructions on chain replacement and maintenance.

With proper care and attention, users can confidently tackle any cutting tasks with their Stihl chainsaw.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with these steps and keep your chainsaw in optimal condition for efficient and safe operation.


Q: How often should I replace the chain on my Stihl chainsaw?

It is recommended to replace the chain when it becomes dull or damaged, or after every 5-10 hours of use.

Q: Can I sharpen the old chain instead of replacing it?

Yes, you can sharpen the old chain if it’s not too worn out. But eventually, you will need to replace it.

Q: Do I need to disconnect the spark plug before changing the chain on my Stihl chainsaw?

Yes, it’s important to disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starting while working on the chainsaw.

Q: Is there a specific direction in which I should install the new chain?

Yes, make sure to install the new chain in the correct cutting direction as indicated by arrows on the bar.

Q: How tight should I adjust the new chain on my Stihl chainsaw?

The new chain should be adjusted so that it fits snugly around the bar but still allows for free movement without binding.

Q: Where can I find a replacement chain for my Stihl chainsaw?

You can find replacement chains for your Stihl chainsaw at authorized Stihl dealerships or online retailers.

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