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Some FAQs on a New Chain Saw

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 01, 2011

How do I know what size bar I have?
Your bar's cutting length, called “length”, is different from its overall length. The cutting length is the distance from the front of the saw to the tip of the farthest cutter rounded to the nearest inch.

Should I do anything with the new chain?
Yes. Taking these few simple steps prior to using it can extend the life of your new chain:

  1. If possible, soak the chain in oil to allow oil to penetrate all chain components.
  2. Never run any chain on an over-worn drive sprocket, especially a new chain. After every two chains, or sooner, the drive sprocket system should be replaced.
  3. Adjust chain
  4. Run new chain at half throttle for several minutes before doing any cutting; this allows oil to reach all parts of the bar and chain. Let sprocket, bar and chain warm up fully.
  5. Stop the motor, let the chain cool, then check and adjust tension.
  6. Keep the first several cuts light. Keep extra oil on the bar and chain during these first cuts, and do not apply heavy pressure. Check chain tension often during the first half hour of use.
How tight should I tension my chain?
For a sprocket nose bar, turn your saw's tension-adjustment screw until the bottoms of the lowest tie straps and cutters come up and contact the bottom of the bar rails, then turn your tension-adjustment screw an additional 1/4 turn. Also, on sprocket nose bars, the snap test should be performed. Grasp the chain along the bottom of the bar, pull down, and let go. The chain should snap back to its original position, solidly contacting the bottom of the bar rail.

For a solid-nose bar, turn your saw's tension-adjustment screw until the bottoms of the lowest tie straps and cutters come up and contact the bottom of the bar rails. Chain tension on a solid-nose bar should be adjusted looser than on sprocket nose bars. Regardless of your bar type, your chain should move freely around the bar.

How do I know when my chain is dull?
Keep in mind that a sharp chain will cut large-size chips. A chain that is dull or has abrasive damage will create sawdust. It's time to sharpen when you're having to push on the saw or the saw is no longer self-feeding.

How often and what type of lubrication should I use in my chain saw?
Keep your saw's chain-oiling system filled with clean bar-and-chain oil. Never put used oil or old motor oil in your saw or on your chain. Be sure your chain, bar, and sprocket are always receiving oil from the saw during operation. Fill your oil reservoir each time you fill your gas tank.

if you have any other questions concerning your new chain saw or any other small gas engine, please contact J and J Small Engine Clinic.

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