Help!!! What Is The Correct Installation Direction Of Chainsaw Chains Like?

Recently, many people have asked me what is the correct installation direction of the chain and why they can't work on their own installed chains, now to solve this confusion for you

 For those who have owned and operated cordless chainsaw, this is common knowledge, but new users are often confused about the direction of the chain. The cutting teeth on a saw chain are designed to be able to cut in only one direction. Therefore, if you install the chain in the wrong direction, you will just produce a lot of smoke without making any actual cuts.

The top picture clearly shows what the correct direction of the chain is like, you buyers can refer to and correct their own installation, if the picture still does not solve the problem, you can go to the following link to watch the video:

Why does my chainsaw chain direction matter? What is the correct chainsaw chain direction?

This is common knowledge to folks who have owned and operated chainsaws, but newcomers often get confused with chain direction. Cutting teeth on a saw chain are designed to remove material in only one direction. So, by mounting the chain in reverse you will just generate a whole lot of smoke without doing any actual cutting.

By mounting a chain in the wrong direction, you can cause a lot of problems, such as:

  • Crack/ burnout the clutch, because the chain will encounter increased resistance due to the blunt edge of cutters hitting wood instead of the sharp edge
  • Put excessive stress on the guide bar, since the chain is being forced into wood by the weight of the user’s body instead of digging in by itself
  • Waste bar oil
  • Damage the chain links
  • Look like a fool in front of your friends and family (and at the chainsaw dealer, when you tell him your brand- new saw isn’t cutting wood and he finds out you mounted the chain in reverse)

We created this article to clear up a lot of the general confusion surrounding chainsaw chains and their mounting direction. By reading this, you will learn how to avoid rookie mistakes and get the most out of your chainsaw.


Remove the old chain and put it aside. Take the new one and mount it onto the guide bar. This is the most important step, since we need to put the chain on the right way. See those cutters on the chain? The S- shaped links that have sharp, angled edges on the front and alternate between left, and right? Well, you have to make sure that the sharp edges of these cutters are pointing TOWARDS the nose of the bar on the top side, and AWAY from the nose of the bar on the bottom side. The nose of the bar is its front end, the one that has a sprocket and goes into wood. The read end has a cutout for mounting to bar studs, along with two oiler holes- one on each side of the bar.

Since the drive sprocket only spins clockwise in every chainsaw out there, the cutting edge of the teeth will move AWAY from you when they are on the top of the bar and TOWARDS you when they get around the nose and into the bottom side of the bar. Unclog the oiler holes and clear out the bar groove before reinstallation. Now, it is time to put the bar and chain assembly back on the saw. Make sure that the chain sits right on top of the drive sprocket (it is next to the clutch drum) when you put the bar back in. Seat the rear end of bar on top of the bolts, and make sure to align the tensioning pin with the hole on the bar.

Reassembly and chain tension

Take the clutch cover and align it properly with the bar studs and tensioning pin. Now hand tighten the bar nuts, because we must first tension the chain before fully securing the clutch cover to our chainsaw with the scrench. Hold the bar by the nose and lift it up slightly. Look for slack in the bottom end, if the chain is hanging off the bar rails at the bottom, take the screwdriver side of the scrench and adjust the tensioning screw until you can’t see any light passing between the chain and the bar.

To test chain tension, hold the chain in the middle section of the bar with two fingers and give it a slight tug. It shouldn’t move more than ½” away from the bar, snapping right back into the bar groove. Too loose, and the chain will derail. Too tight, and you will burn out both the chain and the bar.

Finally, it is time to properly screw in the bar nuts using the scrench which will secure the clutch cover. Give everything a visual inspection, looking out for cracks or dents in the bar and chain. Now your chainsaw is ready to cut wood.


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