This is Why Your Chainsaw Doesn’t Cut Straight

A chainsaw which cuts crooked is not a good one – not only will it ruin the actual cuts of the logs you want to buck, but also put the saw itself into more of a danger, as there is a higher possibility of getting it pinched.

The chain is uneven

The most probable reason why a chainsaw pulls either to the right or left during a cut is because it was sharpened unevenly.

This normally happens to those who sharpen their saw’s manually, with a file. For example, if you’re a right handed fellow, you will naturally do a better job sharpening the left side of the chain in comparison to the right.

That difference in effort is all it takes to make the teeth sharper on one side than the other, and that is what causes the issue.

How to fix this

Don’t sharpen with your dominant hand for some time. Keep working the side which you feel lacks attention, and eventually the chainsaw should start going as straight as new.

As for future prevention, be more aware to do as good of a job on both of the sides. You may even go as far as performing more strokes on one side, to compensate. The teeth have to be equally sharp on each end to make the chainsaw work straight.

On that note, one of the best and easy to use chain sharpeners out there is the Stihl 2 in 1, which also works the depth gauges at the same time. You can get one right from Amazon (affiliate link).

But there’s more…

If you’re sure the sharpening has nothing to do with any of it, it may be that you ruined the chain by simply hitting something.

Dirt, a rock, something that’s inside of a tree – any of that can chip one of the teeth too blunt, and that is also more than enough to cause those uneven cuts.

This can also be fixed by a proper sharpening session, though sometimes the damage done is just too severe and you have to get a new chain.

Worn out bar

If you’ve ruled out the chain, the next part you should look at is the bar.

Chainsaw bars wear out just as much as the chains. Eventually you have to replace them, but first you have to check whether or not that is necessary.

This video by Wranglerstar will show you how to get it done:

A bar that has that much movement can easily make your chainsaw go circles during a cut.

But before you do that, try turning it upside down. That’s right, you can get another life out of the bar if you flip it the other way around.

If all you do is buck logs for your firewood needs, this can truly help you get going without needing to shell out right away.

As a general rule of thumb, you should alternate the bar each time you sharpen the chain. Doing so will only increase its life expectancy, and keep the saw working properly for longer.

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