3 Reasons Why your Chainsaw’s Chain May be Sparking

Seeing a chainsaw throw sparks at you isn’t normal – that being said, this does not mean right away that there is something that wrong going on with it.

Nonetheless, it is an issue that should be solved as soon as possible, as it may be an early sign of the saw’s wear.

Dirty bark

One of the first things you have to rule out before thinking about anything next is determining whether or not the bark on the tree you cut, buck or want to fell is any dirty.

And it doesn’t have to be literally visually that dirty to be the cause; during a tree’s lifetime, wind blows a lot of debris at it: sand, small rocks, what have you. Those things get stuck in all of those small crevices bark is made up of – that’s enough to make the saw’s chain spark all over the place.

Can you do anything about it? Well, not really… I mean, you can always remove the bark first, but will you do so for cords and cords of logs you got? I don’t think so.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing really dangerous about all that sparking (if this is the actual cause of the problem, that is), it’s just that you will probably need to sharpen and replace the chain more frequently.

Inspect the saw

If it ain’t the dirt, maybe there is something going on with the chainsaw?

Make sure that you got the chain tension right. There can’t be too much snag between the actual chain and the bar, as that alone could make it budge overly much and hit the thing during motion, causing those sparks we’re on about here.

If you didn’t do so for a long time, clean out the sprocket nose. That area, as well as the guiding path a chain glides along during cutting gets gunked up over time. This can interfere with the sawing parts of a chainsaw, grinding them together and causing the issue.

Also, lubricate all the necessary parts properly; don’t forget to top off the oil too.

In general, the goal at this step is to be sure that there is nothing abnormal with the saw, in terms of maintenance.

Something is off with the wood

It may just be that the wood you’re trying to process is made to produce the sparking you see, let me explain.

Some wood is literally harder than the other, that’s a fact. This alone can cause unnecessary strain on the saw, pinching, perhaps, the bar and the chain.

Not to mention, there might be something unnatural inside of the actual tree.

In particular, this might be some wire that grew into it during its growing stages. All it takes is just a tiny bit of contact to make all the show.

The way you cut the wood can also be the culprit. Put too much weight behind it, angle it wrongly and you have a struggling chainsaw that only wants to throw a sparking show.

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  1. No help to me.
    I’ve got 13 saws. All good saws. Just purchased a new Stihl 261C. Took it to my friend’s house as soon as I got it to show it to him. He’s got a pile of trees he had cut down and stacked, by his house, after clearing a spot in his yard. Walked out there about dusk/dark, fired it up… and sparks flew everywhere. Made a crunching noise too. Cut it off, checked everything out, fired it back up, cut some wood, cut it off. Took it back to the dealer and they took it apart, took it out, cut some wood…and said they didn’t hear or see anything. I’m not crazy. And, I wouldn’t waste mine or their time if it wasn’t making a metal to metal crunching noise AND sparking.

  2. Thanks, I’ve been cutting wood a long time and have had the sparking thing occasionally. This time it doesn’t matter about the wood so I’m going to take the bar off and clean everything up real well and see if that does it.

  3. I cleaned my bar and my oiler is working fine but sparks are coming from the tip of my saw, what else should I look at, Thanks?

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