Sumo Gardener

How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

One of the most common issues experienced after storing a chainsaw is a tangled saw chain. Untangling this kind of mess isn’t as simple as fixing some tangled earphones.

If you do not know how to untangle a chainsaw chain, you will have to either postpone your cutting operations or use a traditional and considerably inefficient saw.

Thankfully, we can help you to properly and safely untangle a saw chain. From the required materials to the untangling process itself, we’ve definitely got you covered.


How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

1. Safety Precautions

First of all, you need to take some safety precautions. To protect yourself from accidentally getting injured, you should have both protective goggles and chainsaw gloves. 

Incredibly old chainsaw chains can be home to a lot of dust, bits of rust, and other debris that can get into your eyes and lead to irritation. On the other hand, chainsaw gloves will protect your hands and fingers from getting cut by any sharp edges. 

If you do not have chainsaw gloves, you can use either work gloves or leather gloves. Just be sure that the glove material is tough and thick enough to protect your hands from being injured.

2. Preparing the Materials to Untangle Chainsaw Chain

Untangling a Chainsaw Chain

The chainsaw chain needs to be placed on a flat surface. If you have a wooden table or a work bench, this should be strong enough to carry the chain without suffering any scratches or damages.

If you do not have a tough table, you can place it on the ground as long as it is not made of tiles or pricey wood. You also need to buy lubricating oil or engine oil, especially if it isn’t a relatively new chain that is still clean and adequately lubricated.

If the saw chains have experienced rusting or have any debris stuck on its surface, they can be both difficult and dangerous to untangle. With the application of oil, the chain links can loosen up enough for you to slowly untangle the saw chain.

Lastly, you have to get the right tools for removing the chain from the chainsaw blade. Separating the chain from the blade makes it safer and quicker to untangle.

Check the chainsaw model you have and determine which tool works best for removing the housing, the guide bar, and the saw chain. Some models require screw drivers while others can only be tinkered with using Allen wrenches.

3. Untangling the Chainsaw Chain

First, you should wear the protective goggles and gloves. Next, put the chainsaw on a table or the ground. Use the correct tools to remove the saw chain, the guide bar, and the chainsaw housing.

If you are going to untangle a new saw chain, you must be careful not to get cut by the sharp corners. On the other hand, you have to apply engine or lubricating oil if you are dealing with an old and rusty chainsaw chain.

Do not carelessly apply the oil as it could leak on the floor or the table and lead to accidental slips.

The next step is to search for the two opposite chain loops. Place your hands on both of these loops and let the chain hang down. Even this simple step can untangle the saw chain a bit or at least give you a better view of how to completely untangle it.

Do not let go of these opposite loops as you unravel the other loops. In order to enlarge the other loops, you should utilize the slack on the chain. The goal is to keep making the loops big enough until only one loop remains.

Untangled Chainsaw Chain

Now, try to find the lowest section of the chain and raise it up. This should be fairly easy with the right method since the saw chains are stiff. Due to gravity, it will quickly move up from any loops and untangle all parts of the chain.

If some portions of the saw chain are still tangled, you just have to create two opposite loops again and raise the lowest section once more. If this somehow doesn’t work, you can always work on each individual loop by spreading them as wide as possible.

This will take the most time and effort, but it should slowly but surely untangle the whole saw chain. If you think its time for a replacement, check out our guide for the best chainsaw chains for 2023

Here’s a video showing how to untangle a chainsaw chain:

For more chainsaw related guides, check out our list below:

Now You Know How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

In conclusion, untangling a saw chain isn’t a complicated task. With the right tools and adequate safety equipment, you can untangle both new, sharp chains and old, rusty ones. If you have any comments or questions about how to untangle a chainsaw chain, do give us a message. 

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How to Untangle Chainsaw Chain?

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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