A lot of people seem to think that chainsaw chains stretch over time and use, but is this really true? In this article, we’ll take a look at the facts about chain stretching and find out once and for all if it’s a real thing. So, do chainsaw chains stretch or not?
Read on to find out more about chain stretching and how it affects your saw.
Do Chainsaw Chains Stretch? How to Tell and What to Do If They Do?
The simple answer is – Yes, chainsaw chains can and do stretch. Now, before you go running off to tell all your friends that their saws are useless, there’s a little more to the story. See, chain stretching isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually a normal part of owning and using a chainsaw.
Here’s the deal – as you use your saw, the metal links in the chain will start to slowly wear down. This process is called “chain stretch.” And while it might sound like something that would make your saw less effective, it’s actually not a big deal. In fact, most chainsaws come with built-in mechanisms that account for chain stretch. So, as your chain stretches, the saw will automatically adjust itself to compensate. That means that, in most cases, you won’t even notice that your chain is stretching.
Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you use your chainsaw excessively or if you don’t maintain it correctly, the chain can stretch beyond the point where the saw can compensate. When this happens, you’ll need to replace the chain.
So, how can you tell if your chain is stretched?
Well, there are a few things to look for. First, take a close look at the teeth on your chain. If they’re starting to look longer and thinner than they used to, that’s a good sign that the chain is stretched.
The second way to tell if your chain is stretched is by measuring it. Most chainsaws have a built-in ruler that you can use to measure the length of the chain. If you find that the chain has stretched beyond this measurement, it’s time for a new one.
The third way is if your chainsaw is having trouble cutting through wood, that’s another sign that the chain is stretched. If you notice any of these problems, it’s time to replace your chain.
Why do people say that chainsaw chains stretch?
Now that you know the answer to “Do chainsaw chains stretch?” you might be wondering why people even ask this question in the first place. After all, if it’s such a normal part of owning a saw, why do people even bring it up?
Well, there are several reasons.
- First, as we mentioned before, chain stretch is a normal part of using a chainsaw. But, because it’s such a slow process, it’s easy to forget that it’s happening. So, when people suddenly notice that their saw isn’t working as well as it used to, they often assume that the chain has stretched.
- Another reason people ask about chain stretching is that they’ve heard that it can be a problem. And, in some cases, it can be. If the chain stretches beyond the point where the saw can compensate, it can cause problems with the saw. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your chain and replace it when necessary.
- Finally, some people just like to be prepared. If you know that chainsaw chains can stretch, you can keep an eye out for the signs and replace the chain before it becomes a problem. That way, you’ll never have to worry about your saw not working properly.
A Complete Process – How do chains stretch?
Now that you know the answer to “Do chainsaw chains stretch,” you might be curious to find out how it happens. After all, if it’s such a normal part of using a saw, there must be a reason for it, right?
Chain stretching is a complex process that involves the movement of metal atoms and the formation of new metal bonds. When a chain is pulled, its individual metal links are pulled apart. This separation causes the atoms on either side of the link to move closer together. Atoms on the opposite side of the link are forced apart.
To understand how chains stretch, it’s helpful to think about metal like a stack of blocks. When you pull one block out from the bottom of the stack, all of the blocks above it rise. The same thing happens with metal links. When you pull a link out from a chain, all of the links above it move up. This movement creates new spaces between the links and allows the chain to stretch.
Of course, not all of the links in a chain are the same. Some are longer than others, and some are made from different materials. That’s why some chains stretch more than others.
How Far Chainsaw Chains Stretch and When to Replace Them?
Chainsaw chains should be replaced when they stretch beyond the manufacturer’s recommended gauge. The gauge is the distance between two rivets that are stamped on the chain. As a chainsaw chain wears, it will gradually stretch to a greater and greater degree. When it reaches the point where it exceeds the manufacturer’s gauge, then it is time to replace it.
Replacing a chainsaw chain before it stretches too far beyond the manufacturer’s gauge will help to ensure optimal cutting performance and extend the life of both the chain and guide bar. It is important to note that even if a chain is within the manufacturer’s gauge, it may still need to be replaced if it is damaged or worn in other ways.
How to identify That Your Chainsaw Chain Is Stretched?
There are a few ways to tell if your chainsaw chain is stretched.
One way is to measure the distance between two rivets on the chain. If this distance is greater than the manufacturer’s specifications, then the chain is most likely stretched and needs to be replaced.
Another way to check for chain stretch is by looking at the cutting teeth on the chain. If they appear to be flattened or wider than normal, then the chain is probably stretched.
3. Noise Pitch
You can also listen for a higher-pitched noise when the chainsaw is running. This noise is typically indicative of a stretched chain.
If you do determine that your chainsaw chain needs replacing, it’s important that you do so as soon as possible. A stretched chain will not only reduce the performance of your saw, but it can also cause damage to the bar and engine. Therefore, it’s best to err on the side of caution and replace the chain before it becomes a problem.
Top Reasons behind why chainsaw chain stretch
One of the reasons why chainsaw chain stretch is heated. When you use your chainsaw, the metal links will rub against each other and create friction. This friction generates heat, which can cause the metal to expand. As the metal expands, it puts pressure on the rivets that hold the links together. Over time, this pressure can cause the rivets to loosen and the links to stretch.
The second way that heat can cause chainsaw chains to stretch is by weakening the metal. When metal gets hot, its molecules move faster and vibrate more. This vibration can cause the metal to become weaker and eventually break. If enough links in a chain break, the chain will stretch and become unusable.
Heat can also cause the lubricant inside the chain to break down. As the lubricant breaks down, it will no longer be able to protect the metal links from friction. This will cause the links to rub against each other even more, generating more heat and causing the chain to stretch.
Finally, heat can cause the steel to harden. When steel hardens, it becomes brittle and can break more easily. If enough links in a chain break, the chain will stretch and become unusable.
All of these factors underscore the importance of keeping your chainsaw properly lubricated. A well-lubricated chainsaw will generate less heat and be less likely to stretch.
Check your owner’s manual to find out what type of lubricant is best for your chainsaw and how often you should lubricate it. Many saws require that you lubricate the chain after every use, but some only need to be lubricated once a week or so.
2. File Joints
The reason why chainsaw chain stretch is file joints. The filing process creates small metal shavings when you sharpen the cutting teeth on your chainsaw. These shavings can become lodged in the linkages between the metal links. These shavings will build up and cause the links to bind. This binding can put pressure on the rivets and cause the chain to stretch.
To avoid this problem, it’s important to clean out the linkages between the metal links after every sharpening session. A small brush or compressed air can usually do the trick.
3. Dirty Chains
Let’s dig into and find out why chainsaw chain stretch is dirty chains. As your chainsaw cuts through wood, the metal links will come into contact with dirt, sawdust, and other debris. This debris will build up on the links and cause them to bind. This binding can put pressure on the rivets and cause the chain to stretch.
To avoid this problem, it’s important to keep your chainsaw chain clean. After every use, wipe down the chain with a rag or brush to remove any debris that has built up. You should also oil the chain regularly to help protect it from dirt and debris.
4. Worn-Out Links
Another reason why chainsaw chain stretch is worn-out links. The metal links in your chainsaw chain will become worn down from use. As the links wear down, they’ll become thinner and weaker. Eventually, they’ll break. If enough ties in a chain break, the chain will stretch and become unusable.
To avoid this problem, it’s important to inspect your chainsaw chain regularly for worn-out links. If you see any links that are significantly thinner than the others, replace the entire chain. It’s better to spend a few dollars on a new chain than to risk having your saw break down in the middle of a job. If you don’t replace worn-out links, you’ll eventually have to replace your entire chainsaw chain.
Do Chainsaw Chains Stretch – FAQs
A chain saw is a powerful tool, but it’s important to use the right size chain and keep it properly stretched. If you don’t have the time or tools to do it yourself, take your chainsaw to a professional for servicing. They can help make sure your chainsaw is in good working order and ready to tackle whatever job you need it for.