How To Get A Chainsaw Unstuck | Tips To Avoid Issues

Chainsaws are powerful tools that enable us to cut through trees and limbs with relative ease. However, there are times when a chainsaw can get stuck, causing frustration and potential dangers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various scenarios where a chainsaw can become stuck and provide step-by-step instructions on how to safely free it. Additionally, we will discuss techniques for tree felling and ensuring the tree falls in the desired direction. So let’s discuss all the main points:

Chainsaw Chain Stuck in Bar

When the chainsaw chain gets stuck in the bar, it becomes difficult to continue cutting. Signs of a stuck chain include a lack of movement and increased resistance. The most common causes of a stuck chain are improper tension, accumulation of debris, or a damaged chain.

Safety Measures

Before attempting to unstick the chain, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Switch off the chainsaw and engage the chain brake. Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from potential cuts or injuries. Use a chainsaw wrench to loosen the chain tension by turning the tensioning screw counterclockwise. There are some elaborated safety measure tips to follow for beginners

Chainsaw Chain Stuck in Bar

Unsticking the Chain

Assess the situation to determine the exact cause of the chain sticking. If debris is causing the issue, remove it carefully. If the chain tension is too tight, loosen it using the chainsaw wrench. Gently tap the bar or use a rubber mallet to free the chain. Lubricate the chain and bar with chain oil to ensure smooth operation.

How to Avoid Chainsaw Getting Stuck

Proper Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for preventing a chainsaw from getting stuck. Regularly sharpen the chain to ensure it cuts smoothly. Keep the chain properly tensioned by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Clean debris from the chain and bar after each use to prevent accumulation.

Appropriate Cutting Techniques

Using proper cutting techniques can help avoid a stuck chainsaw. Let the chainsaw do the work by allowing the chain to cut at its own pace. Avoid forcing the chainsaw into the cut, as it can increase the likelihood of a stuck chain. Pay attention to the chain’s speed and RPM, adjusting as necessary to maintain optimal cutting performance.

Chainsaw Chain Keeps Getting Stuck

Identifying the Issue

If your chainsaw chain repeatedly gets stuck, it’s important to identify the root cause. Analyze common causes such as improper chain tension, damaged or worn-out parts, or a dull chain.

Chainsaw Chain Keeps Getting Stuck

Troubleshooting Steps

Ensure that the chain tension is correct by following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Inspect the guide bar for any damage, such as bends or warping, which can cause the chain to stick. Replace a worn or damaged chain promptly to prevent further issues. Read More: Does chainsaw chain stretch?

Proper Lubrication

Lubricating the chain and bar is essential for smooth operation. Choose a high-quality chain oil recommended by the chainsaw manufacturer. Apply the oil correctly, ensuring that it reaches all parts of the chain and bar. Proper lubrication reduces friction and minimizes the risk of a stuck chain.

How to Notch a Tree to Fall a Certain Way

Assessing the Tree: Before felling a tree, assess it’s lean and surroundings. Determine the direction you want the tree to fall and identify any obstacles or hazards that may interfere with the process.

Notching Techniques

Select the appropriate notch type based on the tree’s size and characteristics. Open-faced notches and Humboldt notches are commonly used. Make the top cut, which is a horizontal cut, and the bottom cut, which forms an angle. Use a chainsaw to create the notch carefully.

Back Cut and Felling

Once the notch is complete, proceed with the back cut. Make the cut accurately and ensure the hinge wood, the uncut section between the notch and back cut, is sufficient to guide the tree’s fall. Safely manage the felling direction, considering wind conditions and any potential hazards.

Chainsaw Stuck in a Standing Tree

Common Causes and Risks

When a chainsaw gets stuck in a standing tree, it can be challenging to retrieve it. The most common causes include pinching of the chainsaw blade and the risk of kickback and entanglement hazards.

Chainsaw Stuck in a Standing Tree

Extracting the Chainsaw

To extract a chainsaw stuck in a standing tree, use wedges to relieve pressure on the blade. Work with a partner who can assist in stabilizing the tree and providing guidance. If necessary, use a second chainsaw to cut through any obstructions and free the stuck chainsaw.

Chainsaw Blade Direction

Chain Direction and Safety

Understanding the proper orientation of the chainsaw blade is essential for safe operation. Ensure that the teeth of the chain are facing the correct direction, allowing for effective cutting and reduced kickback risk.

Chain Rotation Direction

The chain rotation direction is determined by the chainsaw manufacturer and can vary between models. Consult the user manual or manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the chain is installed with the correct rotation direction. If needed, reverse the chain rotation by reinstalling it accordingly.

How to Drop a Tree in the Direction You Want

Assessing the Surroundings

Evaluate the surroundings to identify potential hazards and obstacles that could interfere with the tree falling in the desired direction. Consider wind direction and the natural lean of the tree when planning the felling process.

How to Drop a Tree in the Direction You Want

Cutting Techniques

Make the appropriate notches based on the tree’s characteristics and desired direction of fall. Utilize wedges to control the tree’s fall, adjusting their placement as needed. Make the final back cut accurately, ensuring that the tree falls safely in the desired direction.

Chainsaw Stuck in a Tree

If a chainsaw becomes stuck in a tree during the felling process, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Assess the situation and determine the cause of the obstruction. Use wedges or a second chainsaw, if available, to cut through any obstructions and retrieve the stuck chainsaw.

How To Get A Chainsaw Unstuck – FAQs

How does a chain brake work on a chainsaw?
A chain brake on a chainsaw stops the chain from rotating during kickback or sudden movements, ensuring safety.
Why does my chainsaw always get stuck?
Chainsaws can get stuck due to factors like a dull chain, incorrect cutting technique, improper chain tension, or damaged bar and chain.
What is the trick to untangling a chainsaw chain?
To untangle a chainsaw chain, carefully identify the tangle or knot, loosen it by hand, and if necessary, remove the chain from the saw for better access.
Why is the chain not moving on the chainsaw?
If the chain is not moving on a chainsaw, check chain tension, inspect the clutch and sprocket, ensure proper chain lubrication, and verify that the chain brake is disengaged.
Can you plunge a chainsaw?
Plunging a chainsaw is not recommended as it can cause kickback and unsafe conditions.
How do you remove a stuck chainsaw flywheel?
Removing a stuck chainsaw flywheel may require specific tools like a flywheel puller and involves disconnecting the power source, removing the top cover, and releasing the flywheel nut or retaining bolt.



Unsticking a chainsaw requires caution, patience, and adherence to safety procedures. By understanding the potential causes of a stuck chainsaw and implementing preventive measures, you can minimize the chances of encountering this issue. Additionally, mastering proper cutting techniques and tree felling methods allows for efficient and controlled tree removal. Always prioritize safety when handling a chainsaw and seek professional assistance if needed.

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