Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working? Causes and Fixes

chainsaw tension screw not working

Chainsaws are practical tools for a variety of cutting and trimming tasks, but in order to perform at their peak level, they require routine maintenance. One crucial component that guarantees a chainsaw works without a hitch is the tension screw. The tension screw allows the chain tension to be adjusted, which affects cutting efficiency and safety.  

However, experiencing issues with the chainsaw tension screw could be frustrating. In this article, we’ll look at the causes of a tension screw’s malfunction and suggest practical fixes. Owners of chainsaws can maintain using their tools effectively and restore them to full operational loose chain condition by understanding the likely causes and implementing the appropriate fixes.

Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working? Causes and Fixes

chainsaw tension screw not working

Chainsaws are powerful tools used for a range of cutting and trimming tasks, however, they are mechanical devices and can experience issues. One common problem that chainsaw owners may have is a tension screw that is not working properly. The tension screw is a crucial part loose chain responsible for adjusting chain tension for optimum performance and operational safety. Poor cutting performance, chain slippage, or even potential safety issues could be caused by a dysfunctional tension screw.

By understanding the many causes and implementing the appropriate remedies, chainsaw owners can successfully troubleshoot and address this issue, enabling them to run their chainsaws safely and effectively

Causes of Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working

A chainsaw tension screw is an essential part that enables the proper chain tension to be adjusted, providing optimum performance and secure operation. The tension screw’s improper operation can result in a variety of problems, including subpar cutting performance, chain slippage, and even significant safety dangers. It is crucial to comprehend the possible causes of a chainsaw tension screw that isn’t operating in order to successfully troubleshoot and fix the issue. Here are some specific reasons why a chainsaw tension screw might not be functioning:

Incorrect Tension Screw Adjustment

Incorrect adjustment is one of the main reasons why a tension screw isn’t working properly. An erroneous adjustment can result from a number of circumstances, including:

  • Improper initial adjustment: A poor initial adjustment can result in persistent problems if the tension screw was not set up properly from the start. This could happen as a result of a human error during the chainsaw’s first setup or if the user is not familiar with the correct tensioning technique.
  • Over- or under-tightening: The functioning of the tension screw might be impacted by applying too much force or not enough tension. A chain that has been overtightened may experience premature wear and additional stress on the tensioning mechanism. On the other hand, under-tightening can cause a slack chain, which lowers cutting effectiveness and increases safety risks.
  • Tension screw that is damaged or worn out: Over time, the tension screw may become worn, stripped, or damaged and become unable to maintain the desired tension. This might occur as a result of regular wear and tear, exposure to dangerous conditions, or using too much force when adjusting. Visible wear, stripped threads, or trouble turning the tension screw are all indications that it is damaged.
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Buildup of Debris or Sawdust

When using a chainsaw, debris and sawdust might gather at the tension screw area. The tension screw’s ability to work properly may be hampered by this buildup. The chain tension screw’s ability to move freely might be hindered by sawdust and other debris, which makes it ineffective. Additionally, accumulated debris might harm or misalign the nearby parts, which would affect the tension screw’s performance even more.

Faulty or Misaligned Components

For the tension screw to work properly, the chainsaw also needs the guide bar, chain, and sprocket. The performance of the tension screw may be indirectly impacted if any of these components are broken or out of alignment. It may be difficult to achieve the desired tension, for instance, if the guide bar is curved or deformed, which can apply uneven pressure to the chain. Similar to how chain slippage can damage the tensioning mechanism, a worn-out or misaligned sprocket can also induce chain slippage.

Lack of Lubrication

For the tension screw and related elements to operate smoothly, proper lubrication is essential. Ineffective or insufficient lubrication can increase friction and make it more difficult for the screw to efficiently change the chain tension. The tension screw’s functionality may be harmed over time by wear and tear brought on by a lack of lubrication. To maintain optimum performance, it’s critical to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the kind and frequency of lubrication.

Finding a suitable solution begins with pinpointing the precise reason why a chainsaw tension screw isn’t functioning. It is simpler to implement the required fixes and bring the tension screw’s functioning back after the problem has been identified. 

Fixes for Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working

A chainsaw tension screw is a crucial component that allows for the adjustment of the chain tension, ensuring optimal cutting performance and safe operation. However, when the tension screw is not working properly, it can lead to issues such as chain slippage, poor cutting performance, or even potential safety hazards. In this detailed guide, we will explore the causes behind a chainsaw tension screw not working and provide practical fixes to address the problem effectively.

Correct Adjustment of Tension Screw

One of the common causes of a malfunctioning tension screw is an incorrect adjustment. The pressure washer solution is as follows:

  • Establish the correct tension: To ascertain the suggested tension for your chainsaw chain, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, the user guide for the Husqvarna chainsaw or the manufacturer’s tight chain website will provide this information.
  • Loosen the tension screw: To loosen the tension screw, use the proper equipment, such as a wrench or screwdriver. You’ll be able to change the tension more conveniently as a result.
  • Adjust the tension: Tighten or loosen the tension screw gradually to achieve the coming loose desired tension, as directed by the manufacturer. Some husqvarna chainsaw have indicators or marks on the guide bar to help you achieve the correct tension.
  • Verify the chain tension: After adjusting the tension screw, it’s essential to verify the chain tension. You can use a specialized tensioning tool or manually pull the chain cover to check bar rail if it has the appropriate amount of slack. The chain cover should move freely along the guide bar but should not sag excessively.
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Replacement of the Tension Screw

The tension screw could need to be changed if it is damaged, stripped, or worn out. To coming loose solve bar groove power tool the problem, do the following:

  • Inspection: The tensioning screw should be carefully inspected for any obvious evidence of wear or damage. Look for stripped threads, cracks, or other forms of sharp edge deterioration that could affect its functionality.
  • Removing the old screw and replacing it: To safely remove the previous tensioning screw from the loose chainsaw chain, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Install the replacement screw in its place after that, taking care to tighten it securely in accordance with the advised chainsaw blade torque sharp edge standards. Avoid overtightening, as this can cause further damage.

Cleaning the Tension Screw Area

Accumulated debris and sawdust can hinder the proper functioning of the tension screw. Cleaning the tension screw area can help restore its stihl chainsaw performance. You should spark plug do the chainsaw blade  following:

  • Remove the guide bar and chain: Detach the chainsaw bar ‘s guide bar and chain from the blade in a secure manner. For instructions on how to complete this process, stihl chainsaw consult the user manual spark plug or the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Clean the tension screw region: Remove any debris, sawdust, or other foreign objects from the tension screw area using a soft-bristle brush or compressed air.. Pay close attention to the threads and surrounding components to ensure thorough cleaning.
  • Inspect for damage or misalignment: While cleaning, inspect the tension screw, guide bar, and other related parts for signs of damage or misalignment. Look for bent or clutch cover worn guide bar rails, damaged chain links, or any abnormalities that may affect the tension screw’s operation. If any issues are nut detected, they should be addressed accordingly.

Inspect and Repair/Replace Other Parts

Sometimes, a malfunctioning tension screw can be a result of faulty or misaligned parts. Therefore, a comprehensive inspection of other chainsaw chain tension components is necessary. Follow these steps:

  • Check the guide bar: Examine the guide bar for any signs of misalignment or damage. Look for bent rails, excessive wear, or grooves that may affect the chain’ brake s movement.
  • Inspect the chain: Check the chain brake for damaged or worn-out links. Look for broken or missing teeth, as they can impact the tension screw’s performance.
  • Evaluate the sprocket: Inspect the sprocket for any damage, such as worn teeth or misalignment. A faulty sprocket can put additional stress on the tension screw and lead to improper functioning.

Lubrication of the Tension Screw and Related Parts

Insufficient or improper lubrication can cause friction and hinder the smooth operation of the tension screw. Proper lubrication will help maintain its functionality. Follow these steps:

  • Choose the right lubricant: Consult the chainsaw’s user manual or the manufacturer’s recommendations to identify the appropriate lubricant for the tension screw and related components. Use a high-quality electric chainsaw lubricating oil designed for this purpose.
  • Apply lubricant to the tension screw: Use a small amount of lubricating oil and apply it directly to the tension screw, ensuring that it reaches the threads and surrounding parts. Avoid excessive lubrication, as it can attract more debris and cause buildup.
  • Distribute the lubricant evenly: Use a clean cloth or your fingers to spread the lubricant evenly on the tension screw and its surrounding components. This will help ensure proper lubrication and prevent excessive oil from pooling in certain areas.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations: Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the frequency of lubrication and any specific instructions they provide.
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A malfunctioning chainsaw tension screw can significantly affect the performance and safety of the tool. By following the aforementioned fixes, you can troubleshoot and resolve the issue effectively. Always consult the chainsaw chains’s user manual for specific instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer. 

Final Words

In conclusion, a broken chainsaw tension screw can be a bothersome problem that affects the electric chainsaw’s functionality and safety. You may, however, successfully deal with the issue by comprehending the underlying causes and putting the right solutions in place. 

Proper adjustment of the tension screw is essential, ensuring it is set according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and verifying the chain tension using the recommended methods. If the tension screw is damaged or worn out, replacing it with a compatible replacement is necessary to restore functionality. Cleaning the tension screw area and inspecting other parts for damage or misalignment are crucial steps in resolving the issue. Additionally, lubricating the tension screw and related components with the appropriate lubricant helps maintain smooth operation.


How do you check tension on a chainsaw?

The chainsaw chain should feel snug but still pull freely. Finally, perform a “snap” test to ensure proper saw chain tension. Simply pull the chain on the underside of the guide bar down so one or two drive links are out of the guide bar rails and release it. The chain should snap directly into position.

How do you reset thread tension?

Turn the knob in a clockwise direction or lower the dial if you need to tighten the thread. Increase the number on the dial if you need to reduce the thread’s tension. Use a very little screwdriver to turn the screw on the side of the bobbin case if you still need to adjust the thread

Why is chain tension important?

A chain will run properly if wear elongation does not exceed 3 %, depending on the application, and provided that it is constantly re-tensioned. If it is not, the slack thread will sag further and further, resulting in uneven running, higher wear, and increased noise.

What controls thread tension?

Top thread tension is controlled by a dial on the machine’s thread path. So make sure the thread sits correctly between the tension discs when you’re threading your machine. If it doesn’t, then the machine won’t be able to sew properly.

What is the best tension for a chainsaw chain?

Generally speaking, the chain should be a little loose on the chainsaw guide bar, but not loose enough that the drive links come out of the bar nose. The bar links should feel like they are rising up, but not actually come out of the guide bar.

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