Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

Why does my chainsaw cut crooked

Are you having trouble with your chainsaw cutting crooked? Have you been spending hours trying to figure out what’s wrong, but no matter how hard you try nothing seems to work? Don’t worry! We’ve got the information you need in order to get your chainsaw back on track and make sure every cut is as straight as can be. 

In this post, we’ll delve into why chainsaws may cut crooked, provide detailed explanations of each cause and offer practical steps for correcting them quickly. We understand that a misaligned chain or dull blade can be incredibly frustrating and time consuming – so let us save you some of that stress by offering seamless solutions for restoring equilibrium after dealing with a coltish saw!

Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

A chainsaw cutting crooked can be frustrating and may lead to uneven cuts or even accidents. There are several reasons why a chainsaw might cut crooked, and understanding these causes can help you address the issue effectively. Some of the common reasons for a chainsaw cutting crooked include:

  • Uneven sharpness

One major reason for a chainsaw cutting crooked is uneven sharpening of the chain teeth. This can cause the chain to take different-sized bites into the wood, leading to a crooked cut.

  • Improper sharpening and inconsistent angles

Poor sharpening and inconsistent angles on the chain teeth can also cause a chainsaw to cut crooked. This can be due to free-hand filing instead of using a filing guide.

  • Uneven wear of chain teeth

If the left and right chain teeth have uneven wear, it can cause the chainsaw to cut crooked. This can happen when one side of the chain hits a stone or piece of metal.

  • Incorrectly mounted guide bar or worn-out sprocket

A chainsaw might also cut crooked if the guide bar is incorrectly mounted or the sprocket is worn out.

  • Insufficient lubrication

Improper lubrication of the engine can cause the metals to clank and heat up, leading to a crooked cut.

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To fix a chainsaw cutting crooked, you can:

  • Ensure that the chain teeth are sharpened evenly and at consistent angles. Use a filing guide to help maintain the correct sharpening angle.
  • Inspect the chain for uneven wear and replace it if necessary.
  • Check the guide bar and sprocket for wear or damage, and replace them if needed.
  • Make sure the chainsaw is properly lubricated to prevent overheating and metal clanking.
  • Practice proper cutting technique by starting and finishing the cut in a straight line, without pushing the chainsaw sideways.

By addressing these issues, you can improve the performance of your chainsaw and achieve straighter cuts.

What Causes Crooked Chainsaw Cuts?

There are various causes of crooked chainsaw cuts, including:

Dull or damaged chain blades

If your chain blades are dull or damaged, they will struggle to cut through the wood cleanly and you will end up with uneven results. Always check that your chain blades are in good shape before beginning any cutting task.

Incorrect bar angle

The angle of the bar should be perpendicular to the wood that you are cutting. If it is not, it will cause your saw to cut crookedly as it struggles with an off-angle cut.

Chain tension

The chain must be properly tensioned for optimal performance. Too much tension and the chainsaw will have difficulty cutting through the wood, and too little tension will cause the chain to loosen during use.

Unbalanced bar

If your chainsaw has an unbalanced bar, it can cause the saw to move unevenly through the wood as you cut.

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Faulty spark plug

A faulty spark plug can result in a loss of power that could cause your saw to cut crookedly.

Air filter blocked

A blocked air filter will reduce the saw’s overall power and can cause it to cut unevenly.

Fuel leakage

If there is fuel leaking from the carburetor, this could result in a lack of power, causing your chainsaw to cut crookedly.

Incorrect fuel mixture

If the ratio of fuel to oil is incorrect, this could reduce the power of your chainsaw and cause it to cut unevenly.

How to Sharpen your Chain to Avoid Crooked Cutting?

One major and most common reason for crooked cuts is a dull chain blade. If you want to avoid this issue, start by ensuring that your chain blades are properly sharpened. This can be done with either a file or a grinding stone and should be done at least once every season.

To sharpen the chainsaw blade with a file:

  1. Put on safety gloves and goggles.
  2. Turn your chainsaw off and detach the spark plug for safety.
  3. Secure the saw in a vise to hold it firmly in place while you’re sharpening.
  4. Use a round file that is appropriate for the size of your chain and make sure it’s securely attached to the handle before beginning.
  5. File away from the blade’s cutting surface at a 30-degree angle and don’t apply too much pressure as this can damage the blade.
  6. Make sure to file all of the blades, then turn off the chainsaw and reattach the spark plug before testing it out.
  7. If the saw is still cutting crooked, inspect it for any other issues that could be causing the problem.

Tips to Prevent Crooked Chainsaw Cuts

In addition to sharpening your chainsaw blade regularly, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your chainsaw cuts straight:

  • Always check the bar angle before starting to cut.
  • Make sure the chain is properly tensioned for optimal performance.
  • Inspect the saw for any obstructions that could be causing it to cut crooked.
  • Ensure that the bar is balanced before starting to use your chainsaw.
  • Replace or clean the air filter regularly.
  • Check that the spark plug and fuel mixture are in good condition before using your chainsaw.
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Final Word

Crooked chainsaw cuts can be annoying and time-consuming, but they can usually be avoided with regular maintenance and care. Make sure to inspect your saw before each use and sharpen the blades regularly to keep your chainsaw running smoothly and efficiently. Follow these tips and you should be able to avoid crooked chainsaw cuts in the future.


How often should I sharpen my chainsaw?

It is recommended that you sharpen your chainsaw blade at least once per season. You can also check the blade after each use to ensure it is sharp and ready for the next job. If the blade is dull, it should be sharpened before continuing with your work.

What angle should I sharpen my chainsaw blades?

The angle should be approximately 30-degrees from the cutting surface of the blade. This will help to ensure that the blade is sharp and ready for cutting.

What causes a chainsaw to cut crooked?

There are many potential causes of crooked chainsaw cuts, including an unbalanced bar, faulty spark plug or fuel leakage, blocked air filter, or incorrect fuel mixture. It is important to inspect your saw before each use and sharpen the blades regularly to reduce the chance of crooked cuts.

What is the best way to prevent crooked chainsaw cuts?

The best way to prevent crooked chainsaw cuts is to inspect your saw before each use and sharpen the blades regularly. Additionally, you should make sure that the bar is balanced, the air filter is clean, and the spark plug and fuel mixture are in good condition.

Why is my chainsaw chain not cutting properly?

If your chainsaw chain is not cutting properly, there are several potential causes. The most common cause is a dull blade, so make sure to sharpen it regularly. Additionally, inspect the saw for any obstructions that could be causing the problem and check that the bar angle is correct for optimal performance.


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