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What Happens If You Put Your Chainsaw Blade on Backwards?

Power tools of all kinds are handy; they’re needed in any construction work. They can get the job done easier and quicker with less physical work from the operator. Nevertheless, they can also be dangerous. 

One of the most dangerous power tools is the chainsaw. A small silly mistake can cause serious injuries. That’s why you need to understand the proper maintenance for owning one of those. 

chainsaw blade on backwards is it safe

The chainsaw blade direction is essential. Knowing if the chainsaw is moving in the right direction or not can protect you from any potential hazards that a backward chainsaw can cause. 

If you’re wondering what happens if you put your chainsaw blade on backward, we’ll be answering all your questions in this guide. Keep on reading to find out!

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Is It Dangerous to Have the Chainsaw on Backwards?

Having the chain on backward means that the chain’s sharp teeth aren’t facing in the right direction. In return, the dull edges of the cutters will be the ones cutting into the wood. That’s when it’s dangerous, as the chain is more likely to get stuck. It’s like operating with a dull chainsaw.

Operating the chainsaw while the chain is on backward may cause damage to the power tool itself, such as:

  • Causing wear to the engine and the clutch as the resistance increases because the cutters’ dull edges are the ones hitting the wood. 
  • Damaging the guide bar because you’ll have to increase the weight put on it to do the job.
  • Wasting the bar oil

Using a chainsaw with a backward chain can also cause the chainsaw to kickback. Chainsaw kickbacks can cause severe injuries to the head and shoulders. Also, having the dull edges cutting into the wood causes noise vibrations and fine sawdust that may get into your eyes.

How Do You Know If the Chain Is on Backwards?

how to know if chainsaw blade on backwards

The most obvious sign that your chainsaw is on backward is that it’s not cutting as it used to. Some chainsaws might not cut at all. It also produces lots of fine sawdust along with lots of smoke. That’s because the chainsaw isn’t cutting through the wood smoothly. Instead, it’s chipping away and burning it.  

You can also know if the chain is on backward by just looking at it. The sharp edges of the cutters should be facing the right, as the blade rotates in a clockwise direction. And they should face you on the bottom side of the chain. 

How to Reset/Replace the Chain?

Having the chain on backward doesn’t typically happen unless you’ve replaced the chain incorrectly. It would be best if you learned how to replace the chain on your chainsaw correctly following these steps:

1. Take All the Necessary Precautions

The first thing you should do is turn off your chainsaw. It’s a no brainer step, but a lot of people fall into it. Additionally, wear protective gloves to leave no chance for cutting yourself. 

2. Remove the Current Chain

Using a wrench, remove the side panel. If your chainsaw has a brake attached to its side plate, make sure to unlock the brake first.

Now, you can remove the chain easily. It’s recommended to remove it from the nose of the chainsaw first. 

3. Loosen the Tensioning Screw

You’ll find the tensioning screw on the inside of the guide bar. Using a screwdriver, loosen it a little to make it easier to install the new chain or the current chain in the right direction. 

4. Thread the Chain Onto the Saw

Carefully thread the chain around the back of the sprocket. Then, start weaving the drive links into the bar’s top, moving to the bar’s nose, and finally underneath. 

You need to put some tension on the bar to align. You can do this by simply pulling the bar away from the chainsaw. 

Don’t forget to check the direction of the chain, as mentioned above. You don’t want to fall into the same mistake twice. 

5. Put Back the Side Plate

Now, the side plate is ready to go back on. Tighten the nuts back on with your fingers, but leave them a little loose. Then, tighten the chain to the correct tension by using the tensioning screw on the inside of the bar. 

You can check the tension by pulling the chain from the bar. You should be able to pull it a little. Now, you can tighten the nuts completely. 

To Wrap It Up

A chainsaw can be dangerous to deal with if not maintained correctly. Knowing how to check for a backward chain and how to fix it can be a way to save yourself from injury one day. 

When following the steps in the guide above, please make sure to follow all the safety precautions. If you still can’t figure it out, it’s best if you seek the help of an expert. 

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