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Why Does My Chainsaw Chain Dull So Quickly?

There’s no doubt that a chainsaw chain dulling quickly can be frustrating and even unsafe. We’ve put together for you a thorough guide explaining why this happens. Find out how to prevent this from happening and how to properly take care of the chains.

Owning a chainsaw can be a handful if you don’t know how to use it the correct way and give it proper maintenance. When you own such a useful, yet, hefty piece of machine, you need to take extra care of the chain teeth. After all, they do all the cutting.

why chainsaw chain dulls so quickly

A chainsaw should slice through the wood in a smoothly consistent manner. If, for instance, it hitches while cutting, then something’s not right with the chain. When chain teeth go dull, you risk your chainsaw jerking back when it starts slicing through the material. 

This might be due to the type of wood being cut, or how well tensioned and lubricated the chain is. In the next sections, we’ll talk some about that, and answer your question; “why does my chainsaw chain dull so quickly?”

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What Makes a Chainsaw Chain Dull Fast?

1. Improper Lubrication of Chain

Lubricating the chain the right way and with the right kind of oil is very important. You should never use any type of oil but the one intended for chainsaws. Some people use old waste oil, which has debris that ruins the teeth.

Always check that your machine’s oiling system is performing smoothly. You also need to keep a stock of chainsaw oil if you heavily rely on using your chainsaw. In case you run out, good substitutes that are commonly used are vegetable oils, especially canola oil.

2. Incorrect Tightening of Chain

Repeatedly cutting with a chain that’s too loose or too tight will definitely damage it. This also is risky, as the chain may fall off altogether or jerk back the chainsaw and injure you. Always make sure that your chain is snugly fitted each time before use, and not after.

You just need to learn how to accurately tension your chain to keep it sawing nicely.

3. Type of Wood You’re Cutting

The level of resistance of each type of wood while cutting it differs, depending on the tree type and age. Add to that how wet or how dirty the wood is. Sometimes, even the length of your cutting session can determine how long the chain will remain sharp. 

Slicing through Australian Buloke, which is a type of Ironwood, isn’t like cutting Balsa wood, in terms of hardness and softness. Wet wood and dirty wood will cause debris to stick to your chain and will need a thorough cleaning.

Simply put, any buildup on your chain will shorten its lifespan and dull it fast.

How to Keep a Chainsaw Chain Sharp for Long?

1. Proper Storage of Unused Chain

If there’s a chance that you’ll go a long period of more than a few months without using your chainsaw, you need to preserve the chain from exposure to environmental factors.

After emptying the gas tank of the chainsaw, pull apart the chain from it, clean it well, then submerge it in oil in an airtight container. This prevents rust from forming.

2. Regular Filing of Chain

The key to prolonged sharpness of the chain teeth isn’t just how you file it, but how often you do it. To keep track of this, your best bet is filing the chain after each time you fill the gas tank.

This will save you the hassle of having to restore a dulled chain. You won’t need more than 1 to 7 strokes of your file to ensure it’s well-sharpened.

3. Filing of Depth Gauge

Many people don’t pay attention to the sharpness of the depth gauges, also known as the rakers, riders, or hooks. A dull depth gauge will dampen the performance of your chainsaw, no matter how sharp your chain is.

File your depth gauges with about 4 strokes after you file the chain, for best results.

4. Accidentally Hitting the Chain

One of the major causes of damage to a chain is accidentally slicing through unsuitable materials. The chain can also be ruined if it falls and hits the hard floor.

Beware of cutting through wood in winter, as wood can be iced on the inside and can break the chain. Also, keep an eye on your chainsaw slipping through the wood you’re cutting and sawing the ground.

Materials that may break your chain include iron nails, rocks, and any hard foreign material that comes in the way while cutting.

To Wrap Up

The lifespan of your chainsaw is mainly dependent on how well you care for it. Regular maintenance of the chain sharpness is key to its prolonged lifetime. Be alert for any disruption in how your chainsaw efficiently cuts. The sooner you fix the problem, the better! 

Before each use, always make sure your chain is oiled and tensioned correctly. Don’t forget to consistently file your chain and depth gauges, and watch out for foreign materials embedded in your wood.

Following these tips will give you a sharpened chainsaw chain for a smooth sawing experience!

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