How to Untangle a Chainsaw Chain

Anyone who has ever owned a chainsaw knows what a mess the chain can make when it tangles. This will most definitely happen if you remove the chain from your saw for storage. Here is a quick guide on how to untangle the chain and get it ready for work in the shortest time possible.

What You Need to Untangle a Chainsaw

You will need the following to work on your tangled chain

Any sturdy table that is easy to work on when you are standing should do the trick.

For gloves, go for dedicated chainsaw gloves to protect your hands as you untangle the chain. If you don’t have any, you can use any work gloves or leather gloves that are at least puncture resistant.

The tools needed vary depending on your chainsaw model. In most cases, an Allen wrench, screwdrivers and pliers will be more than enough.

Read Also: How Tight Should A Chainsaw Chain Be?

How to Untangle the Chainsaw Chain

If the chain is still on the saw (which is highly unlikely for a tangled chain) use your screwdriver, Allen wrench or pliers to loosen and remove it from the housing.

Pro Tip: Look out for the sharp edges on the chain as these can easily cut into your skin.

  • If the chain has some signs of rusting, pour a fair measure of lubricating oil over it and let it soak. This will loosen the chain and make it easier to untangle. Be keen not to spill the oil all over as this could lead to slip accidents
  • Take two opposite loops of the chain and hand the chain down from these two loops. The chain will unfurl and sort most of the tangle on itself. If you are lucky, this can untangle the whole chain
  • If your chain is still tangled, you will have to figure out how to make the remaining loops as big as possible. Work smaller loops into each other and merge them into one or a couple of bigger loops. Do this with the chain still hanging in your hands
  • Now raise the lowest section of the dangling chain while still holding the loops. The chain’s stiffness will make the part you pick poke straight out. Use your hands to grasp other parts of the loops and do the same. Let them fall once aligned to sort out the mess
  • Repeat this for all remaining loops

At no point should you twist the chain when untangling it. Twisting it will damage the chain’s teeth and strength. It is also pointless since chains never tangle by twisting. They tangle vertically.

Check this too: How often should I oil my chainsaw?

The trick to untangling your chain faster is ensuring that it is well lubricated. This allows bunched up sections to slide across each other smoothly hence making the untangling easier. If the chain has rusted too much, consider letting it soak in an oil bath for some hours before bumping it gently to get rid of any rustic bonds.