How to Remove Chainsaw Links

Updated April 17, 2017

Owning a chainsaw is ideal if you have several trees to cut down or just to have around for various tasks. However, a chainsaw can be dangerous if you don't know how to properly maintain and take care of it. When a chain on the chainsaw becomes stretched, it is necessary to remove chainsaw links so that the chain is tight on the machine. The following steps will outline how to do this procedure.

Look in the manual. With a dangerous machine like a chainsaw, you should always follow the manual's specific instructions when modifying the chain. Different manufacturers have different ways of shortening chains and making other modifications. The manual will often have pictures that will make the job much easier to understand.

Search for the chain's master link. Many chainsaw manufacturers put a master link on the chain to make shortening chains and removing links safe and easy. You can spot this link by looking for one that looks different than the rest of the links. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to remove the master link and attach the links on either side back together.

Use a "chain breaker" or a punch. If your particular chainsaw does not have a master link, you will need to take more extreme measures. Your local hardware store should carry a chain breaker or a punch that can help you remove chainsaw links. These tools make it possible to punch out the rivets that hold the links together without damaging them. This ensures that you can hook them back together with ease.

Assemble the chain. After you have removed a link from your chainsaw, simply snap the two disconnected links together. If you have removed the link the correct way, putting the chain back together should be as simple as a snap.

Consult with a professional. If you are unsure if you have removed the link correctly, or if you aren't sure that you have put it back together the proper way, visit a professional. He can examine it to ensure everything is safe and secure. In some cases, there will be no charge for someone to look at your chainsaw.


Always read your manufacturer's manual before starting any project with your chainsaw. It's too dangerous to try anything without the manual. Take care of your chainsaw properly. If you do, you can use it for many years.


Wear goggles when working with your chainsaw. This prevents any eye injury from flying parts and debris.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Chain breaker
  • Punch
  • Safety goggles
  • Owner's manual
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About the Author

Chad Hagy is based in southern California and he has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in writing from the University of Michigan and his articles have been published on several prominent websites including eHow and others.