How to Adjust the Chain Tension on an Electric Chainsaw

Written by steven diggs, jr.
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How to Adjust the Chain Tension on an Electric Chainsaw
Electric chainsaws have a toolless adjuster under the chain. (chainsaw image by Andris Daugovich from

Electric chainsaws are cheap and economical for consumers who only need a chainsaw to chop firewood or cut down small branches. These chainsaws are designed for the light user in every way possible. For instance, the toolless chain tensioner, a knob located on the bottom of the machine, tightens and loosens the chain with just a spin of your finger.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Electric chainsaw

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  1. 1

    Turn the chainsaw off. Once it completely stops, grab the plastic chain brake on the top of the saw and push it backward.

  2. 2

    Pull on the chain lightly. If it has no give, it is too tight. If the chain is barely hanging on the bar, then it is too loose.

  3. 3

    Locate the knob on the bottom half of the saw where the motor and the chain meet.

  4. 4

    Loosen the chain by rotating the knob counterclockwise. Tighten the chain by moving the knob clockwise.

Tips and warnings

  • A new chain may need tightening after as few as five cuts.
  • Use gloves when pulling on the chain as the blade can easily pierce skin.

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