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Direction of a Chainsaw Blade

Updated February 21, 2019

A chainsaw is a useful power tool for work around the yard. In the past, cutting wood took a significant length of time because handsaws would only cut as fast as their operators. Chainsaws have since been designed to make many jobs quicker and less backbreaking.

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If you are holding the chainsaw with its tip away from you, the sharp edges along the top of the chain, or blade, should also be pointing away from you. If you look carefully at the chain, you will see that only one side of each tooth is sharpened.


When mounted correctly, the sharp edges of the chain will move from the base of the blade to its tip on the top half of the saw, and from the tip back to the base on the bottom half. This set-up allows for the chain to cut "away" from you, meaning saw dust will be propelled downward instead of up at your face. Because the chain is moving away, it is safer in the event it snaps during a cut.


When mounting a replacement chain on your chainsaw, always ensure the teeth are pointing in the correct direction. It is easy to mount a chain incorrectly; double check you have it safety mounted before starting to cut.

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About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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