How To Untangle Chainsaw Chain In 3 Easy Steps

a pile of chainsaw chain

Chainsaws need to be properly maintained even if they are made from very high quality materials. You need to keep in mind that these machines need your time and attention even if you decided to buy a very expensive one. They should also be stored properly when they are not in use.

When storing the chainsaw, you might encounter problems when the time comes for you to use them again. The worst thing that can happen to you at this point would be to have a chainsaw that would no longer run. But in most cases, people would just end up having a chainsaw chain that is badly tangled.

Untangling the chain can be very frustrating. This is especially true if you need to use the chainsaw right away. Unfortunately, chainsaw chains do two things very well, they can cut wood and they can also get tangled a lot. To help you out, here’s how to untangle chainsaw chain in three easy steps.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. A Sturdy Table

A Work Station

You will need a sturdy table so you can lay the chain flat and focus on untangling it. You can use a work bench or a wooden table but you should avoid tables that can easily get scratched or damaged. You can also try to untangle the chain on the ground but not on expensive wood or tile floors.

2. Chainsaw Gloves

work gloves

When handling the chainsaw chain, you will need to have ample protection for your hands. You need to keep in mind that if it is new or if its edges have been sharpened recently, they can easily snag your skin and cut you. Use chainsaw gloves, work gloves or leather gloves so you can avoid injuries.

3. Tools


If the chain is still on the chainsaw blade, you will have to remove it so you can untangle it properly. Depending on the chainsaw model that you have, you will need to use tools such as screw drivers or Allen wrenches to remove the housing of the chainsaw, the chainsaw guide bar as well as to take the chain off.

4. Lubricating Oil

lubricating oil

This is to use on old chainsaw chains that have rusted, debris or gunk on its surface. It will help you loosen the individual links on the chain so that you can slowly untangle it. You might be able to use WD-40 or engine oils if lubricating oil is not available.

5. Protective Goggles


You will need to use this so you can protect your eyes. Old chains might have dust, flecks of rust or other debris that might get launched towards your eyes as you try to untangle it. Having goggles can help ensure that your eyes will not be injured.

How To Untangle Chainsaw Chain In 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Make The Necessary Preparations

A Workbench

Place the chainsaw on a sturdy table or on the workbench. Wear chainsaw gloves and protective goggles before you try to work on the chain. If the chain has already been removed from the guide bar, you will have to make use of the necessary tools so you can easily remove the housing, the bar and the chain.

If the chain is a new one, you need to look out for its sharp edges to make sure that it will not cut you. If it is an old one and has rusted or stuck together, you will need to loosen it with lubricating oil. Just be sure to avoid scattering the oil all over the table or floor to avoid accidents.

Step 2: Find The Two Opposite Loops

You will then have to look for the two most opposite loops in the chain. Put each of your hands on the loop and allow the chain to hang down using only these two points. This might help unravel the chain or at the very least, it might be able to help lessen complexity of the tangle.

Step 3: Making The Loops Bigger

chainsaw chain on wooden table

Now that you know the full extent of the tangle, you will have to try to figure out a way to make the loops bigger until you can make one single loop. Make sure that your hands are still on the two most opposite loops. Use the slack on the chain to make the other loops as big as possible.

Step 4: Untangling The Chain

chainsaw chain

With your hands still in place, locate the lowest part of the chain. Guide that part and allow it to shoot straight up in a vertical position. Chainsaw chains are very stiff and with the correct technique you can easily raise this part so that the loops in your hands are now below the raised portion.

This will allow gravity to easily let the raised portion freely and slide past the loops in order to release all of the tangles. If there are still tangles on the chain, you can try to make two loops again so you can repeat the same process.

Step 5: Spreading Them Apart

chainsaw chains on wooden table

If the previous three steps did not work at all for you, you can try to untangle the chain by focusing on each loop or tangle. You need to spread each one of them as far apart as possible so that you can easily make the tangle less complicated until all of the loops have disappeared.


When it comes to untangling the chainsaw chain, you need to wear protective gear and have to be very patient. You can try to loosen the chain with some lubricating oil, but you will have to figure out how to untangle each loop with the use of the right techniques and methods.

Have you tried to untangle your own chainsaw’s chain before? Tell us more about how you were able to do it in the comment section.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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