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PetePontoValentino

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A newbie chainsaw question.

I started using my new chainsaw for the first time today. The first hand full of trees came down fine (not your giant redwood you understand), then the chain came off the arm mid cut.

Back to the user manual, putting the chain back on and some of the links are tight in the arm (hard to get in) so I am a bit nervous.

Is it possible to damage a chain so easily? Do I need to replace it?

Pete
 

artie

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Make, model of chainsaw?

How much experience have you?

What size trees?

Did you cut them cleanly?
 

PetePontoValentino

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It's a Husqvarna 130, totally inexperienced user (literally first use).

I am clearing a patch of garden, most is small stuff but one was sightly less small at about 10 cm diameter. All came down easily with no jamming issues).

As it was all new I suspect the issue relates to not retensioning (we live and learn). I am reluctant to try to work with the chain that doesn't want to sit in the arm though.
 

Peter Sefton

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The chains do need re tensioning in use, I would say if the chain is not sitting on the bar check for any wood chips or a stone in the chain but if unsure take to to be looked at. Chain saws are not at all forgiving, might be worth watching a few good videos on YT of professionals giving tips.
 

artie

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I wouldn't try to work with it like that.
I'd check if it's a particular spot on the blade that won't accept any of the chain, or a spot on the chain which won't enter any of the blade.
Then you could examine faulty part and see why.
Chain saws can do a lot of damage to soft tissue.

Be careful or better yet have someone with experience look at it.
 

ceefax

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If the chain came off at full speed then you may have either damaged some of the keels below each individual link that run in the groove on the bar, or actually damaged the bar itself. Is it definitely individual links (cutters) that are tight, or is it a place on the bar that grabs as you rotate the chain?
As already said chainsaws can rapidly kill or maim you in a number of scary ways. You should as a minimum be wearing helmet, visor, chainsaw leggings or trousers, boots and gauntlets, otherwise you might well end up visiting A&E or worse.
Bottom line is that if the chain will not freely rotate (with the saw turned off) do not use it!
 

Phil Pascoe

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Put another chain on it. You should have a spare chain anyway, it's quicker and easier in the middle of a job to switch a chain than to stop and sharpen one. I used to run four or five at a time, using the oldest for the roughest work. This will show whether it's the chain or the bar you've damaged.
 

Lazurus

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For hobby use get your self an Lidl chain sharpener, they are great for around £20. A set of files to suit the chain size and touch up between cuts, takes a little practice but is very quich. Also turn the bar over every chain change to keep wear even and lubricate the nose sprocket. Clean the bar groove with suitable scraper - lolly sticks work for me. Ensure there is oil on the chain by running near a flat surface and watch for a small wet patch as the oil flings off. Above all PPE get leggings or trouser, boots and a helmet with face guard and ear muffs - its a great tool to master but needs very careful handling, always stand to the side of the line of cut if you can and avoid situations which can cause a kick back. Use the clutch when starting or carrying when running.
Spalted and mill.jpg
 

D_W

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It sounds like you may have pinched the bar or bent the fin on some of the drive links. Figure out which.

It's possible to hurt yourself with any saw, but lucky for you, a husky 130 with safety chain isn't capable of too much surprise snappiness if you keep your front hand on the handle so that the chain brake can do its job.
 

JimB

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Have it serviced by an expert. You might feel a bit daft but they're used to things going wrong so explain as best as you can. Far better than losing fingers or worse.
 
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In my experience a new chain will usually need retensioning after a little use - they stretch a bit. The bigger the saw, the more noticeable it can be. The chain falling off is always a suprise, but nothing to worry about - slap it back on and tighten it up. The chain is supposed to run freely on the bar, so work out what is not happy, and then fix it (so easy to say, I know). One silly question: did you put the chain on back to front? Astonishingly easy to do, and you don't half feel a muppet when it won't cut. It also won't want to sit in the track properly. The cutting edge moves away from you on top, and back towards you and the engine underneath the bar. For some reason, this has always been counterintuitive to my sad little brain.

One of the better things you could do with your time is to take it back to whoever you bought it from, and get them to do do a clean and service/sharpen while you watch. Get some training, in other words. Being told how to do it is not the same as seeing it done, and even better is doing it yourself with supervision. I'm sure they won't mind, and everything they do in the shop you should be doing on site as you work - cleaning out gunk, sharpening, tensioning etc. They will also be able to see if you have done something terminal. The great thing about chainsaws is that they are built to be abused, so it is unlikely to be anything major.
 

clogs

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to check the chain.....take the bar off....just a few nuts n screw's if u'r confident......
if not forget the below...but read anyway.....
with the bar held in a vice mount the chain on the bar and pull it around two or three time's...
if the chain is damaged it will not rotate smoothley and or u will see it ride up over the end sprocket.....
there's no fix to chains.....cheap enough buy another but cheapest way is to buy a pair of ebay.....
look at the bar to see if the groove is the same all the way around....again cheap enough to replace....not often they get damaged this way.....
if u change the bar get the bar and two chains as a kit.....prob £35'ish of ebay.....try and buy a decent kit Oregon etc..... ..
in future keep the chain adjusted......
after a chain/bar is refited...new or old......turn the chain by hand a few times, then if it runs freely start the machine and run it for at least 20 sec's....switch off and check adjustment again.....
every time u put the saw down switch off and check the adjustment.....I would say every 10 to 20 mins max run time....after a while u'll get a feel for it......
during use if it looks slack ...STOP and check the chain...
after a while the chain will settle in and adjustment will be infrequent but by then it will want to be resharpen'd.....
as said before get a lidil or ebay electric sharpener machine ...cheap as chips and mine must be over 12 years old and stil going stong.....
it must have been used for over 500 sharpenings now...I had my own forest.....
as every one says these are dangerous machines to use and very unforgiving....
if u are not confident to carry out the above check/repairs get a pro to do it.....
then just put it all down to experience....
 

redhunter350

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Pete, sounds like your saw is new? in which case go back to the dealer and have a chat to them. As has been said chain saws are or can be very dangerous !
Don't buy Mum's own chains buy good quality branded ones, make sure they are the correct size/pitch for your machine. In view of what happened I would check the chain lubrication system is working correctly, no blockages, adjusted so delivery is right, use the correct oil the chain should spray oil onto the ground when running at full speed - a news paper shows this well if in doubt. If this is not correct chain wear is accelerated rapidly and maybe thats whats happened and why the chain came off ?
Lastly if you don't already have it purchase the necessary protective gear -- helmet, gloves and VIP chain protection trousers ! also wear strong boots not shoes or worse.
Take care John
 

bansobaby

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It sounds like you may have pinched the bar or bent the fin on some of the drive links. Figure out which.

It's possible to hurt yourself with any saw, but lucky for you, a husky 130 with safety chain isn't capable of too much surprise snappiness if you keep your front hand on the handle so that the chain brake can do its job.


Contrary to popular belief, the chain brake is not activated by your hand on the top handle. If that was the case it would be way too late.
Its activated by inertia, ie the sudden kick.
It should always be tested with the saw not running, by holding the saw by the rear handle and letting the nose of the bar drop under the saws weight about a foot or so onto a log or similar.
If it’s working correctly the chain brake will activate.

With regard to the OP, it sounds like the bar groove has filled with rubbish and needs cleaning out ( if the saw is brand spanking it should have come with a wee scraper hook type thing for doing just that.)

I would also reiterate the point made by several others about PPE and training. Chainsaws are rather unforgiving, there are not really any minor injuries resulting from their use, (apart from a bad back!)
 

Noel

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Contrary to popular belief, the chain brake is not activated by your hand on the top handle. If that was the case it would be way too late.
Its activated by inertia, ie the sudden kick.
It should always be tested with the saw not running, by holding the saw by the rear handle and letting the nose of the bar drop under the saws weight about a foot or so onto a log or similar.
If it’s working correctly the chain brake will activate.

With regard to the OP, it sounds like the bar groove has filled with rubbish and needs cleaning out ( if the saw is brand spanking it should have come with a wee scraper hook type thing for doing just that.)

I would also reiterate the point made by several others about PPE and training. Chainsaws are rather unforgiving, there are not really any minor injuries resulting from their use, (apart from a bad back!)
Not quite. The brake can indeed be activated by inertia force, generally a side swipe type of movement, but the top of the brake lever is designed to come into contact with your top hand in the event of an upward kickback.
 

D_W

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not all saws have an inertial brake. I'm guessing newer husky saws (by that, I mean made in the last several decades) have an inertial brake but are also set if a saw has a kickback event pushing the saw out into the user. It's important to have both hands on the saw and stick with the consumer stuff unless one knows well enough why they don't have to.

As far as danger, I've seen three chainsaw accidents in folks that I know or relatives of folks I know.
1) my great uncle was cutting alone in the woods without a buddy and cut the inside of his leg. He made it to the hospital (barely), but died of complications two days later (Septicemia or something similar)
2) my grandfather, a retired farmer, experienced a kickback into his upper quadricep - 67 stitches. He was in the woods before the stitches were out and died later of a heart attack.
3) a coworker's brother, some kind of tradesman I think (but not a woodsman) was cleaning up storm damage cutting somewhere around head level and received a kickback to the neck and died.

#3 sounds far fetched (no chain brake). I probably wouldn't mention it without having a news reference. I hadn't read the news story until years later (hearing about it in person sounded kind of fishy - especially since word of mouth often ends up nowhere near the original story) and thought of kickback as something that pushes you out or bounces the saw out and into your leg. The older a saw is and the slower the chain speed, probably the greater chance that the saw pushes you out.

I think a timberman with years of experience can probably operate an older saw with no brake safely, but I know I wouldn't want to do it long (and I"ve cut a fair amount).

Chainsaws are a lot like tablesaw kickback events - sometimes you get some warning signs, and a lot of people respond by trying to push through rather than stopping. Once the event occurs, it's faster than your reactions will ever be.

Both hands on the saw.
 

Ttrees

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Sounds like there is burrs on the chain where it runs in the track,
This can happen easy enough with cheap electric saws, with bad tensioning systems.
It's just an awkward job to get a file to the inside of the chain,
not difficult to fix though.
Next time keep an eye on how much that chain is expanding with the heat, and keep it sharp, and let the saw run to cool off afterwards.
Sounds like it was getting blunt and expanded.

Tom
 

bansobaby

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Not quite. The brake can indeed be activated by inertia force, generally a side swipe type of movement, but the top of the brake lever is designed to come into contact with your top hand in the event of an upward kickback.
Again not quite😁
The paddle on the chain brake lever in front of the top handle is really only there to enable deactivation of the chain brake. In a kickback scenario the brake will be activated eons before your hand comes into contact with the lever. Just pickup a saw and try to envisage how the mechanics work, or better still look at slow mo lab video showing how it works.
Top handle saws such as the 020 can be used with a grip that means you can’t activate the brake with your hand, but the brake will still work.....
 
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