Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

Your chainsaw may cut crooked due to a dull or damaged chain or bar. A chainsaw is a crucial tool for professional loggers, homeowners, and diy enthusiasts.

However, it can be complicated to operate, especially for newbies. You might have experienced a situation where your chainsaw cuts crooked rather than slicing smoothly through wood. This could be due to various reasons, such as a damaged chain, a dull bar, or an overly tight or loose tension chain.

Cutting with a crooked chain can be dangerous and lead to structural damage to wood. Therefore, you must understand the reasons behind your chainsaw’s crooked cuts and appropriate solutions to fix them. This article will provide you with the necessary insights to diagnose and address the issue of a crooked cutting chainsaw.

Understanding Chainsaw Basics

Chainsaws are used for various purposes, such as cutting wood, pruning trees, and trimming shrubs. However, some users find that their chainsaw cuts crooked, which can be very frustrating. Understanding the basics of a chainsaw can help identify why a chainsaw is cutting crooked, and how to use it correctly.

What Is A Chainsaw?

A chainsaw is a portable, motorized tool used for cutting wood. It has a long, sharp blade that consists of small teeth, which rotate at a high speed. Chainsaws are available in different sizes and are powered by different types of fuel, electric or gasoline being the most common.

How Does It Work?

A chainsaw cuts by using a chain made up of cutting teeth and drive links. These teeth cut into the wood, and the drive links propel the chain around the guide bar. The guide bar is a long, narrow metal bar that supports the chain.

The engine drives the chain, and the speed of the chain depends on the engine’s power output.

When using a chainsaw, it is crucial to ensure that the chain is sharpened correctly, the guide bar is lubricated, and the chain tension is appropriate. Any of these factors can cause a chainsaw to cut crooked if not maintained correctly.

Parts Of A Chainsaw

To understand how a chainsaw works, it is also critical to know its various components. The essential components of a chainsaw include:

  • Engine: This is the power source of the chainsaw. It could either be gasoline or electric.
  • Guide bar: This is the long, metal bar that supports the chain.
  • Chain: This is the cutting component of the chainsaw that is wrapped around the guide bar.
  • Chain brake: This is a safety mechanism that stops the chain from rotating around the guide bar.
  • Chain tensioner: This component allows the user to adjust the tension of the chain.
  • Throttle trigger: This component controls the speed of the chain rotation.
  • On and off switch: This component turns the chainsaw on and off.

Understanding the basics of a chainsaw is critical when it comes to using it correctly and maintaining it. Using a chainsaw that cuts crooked can be hazardous, and it is essential to understand why it is cutting crooked, so it can be remedied.

Common Causes Of Crooked Chainsaw Cuts

Chainsaws are powerful tools used to turn enormous logs into firewood within seconds. But sometimes, you might notice that the chainsaw cuts crooked. This can be frustrating, especially if you have a lot of work to do. Fortunately, many things can cause crooked chainsaw cuts.

In this section, we will look at some of the common causes of crooked chainsaw cuts.

Dull Chainsaw Chain

Using a dull chainsaw chain is one of the main causes of crooked chainsaw cuts. Here are some key points:

  • Dull chainsaw chains do not make straight cuts, which can cause the chainsaw to drift while cutting.
  • When a chainsaw chain is dull, it can cut through some parts of the wood while leaving some behind. This contributes to crooked cuts.
  • Make sure to sharpen the chainsaw chain regularly to prevent dulling.

Damaged Chainsaw Chain

A damaged chainsaw chain can also cause crooked chainsaw cuts. Here are some things you should know:

  • Damaged chainsaw chains can create irregular teeth spacing that causes inconsistencies in cuts.
  • It can also result in uneven chainsaw pressure, which can lead to crooked cuts.
  • Ensure you perform regular maintenance and inspect the chainsaw chain to prevent damage.

Loose Chainsaw Chain Tension

Another common cause of crooked chainsaw cuts is loose chainsaw chain tension. Below are some essential points:

  • A chainsaw chain that is too loose will sag and can lead to crooked cuts.
  • A loose chainsaw chain can also pop out of the guide bar rail, making the cut less straight.
  • Properly adjust the chainsaw chain tension before use to prevent sagging and ensure a straighter cut.

Uneven Chainsaw Bar

An uneven chainsaw bar can also cause crooked chainsaw cuts. Here is what you need to know:

  • Uneven chainsaw bars can bend in one direction, making it challenging to cut straight.
  • A bent chainsaw bar can also lead to increased vibration, which can create crooked cuts.
  • It’s crucial to make sure the chainsaw bar is even and in proper working condition before any cutting task.

Incorrect Chainsaw Chain Size

Using the incorrect chainsaw chain size is another cause of crooked chainsaw cuts. Here are some key points:

  • A chainsaw chain that is too long or too short can cause crooked cuts.
  • An incorrect chainsaw chain size can also lead to improper chain tension and cause the chainsaw to make an uneven cut.
  • Always select the right chainsaw chain size for the job to ensure straighter cuts.

A chainsaw that cuts crookedly can be frustrating, but there are many things you can do to prevent crooked chainsaw cuts. Proper maintenance and inspection, correct tensioning, and using the right chain size can all contribute to straighter cuts and better results.

Preventing Crooked Chainsaw Cuts

Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked?

Chainsaws are a popular tool in a woodcutter’s workshop. They are known for their efficiency and fast cutting speed. However, chainsaws may sometimes cut crooked, making it challenging to achieve the desired results. Cutting crooked, in many cases, is due to misuse or improper use of chainsaws.

We’ll explore ways to prevent crooked chainsaw cuts.

Maintaining Chainsaw Chain Sharpness

A chainsaw’s performance depends on its blade’s sharpness. The sharper the blade, the smoother and straighter the cut will be. Here are some tips to help maintain chainsaw blade sharpness:

  • Keep the chainsaw chain sharp using a chainsaw file or an electric sharpener.
  • Avoid touching rocks, sand, or metal with the chain.
  • Use the chainsaw correctly and do not push it too hard.
  • Stop the chainsaw if you notice it’s becoming blunt and sharpen the chain before continuing with the task.

Regular Chainsaw Chain Inspections

Chainsaw chain inspections are essential in maintaining safety and preventing crooked cuts. Check the chainsaw chain regularly and do the following:

  • Make sure the chain remains sharp and clean.
  • Look out for signs of wear and tear such as chipped or broken teeth.
  • Check the chain and ensure it has proper tension.

Tightening Chainsaw Chain Tension Properly

The chainsaw chain must have proper tension to avoid cutting crookedly. To ensure that the chain is tight correctly, follow these steps:

  • Check the chainsaw manual for instructions on tightening the chain and follow them carefully.
  • Check the chain tension regularly.
  • Make sure the chain tension is right before starting the chainsaw.

Checking Chainsaw Bar For Damage And Straightness

The chainsaw bar can bend or wear unevenly, causing the chain to cut crooked. To solve this issue, do the following:

  • Check the chainsaw bar for bends or damage.
  • Replace any damaged or bent bars immediately.
  • Check the chainsaw bar regularly for signs of wear and replace it if necessary.

Choosing The Right Chainsaw Chain Size

Choosing the right chainsaw chain size is crucial to prevent crooked cuts. Before you buy a chainsaw, take into consideration the jobs you’ll be doing, and what chain size it’ll take. Here are some tips to help you select the right chainsaw chain size:

  • Consider the task at hand while purchasing the chainsaw and the chain.
  • Check the chainsaw manual for information on which chain to use.
  • Consult with a professional before making your purchase.

In Conclusion

Maintaining a chainsaw is essential to ensure that it operates efficiently and prevents crooked cutting. By following the tips outlined you can prevent crooked cuts, and your chainsaw will remain in good working order for longer.

Troubleshooting Crooked Chainsaw Cuts

Identifying Crookedness In Chainsaw Cuts

Chainsaws are an essential tool for farmers, landscapers, and even homeowners. However, problems may arise when the machine begins to cut crooked. It is important to identify the issue behind the uneven cut to ensure you get the best performance from your chainsaw.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The machine itself may have an alignment issue that will result in crooked cuts. In this case, you might need to take the saw to a professional for repair.
  • The saw’s bar may also be bent or damaged, which will impact the saw’s overall performance. You might need to replace the bar or have it repaired.
  • A loose chain may also result in crooked cuts. Check to ensure the chain is correctly adjusted to the right tension level.

Troubleshooting Dull Chainsaw Chains

If the chainsaw chain is dull or blunt, it can affect the angle of the cut, making it go off course. To troubleshoot this issue, follow these tips:

  • Check if the chainsaw chain is properly sharpened.
  • If the blade is dull, use a chainsaw file to sharpen the edges of the teeth.
  • If the sharpening is difficult, take the chainsaw to a professional.

Troubleshooting Damaged Chainsaw Chains

A damaged chainsaw chain can be a hazard to your safety. To troubleshoot, follow these key points:

  • Inspect the chainsaw chain regularly, especially when you suspect damage.
  • Check if the chain is broken or cracked.
  • If the chain is damaged, replace it immediately to avoid significant damage to your saw or injury to yourself.

Troubleshooting Loose Chainsaw Chain Tension

If the chainsaw chain is too loose or too tight, it can affect the alignment of the saw, making it cut crooked. To adjust this issue, follow these tips:

  • Check the tension of the chainsaw chain.
  • Tighten the chain to the right level of tension per manufacturer instructions.
  • Ensure the chain is lubricated after a few hours of use.

Troubleshooting Uneven Chainsaw Bars

When the chainsaw bar is uneven, it can cause the saw to cut crooked. Here are some tips to troubleshoot this issue:

  • Check the chainsaw bar for any damage or visible wear.
  • Ensure all the bar nuts are tight.
  • Clean the bar groove regularly.

With these tips, you can ensure your chainsaw remains in top condition and cuts straight. Remember to inspect your machine regularly and follow the manufacturer instructions for maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked

Why Is My Chainsaw Cutting Crooked?

Your chainsaw could be cutting crooked due to several reasons – dull or damaged chain, incorrect sharpening angles, uneven bar wear, bent guide bar, and even damaged clutch drum or sprocket.

How Do I Sharpen My Chainsaw?

First, clean and inspect the chain for damage. Use a round file size recommended by the manufacturer to sharpen the cutters at the proper angles. Ensure you also file down the depth gauges to the correct height to ensure smooth cutting.

How Do I Maintain My Chainsaw?

Proper chainsaw maintenance requires regular cleaning, checking and loosening the chain often, inspecting and replacing chains and bars when worn, monitoring chain tension, checking and cleaning air filters, and regular oiling of the chain.

Why Is My Chainsaw Smoking?

Your chainsaw may be smoking due to several reasons such as using improper fuel/oil mixture, bad air filter, clogged exhaust, damaged piston or cylinder, or even improper starting technique. Regular maintenance can help prevent these problems.

Can I Use A Chainsaw To Cut Wet Wood?

Cutting wet wood will quickly dull your chainsaw chain. It’s best to allow the wood to dry for some time before cutting, but if this is not possible, you should use a carbide chain designed for cutting in abrasive mediums and avoid cutting too fast or hard.


After reading this post, it should now be clearer why your chainsaw might be cutting crooked. From a blunt chain to a bent bar, there are a few common reasons for this frustrating problem. It is always important to regularly maintain your chainsaw and to ensure that all parts are working correctly to prevent any potential issues.

Take the time to check for any damage or wear and tear on your chainsaw before each use to ensure optimal performance. Remember, a straight cut is not only important for aesthetics but also for safety reasons. By following these tips, you can prevent your chainsaw from cutting crooked and ensure that your cutting projects are successful and efficient.

As always, take caution and prioritize safety when using any power tool.

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Johnathan Brewer

Hello, I’m Johnathan Brewer, a professional woodworker and power tools salesperson. I’ve worked with top interior designers and architects of the city. With an experience of 11 years in this field, I can suggest the best tips for bigger DIYers. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. I specialize in restoring, repairing, designing, and decorating. There are even some great woodworking tactics that I’d love to share with you. With that information and suggestions, you can do really good professional work in a very short time.

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