Stihl Chainsaw: Signs It Is Time For a New Chainsaw Chain



From easy felling of trees in your garden to pruning back gnarled bushes to cutting logs for an evening fire, chainsaws make easy work of your wood cutting needs. When your chainsaw is not performing optimally, your quick job of cutting some logs can turn into hours of confusion and frustration. The most common culprit to a poor-performing chainsaw is an issue with your chain. We highlight the signs that you need to replace your chainsaw chain and the possible causes that may have resulted in your chain becoming damaged or dull. When looking for a chainsaw for home use, a Stihl chainsaw from B&S Commercial Power will offer the best performance for every cutting job.




Signs You Need To Replace Your Chainsaw Chain:


Chainsaws are the optimal power tool to have stored in your garden shed. Owning a chainsaw means becoming accustomed to the effectiveness and performance that a chainsaw offers for all wood cutting. When your chainsaw is no longer working at its standard operating level, the problem will most likely lie with your chainsaw chain. We have highlighted the top signs that there is an issue with your chainsaw chain and that it is time to get a new one.


1) Poor Cutting Performance:


Poor cutting performance is what will immediately signify to you that there is a problem with your chainsaw. When your chainsaw chain is sharp and maintained, cutting through the wood will be effortless and the cut will be clean. When the chain is dull or damaged, the cutting process will take longer and the cut will be uneven. You can simply sharpen your chain, but if you have already sharpened your chain or it is an older chain, we recommend replacing the chain.


2) Broken, Damaged, or Missing Chain Teeth:


Before you start operating your chainsaw, it is important to assess the quality of the chain teeth. The teeth of the chain are what does the cutting work of the chainsaw, therefore, they need to be in optimal condition. If you notice any broken, damaged, or missing chain teeth, you will need to replace the chain as these cannot be fixed.


3) Smoke:


A chainsaw should never produce smoke whilst in operation. Chainsaws are designed to handle the heat from the friction of the moving chain against the wood. If you have paid special attention to ensuring the correct chain tension, you have kept your chainsaw maintained with lubricant, and your oil has been replaced, a smoking chainsaw is an indication that your chain is dull or there is another problem with the chain. When you notice smoke, switch the chainsaw off immediately as the smoke caused by the friction may cause the chainsaw to ignite and cause injuries.




4) Dragging In One Direction:


If you find that your chainsaw is dragging or pulling you in a single direction whilst you are operating the chainsaw, then this is a sign that there is a problem with the chainsaw chain. The chain may be dull or unevenly worn or there are a few teeth that are broken or missing. If your chainsaw is dragging in one direction, you can solve the problem by sharpening the chain. If you have sharpened the chain multiple times previously, then you will need to purchase a new chain.


5) Fine Dust:


The dust your chainsaw produces is also an indication of any problems with the chain. Chainsaws should produce both fine dust and coarser strands. If your cuts with your chainsaw are only producing a spray of fine dust, then your chainsaw chain is too dull. At this point, we recommend replacing the chainsaw chain with a new, sharp one.


6) Rattling:


Chainsaws are noisy, but they should never produce a rattling, banging, or clanking noise. These types of noises demonstrate that your chainsaw chain is problematic. The rattling is essentially the chain jumping out of place which will result in uneven cuts. The rattling will also reduce your control over the chainsaw and can result in a severe accident. When your chainsaw starts rattling, it is important for your safety to replace your chain immediately before you use it again.


7) Requires More Force:


An indication of a dull chainsaw chain is the requirement of additional force whilst you are using your chainsaw. A dull chain will not grip into the wood, forcing you to push more weight into the chainsaw. This is not recommended as the additional force will cause further damage to your chain. Additional force can then also place stress on your chainsaw and bar, and possibly lead to you needing to replace the entire chainsaw and not just the chain. The moment you feel you need to push down more on your chainsaw, stop operating and replace the chain.


Causes of Damage To Chainsaw Chain:


While it is normal that chainsaw chains wear down over time, you may feel that your chainsaw chain is prematurely damaged or dull. We have highlighted a few common causes that can lead to a damaged or dull chainsaw chain. After you have replaced your chainsaw chain, you can then avoid these actions to ensure longevity and durability in your new chain.


1) Contact With Ground:


Although sometimes unavoidable, your chainsaw chain should never come into contact with the ground. When you are working on a concrete or solid surface, contact with the ground can cause immediate damage to your chain. If you are working on a soil surface, small stones or hard debris in the soil can dull your chain. It is always recommended that you avoid your chainsaw touching the ground when cutting wood to preserve the quality of your chain.


2) Lack of Maintenance:


A chainsaw chain that is not maintained will become dull at a faster rate. After cutting your wood, your chainsaw chain will be covered in sawdust, dirt, and debris. As these particles decompose, they begin to become abrasive to your chainsaw chain which will reduce the sharpness of the chain. Ensure that your chainsaw is cleaned after every use and well lubricated before you use the chainsaw to ensure optimal performance.


3) Over Sharpening:


Chainsaw chains need to be sharpened due to becoming worn down when they are used to cut wood. While sharpening is an expected maintenance procedure, you also should not over sharpen your chainsaw chain. Over sharpening your chain will increase the time between needing to replace your chainsaw chain, and can therefore become an unnecessary expense. The accepted chainsaw sharpening amount is recommended three to five times, but this also depends on the consistency of your use and the type of wood you are cutting.




4) Nails In Wood:


This is an unfortunate occurrence that will damage the chain of your chainsaw. Often, when cutting spare pieces of wood, there can be nails in the wood that you were unaware of. When you are cutting through the wood and your chainsaw comes into contact with the nail, the chain will become blunt or can get damaged. When cutting pieces of wood, it is important to thoroughly check them for any nails or other foreign matter to preserve the sharpness of your chain.


5) Low-Quality Chain:


Each specific chainsaw brand will develop a chain that is perfectly suited to its chainsaws and different cutting requirements. If you are opting to use a cheaper, lower quality chain on your chainsaw then you can expect the chain to become dull at a faster rate or be more prone to damages. We recommend opting for chains that are produced by the same manufacturer as your chainsaw to ensure longevity and optimal performance.


Stihl Chainsaw at B&S Commercial Power:


Since 2020, B&S Commercial Power has been a proud supplier of Stihl chainsaws. We have selected to partner with Stihl based on the high performance, attention to safety, and exceptional technological advancement in every Stihl chainsaw and other Stihl power tools. We strive to provide you with the best of international brands at a rate every South African homeowner can afford, which is yet another reason why we have Stihl chainsaws available on our shelves and for delivery. We offer these three exceptional Stihl chainsaws that will make quick work of your cutting needs at home.


  1. Stihl MS170 Chainsaw: Our first Stihl chainsaw is the Stihl MS170 Chainsaw, a lightweight Stihl chainsaw that is easy to use and suitable for cutting thin wood and sawing firewood. Stihl takes considerate care to create chainsaws that are optimally designed for convenient holding and master control.
  2. Stihl MS250 Chainsaw: The power and performance of the Stihl MS250 Chainsaw ensure that it is readily capable of handling both light and tough cutting jobs. From small tree limbs to tree stumps, this Stihl chainsaw is an excellent choice for homeowners. Despite the extra power, it is still a lightweight and easy-to-use chainsaw.
  3. Stihl MSE 141 Chainsaw: Specifically designed for ergonomics and manoeuvrability, the Stihl MSE 141 Chainsaw is an excellent Stihl chainsaw for long-cutting projects. With features that ensure easy adjustment to the chain tension, it is simple to maintain the effectiveness of this Stihl chainsaw. The Stihl QuickStop chain brake adds extra safety whilst you are using your Stihl chainsaw.




In addition to our supply of Stihl chainsaws, we also stock all the necessary spare parts and chains. When you need to replace your chain or perform maintenance and repairs on your Stihl chainsaw, we have you completely covered. With B&S Commercial Power, we have a solution to all your chainsaw needs.


At our Cape Town-based store, you have access to attend regular training workshops by all our international and local manufacturers. If you are a proud owner of a Stihl chainsaw, you can attend a Stihl workshop to learn about recommended use, maintenance, and repair tips directly from Stihl manufacturers. If you are unable to attend a workshop, the B&S Commercial Power team is comprised of trained and experienced staff that will readily assist you.


About B&S Commercial Power:


B&S Commercial Power has been supplying quality power tools since 2003. Our years in the power tool supply industry have equipped us with the experience to ensure we always provide you with high-performance tools, quality advice, and easy accessibility to international and local brands. Whether your needs are commercial or for residential purposes, we will be your total power tool solution.


If you are unable to attend our Cape Town-based store and have a query regarding a specific power tool or brand, you can easily get in contact with us via email, phone call, or our online chat service. We have a team of assistants ready to answer any of your queries or concerns. Promptness, professionalism, and consideration are what we offer when you get in contact with us regarding a power tool.


B&S Commercial Power has you covered with new Stihl chainsaws and chain replacements for when your Stihl chain needs to be replaced.