Why Is My Chainsaw Not Moving

Why Is My Chainsaw Not Moving?

You might think that you’re aware of all the problems that you will face with a chainsaw, but you may be stuck on one issue that you don’t understand or know the answer to. Confused about why your chainsaw chain hasn’t been moving correctly and don’t know what to do about it? If so, we wrote this article specifically for you.

Although there might be several reasons that this is happening, one possible explanation is that the chain may be tensioned too tightly. When this happens, the blade stops rotating while the throttle is engaged. This mechanism can cause damage to the clutch and other parts, so it’s essential to check and adjust the tension whenever necessary.

If you want to learn more about topics like what you should be checking if your chain isn’t rotating, what precautions you should take before you start working on them, or when you should be taking your chainsaw to a professional, keep on reading!

Why Is My Chainsaw Not Moving

Why is my chainsaw chain not moving?

Once you understand the workings of the chainsaw, it’ll be easier for you to pinpoint why your machine is acting up. That way, you can get the problem fixed yourself, or you’ll realize that you need the help of a professional. This will make the job both more accessible and quicker.

What do I check first if the chain isn’t rotating?

The chain brake is set

The chain brake is a specific mechanism made so that the chain can stop rotating around the bar. No matter how hard you try, the chain will not move as long as the chain brake is set. The handle will have to be pulled back to release the chain and get the engine working.

The chain brake is locked

If you tried the solution we provided above, and it still doesn’t work, your chain brake may be damaged or locked. It gets locked when the clutch cover is removed while the brake is still on. However, resetting the chain brake can fix this quickly by resetting the chain brake. Reinstalling the clutch cover is an integral part of doing this, which may need some strength, but the rest of the job is a lot easier.

The chain may be tensioned too tight

The most common reason why a chainsaw chain might not be moving is that there is a lot of tension in the chain, restricting it from spinning. This is precisely why checking the tension of a chain is an essential part of using a chainsaw. If you forgot to check the tension before, don’t worry, this problem can be fixed quite easily. All you need to do is loosen the bar nuts and rotate the tensioning screw to a suitable tension point. Then tighten the bar nuts, and that’s it!

How can I tell if my chain is tight enough?

If you recently started using chainsaws, it might be hard for you to understand how to check if a chain is too tight. Just pull the chain on the bottom of the guide bar to get a couple of guide links out of the bar and then release it. If the chain snaps back to its original position, then that means that it’s at a good tension, and you do not need to loosen or tighten it. If it starts to loosen, tighten it again after letting the saw cool down.

Here’s a helpful video that will guide you while you’re working on it yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxgQSPQeYYM

What precautions should I take before fixing the chainsaw?

Most of us know just how dangerous these saws are. They can lead to severe injuries, and they can slash through skin and bones without you even realizing it. Brendon Urie wouldn’t have said, “If I was a serial killer? How would I kill somebody? I’m a very compulsive person… I’d chainsaw people” had chainsaws not been extremely menacing. In order to stay safe while you work on making your machine better, here are a couple of things you should do.

Check all the controls and bolts to have maximum security. Each chainsaw has different handles and controls that you will first have to learn about before working on them. Please do not go into the job first-hand without knowing anything about it.

Secondly, always make sure to use safety equipment to protect you. These include safety glasses, work gloves, and hard hats. Try to always have these on hand with you before starting to work with a chainsaw. Reading the user manual is also a great option to know more about what you’re dealing with.

What should I get checked out professionally?

If you’ve figured out the problem and still feel like the chain isn’t moving correctly, you will need to get it checked out by someone experienced. A couple of things that might be hard for you to fix at home are: the chainsaw guide and chain being damaged, the drive assembly broken, and the chain not being installed right. Do not try to work with these problems at home because using a chainsaw is dangerous, but fixing it is even worse and can lead to painful wounds.

Here are two times when you should rush to a professional to get it checked out rather than working on it yourself at home.


Chainsaws usually use a centrifugal clutch which only works when the engine is spinning fast but stops working when the engine is slower. The crankshaft spins when the clutch is working, which is what is responsible for the chain rotating. When the motor does not spin fast enough, none of these mechanisms work with each other, so the chain stops turning, and you cannot use your chainsaw. To fix this, you will have to get the engine checked out.


If you can feel the engine running smoothly but the chain won’t turn, the problem probably arises from the clutch. Again, the chain is attached to the crankshaft, which is responsible for the chain’s rotation. When the clutch is broken, there is no rotation. A failed clutch is easy enough to replace, but we’d recommend you get it done by someone used to doing it. One wrong move by you, and the entire chainsaw will be damaged.



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