Chainsaw Chain Won’t Fit In Bar (4 Reasons + Solutions)

A chainsaw can be a very useful tool for a homeowner and a gardener. It is quite simple to use and can assist in many tasks.

But similar to all tools, you may have to face certain issues with it. Among these, chains not fitting the saw is a common issue.

Chainsaw chains won’t fit in the bar can be several reasons for this. Mismatch of chain length, gauge, drive link, and pitch with the chainsaw can be some of the key reasons behind it.

Apart from that, if the bar has been worn out or damaged, the chain may not fit in the saw bar. In that case, you will need to replace the bar.

We have prepared a troubleshooting guide that will help you to identify the problem and pitch a solution to that.

Chainsaw Chain Won’t Fit In Bar: What’s The Problem?


There are quite a few reasons that may restrict the chain from fitting into the chainsaw bar.

In most cases, it is due to wrong chain gauges and measurements or damaged chains. There can be other reasons behind this problem as well.

Reason 1. Wrong Chain Size

The most common case is getting a chain of the wrong size.

If you’ve grabbed a different-size chain for your chainsaw, it won’t fit the bar. Chains come with specific size, pitch, gauge, and drive link attributes. If they don’t match with your saw, it won’t work.

If you don’t find the chain measurements of your chainsaw, you may refer to the user manual.

In most cases, you won’t need to search for it too much as many chainsaws come with a stamp in the bar with the required measurements.

You will need a chain matching the exact measurements of the bar. If you purchase a smaller or bigger chain size, the chain won’t fit the bar. The chain can frequently come out as well.

Reason 2. Chain Tension

If the chain tension of your chainsaw bar is too much, it may restrict the chain to fit the bar.

Tension systems can be different for various chainsaws. Most of the available chainsaws in the market use pressure on the blade to hold the chain tight in the bar.

If there’s a variation of tension in the chainsaw bar, it may not fit. Chain tension needs to be on an optimum level to fit the bar perfectly.

Without a snug fit, you shouldn’t turn the chainsaw on as it may have terrible consequences.

Reason 3. Damaged Chainsaw Bar

If you have the right chain size and a working chainsaw tension system, we can assume that the chainsaw bar has some issues with it.

If the chainsaw is old and the bar has not been replaced yet, there are high chance that the bar is worn down.

When the chainsaw bar is worn down, it is difficult for it to fit the bar. It will also restrict the chain to stay on the bar and let it loose every time.

In such cases, replacement or re-profiling of the bar becomes an essential activity.

If you want to stay safe and work with the chainsaw safely, please check your chainsaw bar and chain regularly. Problems with any of these two can induce serious accidents.

Reason 4. Lack of Lubrication

If the bar is missing lubrication, it may fail to fit the chain in the bar. Lubrication helps the chain to go into the bar easily and run smoothly.

Without enough lubrication, the chain will get stuck while trying to fit it into the chainsaw bar.

Lubrication also helps to reduce bar tension. So, lack of lubrication in the bar can increase the chain tension and thus, fail to fit the chain.

Every time you refuel the chainsaw, it is recommended that you oil the bar to keep the chain tension minimum.

For lubrication, you can use bar oils that are available in the same hardware shop where you get your chains from.

Fit The Chainsaw Chain In Bar: The Fix!

The first thing you need to do to make the chain fit your chainsaw bar is to ensure that you got the right chain.

Depending on the size of the chainsaw, chain pitch, drive link attributes, and gauge can be different for each saw.

So, get the one that is made for your chainsaw. Check the user manual or bar stamp if you forgot the chain size.

If you can’t find it anywhere, try determining the replacement chain size by looking closely at the chain.

Get some good bar oil. Even if you get the perfect chain size for your chainsaw, lack of lubrication will make you suffer.

Applying a good bar oil will allow you to smoothly adjust the chain to the saw. Thus, you may not face any fitting trouble.

It also helps to run the chainsaw better and keep the saw in better condition. Lack of lubrication may induce corrosion on the bar.

The availability of lubrication will reduce the chain tension as well. So, that’s a plus too. A lower chain tension will ensure a good fit of the chain in the chainsaw bar.

If the fix mentioned above fails to fix the issue, then you may consider changing the chainsaw bar. As the chainsaw gets old, the components of the bar get weaker and prone to bends.

Check out for any worn-out sprockets as well. If the bar and sprockets are the problems, you will need to replace them.

We recommend you not to take any risk with it and contact a chainsaw maintenance professional.

If you have followed all the fixes properly, you should have a working chainsaw.


How Can I Fit A Chain In My Chainsaw?

Get a chain according to the specifications of your chainsaw. Follow the instructions on the manual step-by-step to change and fit the chain.

Will Any Chain Fit In My Chainsaw?

No. The replacement chain must match the size of the gauge, drive links, and pitch of the chainsaw. If the specifications don’t match, the chain won’t fit.

Why Does My Chainsaw Chain Come Off?

There can be two reasons for that. One, if the chainsaw bar condition is very poor. Two, if the chain tension on the saw isn’t perfect.

Wrap Up!

We hope now you know why your chainsaw chain won’t fit in the bar. If you can solve the problems by yourself after reading the article – bravo! If you are still hesitating, we recommend you call in a professional.

If you have any feedback, do let us know below. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

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