If you’ve noticed that your chainsaw cuts crooked then the first thing you should do is stop using it. That’s because you should never have a crooked cut and it means there’s something going on with your chainsaw. Just what specifically is happening may not be as clear right from the start, however.
One of the most common reasons that you’ll have an uneven cut when using your chainsaw is that your chain isn’t sharpened properly. If the chain is sharpened unevenly then it’s going to do a better job cutting in one direction than the other. The blade will pull to the better-sharpened side and you’ll end up with an uneven job.
This can happen entirely by accident if you’re manually sharpening your blades because you’ll end up sharpening one side with your dominant hand and one with your non-dominant hand. The side you sharpen with your dominant hand will naturally be sharper because it’s easier for you to do that side.
You’ll need to very carefully sharpen the side you did with your non-dominant hand to make sure it matches the sharpness of the other side, and going forward you’ll need to pay even closer attention to both sides to get a good edge.
Sharpening the chain incorrectly is not the only way that you can get an uneven cut. You may also have a bar that is just not working properly anymore. Now, since an uneven chain is typically the reason, you’ll want to start by checking that. If you see there’s nothing wrong with the chain then take a few minutes to check out the bar.
Watch the bar when you’re working and you should be able to see if there’s a lot of movement to it. If there is too much movement you’ll find that the chainsaw doesn’t run right and you end up with an uneven cut. The good news is, you may not have to buy a new bar right away.
You can actually flip the bar to get some more life out of it. This will give you a little more power, help you keep the bar longer, and also get rid of that uneven cutting. Plus, it’s going to save you money in the end. You can even switch the bar back and forth each time that you sharpen your chain if you really want to keep the wear even.
Why it Matters
Make sure that you’re not just ignoring those uneven cuts and continuing to use your saw. You may be tempted if you’re just cutting your own firewood or cutting pieces where the edges aren’t important, but it’s bad for your saw and bad for your chains. Instead, take the time to figure out what the problem is and then get it fixed.
It won’t take much to resolve the issue and before you know it your saw will be cutting just like new again, and on a straight line that you can count on.
Walt moonlights as a handyman after getting off his busy job as a commodities trader. He enjoys writing about all things related to DIY, home improvement, etc.