February 16

4 Reasons Why Your Chainsaw Chain is Smoking

The chain on your chainsaw handles a lot of pressure. This is why it’s subject to lots of threats because of the wear and tear.

One of the most common problems with chains is that they start smoking for no reason. So, why does this happen?

And how can you fix it?

Chainsaw chain smoking is a common problem, but there are some quick fixes that can help you get rid of it, without damaging your chainsaw. You need to understand the cause of the problem, so you can take the right action

Chainsaw Chain Smoking Means Deep Trouble

The first thing to do when you notice that your chain is smoking is to immediately turn off the chainsaw.

If the chain is already smoking, then there were probably some signs of trouble that you’ve previously ignored.

Husqvarna 135 Mark II Gas Powered Chainsaw, 38-cc 2.1-HP, 2-Cycle X-Torq Engine, 16 Inch Chainsaw with Automatic Oiler, For Wood Cutting and Tree Pruning

This is why you need to understand the reasons that cause the chain to smoke, how to avoid them, and what to do when the smoke starts to appear.

Smoking becomes a serious problem, only if you don’t do anything about it. Luckily, it’s easy to identify why there’s smoke while you’re using your chainsaw chain and you can accordingly fix the problem.

You know you have a severe issue if you witness one or all of the following symptoms.

  • The temperature of the chainsaw is higher than usual. You can feel the heat when you’re working.
  • The chain tension is tightening automatically.
  • There’s a burning smell whenever you’re using the chainsaw.
  • There are burn marks on the bar and guide area.
  • There’s continuous smoke in the chain area while you’re working.
Chainsaw chain smoking is a common problem, but there are some quick fixes that can help you get rid of it, without damaging your chainsaw. You need to understand the cause of the problem, so you can take the right action

Why is My Chainsaw Chain Smoking?

It’s not always easy to determine why your chain is smoking, especially if you have no previous experience.

However, the reason is probably one of the following, and dealing with it will keep your chain in perfect condition.

Reason 1: Lack of Air Flow

An air filter on the chainsaw gets dirty with repeated use as the debris and sawdust accumulate on the filter and restrict how much air is allowed to pass through to cool off the engine of the chainsaw. It also causes the chainsaw to work harder than it should.

Remedy: Inspect the Air Filter

Check their air filter and use a brush to remove the debris. Next, apply air pressure to clean all the residue to make sure that the air filter will work the way it should. If you feel that the air filter is too old or too dirty, you can easily replace it.


Reason 2: The Oil Reservoir on the Bar Guide is Empty

Constant lubrication of the chain and bar area is crucial to guarantee that the chainsaw chain will work the way it should. If the oil reservoir is empty or dry, there won’t be enough lubrication, and the excessive friction can cause the overheating and smoking of the chainsaw chain.

Remedy: Fill the Reservoir

Turn off the chainsaw chain and don’t attempt to use it when the chain is smoking. Locate the oil reservoir on the guide bar area and fill it with lubrication oil.

 You need to make sure that you’re using a high-quality oil to protect the parts of your chainsaw. Follow the manufacturer’s manual to avoid any operational issues. The chainsaw should be able to work again with no issues

Reason 3: The Chainsaw Bar is Not Lubricating

In some cases, the oil reservoir might be full of oil. However, the oil wouldn’t reach the bar.

There could be a problem with the mechanism of oil transmission, where there is enough oil in the reservoir, but it’s unable to reach the bar area. This can also happen if the reservoir isn’t clean, so the oil gets trapped and doesn’t provide enough lubrication.

Remedy: Make Sure that the Oil is Reaching the Bar Area

You need to make sure that there’s enough oil in the reservoir and then use the chainsaw and watch if the oil is reaching the bar area. If there’s something wrong with the transmission mechanism, you need to head to a professional.

You might not be able to fix this problem on your own because a professional will have the necessary tools and knowledge to fix any issue with the system.

After filling the oil reservoir, turn on the chainsaw and watch. You should be able to see the oil leaving the reservoir to lubricate the chain. You can also check the reservoir after a while to see if the amount of oil has decreased.

If there’s debris, grease, or dust in the reservoir, the lubrication mechanism might not be working the way it is. In this case, you should use a reservoir cleaner to make sure that the system is working the way it should.


Reason 4: The Chainsaw Chain is too Tight

Adjusting the chainsaw chain tension is a matter of trial and error. After installing the chainsaw chain, you need to make sure that the chain isn’t too loose or too tight, so the chain will be able to cut properly.

When the chainsaw chain is too tight, it can get dull fast. This can also cause excessive friction and smoking of the chain.

Remedy: Check the Tension

If you feel that the chain isn’t properly adjusted, you need to check the tension screw on the front or the side of the bar area. Adjust the screw and check the tension of the chain one more time. There are lots of practical tools that allow you to adjust the tension of the chain successfully.


Wrap Up

There are several reasons that can cause the chainsaw chain to smoke. Nevertheless, you can fix this problem once you have identified the reason.

Make sure that you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions while using and maintaining the chainsaw.

If you still see smoke after trying to solve the problem on your own, you need to head to a professional to examine and fix your chainsaw.

About Me.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Cut The Timber. On this site, I share everything that learned and continue to learn about wood. From grains, to projects, to saws, and everything in between. 

I grew up camping with my family and ended up becoming an Eagle Scout. Currently, my family and I live on a ranch outside of Montana with tons of trees and fire pit fun. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: jeremy@cutthetimber.com


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