I bought 10 inch chainsaw to help cutting small branches. It worked great until the chair came off. I put back the chain on and adjusted to full tension but even in dry run test, the chain comes off. Did this twice but same results.

Does this look like a bad saw or I am doing something wrong? Should I not go with max tension for the chain for some reason? I don’t know how that might work since tension seems like good for cutting.

  • Good tension is when you can pull up the chain in the centre a bit and it snaps back. Take bar off and check for any damage/lopsided. Make sure it always has chain oil on bar and chain. Check sprocket on clutch and that chain is on it. Should be able to move chain around by hand(wear gloves).
    – crip659
    Sep 8, 2021 at 13:29
  • 1
    It might help to specify the make/model of the saw. It would also help to included pics of your saw with the chain reinstalled, and maybe even a link to the "chain tensioning" page of the instructions. Someone here may see something that you've missed, but not have a clue based on simply your description.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 8, 2021 at 13:58
  • What do you mean by "come off"? Does it break (so that it's not a loop anymore) and fly off? Or does it just slip off the bar intact?
    – TooTea
    Sep 8, 2021 at 14:01
  • Can you describe what "full tension" means (how are you testing that) and what "comes off" means (how is it coming off)? Maybe you are not locking down the tensioner correctly. Some saws have a finicky procedure to do that. So it feels tight to you, but under power the bar manages to move and the chain simply falls off?
    – jay613
    Sep 8, 2021 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


When my 16" chain got pinched on a big branch and subsequently flew off the bar it damaged several drive links.

I decided it was best to just buy a new chain instead of risking damage to my chainsaw; the chain is considerably less expensive than my chainsaw. It's also considerably less expensive than a damaged body part.

Remove the chain completely from your saw and inspect every inch of it. If something looks bent then it's not fitting into the sprocket properly and you'll be buying a new chainsaw in short order.

I cannot comment on your claim about proper tension since you provided no pictures.

Your chainsaw manual should have tensioning instructions. There are countless YouTube videos on the subject as well. If you bought a cheap homeowner-grade chainsaw then it's quite possibly just a crappy chainsaw and the chain will always fly off.

In general you should be able to tug on the chain and it should snap back and hug the bar. It should be difficult (not impossible) to derail the drive links out of the bar.


  • 2
    Not only is a new chain cheaper than a new saw, it's cheaper than fixing any body parts that a flying chain may come in contact with!
    – FreeMan
    Sep 8, 2021 at 13:57
  • @FreeMan Good point, added to my answer!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 8, 2021 at 15:16
  • The defect might also be in the bar. Inspect it too. A new bar is cheaper than a whole saw (and any human body part, too).
    – coderjohn
    Sep 8, 2021 at 17:02

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