5 Signs Of A Dull Saw Chain You Need To Know

I’ve been in the woodworking business for quite some time, and I’ve found that the beauty of using a chainsaw is that it can get the job done quickly. Yes, it is pretty rough and tough to handle. However, the way the chainsaw sears its way through the wood is just poetry in motion for an old lumberjack like me.


One question that a lot of newbie chainsaw users tend to ask me is: What happens when the chainsaw can’t get the job done like it’s supposed to? What if it can’t cut through the wood and get stuck in position? When that happens, it’s either you’ve bought a defective chainsaw or it’s showing signs of a worn out chainsaw. That said, you should check for signs of a dull saw chain. Then, you’ll know when to replace the chainsaw chain.

First of all, the chainsaw relies on the sharpness of the blade and the fast rotation of the chain to cut wood.

So what will happen if the chainsaw is worn out?

If the chain isn’t sharp enough, it won’t be able to slice through the wood. Instead, it’ll get stuck in the wood while the engine is still running.

When that happens, the engine will eventually burn out from the pressure.

If you’re lucky enough and the engine doesn’t burn out, you’ll get a crooked cut when you saw the wood out. You’ll also hear a lot of rattling noise from your chainsaw, which is a sign of damage.

Cutting with a dull chain will not only stress the chain but also the guide bar, sprocket, and powerhead.


To make sure that your chainsaw continues to operate well, you need to know how to sharpen a chainsaw chain.

Keeping the chain sharp will put less strain on the chainsaw engine. It will also make cutting safer.

5 Signs Of A Dull Saw Chain

Chains are covered with industrial chrome. This wears off as the chain hit grit, dirt, and other forms of debris. When the chrome finally wears off, the cutting edge will appear dull.

But exactly how can you tell that it’s time to sharpen your chainsaw?

Here are the top 5 signs you should watch out for:


A sharp chainsaw will only require little force for you to cut through the wood. On the other hand, a dull chain needs more applied pressure for you to finally penetrate the material. If the chainsaw creates resistance when you cut through the wood, you put more pressure on it.

Production Of Fine Sawdust

Whenever you cut vertically, a sharp chainsaw produces large pieces of coarse sawdust. If your chainsaw produces fine sawdust instead of coarse strands, then it means it’s becoming dull. It might be time for you to start sharpening your chainsaw chain.

Crooked Cut

If you notice that more of your cuts are getting crooked, it is an indication of dull chainsaw teeth on one side of your chain. Uneven cutting teeth lengths allows the chainsaw to wander from the direction you’re aiming.

Creation Of Smoke

Smoke could mean that the chains are not lubricated well and don’t have enough tension. However, if you have just lubricated your chain and see that everything is tightly in place, then the smoke most probably comes from the pressure in the engine unit because of a dull blade.

Production Of Noise

A chainsaw often makes noise. However, if it’s louder than usual, you might want to start checking the chain.​

A dull chainsaw bounces and creates rattling or clattering noises while you’re making the cut. It will also be difficult for you to position its blade correctly.


If you notice any of the five symptoms of worn chainsaw bar mentioned above, you might want to sharpen your chainsaw chain right away.

However, if your chainsaw is more than one year old, you should consider buying a new chainsaw.

I have a detail buying guide that I think it will help you pick up the best chainsaw for your projects.

Do not settle for a broken chainsaw as you’ll end compromising the quality of your work. Moreover, a sharp chainsaw will help you save energy and time because it allows you to finish the job quickly and easily.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Man Of Family