A chainsaw isn’t any good when the chain on the saw won’t move. Check the condition of the bar and chain to ensure they are in good condition for both performance and safety.
A Husqvarna chainsaw chain won’t move, rotate or spin when the chain brake is activated, the chain tension is too tight, the clutch pads are worn, or the bar and chain are not sufficiently lubricated.
Before checking your bar and chain, turn the chainsaw off, remove the spark plug wire and wait for all parts to stop moving. Wear safety gloves and follow all safety precautions listed in the operator’s manual.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons a Husqvarna Chain Won’t Turn, Move or Spin
Chain Brake Activated
The chain brake is a safety device on a Husqvarna chainsaw that reduces injury by stopping the chain in the event of a kickback when the saw kicks up and back at the user. There is a plastic hand guard in front of the handle on the saw that engages the chain brake when pushed forward.
Check the hand guard to make sure it isn’t pushed forward activating the chain brake. You may have accidentally pushed the guard forward causing the chain to stop. Pull the guard to the rear to disengage the brake.
Lack of Bar and Chain Oil
The bar and chain must be kept lubricated or you will experience increased friction and a buildup of heat. The chain will begin to move very slowly without sufficient lubrication.
To check for sufficient oil on the bar, run your chainsaw at about 1/2-3/4 throttle. What you are looking for is a line of oil coming off the bar while holding it less than a foot off the ground.
If you aren’t getting good lubrication, make sure the bar is in good condition and the oil channel isn’t blocked. Replace a worn or damaged guide bar.
Make sure the bar and chain are well lubricated. Refill the bar and chain oil every time you fill up with fuel so you don’t run out. Note: If you are running too thin of oil, you may run out of chain oil before it’s time to refill the fuel tank.
Change Bar and Chain Oil with the Ambient Temperature
- Thinner oil for cold temperatures: Oil will thicken and become tackier in cold temperatures.
- Standard weight for warmer temperatures
Husqvarna Chain Tension
The chain should be adjusted regularly as it will become a little longer the more you use it. When the chain is too tight, it will not rotate around the bar.
Adjust the chain tension on a Husqvarna chainsaw:
- Remove the spark plug wire.
- Unlock the chain brake.
- Loosen the bar retaining nuts that hold on the cover over the clutch and chain brake.
- Hold the nose of the bar up.
- Turn the tensioning screw counter-clockwise to loosen the chain and clockwise to tighten the chain.
- Once you achieve the correct tension, tighten the bar retaining nuts while continuing to hold the bar nose up.
You want the chain to sit securely around the bar, but still able to move easily. You don’t want it too loose that it hangs from the guide bar.
Worn Clutch Pads
The clutch pads can wear with time. When this happens, they won’t engage the clutch drum to turn the chain. The clutch assembly on a Husqvarna chainsaw will need to be replaced.
Reasons a Chain Moves at Idle Speed on a Husqvarna Chainsaw
Carburetor Needs Adjustment
A Husqvarna chain should not move when the chainsaw is idling. If yours does, you need to adjust the saw to stop the chain from moving.
There are adjustment screws on the carburetor that adjust the mixture of fuel to air. One of the adjustments screws, the “T Screw” adjusts the idle speed affecting chain movement.
Adjust idle speed so the chain doesn’t move while idling begins by turning the screw counter-clockwise until the chain stops moving.
Worn Clutch Springs
On a Husqvarna chainsaw centrifugal clutch, there are springs that retract the clutch weights. When the engine speeds up, the centrifugal force pushes the weights outward making contact with the drum. The drum spins making the chain move on the bar.
When the engine slows down, the spring retracts the clutch weights and the chain is supposed to stop moving. If your chain continues to move, you may have a worn spring that needs to be replaced.
Still Having Troubles With Your Husqvarna Chainsaw?
As the owner of a Husqvarna chainsaw, you’re going to run into problems with it occasionally. This is true of all chainsaws.
To help you quickly identify the cause of your problem and how to fix it, I’ve put together a handy reference guide. You will find charts with problems and solutions to many common Husqvarna chainsaw issues along with links to information in more detail.
Check out Common Husqvarna Chainsaw Problems for help solving problems with your chainsaw not starting, the chain not turning, the engine dying, a loss of power, and more.