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Troy-Bilt Chainsaw Chain Won’t Move or Turn: SOLVED

A damaged guide bar can impact how the chain performs on the bar, but there are other items that can affect the chain’s rotation. Finding and fixing the problem will get you back to cutting with your saw safely.

A Troy-Bilt chainsaw chain will not move or turn on the bar when the chain brake is engaged; the bar and chain are not sufficiently lubricated; the chain tension is too tight, or the clutch pads are worn.

Turn the chainsaw off and wait for all moving parts to stop before checking the chain. Wear protective gloves when working with the sharp chain.

Troy-Bilt Chainsaw Won't Move or Turn

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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 Troy-Bilt Chain Won’t Turn, Move or Spin

Chain Brake Activated

You will find a guard in from of the handle that acts as a safety device on your Troy-Bilt chainsaw. This guard is the chain brake.

The chain brake is activated in the event of a kickback where the chainsaw kicks back at the user. The chain brake is in place to reduce injury by stopping the blade.

The chain brake can also be manually pushed forward to stop the chain as well. This should be done when the chainsaw is not in use or when you are transporting it.

Check that you don’t have the chain brake activated by pulling the guard to the rear of the saw to disengage it and allow the chain to move.

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 3/4 throttle while holding the saw the bar a foot off a flat surface. You should see a line of oil on the ground after running the saw for a few minutes.

If you don’t see oil, you aren’t getting good lubrication. Check the bar to make sure it is in good condition. Replace a worn or damaged guide bar. Next, check the oil channel and clean it out if it is clogged.

On a Troy-Bilt chainsaw with an automatic oiler, you will find an adjustment screw on the oiler. Turn the screw counterclockwise to increase oil flow and clockwise to decrease flow.

Always make sure your Troy-Bilt bar and chain stay 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. Troy-Bilt offers a winter chainsaw oil that works well in cold temperatures.
  • Standard weight for warmer temperatures:

Chain Tension is Too Tight

The chain should be adjusted regularly as it will become longer as you use it. When the chain is adjusted too tight to the bar, it will not rotate around the bar.

Adjust the chain tension on a Troy-Bilt 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 the chains too loose that it hangs from the guide bar.

Worn Clutch Pads

The clutch pads can wear over time. When this happens, they won’t engage the clutch drum to turn the chain. The clutch assembly on a Troy-Bilt chainsaw will need to be replaced.

Reasons a Chain Moves at Idle Speed on a Troy-Bilt Chainsaw

Carburetor Needs Adjustment

You will find an idle adjustment screw on your carburetor. This screw adjusts the mixture of fuel-to-air.

To adjust the idle speed so the chain doesn’t move while idling, begin by turning the screw counter-clockwise until the chain stops moving and the chainsaw keeps idling.

Worn Clutch Springs

On a Troy-Bilt chainsaw centrifugal clutch, there are springs that retract the clutch shoes.

When the engine speeds up, the centrifugal force pushes the shoes 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 shoes and the chain is supposed to stop moving. If your chain continues to move, you may have worn springs that need to be replaced on your Troy-Bilt chainsaw.

Still Having Problems with Your Troy-Bilt Chainsaw?

Check out my handy guide Common Troy-Bilt Chainsaw Problems for handy charts listing problems and solutions to many common problems chainsaw owners encounter.

This is a great guide to keep bookmarked. It covers problems with a chainsaw not starting, bogging down, or dying. You can also find information on a chain not turning, the engine only running with the choke on, and more.

In addition, you will find links to more detailed information on each issue.