How to Fix Chainsaw Cutting to the Right

If you’ve ever struggled with your chainsaw always cutting to the right, you know how frustrating it can be. You push into the cut expecting the saw to go straight ahead but then it veers off to the side. Instead of a clean, consistent cut, you end up with crooked logs, boards that must be re-cut, and more work than expected – all because of the saw’s tendency to wander off course to the right.

How to Fix Chainsaw Cutting to the Right

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just an occasional weekend warrior, having a saw cut crooked instead of straight can waste time and lead to poor results. In this post on how to fix chainsaw cutting to the right, I’ll discuss some of the most common reasons why a chainsaw may cut unevenly to the right, and provide solutions you can implement right in your workshop or backyard to get those cuts running straight again.

Necessary Tools and Materials

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s important to have the right tools and materials at hand. For most of these fixes, you’ll need:

  • A Chainsaw With a Sharp Blade
  • A Flat Surface to Work on
  • A File or Sharpening Tool (if Necessary)
  • Protective Gear Such as Gloves and Safety Glasses
  • A Stump Vise or Saw Horse (Optional but Recommended)

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Fix Chainsaw Cutting to the Right

Step 1: Check the Chain Tension

The first thing to check when your chainsaw is cutting to the right is the tension of your chain. A loose chain can cause it to veer off course and increase the likelihood of kickback. Make sure that the chain has some slack, but not too much – about 1/8 inch between each strand. However, if the chain is too tight, it can also cause problems. Adjust the tension accordingly. It’s also important to check the tension regularly as it can change as you work.

Step 2: Check the Bar Alignment

Next, take a look at the alignment of your bar. If it is not straight, this can cause the saw to cut crooked. You can use a straight edge such as a ruler or carpenter’s square to check the alignment. Adjust the bar if necessary by loosening the bolts and tapping them into place with a hammer. Then, re-tighten the bolts. You may need to re-tighten them periodically as you work. It’s also a good idea to check the bar alignment before each use.

Good Idea to Check the Bar Alignment

Step 3: Check for Uneven Chain Teeth

Over time, chainsaw teeth can become worn or uneven due to constant use. This can cause the saw to cut to one side more than the other. Use a file or sharpening tool to even out the teeth and make  sure the angles are consistent. This will ensure a straight cut. But be careful not to over-file as this can make the chain too thin and increase the likelihood of breakage. it’s a good idea to check and sharpen your chain regularly, even if it doesn’t seem dull.

Step 4: File the Rakers

The rakers, also known as depth gauges, control how deep the saw cuts into the wood. If they are too high on one side, this can cause your chainsaw to cut to that side more than the other. Use a file or specialized tool to file the rakers down. Be sure to fill them evenly on both sides. It’s also important not to file them too low as this can also cause problems. This is another task that should be done regularly, especially as the chain wears down.

Step 5: Check the Chain Oil

A lack of chain oil or using the wrong type of oil can affect how your chainsaw cuts. Make sure that you are using a high-quality, appropriate chain oil and that there is plenty in the reservoir. If there is no oil or it’s low, this can cause the chain to heat up and cut poorly. It’s also important to check the oil regularly as it will be used up as you work. It’s recommended to keep an extra bottle or two of oil on hand.

Using the Wrong Type of Oil

Step 6: Clean the Chain and Bar

A dirty or gummed-up chain can cause it to cut unevenly. Before each use, make sure you clean your chain and bar with a specialized cleaner. This will help ensure that there is no build-up of sap or debris interfering with the cutting process. It’s also important not to use water or solvents, and to completely dry the chain before use. It’s a good idea to clean your chain and bar after each use as well.

Step 7: Check Your Technique

Sometimes, it’s not the chainsaw that’s at fault – it’s the operator. Make sure you are using the proper technique when cutting. Keep a steady grip on the saw and maintain consistent pressure on both sides. Keeping your body in line with the saw can also help prevent it from veering off course. If you’re a beginner, consider taking a class or watching tutorial videos to learn proper chainsaw technique.

Step 8: Use a Stump Vise or Saw Horse

To further ensure stability and accuracy while cutting, consider using a stump vise or saw horse. These tools can hold the saw in place and provide a flat surface for cutting, making it easier to maintain a straight line. It’s also important to secure the wood you are cutting in place to prevent it from moving and causing the saw to cut unevenly.

Step 9: Replace Worn or Damaged Parts

If your chainsaw is still cutting crooked after trying these solutions, it may be time to replace worn or damaged parts. This could include the chain, bar, sprocket, or other components. It’s important to regularly inspect your chainsaw for any signs of wear and replace parts as needed to ensure safe and efficient operation.

 Regularly Inspect Your Chainsaw

Step 10: Seek Professional Help

If you are not comfortable or experienced in fixing chainsaws, it may be best to seek professional help. A trained technician can properly diagnose and fix any issues with your saw, ensuring it cuts straight and safely. The cost of a professional repair may be well worth it, in the long run, to ensure your saw is running at its best. It’s also a good idea to have your chainsaw professionally serviced at least once a year.

Step 11: Practice Makes Perfect

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to using a chainsaw. The more you use it, the more comfortable and familiar you will become with its quirks and how to fix any issues that may arise. Keep up with regular maintenance and practice proper technique to ensure your chainsaw cuts straight every time. It’s also important to always follow safety precautions and wear appropriate protective gear while operating your chainsaw.

With time and practice, you’ll become an expert at fixing any cutting issues with your chainsaw. It’s all about understanding how the saw works and knowing what to look for when it’s not cutting correctly. By following these steps on how to fix chainsaw cutting to the right, you’ll be able to fix chainsaw cutting to the right and continue using your trusty tool for all of your cutting needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Often Should I Check the Tension?

A: It’s recommended to check the tension regularly, especially as you work. It’s also a good idea to check it before each use. You may need to re-tighten the bolts periodically as they can loosen with use.

Q: How Do I Know When the Chain Needs Sharpening?

A: There are a few signs that your chain may need sharpening. If it’s taking longer to cut through wood or you notice sawdust instead of wood chips, this could indicate a dull chain. Additionally, if the saw is vibrating excessively or smoking while in use, it may be time to sharpen the chain.

Q: Is It Safe to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain Myself?

A: Yes, it is safe to sharpen a chainsaw chain yourself as long as you take proper precautions and follow the correct technique. However, if you are not comfortable or experienced in doing so, it’s best to seek professional help.

It is Safe to Sharpen a Chainsaw Chain

Q: Can a Crooked Chain Cause Accidents?

A: A crooked chain can cause accidents if not corrected. It can lead to uneven cuts and put unnecessary strain on the saw, increasing the risk of breakage or kickback. It’s important to regularly check and fix any issues with your chainsaw to ensure safe operation.


To sum it all up on, fixing chainsaw cutting to the right isn’t a difficult task! All it takes is a few tools and the know-how. If you remember to adjust the carburetor, inspect your fuel line regularly, clean the air filter, and sharpen or replace your chain regularly then you can prevent chainsaw cutting to the right in the future.

And most importantly of all: always take safety precautions when operating a chainsaw. Now that you’re an expert on how to fix chainsaw cutting to the right, go ahead and get out there and make those tough cuts! Don’t forget – with clarity and confidence comes results.

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

Leave a Comment