Poulan Chainsaw won't cut straight Going NUTS!!

Game_Bred(Chicago Suburbs)September 10, 2005

I've got a Poulan Wildthing 18" Chainsaw that's driving me absolutely nuts.

When I make a cut, I can see the chain drifting to the left in the wood. It cuts great for the first inch, then I have to tilt the saw to get the bar back in line with the chain. Then it's basically done. If I really wanted to wrench on it I could probably get it to keep cutting in a circle but I figure that'll just damage it further.

Now this just started today. I cut down 6 60 foot pines last year, chopped them all to around 18" pieces, and basically down to nothing but needles.

I cut a couple good size logs down today, and then made 2 cuts in a HUGE log (34" diameter). On the third cut on the big log it went bad. After that I could not cut anything deeper than an inch or so.

I thought, OK, maybe I've finally worn out this chain (sharpened god knows how many times). So I replaced the chain. No go. I looked to the bar then. It seemed a little loose, but not much. I replaced the bar anyway figuring it MUST be the culprit. NOPE.

So now, with a new bar and chain it's still drifting when I make my cuts. Tensioning the chain further does not help. I checked the sprocket, and it SEEMS fine. I'm obviously no chainsaw expert, so I could be wrong, but it seems OK to me. It is work where the chain rides, but very very little.

Does anyone have any ideas as to why my chain is now tilting when I cut?

Thanks In Advance

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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usually this is caused by a chain not being properly sharpened on one side. the only thing I can think of is after you started replacing the chain and bar, did you resume trying to cut the log in the same cut you were in when the chain went bad? Perhaps there is metal or a stone in the log and you just caught it with 1 side of the chain.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 7:42PM
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The four major causes of cutting crooked are:

1- Wrong chain size for the guide bar.
2- Poor chain sharpening and maintenance.
3- Uneven or worn guide bar or chain groove.
4- Right side cutters filed differerntly than the left ones or vise versa.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 8:14PM
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I'd have to agree with Andyma. New bar and chain should cut straight. Steve

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 6:28PM
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Wally has bar and chain combos for these saws, short money too.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 8:44PM
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Whenever that happened to me (quite often) the bar was worn and one side of the bar was visibly shorter than the other.Put the bar in a vise and with a new ba@#TARD cut file shave the bar even.When cutting resist the natural tendency to put rotational torque on the saw with your left hand---press straight down.The bar will wear more evenly.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:16PM
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I think I figured out what is causing the Poulan chainsaws to drift to the left. Here is my experience.

The saw it self is very nice and cuts very quickly. However, I went through three of the saws before I figured out what had been causing them to burn out. I am not new to using chain saws and have been cutting 60 to 70 foot tall trees for a while now. You name it and I have cut it.

With the first saw, after a few times of cutting logs I noticed that I could not make a straight cut to save my life. The cut seemed to always drift to the left. I thought I was doing something wrong, perhaps not paying attention to how I was holding the saw or something. The problem got worse and worse till the saw would no longer cut even with the motor running full out. As with any two stroke motor, they burn out when held in a wide open position for more than a few seconds.

I thought that the saw was the problem so I returned it and got another. To keep this a little short, the same thing happened. All the while I thought that either the saw motor was build cheap or that I was somehow screwing up the cut.

I returned the second saw and purchased a third. Same thing happened. Not one of the saws made it past two weeks before they burnt out.

There was one constant between every saw and I did not think much of it till after the third saw was toast.

The bar on every saw was worn on one side more than the other side. The bar is the problem. The chain is fine and sharpness does not cause the same problem to this extent.

I never got a chance to take a file to the bar so as to level out the chain but I am thinking that if I had done this then the problem would have been solved. I am willing to bet that the metal that the bat is made out of is of low quality (soft). If not for the cheap bar I think that the saw would be a good product. The saws I had were the 16" not the wild thing but from the sound of it, the problem is the same.

As for the saw it self I was very pleased at how it worked and how quick it cut. I hope the company takes note of the bar and makes changes in this area.

I have an older Poulan 16" saw and never once had a problem with it, I used and abused that saw for years and it still runs to this day, minus an oil pump. :o)

Thank you
Eric in Florida

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 3:27PM
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Probably a better aftermarket Oregon bar and chain may help, may give some better performance. If you're doing any serious cutting, like felling and cutting up large trees you really need a better saw. Save your $$$ and get a Stihl, anything less is for failures.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 3:40PM
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