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Chainsaw chain won't turn

Posted by mking 72704 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 19, 07 at 11:14

First I want to thank all of you who helped me find out the angle so my husband could sharpen his chainsaw chain. Also, canguy, you were on the mark. I had listed this as being a Poulan and even had the model and serial numbers. My husband had been working on another tool (I have a question with it and will post it under a seperate subject) and had it in his head that this was a Poulan chainsaw. Sorry about that. It is a Homelite. And we have another question. He got the chain sharpened (thanks to you all) and has it put back together. Now it starts, but the chain won't turn. He said something about the brake, but checked that and he said that's not on. We don't have the manual for this. Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

slack adjuster too tight, bar jammed into sprocket,clutch slipping, chain brake on in off position,chain binding on sprocket or bar, broke end on crank, sprocket slipping on end of crank, a clogged/pinched bar guide,etc. Did your husband sharpen the chain off the bar ?


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

  • Posted by canguy British Columbia (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 19, 07 at 22:58

A badly grooved sprocket will also cause the chain to bind.


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

Thank you. Yes, he took the chain off the bar to sharpen it. I had bought him a chainsaw chain sharpener. Was that a bad idea?


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

the chain can be sharpened on/off the bar depending on the type of sharpener.. I just use a file to keep the chain sharp.


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

Here's a link to the Homelite website. Hopefully, you can find an owners manual in PDF format for your husbands saw.

The one manual I looked at had a section in the back on assembling the bar and chain to the saw. Also info on sharpening and tensioning the chain.

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Homelite Tech Help


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

Some saws have a floating drive rim on the clutch. This is a narrow drive rim that can move back and forth on the clutch so the it centers the chain. It also allows replacement of just the rim when it wears rather then replacing the entire clutch drum. If the chain is installed off to one side or the other it may turn but with no power. It's a common oversight by newbies to chain saws.


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RE: Chainsaw chain won't turn

I would first look at the bar and see if there are any uneveness in the links, if it has a buldge or raised area the chain in binding in the bar track somewhere.

Then, loosen the bar mount bolts alittle usually two but sometimes just one that holes the bar tight. This will tell you if you are pinching the chain any where or being bound up by the adjustment slide not aligned with the hole in the bar properly. also the chain will sometimes go off tract at the clutch and not be riding in the clutch sproket teeth. Other problem areas are the bar is worn, the chain may have been put on backward, or the rotating sprocket at the end of the bar is bound up or out of sink with the saw bar rail sprocket teeth.

When going back togather I alway loosen (back off) the bar tension screw about 1/4". this will make it easier getting the bar hole aligned with the chain tensioner slot. Then I look and make sure I have the chain in the bar groove, warpped around the clutch sproket correctly. Now I slide on the cover, start the nut or nuts and slightly snug them down while rotating the chain to check for any binding.

Now, I can adjust the tension on the chain while running it by hand, once I get all the slack out and it should be hard to turn by hand by now I can tighten the cover mount nut or nuts, I still check and see if the chain will move by hand. If you have a brake it should be free during this.

Worn bars will make the chain extra hard to rotate when the chain tension is correct, but it shouldn't stop the chain, usually when this happens (atleast in my case over the years) the chain is bound up at the clutch end, out of track as the chain meets the bar, or the tension adjuster lug in not in the bar hole and when you tighten the bar it bound everything up. I have seen some chains so burnt up that the links freeze togather and when they hit the end of the bar or the clutch it binds up. But, this wasn't on one of my saws.


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