How to Reset a Husqvarna Chain Brake – Easy Free Fix. Chainsaw chain brake

How to Reset a Husqvarna Chain Brake – Easy Free Fix

Chainsaw chain brakes are a common safety feature today on almost all chainsaws. I can’t even think of a single gasoline chainsaw that’s been manufactured in recent times that is not equipped with a chain brake.

What is the purpose of a chainsaw’s chain brake?

The purpose of a chainsaw’s chain brake is to protect the chainsaw operator from the chainsaw’s moving chain. Chainsaw chain brakes can be manually engaged by hand or by inertia when a chainsaw kicks back at the operator while cutting.

If you’re reading this post chances are you have a stuck chain brake on your Husqvarna chainsaw. The situation probably occurred due to you having forgotten to disengage the chain brake before removing the chainsaw’s side cover. This situation can be annoying but it can be easily fixed.

This fix can be done in just a few minutes with common household tools.

Tools needed to reset the chainsaw’s chain brake will be the following:

Step 1. Place Chainsaw Side Plate in Vise

Place the chainsaw’s side plate into the vice. Make sure the side plate is secure and sturdy. You will be placing pressure on it and it needs to stay firmly gripped by the table vise in order for this fix to work.

Be careful not to damage the chainsaw’s side plate with the vise by applying too much pressure. You will need to find the chainsaw’s side plate’s longest flat edges to grip with the vise.

When tightening the vise do not crush the side plate. This can easily happen if too much force is used.

Step 2. Place End Wrenches in Proper Position to Apply Pressure

Grab the two end wrenches and place the open end of one wrench into the chain brake lock mechanism on the chainsaw’s side plate. Then place the open end of the other end wrench into the closed end of the end wrench that is on the chain brake lock mechanism.

The chain brake lock mechanism on the side plate is where the chain brake Band is engaged and disengaged. Now that we have the wrenches in place we are able to apply pressure to force the chain brake lock mechanism from engaged to disengaged.

Step 3. Unlock the Chainsaws Chainbrake

To apply pressure use one hand to hold the end wrench that is applied to the chain brake mechanism and the other hand to apply pressure on the other wrench that is acting as a handle.

Simply apply constant pressure in the direction to move the chain brake mechanism to the opposite position that its currently in. You did it. The chainsaw’s chain brake is now unlocked.

Step 4. Reinstall the Chainsaw’s Side Cover Back Onto the Chainsaw

Now that the Chainsaw’s chain brake is unlocked the side cover can be reinstalled onto the chainsaw. Place the side cover back onto the chainsaw and use the chainsaw bar wrench to tighten the bar nuts.

Step 5. Test The Chain Brake for Proper Function

Now that the chainsaw chain brake is reinstalled and the chain brake is unlocked we need to make sure the chain brake is working properly.

Push the chainsaw’s chainbrake handle to the forward position to engage the chain brake. Now that the brake is engaged use the bar wrench to see if the chain on the chainsaw is indeed locked in place.

If the chain will move with the chain brake is engage, something is wrong and you will need to start the process over. After repeating the process and the chain brake is still not working you will need to take your chainsaw to a dealer for repair.

NEVER OPERATE A CHAINSAW WITH A NON-FUNCTIONING CHAIN BRAKE. Operating a chainsaw without a working chain brake can injure you severely or cause death.

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If your chainsaw’s chain brake is working properly you fix is now complete. Congratulations! You did it!

How Do You Activate a Chain Brake on a Chainsaw?

The chain brake on a chainsaw is pointless if it does not function properly. Chainsaw chain brakes are activated in two disctict ways by the chainsaw user.

The primary way to activate the chain brake on a chainsaw is for the operator to push the chain brake handle forward until it clicks and locks. The secondary way of activating the chain brake is done automatically by the chainsaw through intertia if the chainsaw kicks back at the user.

When Should A Chainsaw Chain Brake Be Used?

When should you use the chain brake on your chainsaw?

A chainsaws chain brake should be used when starting a chainsaw, walking with a cranked chainsaw or being in close proximity to other people with a running chainsaw.

There is another scenario when a chainsaw chain brake is used but it is done automatically by the chainsaw if the chainsaw is used improperly.

How to rebuild and reset husqvarna chain brakes

This senario is when the chain of a chainsaw comes into contact with a solid object in a specific way. This can cause the chainsaw to kick back at the user. The inertia of the chainsaw kicking back is supposed to engage the chain brake quickly to prevent the operator from being injured by a spinning chain.

If the chain brake is not functioning properly and kick back occurs severe injury and or death can result.


Wrapping Up

Husquvarna Chainsaw’s are fantastic chainsaws and some of my personal favorites. That being said any piece of equipment has its qwirks and most times they can be easily avoided or remedied with a little knowledge.

Now you have the knowledge of how to unlock your Husquvarna chainsaw’s chainbrake if you accidental removed the side cover without disengaging the chain brake first.

The complete procedure can be done in less than 5 minutes and with tools you probably are own, so it essentially free to do. Remember to check and make sure your chain brake is functioning correctly after you unlock the chain brake.

How to Reset a Stuck Husqvarna ChainSaw Chain Brake

Be safe out there and happy cutting!

I have been part of the chainsaw and outdoor power equipment business in one way or the other for over 35 years. There are not many things that I have not seen in the business. From repairs, sales, equipment operation, and safety I can help you with your questions.

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Hello, My Name is Steven R, and I’m here to help!

My family has been in the chainsaw and outdoor power equipment business for over 35 years.

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Using A Chainsaw Without A Chain Brake – What You Need To Know

Is using a chainsaw without a chain brake OK? Is it safe? Is it legal?

These are all questions I’ll be answering in this post, so let’s get into it!

Should I use a chainsaw without a chain brake?

I would not advise this at all! Using a chainsaw without a chain brake is possible, but very dangerous.

Using a chainsaw without a chain brake can cause issues in two specific areas:

Starting the chainsaw.

Before you cold start any gas chainsaw you need to engage the chain brake.

Why? Because upon starting, the chainsaw will rev slightly high before it settles and idles. Especially if you have primed or choked it already.

Trained professionals will sometimes start their chainsaws without using the chain break. If you attempt doing this without the proper training, it can be dangerous.

Running the chainsaw.

While you operate your chainsaw it is running at high rpm (revs per minute).

The chain brake is specifically designed to stop the chain from rotating in the event of a “Kickback”. A “Kickback” occurs when the upper quarter on the front of your bar connects with an object and kicks the bar up towards you.

The placement of the chain brake or handguard allows your front hand to engage the chain brake before contact with your body. Therefore reducing the risk of injury dramatically.

Your chainsaw will still function with no chain brake, but will not function safely as intended.

Can I sell a chainsaw without a chain brake?

You may not sell a chainsaw without a chain brake under any circumstances. The chain brake on a chainsaw is the most important safety feature.

Your chainsaw will still work without a chain brake, though, and you can still use it personally. Make sure to use proper precautions if you plan on doing this, no one is immune to accidents.

If your chain brake is faulty or does not work at all, your nearest service agent should be able to assist you by repairing it or fitting a new one.

How does a chain brake work on a chainsaw?

A chain brake consists of mainly three working components. Gas and electric chainsaws share a similar design for their chain brakes.

The handle or handguard engages the chain brake when pushed forward, and disengages it when pulled back.

This feature allows the chain brake to be engaged in the event of a “kickback” when the operator’s hand pushes the handguard forward and engages the brake.

The chain brake spring is a high tension spring that is responsible for increasing or decreasing the tension at which the chain brake functions.

The steel Band fits over the clutch drum and physically clamps the clutch drum to stop it from turning when it is engaged.

When the chain brake is disengaged, the steel Band becomes slack and allows the clutch to turn the chain sprocket.

There are two different types of chain brakes.

Side mounted chain brakes:

This is a chain brake that is built into the side cover which covers the clutch and sprocket. It is generally used on Husqvarna chainsaws.

Internal chain brakes:

Internal chain brakes are built into the shell of the chainsaw and are usually more concealed. This type of chain brake can be seen on STIHL chainsaws.

Can you start a chainsaw if the chain brake is broken?

Yes, you can. It is considered best practice to engage your chain brake before starting your chainsaw. However, if the chain brake is not working you need to stay clear of the bar and chain.

Here is how:

If you are starting the chainsaw on the ground, put your right foot into the back handle and keep it there firmly. Then, put your left hand onto the front handle and hold it tight.

With your right hand, pull the starter cord until the engine fires.

Starting the chainsaw between your legs is done similarly. Put the chainsaws rear handle against your left thigh and grip it with your right knee.

Hold the top handle tightly with your left hand, keep your arm straight. Pull the starter cord with your right hand.

When you start your chainsaw, it will idle at low rpm (revs per minute) and won’t turn fast unless you hold in the throttle.

Before starting your chainsaw, you should check that your throttle is not faulty or stuck in the ‘Open’ position. This can lead to a Rapid increase in revs immediately upon start. (If your chain brake is not engaged or is not working.)

If your chain brake is engaged and does not want to disengage, then you will not be able to start the chainsaw.

Can I install a chain brake on a chainsaw without a chain brake?

No. If your chainsaw was built before 1972, you can not install one.

Chainsaws that were built before 1972 did not include chain brakes. STIHL chainsaws were the first to come out with built in chain brakes and anti vibration technology.

Due to the Rapid commercialization of industries such as forestry and agriculture, where chainsaws are used the most, there was a need to make hands on equipment safer.

If your chainsaw has a chain brake that does not work, you can have it repaired. If you know how to repair a chain brake then you can do it yourself.

Check out this video on how to repair a chain brake:

Yes, using a chainsaw without a chain brake is possible but it’s advised against since it’s a critical safety feature. You cannot sell a chainsaw without a chain brake.

Hope you found what you were looking for in this guide.

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What Happens If a Chainsaw Chain Breaks? (Plus Tips to Prevent It)

For those working with powerful power tools, the last thing they want is for one to break. Chainsaws are one of the types of tools that are very useful but can become dangerous if improperly handled. Chainsaws need to be correctly maintained to avoid accidents.

Have you ever wondered what happens if a chainsaw chain breaks?

Chainsaw chains usually break while the chainsaw is in use. It will fly off of the chainsaw at high speeds and can cause severe damage to whatever it touches, especially if the chain ricochets off of the impact site. Chainsaw chains break when they are incorrectly used and not maintained properly.

I heard of a friend whose chainsaw chain broke and shattered his car windshield. He was lucky that he didn’t get hurt. His chainsaw chain broke due to improper tension on the chain.

So I thought that I would do some research on what happens if a chainsaw chain breaks and share what I found.

What Happens When a Chainsaw Breaks?

When a chainsaw chain breaks, there are a few likely outcomes. Most of the time, the chainsaw chain gets stuck in the branch or tree you are cutting.

It might flail after breaking and fall to the ground, or it could jam in the drive sprocket and then break. The last scenario that you want is for it to break, ricochet off of something and hurt you or a bystander.

What Causes Chainsaw Chains to Break?

If you have a chainsaw and you don’t keep it in good condition, it might give you problems or even cause an accident. You might just be cutting into a piece of wood or cutting down a tree, and there might be a foreign object like a nail stuck in the tree that alone can snap the chain.

There are quite a few reasons a chainsaw chain will snap, become damaged, unusable, or break. Here are some of the main reasons.

1 – Improper Use of a Chainsaw

The most common cause of chainsaw chain damage and breakage is probably a lack of knowledge of properly using and maintaining a chainsaw. When you don’t read the instruction manual or are new to using chainsaws, you are more likely to misuse a chainsaw unknowingly.

Here are a few factors you should remember when using a chainsaw.

  • Remember to always release the safety break on the chainsaw before starting it.
  • Don’t allow the chain on the chainsaw to touch the ground when you start it or anytime it’s still running.
  • Never touch a rock, stone, or concrete with a running chainsaw.
  • Please read the manual on your chainsaw to make sure what kind of materials it can handle to cut through. If you use it to cut materials it was not made to handle, it will break.

When a chainsaw is not used properly, it will damage the chain and compromise its durability and strength, causing it to snap.

Standing at least 15-20 feet away from any objects or people when starting your chainsaw will help keep you, others around you, and any items lying around safe from a chain that might break and ricochet.

2 – Improper or Lack of Maintenance of a Chainsaw

If you want your chainsaw to work properly and last you longer, regular maintenance is involved. Here are some things that need to keep maintained.

  • You need to sharpen the blade regularly to help it cut with precision and keep it from getting stuck.
  • You need to check the chain oil and chain break each time you use the chainsaw.
  • Make sure the guide bar is always aligned in the correct position.

You need to also keep an eye out for rust on your chainsaw. Rust will erode the metal and can lead to a chain break if not taken care of as soon as you spot it.

Keep in mind that although you need to regularly sharpen your chainsaw’s cutting teeth to keep it sharp, the depth gauge will wear down to the point where you won’t be able to sharpen it any longer, and you will need to replace the chain.

3 – Using Low Quality or Cheap Chains or Other Parts

When you need to replace a part on your chainsaw, whether a chain or another part, never try to be frugal and save money by getting cheap or low-quality parts; one of the main causes of chain breaks in a chainsaw is a low-quality chain.

These chains are made with inferior metals, and when they get stuck or snap, you and those around you could get severely hurt. That can happen with other low-quality replacement parts as well.

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If something needs to be replaced on your chainsaw, it is best to get good quality parts, or you might need to replace it with a better quality part later on anyway. Also, keep the chainsaw better maintained in the future.

4 – Not Keeping the Chainsaw Properly Lubricated

When you are doing regular maintenance, you must look in the lubrication chamber. You should make sure it isn’t clogged up and that there is enough chain oil to keep it running smoothly without a hitch.

The chainsaw oil helps prevent dust and debris from building up. It also helps keep the blade from getting stuck and keeps it cutting properly.

5 – Check for Loose Rivets

Another huge problem with chainsaw chains breaking is loose rivets. Having only one rivet loose or damaged on a chainsaw can be a major issue.

Before each use and when doing regular maintenance, it is very important to check each rivet on the chain for any irregular wear and tear or unusual damage.

If you find any problems with rivets on your chain, even if it is only one rivet, you should replace the chain before using your chainsaw again.

6 – The Wrong Chain Tension on Your Chainsaw Chain

If the chain on your chainsaw sags away from the bar or feels too tight to pull, it needs to be either tightened or loosened.

You need to check the tension on the chainsaw chain before every use to ensure that you won’t use the chainsaw and the chain unexpectedly snaps.

If you use a chain that is too tight, the pressure for it to turn will become too much, and it will snap at speeds of up to 60f per second. It can cause fatal injuries.

If the chain on a chainsaw is too loose, you will have uneven cuts, and it might break under extreme conditions or get snagged on something.

Here is how you check the tension on your chainsaw chain to see if it is too tight or loose.

  • Before checking, the first thing you need to do is turn it off and let it cool down completely.
  • Next, you need to gently pull on the chain to see how loose it is. It should pull but offer a little bit of resistance.
  • Now release the chain; it should snap back into place if the chain has the proper tension.

Loosen the chain if it won’t turn at all because it is too tight, and tighten the chain if it sags at all when you pull on it.

7 – Lack of Guide Bar Maintenace

The guide bar is a crucial part of the chainsaw and also needs to be maintained properly for the chain to work correctly. If the guide bar is not maintained, it could lead to a chain break.

Before using the chainsaw, you need to check the guide bar to see if it’s straight or bent. If it has a curve, bend, or nick, you need to fix it before you use it. If you use it without fixing the problem, the chain will malfunction.

8 – The Incorrect Chain Angles

If you have incorrect chain angles, they are caused by improper chain filing. It happens if the fillings don’t have the correct diameter for your chainsaw. It could lead to the chain breaking.

Make sure you choose the proper filing and remember to restore the angles of the chainsaw to their proper positions after hand filing.

9 – Hitting a Nail

Before you cut down a branch or fell a tree, try to see if you can find any nails or steel objects that might be embedded in the wood.

If you cut down the tree and accidentally hit a nail, it will break the chainsaw chain and cause a serious hazard.

10 – Chainsaw Kickback

Another thing that can happen when a chainsaw is improperly used is kickback. When you use a chainsaw incorrectly, there can be a fast upward motion of the guide bar.

It happens when the end part of the guide bars’ nose hits an object, and the chain becomes pinched. It could, in turn, lead to the pressure building and the chain snapping.

Safety Precautions if a Chainsaw Chain Breaks

When a chainsaw chain breaks, there are certain factors that you need to keep in mind to minimize the damage it can do to you, those around you, and other nearby objects.

You Need to Use the Proper PPE

When working with dangerous power tools like a chainsaw, you need the proper PPE(Personal Protective Equipment). It is the best line of defense you have to keep you safe in case of a chainsaw chain breaking.

You need to make sure you are wearing the proper PPE at all times; here are some of the PPE gear that can save your life.

  • Gloves
  • Chainsaw Chaps
  • Protective eyewear like a face shield or safety goggles
  • A Hardhat
  • Ear protection like earmuffs or earplugs
  • Heavy boots, steel-tipped boots, or logging boots
  • Proper thick logging jacket

Built-In Safety Features of Chainsaws

Safety features are built into most chainsaws that help prevent accidents like chain snapping. Here are some of the built-in safety features of a chainsaw.

  • They have a throttle lock to ensure it only works when the right button is pressed.
  • They have right-hand guards to protect your hands against a derailing or breaking chain.
  • It also has a stop control button to stop the chainsaw instantly should you need it to; this button is easily accessible.

Refuel the Chainsaw Safely

When you run out of fuel and you need to refuel the chainsaw, you should always be cautious and stay safe by keeping these rules in mind:

  • Don’t refuel your chainsaw if it is still hot or was recently used.
  • Only use fuel containers that have been tested and approved by testing facilities like the Department of Transportation.
  • Don’t exceed the fuel level of the chainsaw.
  • Never smoke while refueling your chainsaw.
  • Don’t refuel a chainsaw near any sparks or flames.

Final Thoughts

Chainsaws are some of the best power tools for anyone to have at their disposal, but it needs to be properly used and be maintained. The chain breaking on your chainsaw can lead to serious injuries and even death.

You need to check on all the different components of your chainsaw to ensure it is safe to use and that all the safety features are in place. Remember always to wear your PPE when using your chainsaw.

Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.

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