Problem Solved – My Chainsaw Won’t Cut Straight

| Last Updated: February 8, 2021

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Most experts agree that there are two main reasons why a chainsaw won’t cut straight; the chain is dull on one side and the bar edges are uneven.

In the article below, we’ll explain to you why this happens and how to fix it. 

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Below are the reasons why your chainsaw won’t cut straight and how that can be fixed. 

  • Check Regularly To Ensure The Teeth Are Sharp
  • Friction Will Dull The Bar, Regular Filing Is Necessary 

Causes & Solutions - Explained

There are only two leading causes for an uneven cut; thankfully, we have the answers. Please take a look at our guide below. 

Sharpen The Chain

A common issue with your chain is that it’s dull on one side, thus pulling it in the opposite direction. This problem arises when you hit solid ground or rock, and it’ll often affect one side of the chain, making it duller. 

You could have done this by not filing the chain correctly and made it uneven yourself. This can easily be fixed by just sharpening the chain so that both sides are even. 

If you look at the links on the chain, both guide and cutter links will have a line on them, which indicates how far you can sharpen them. This is so you don’t remove too much material. If you struggle to even them out, it might be worth it to ask a professional to sharpen them for you. 

File The Bar Edges 

This is inevitable as there will be friction between the chain and bar, which removes material over time. Most expert chainsaw users flip the bar occasionally to even out each side; this reduces the risk of an uneven cut. 

Although your bar is already uneven, you can fix it by filing the edges to even them out. If you have a large vice, it’d be best to use that to keep the bar straight and steady. You can also buy edge filing tools to help with this task. 


The importance of maintaining an even bar edge and sharp links cannot be stressed enough. If you’re having problems cutting in a straight line, then these are most likely the reasons. If you’re still having these problems, it might be worth contacting the manufacturer for a replacement.