Chain saw question.

I am on my 4th or 5th and haven’t experienced this before.

I start with a vertical cut and by the time the bar is half buried,the cut turns to the right.

This chain has a lot of use on it And I sharpen it myself.

My neighbor thinks it is the way I sharpen it.

Any ideas?


– Last Updated: Aug-02-14 11:45 AM EST –

You aren't sharpening one side the same as the other. If the chain is older, the problem has compounded itself as you've gone on. Get a new chain. Watch your angles.

If it makes you feel better, I do the same thing. My grandfather in law gets so pissed at me. He is old and calls me a college boy. It's pretty humorous.

Uneven sharpening
Good illustration here:

Look more closely
You are doing something different on one side than the other. It doesn’t have to be a whole lot either. And make sure you are sharpening evenly, that a few teeth on one side aren’t getting as sharp as the other etc. You only need to have a few teeth not as sharp or the angle slightly different and the saw tracks off. You don’t need a magnifying glass just pay closer attention. I used a guide for years then eventually could do it free hand with a file once I got the knack of it.

It’s like the guy I saw at the creek the other day. He wasn’t leaning his kayak a whole lot but I could see it from shore and sure enough it kept going right on him. Eventually he straightened up and sure enough the kayak went straight. Another one with no PFD I might add. This is getting to be my pet peeve of mine. Maybe because I really don’t want to see someone drown down there and I’m getting a little old to fish them out.

Thanks . I needed to go to Home
Depot anyway.

need a new bar…the groove is worn. put a new chain on while your at it and check the drive sprocket on the motor end. When the bar is worn, many times the sprocket is too.

Best Wishes


You start with a
vertical cut?

Perpendicular to the piece being cut.


– Last Updated: Aug-02-14 10:35 PM EST –

Ditto on the bar. I cut alot of firewood and pretty much go thru one bar a year. The curving cut is the telltale sign.

Get a Stihl. Sharpen it yourself
takeing care to keep the same angle on both sides and the file guide flat. Check with your depth gage each time and make sure to file the nibs down to the slot.

Lastly fill the oil every time you fill the gas.

If someone has to change the bar once a year, they must be abusing their saw.

I heat with wood and cut a lot of various types and don’t have the problems mentioned.

I do know that there is a big difference in a cheap bar and chain and a good one

jack L

It’s an Echo. Nothing cheap about

I’m a

– Last Updated: Aug-03-14 6:19 PM EST –

newbie when it comes to kayaks, but saws I know a little about.

Those that said you are sharpening differently on one side than the other are most likely correct. Either get the chain ground or put a new one on.

IF the trouble persists, then your bar may be out of level.

To prevent these troubles from happening, about every 5th time you file your chain, take it to the shop to get it trued up. File your bar across both flats to keep it level again about every 5th sharpening. Just eyeball it, it will be good. Flip your bar after every 2 tankfuls. Use BAR oil, not motor oil or anything else. I am not a fan of ECHO oil, but will use it before non bar oil.

Unlike Jack, I think you need a Husky :)

I run 3 saws, 2 pretty good sized Huskys and a little Stihl. I heat 100% with wood. I did burn up 2 bars, in my lifetime.

a husky? really?
Do you like them better outright or is it a value thing?


– Last Updated: Aug-03-14 8:34 PM EST –

Like them better. They run at a higher rpm and are great saws. I bought the stihl to replace a husky that I rode until it puked. Its ok, but I wish I would have gone orange. Its what you get used to.

Honestly the whole debate is much ado about nothing. If you but a quality saw it will llast if you take care of it. Echo, sthil, husky, jonsred, as long as you are buying a better saw and not a weekender homeowner type. Sthil and husky both make smaller less robust saws. Some of huskys are made by poulan pro, I think sthil still makes theirs but it isnt the same place as the quality saws. Now if you are going to cut 2 cord a year, a poulan wild thing is enough saw for you. I dont go into the woods unless I am bringing back at least a cord.

There is not a lot of price difference in comprable saws, but IMHO, you ALWAYS buy the dealer. We have a good husky dealer just over the hill and that is worth a lot more than the color of the plastic.

Some folks get hung up on pro saws and need to drop 800 or more to make themselves feel good. If you NEED a pro saw, great. The farm and ranch sized will do most of us fine and they are mostly up to pro spec without the cost. Mine are not huge, a 359 with a 20" bar and a 61 with a 24". The 61 was a Asplund saw that they retired and I got used. I have 6 years on that and I put the 24 on after I got tired of bending over with the 16 that was on it. The 359 I cleared for my house with and it was my only saw for a while. I burned a bar on that one after 9 years. They are on the big end of landowner type saws, low side of pro.

get a husky
And a carbide tooth chain. My solution, subject to personal preference on the saw (love echoes too, stihls feel off balance to me), but common sense on the second. i think is the chain site or google rapco industries.

didnt think about linking it before, but I prefer the Woodland Pro.

Safety speech…

Get chaps, wear gloves, safety glasses, plugs or muffs, decent boots, at the minimum. Dont start the saw without. Yeah, I know “I been running saws for 30 years bla bla bla”… I have seen 2 guys who ran saws for years go in the big white van with the cool lights on it because they cut themselves. They wear chaps… now. I cut for years. Got talked into a set of chaps when I was clearing for my house. I figured if nothing else, I could walk through the multiflora rose. Had a kickback the next week where the chain hit my upper left thigh, they work. Chaps are about 70 bucks, last trip in a ambulance I took cost 1200.00

As a forester, I can recommend Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws and few others. Turn your bar over and see if that helps. Otherwise it may be the chain. Have yours chains professionally ground at a shop. Replace them if that does not do the trick.

Definately a chain problem.
I had the same problem. Thought it was the bar but the bar wasn’t the problem. Make sure there are no rounded edges on the chain. You need to be aggressive with the sharpening and the chain should look like a new one when done sharpening. Sometimes you have to do a lot of filing though. I use a Dremel tool to fix any rounded points and fine tune with a file. Learn how to properly sharpen the chain and your problem will be solved and you will cut a lot more wood.

Chain or Bar
The easy way to tell whether it is the bar or the chain that causes the cut to curve is to turn the bar over (so the writing on the bar is upside down) and see if the saw cuts straight. If the cut is straight, then the bar is worn, if the cut curves, it’s the chain.

Lots of times you can see the wear on the bar just by eyeing down the groove that the chain runs in. If one side is lower than the other, your cuts will curve.


Thanks everyone. I will do those things.