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Craftsman Electric Chainsaw | Chain Replacement Basic Tutorial

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

This Craftsman Electric chainsaw is really a nice one, especially for the price. The chain is super easy to replace. I go through the process step by step to show you exactly how it is done below.

I always try to remember to put the cover over the bar and chain when I'm not using it to avoid damaging the teeth of the chain and also for safety purposes. I picked up a brand new chain from Lowe's for this. This one in particular is 16 inches long.

The first step is obvious. Make sure it's unplugged. Seems like a no brainer but you'd be surprised. Next you you remove the bar and chain safety cover as it just slides on and off.

Lay the chainsaw on it's side and turn the big red knob to the left to loosen it up. If your chain is super tight you also may need to spin the gray spindle knob to the left shown in the picture above.

Loosening the red knob will allow the side cover to be removed. Just unthread it all the way and remove the cover.

You may choose to wear gloves while performing the next few steps as the chain can contain oil and dirt as well as cut you if you're not careful. During this step I just lift the bar and chain together off of the power unit and set it on the table.

The inside of the cover really gets clogged up and dirty from the dust and oil it gets exposed to. I like to wipe it all out really good as well as blow it out with some compressed air.

I like to pull them both off together and then remove the chain from the bar. Don't throw away your old chain unless it's already been re-sharpened a bunch. If you are just changing it for the first time you can take it off and take it into a chainsaw or farm and garden shop to get it sharpened if you don't want to do it yourself.

I cleaned the cover really good with a shop rag and then blew it out with my air nozzle connected to my air compressor.

Here's the chain still in it's packaging. Be careful when removing from packaging as it's really easy to slice yourself on the fresh sharp edges of the teeth.

It's always a good idea to make sure that the teeth are facing the correct direction. It is possible to install a chainsaw chain in the wrong direction.

I just pull the old one off of the bar and set aside. I like to clean any debris that may be in the track of the bar where the chain slides. Many folks will also recommend flipping your bar around (upside down) in order to keep the wear on the bar even. I chose to keep it facing the same way as it came stock for now.

Put the chain onto and around the chainsaw chain bar. Sometimes it's good to wear some gloves during this process as there is oil on the chain and it's sharp.

The two holes are for mounting the bar back onto the power unit. The two holes allow for chain adjustment.

Place the chain around the power unit drive mechanism. As you can see only one hole on the bar is utilized. This is so that if you want to flip the bar upside down to even out bar wear than you can.

Now it's time to place the cleaned up cover back onto the saw.

Put the cover back into place and tighten the big red knob but don't tighten it all the way yet.

Tighten it down almost all the way and then back it off a turn. This will allow for you to ensure your chain is nice and tight before tightening the cover fully. To ensure your chain is properly tensioned you can pull it off the bar and it should snap back. If you can't pull it off the bar than you have your chain too tight and need to roll the gray knob toward the "-" symbol shown on the cover. Turning the gray knob toward the "+" symbol tightens the chain. Once properly tightened than crank the red knob all the way down.

Here's the full video below. Thanks for stopping by.

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