Why Does My Chainsaw Cut Crooked? Identify the Major Reasons

Chainsaws are excellent typical power tools used for felling trees and chopping wood very quickly and effortlessly. Working with a chainsaw is attractive due to its smooth-cutting feature through the wood. However, it may start curving to a side when you need to ensure proper maintenance to mitigate the risk. Improper cutting of chainsaws results from many factors, but solving this issue is relatively easy. This article will outline why my chainsaw cut crooked and what to do when the problem arises. 

Problems One May Experience with a Chainsaw 

Turnover Issues

The turnover issues with a chainsaw are one of the occurrences resulting from engine abuse. It can also occur when the engine has yet to run long. Improper lubrication leads to turnover issues, like causing the metals to clunk or heat up.

A Flooded Engine

You may also experience a flooded engine that poses a severe issue. When the gas is applied to the chainsaw’s machine before it is brought to life, it leads to a flooded engine. 

Overheating of the Engine 

A chainsaw doesn’t work efficiently when its engine gets overheated. Improper cleaning routine of the exhaust’s engine causes it to overheat. 

Reasons Why My Chainsaw Cut Crooked 

The chainsaws cannot cut straightly and smoothly due to many factors. The following section will present why a chainsaw doesn’t cut straight. Knowing the reasons will help you to fix the problem right away. 

Improper Sharpening Process of the Chain 

A common reason your chainsaw cuts crooked and produces uneven cuts is the inconsistent chain. You may not get the proper sharpness when you perform a manual sharpening process. Using a file while sharpening may give you a poor sharpening result. In addition, when a left-handed person tries to sharpen the left side of the chain more. 

Improper sharpening of the chain results in the curving of the chainsaw from right or left while cutting wood. When you notice an issue of a different-sized bite into your wood project, be sure that the reason is the uneven teeth of the chain. 

Bent Bar

A chainsaw cannot give straight and smooth cuts due to a bent bar that is a significant part of the instrument. A bar guides the chain. So, when bent while cutting the wood, it causes curves. 

Unequal Top Plate

Sometimes, your chainsaw may be cut cooked due to an unequal top plate that causes the teeth to put uneven bites. Due to this problem, the chainsaw gets curved to the side and takes up chunks of the chainsaw’s bite. 

Related: Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping: 9 Major Reasons

Uneven Cutting Teeth

The chainsaw-cutting crook might be a result of uneven cutting teeth. The chainsaw won’t cut straight due to uneven cutting teeth. The teeth of the chainsaw become dull after constant use for cutting through wood. The problems with the cutting teeth lead to the bend of the chainsaw. 

Lack of Proper Sharpening Skills 

Chainsaws are powerful cutting tools designed for performing heavy-duty jobs like felling trees or cutting through hardwood materials. So, continuous use makes them dull and lose their sharpness over time. Like all other power tools, you should sharpen a chainsaw once it performs ineffectively. However, many of you may not be sure about the proper execution of the chainsaw, which may lead to different minor to complex issues. 

How to Ensure the Efficiencies of My Chainsaw 

The Chainsaws present unique problems like other power-cutting tools. You cannot ensure peak performance if you don’t take care of this instrument after addressing the issues. The following section will address the ways associated with establishing the peak efficiency of chainsaws. 

Choose a Good Chainsaw 

Choosing the right chainsaw is essential to get maximum safety while cutting wood. A good-quality chainsaw prevents the risk of many significant problems in the future. Furthermore, you should also decide for which purpose you are going to buy a chainsaw. Choose heavy and industrial chainsaws for projects like trimming ornamental plants or cutting shrubs. Whatever chainsaw you purchase, it is better to understand the price and value, that sometimes can be misleading. 

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Make the Top Plates Equal-sized

You can only ensure the efficiency of a chainsaw by making the top plates equal-sized, meaning that both sides should be sharpened equally. No side should be longer than the other side. You should keep sharpening the longest side until it is equal to the length of the other side. 

Fix the Bent Bar

A bent bar doesn’t let the chainsaw cut smoothly. So you have to apply a DIY approach to fix the problem by hammering it on a flat surface. Make sure the bar bent is facing up to use the hammer on it ideally. If you cannot fix it, it is better to replace the bar. 

Fix the Worn-out Chainsaw Teeth

A significant reason why your chainsaw cut crooked is the worn-out teeth. Therefore, you must ensure the teeth are of equal size. Check the teeth daily and ensure they are filed at the right angle. Rocks or pebbles are enemies to your chainsaw’s teeth that lead to dullness of the teeth. So, keep the instrument away from hard objects like rocks, nails, pebbles, etc. 

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Clean the Chainsaw to Avoid Overheating

Chainsaws get overheated due to excessive use or resting outside in the scorching heat of the sub. Overheating is a reason your chainsaw cuts crooked. An effective way to avoid this problem is to clean it after each use. The inside of the exhaust of this instrument gets dirty and damaged due to wood particles. So, pay deep attention to the inside of the exhaust. 

Sharpen the Chainsaw in Right Direction

Whether left-handed or right-handed, you must ensure you focus equally on both sides while sharpening a chainsaw. Pay attention to the side of the chainsaw against your side; that will help you get balanced edges. We recommend you use a good quality chainsaw sharpener to get an even sharpness. Try to avoid working with manual sharpeners. Instead, use a grinder that will help you to set the angle, length, and depth the way you want and sharpen both sides of the chainsaw in a balanced way. 

Take Help from Professionals 

If you need more skill to sharpen your chainsaw, take help from a professional from your nearby store. The professionals have advanced sharpening tools or machines to fit the right angle. Using proper tools instead of manual files provides flawless cutting. You may only execute the sharpening job if you have the right tools. Leaving the sharpening job to the hands of a professional will fade away your stress over honing the chains within a short time. 

Importance of Sharpening a Chainsaw in the Right Direction 

When it comes to using a chainsaw for felling trees or chopping wood, you must know the proper sharpening process of this instrument. A sharp chainsaw provides maximum efficiency while cutting and safety to that user. 

Proper sharpening methods will help you to use the chainsaw for about five years, even if you use it continuously. You can even use it more extended if you maintain and store your chainsaw correctly. Sharpening and maintaining the chainsaw properly ensures maximum safety for the user and peak efficiency. 

Learn more: What is a Plunge Saw: Features, Usage & Reasons for Use


When your chainsaw cuts are crooked, it can be frustrating and affect the quality of your work. Here are some frequently asked questions related to this issue along with their answers:

What can cause my chainsaw to cut crooked?

Several factors can contribute to a chainsaw cutting crooked, such as a dull or damaged chain, improper chain tension, bar alignment issues, incorrect chain filing, or user technique.

How do I know if my chain is dull or damaged?

Signs of a dull or damaged chain include difficulty cutting through wood, excessive vibration, smoking during operation, or the saw pulling to one side during cutting.

How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

The frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use the chainsaw and the type of wood you cut. As a general guideline, chainsaws should be sharpened every 2-3 hours of use or whenever you notice a decrease in cutting efficiency.

How can I adjust the chain tension correctly?

Refer to your chainsaw’s user manual for specific instructions on adjusting the chain tension. Generally, you’ll need to loosen the bar nuts, adjust the tensioning screw until the chain sits snugly against the bar, and then tighten the bar nuts.

How can I ensure proper bar alignment?

Check the bar alignment by sighting down the bar from the tip to the engine. If the bar appears bent or misaligned, consult the user manual for instructions on how to realign it. In some cases, you may need to seek professional assistance.

What is the proper technique for using a chainsaw to prevent crooked cuts?

Maintain a firm grip on the saw with both hands, keep the chain parallel to the wood surface, and apply steady pressure while cutting. Avoid twisting or jerking the saw during the operation.

I’ve tried troubleshooting, but my chainsaw still cuts crooked. What should I do?

If you’ve attempted the recommended adjustments and the problem persists, it’s advisable to consult a professional chainsaw repair technician. They can diagnose the issue more accurately and provide appropriate solutions.

Read: What is a Cold Saw: A Complete Guide on the Usages and Benefits 

Final Thoughts 

Ensuring the maintenance of your chainsaw will help you to get straight and smoother cuts of your wood. Getting a fully functional chainsaw is possible only when you take care of it by following the above maintenance tips. Don’t feel depressed anymore because this article has explained why does my chainsaw cut crooked with proper solutions. You can readily fix the issues with your chainsaw right after executing the fixing tips described in this article.

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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