Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working[Solved]

Sometimes people face one most common problems with their chainsaw is that its tension screw is not working This makes losing and tightening the chain of a chainsaw quite difficult.

Today different- different chainsaws are available from different brands in the market. The principle of working of almost all the chainsaws is quite the same but the design and tools placement is a little bit different.

That’s the main reason that people find it difficult to correct the same issue in different- different machines. But don’t bother as we are here to help you.

Here, in this article, I’m going to sort out the chainsaw tension screw not working problems for some famous brands.

So without further ados let’s get started…

What is Chainsaw Tension Screw And How Does It Work?

The chainsaw tension screw is a small device that is located inside the side cover of most chainsaws. In my case, in the Echo chainsaw, it is located inside the sidebar bracket that is securing the clutch cover.

The Working Process Of The Tension Screw of A Chainsaw

Sometimes we need to tighten or loosen the chain. Suppose in summer the length of the metals increases a little bit. That’s the reason you face the chain becoming loose with its guide bar.

In winter due to the temperature down, the length of the chain becomes shrinks, due to this, you feel that the chain becomes closely tight with its guide bar.

Also when we use the chainsaw due to the fast-moving parts of the chainsaw they become hot and this type of temperature misbalance makes the chain lose or tight accordingly.

A tension screw is a very small tool of a chainsaw that helps to tighten or loosen the length of the chain of your chainsaw.

Sometimes it does not work and creates some problems when you try to rotate it.

How To Solve Chainsaw Tension Screw Clicking Issue?

People face this issue while losing or tightening the chain of their chainsaws. When they try to rotate the tension screw clockwise or counterclockwise directions, it seems to slip from the gear and doesn’t tighten or lose the chain.

The possible reasons for Chainsaw Tension Screw Clicking Problem:

  1. Maybe the tension screw got damaged or stripped.
  2. There may be an issue with drivers on the chain.
  3. Due to the little bit of momentum on the chain that stops it from moving and produces a click sound.
  4. Maybe the chain needs replacement.
  5. Sometimes some teeth break down from the gears which may cause the tension screw doesn’t work properly and create a clicking sound when you try to move it.

In most cases, the problem is fixed by replacing the tension screw. Here, I give a detailed guide about how to change the tension screw of different brands’ chainsaws.

Chainsaw Tension Screw Replacement of Different Brands

1. Echo Chainsaw Tension Screw Replacement

The replacement is pretty simple and it hardly takes a few minutes. First, you have to ensure that you did not use it currently. If you do so keep it at rest to make its engine cool.

Now follow these simple steps to replace its tension screw:

  1. After the engine cools down, remove its upper cover by releasing its top cover clips.
  2. To ensure safety remove the cap of the Echo chainsaw sparkplug because without doing this there are chances of your machine would start accidentally.
  3. The next step is to remove the two big nuts that secure the clutch plate.
  4. Now take this cover onto a flat surface.
  5. The cover contains a tension bracket screw that needs to be removed to reach the tension screw.
  6. Now it’s time to remove the adjustment assembly from its brackets.
  7. Here you will find the old tension screw, lift it by using a plier.
  8. Now take a new tension screw and install it in its place.

Note: By doing this process make sure the bracket is in its place.

Stihl Chainsaw Tension Screw Won’t Work

Some customers complain about their Stihl chainsaw tension screw won’t turn enough to tighten the chain as much as it becomes ready for work.

Sometimes the problem occurs only on one side, either it failed to turn in the right direction or the left direction.

Usually, the tension screw when turns clockwise tightens the chain and in the counterclockwise direction, it loses it.

The possible reason for your problem…

Maybe the sprocket of your chainsaw drive is worn which causes this issue. Always try to lose the two main nuts that secure the clutch plate. Now to tighten the chain you need to push the guide bar with a jerk as much as it gets tight the chain as you feel perfect.

Now adjust the tension screw by using your other hand.

Note: Remember, keep the chain as tight as it stays 1/8 inch below the top of the bar, which means it is snug but won’t get too tight.

In your case after doing all of these processes, the chain is unable to tighten as much as it can work. Might be the length of the chain slightly increases and you need to replace the chain to fix this issue.

Also Read: Some Easy Ways To Revive A Lawn After Scarifying

2. Stihl Chainsaw Tension Screw Replacement

Stihl chainsaw contains one plate that you need to remove and it varies for different-different models. The whole process is going into a few steps listed below…

  1. Remove the one small screw by using a screwdriver than the whole plate comes out.
  2. Now the inside assembly is visible to you. Here, clean everything properly, to make your tension screw replacement process much easier.
  3. Here, you will see a small screw, when you rotate it by using a screwdriver it makes motion in the chain tension plate which moves back and forth.
  4. Just turn the left small screw of this assembly and pull a little bit by using a screwdriver, you will see the whole tension kit will be pop up.
  5. You can replace this kit with the new one, as this kit contain the tension screw for the Stihl chainsaw.

Craftsman Chainsaw Tension Screw Not Working

Craftsman chainsaw is quite different from what we have seen in the above-mentioned models. The tension screw of this model is located on the left side.

The possible reason the Craftsman chainsaw Tension screw is not working, maybe there is a problem with the adjustment screw retainer.

To solve this problem you need to replace this small tool. Follow these steps to replace the craftsman chainsaw tension screw…

  1. First, you need to ensure that the engine is cool. Now press the off button to ensure the chainsaw doesn’t on accidentally.
  2. Now it’s time to open the screw that secures the clutch plate, by using the included wrench. In my case, I’m going to use a 13mm socket that’s come with its package.
  3. Here, make sure that the chain brake is detached from the chainsaw.
  4. It’s time to remove the cover. Now not forget the position of the tension pin.
  5. It’s time to unscrew the bar adjustment screw by rotating it using a screwdriver.
  6. Here you need to grab the old retainer, for this, you have to lift the tension pinout.
  7. Now take the new screw retainer for installation.
  8. Here you need to insert the new retainer into the clutch cover but make sure its slopy side faces outward then rotate the bar adjustment screw through it.
  9. When you rotate the bar adjustment screw put the tension pin on its way and thread the bar adjustment screw through it. Thread it until the screw lock is in its position then move the bar adjustment screw anticlockwise to keep the tension pin in the middle of the bar adjustment screw.
  10. Now align the clutch cover like the tension pin holds its space in the hole of the chain bar.
  11. Now you need to tighten the two big nuts and ensure that the chain is tight enough.
  12. Now the whole process is completed, turn the switch button on and your craftsman chainsaw is ready to use.

How Do You Replace The Tensioner Screw On A Husqvarna Chainsaw?

Every time when you are going to use your chainsaw, you have to ensure the tension of the chain of your chainsaw is right.

Every time it needs a little bit of tightening or loss to perform its job well. In most cases the tension assembly needs attention or sometimes you have to replace them.

Husqvarna Tensioner Replacement is pretty simple and is almost the same as I’ve discussed for the craftsman chainsaw. The Husqvarna chainsaw design is almost the same as a craftsman chainsaw.

How Do You Adjust The Tension On A Poulan Chainsaw?

The tension assembly of a Poulan chainsaw is quite different, here all the procedures are the same, as mentioned above.

The process in the Poulan chainsaw of tightening the tension screw is pretty simple. Here you don’t need to tread the bar adjustment screw in the anticlockwise direction.

Simply tread is continuous until it reaches the endpoint through the hole of the tension pin. When you have tightened the adjustment bar screw then align the clutch cover like the tension pin takes space inside the hole of the chain bar.

The process is ended by tightening the two screws of the cover. Now you can rotate the tension screw to tighten or to lose the chain of your chainsaw.


The tension screw is a very important tool for a chainsaw. In this article, I’ve covered all the troubleshoots and tried to give the most feasible solution to solve the issue.

I hope this article will help you to solve the problem of your chainsaw regarding the Chainsaw tension screw not working. Some top brands’ chainsaw tension issue is also addressed in this article.

About The Author

Harry walter

Harry Walter is here, I'm a passionate writer of home guides, backyard, and garage problems, and have been doing this for a couple of years. I love to share simple solutions for your home and backyard problems.

Leave a Comment