How to Remove a Link from a Chainsaw Chain? A simple guide

How to Remove a Link from a Chainsaw Chain?

Chainsaws, essential tools for many homeowners and professionals, occasionally require maintenance to perform optimally.

One common issue many chainsaw users face is adjusting the chain’s length by removing a link. This problem often arises due to a stretched chain, which can compromise the safety and efficiency of the tool.

The solution to the problem is a straightforward procedure involving a chainsaw chain breaker, a tool designed to remove and install links. Following a series of steps, the user can successfully remove a link from their chainsaw chain, restoring the tool’s performance and ensuring safe operation.

This article aims to provide you with a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to remove a link from a chainsaw chain. So let’s delve into the details.

Essential Tools for Chainsaw Link Removal and Safety Precautions

Before you begin the process of removing a link from a chainsaw chain, make sure you have the following tools and take the necessary precautions:

  1. Chainsaw Chain Breaker: This is the main chainsaw link removal tool you’ll need. It breaks the rivets in the chain, allowing you to remove a link.
  2. Pliers or Wrench: A pair of pliers or a wrench if you don’t have a chain breaker.
  3. File: A file to polish any rough edges after removing the link.
  4. Unplug and cool down: The chainsaw should be unplugged and completely cooled down.
  5. Safety Glasses: Always prioritize safety when working with chainsaws. Wearing safety glasses will protect your eyes from any flying debris.
  6. Protective Gloves: A pair of heavy-duty gloves will protect your hands from sharp edges on the chain.
  7. Flat Work Surface: You’ll need a flat and stable work surface to lay your chainsaw on while you work.
  8. Wear Chaps or Pants: This will help protect you from any flying debris during the process.

How to Remove a Link from a Chainsaw Chain: Step-by-Step Guide

Also, the question asked: How to Take a Link Out of a Chainsaw Blade? Removing a link from a chainsaw chain or blade for you may be difficult, but the process becomes quite easy with the right tools and a step-by-step guide. Let’s go through the steps involved.

Step 1: Secure the Chainsaw

First, secure the chainsaw on a flat, stable work surface to ensure it doesn’t move around while working on it.

Step 2: Identify the Link to be Removed

Next, carefully examine the chain and identify the link you want to remove. It’s advisable to mark it for easy identification.

Step 3: Position the Chain Breaker

Position the chain breaker over the chain, ensuring its anvil is lined up with the rivet of the link you want to remove.

Step 4: Activate the Chain Breaker

Activate the chain breaker to push the rivet through and break the link. Repeat the same process on the other side of the link.

Step 5: Remove the Link

Once both rivets of the link are broken, you can easily remove the link from the chain.

Step 6: Reassemble the Chain

After removing the link, reassemble the chain. Make sure the links are aligned correctly.

Step 7: Test the Chainsaw

Finally, plug in the chainsaw and test it to ensure it operates smoothly. If it doesn’t, you may need to adjust the chain tension.

How to find the master link on a chainsaw chain?

The master link, also known as the chainsaw chain joining link, is a single, distinctive link that joins the ends of the chain together. It plays a crucial role in the functionality of the chainsaw. Identifying the chainsaw master link can be tricky, but it can be done with careful observation.

Step 1: Inspect the Chainsaw Chain

Begin by thoroughly inspecting the chain saw chain. Look carefully at each link. The master link is often different in appearance compared to the other links, it can be slightly thicker or have a different color.

Step 2: Look for Indicators

The master link usually has indicators that set it apart. It might have a clip or a plate on one side that can be unclipped to separate the chain. Some chains may have a master link with a groove or an arrow signifying its direction of movement.

Step 3: Verify the Master Link

Once you have identified what you believe to be the master link, verify it by checking whether it can be unclipped or detached, as this is a definitive characteristic of the master link.

How to Remove a Link from a Chainsaw Chain: Without a Master Link

Not all chainsaws have a master link; if your chainsaw chain does not have one, you will think about how to shorten the chain without a tool. Removing a link can be difficult in such a case, but it is still possible.

To remove a chain link without a master link, you’ll need a firm surface, a hammer, and a punch.

First, identify the link you want to remove and place the chain on a hard surface. Ensure that the rivet of the identified link is accessible and facing upwards. Use the punch to apply pressure on the rivet, then gently hammer on the punch to drive the rivet out.

Repeat this process on the other side of the link. Once both rivets are removed, you can simply remove the link on the chain. Always remember to maintain caution throughout the process to avoid injury.

Is it safe to remove the chainsaw link?

The same question should be asked: Is it safe to shorten a chainsaw chain?

Yes, it is generally safe to shorten a chainsaw chain. You can remove it anytime it loosens on the chain or is damaged or worn. Buying a new chain is not a preferable option. Rivets connect the chainsaw links. By usage, the chain stretches, and the removal of the link becomes necessary.

Removing a link can create sharp edges, so you should use appropriate safety measures like wearing heavy-duty gloves, protective goggles, and other protective gear when removing links from your chainsaw chain.

DIY Chainsaw Breaker

Need a chainsaw breaker? No worries! You can create your DIY version using just a few basic tools: pliers, a hammer, and a punch.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by inserting the punch on one side of the link you want to remove.
  • Grab your trusty hammer and give that rivet a good whack to drive it out.
  • Once both sides of the link are free, it’s time to put those pliers to work. Use them to remove the link entirely.

With these simple steps, you can tackle chainsaw maintenance like a pro!


Maintaining your chainsaw and managing its chain length effectively can guarantee optimal performance, durability, and safety. With the right set of tools and patience, removing a chainsaw link can be done efficiently, even within the comfort of your garage. Safety should always be your top priority, so wear appropriate protective equipment during the process.


how to fix a stretched chainsaw chain?

A stretched chainsaw chain can be fixed by removing the overly stretched links and reassembling the chain. Always keep the chain tension screw adjusted correctly in a clockwise position to prevent excessive stretching.

How to tighten the chain of a chainsaw?

Tightening the chain involves adjusting the tensioning screw on the chainsaw’s side. Turn the screw clockwise to increase tension until the chain fits snugly against the guide bar but can still be rotated by hand.

How do I know if my chainsaw chain is dull?

A dull chainsaw chain will make ragged cuts, produce fine sawdust instead of wood chips, and require more effort to cut through wood. The chainsaw might also vibrate excessively or ‘bounce’ during cutting.

Do you need a chain brake on a chainsaw?

Yes, a chain brake is an essential safety feature on a chainsaw. It helps prevent the chain from moving when kickback occurs, significantly reducing the risk of injury.

Can I Fix The Broken Chainsaw Chain?

Yes, it’s possible to fix a broken chainsaw chain. By applying proper strategies, you will be to do so.

What chain goes on my STIHL chainsaw?

STIHL strongly advises using low-kickback, green-labeled chains, and green-labeled reduced-kickback bars on all powerheads for a safer and more enjoyable cutting experience.
The Stihl chainsaw chain master link size should match the size of the drive link. Please refer to the instruction manual for your particular model to determine what chain goes on your STIHL chainsaw.

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