How to Remove the Drive Sprocket on a Chainsaw

Constructional features of sprockets

Every manufacturer will give you a tooth pitch in the owner’s manual. Considering that the saw bar also has an idler sprocket (designed to create the necessary tension), the pitch should be the same there and there.

DIY How To Remove Chainsaw Clutch without Specialty Tools. Saw Repair. Poulan Husqvarna Stihl Echo

Chainsaw chain sprockets can be assembled or solid. In the first case, the sprocketcket consists of a hub with a ring gear that is pressed on it. This is exactly how the parts in Champion chain saws are designed. You have to remove the complete sprocket to change it, because it is almost impossible to maintain the set tension value given by the manufacturer at home. And getting a separate sprocket is also a problem.

On STIHL or Husqvarna chain saws the replacement ring is directly on the cylinder shaft, so changing it is very easy.


The following signs are indicative of tooth wear

  • There are clearly visible radii at the transition from tooth to socket.
  • Tooth width not equal in height.
  • Metal chipping can be observed on the tooth tips.
  • the inner surface of the bore in the hub has extensive scoring and scoring (due to poor lubrication).
  • There is a groove in the sprocket from the bar (the chain must also be replaced).
  • The chain jams at the initial start.

If at least one of these factors is present, the drive sprocket must be replaced.

HOW-TO Replace A Chainsaw Chain Sprocket

Before you start working. especially if the chainsaw has not been in operation for long enough. it is a good idea to check that the guide bar is properly secured. Screw-tensioner has come loose or the mounting nuts have come undone. the guide bar is out of alignment with the saw’s longitudinal guide bar. It starts to contact not the center, but the periphery of the drive sprocket teeth, causing heavy wear. After tightening the aforementioned elements, check the chain saw’s performance: if the play is not eliminated, the sprocket has to be replaced.

How to reduce wear on the drive sprocket?

Chainsaw clutch life can be extended with routine preventive maintenance and quality tool maintenance. Useful tips:

  • Lubricate the needle bearing after each change of chainring;
  • choose the correct replacement parts for your chainsaw depending on the chain pitch and use good quality sprocket parts;
  • Do not replace clutch and saw parts at the same time. this will cause pitch changes and wear on the headset;
  • Clean saw regularly by removing the side cover.
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Monitor the chain’s sound and behavior closely during operation. If it starts to jam, vibration and rattling occurs. diagnosis is needed.

Change of chain sprocket in a chainsaw is a planned procedure that ensures reliable and stable operation of the tool. When diagnosing or repairing a hitch, consider the design features of the model, the manufacturer’s requirements. To avoid frequent breakdowns, it is recommended to use only original parts or quality analogues, systematically clean the chainsaw.

What is needed to replace the sprocket on a chainsaw?

The main thing that is required, an understanding of the internal structure of saws and a certain knack: if you hold this power tool in the hands for the first time, it is better not to experiment with repairs and leave it to more experienced people.

If you are confident that you are technically proficient, replacing the sprocket on your chainsaw will require:

Chainsaw sprocket replacement. Device, reviews

All domestic, and professional chainsaws have the same design features, and therefore the answer to the question, how to remove the sprocket from a chainsaw, is almost the same for owners of all chainsaw models. Of course, they may differ in quality of assembling and accessories, in installed additional options and location of some units. But, in general, they consist of the same assemblies have similar sore spots and require the same consumables. This observation applies in full measure to the saw unit, which consists of the drive unit, the bar and the chain.

In turn, it is the drive unit that most often fails the drive sprocket. This is due to many reasons, which we will discuss below. Replacement of such an important mechanism may seem to someone a super-complicated task, but in fact the repair can be performed at home. It does not require any special tools or great knowledge and skills. Immediately note that the technology of repairing the chain saw chain saw and electric saw does not differ significantly.

Two kinds of chain saw drive sprockets are used in chainsaws: one-piece components with the clutch plate and demountable ones that have an interchangeable whisk with slotted attachment to the chainsaw clutch plate. One-piece sprockets are cheaper, while the collapsible sprocket is more economical in operation, as it allows you to change only the removable whisk. The clutch head itself only shows signs of little wear.

chain saw sprocket replacement

Chainsaws made by renowned manufacturers of special tools are characterized by high reliability and long life. This is attributable to the clever design and special grades of tool steel from which all moving and friction parts are made. These include, first and foremost, the following:

  • The chain with cutting edges;
  • the guide bar;
  • chain sprocket that is driven in rotary motion by the power of a single-cylinder two-stroke gasoline engine.

They are all operated intensively and wear out over time. Even slight changes in the geometric dimensions of these parts impair the performance and smooth operation of the saw. If you need to remove the chain saw sprocket to replace it, you need to understand the principle of the clutch system, with which it has a direct connection.

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To replace the drive (drive) sprocket you will need the following tools and accessories:

  • a special wrench for removing this part (usually supplied with expensive brand-name chainsaws, cheap saws do not come with such a wrench);
  • a hammer made of aluminum or copper (only soft metals and only if there is no wrench);
  • hammer (for hitting the hammer while unscrewing the sprocket);
  • flat screwdriver for tightening the nut;
  • Grease for the sprocket bearing.

The design of the clutch

Chainsaws are machines that are equipped with drive sprockets, which are a single unit with a clutch basket.

The clutch is engaged in the automatic mode, depending on the number of engine revolutions.

remove, drive, sprocket, chainsaw

Units are fitted with a centrifugal-type clutch that engages automatically, depending on the number of engine revolutions.

When the machine’s engine is running at idle or low speed, the friction plates on the clutch basket exhibit a certain amount of freedom in the radial direction. This freedom of movement allows the springs to be drawn against the center of the rotary shaft and does not transfer any rotary motion to the sprocket drum. As the engine speed of the machine increases, the centrifugal force exceeds the force of the springs, which causes the elements with friction pads to shift. These elements are forced against the inner walls of the drum by centrifugal force. This contact results in a rotary motion transfer to the reel and sprocket which drives the saw chain of the tool. The chainsaw sprocket can be located either outside the tool, or under a special cover that protects the mechanism from damage, and the operator of the device from injury.

the main advantage of this type of clutch is that in the event of chain jamming, the elements that have friction pads slip, thus protecting the internal combustion engine from serious damage.

Needed tools

Once we have diagnosed the failure of the clutch system and the drive sprocket, it is necessary to buy spare parts. Knowing and matching your chainsaw to the chain is important. If you decide to put a chain with a different pitch, respectively, and the sprocket must be replaced with a new.

It is also not advisable to use Chinese components on European-made chainsaws. If you do, the reliability of your saw will be severely reduced.

This requirement applies to all models, wherever they are made and whatever class they belong to.

Chainsaw Repair Kit

The drive sprocket is often sold as a set with a replacement bearing but can also be purchased separately. When it comes to the price of the sprocket and the whole kit, you have to consider the make and model of the chainsaw. For a Chinese chainsaw, a drive sprocket will cost about 5-7. for chainsaw repair kits from European manufacturers start at 20.

Important: You should take into account the model and class of your chainsaw. Domestic and professional tools have different drive gears.

Before visiting the store, it is best to take pictures of the units you are going to replace and show them to the salesman.

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Step-by-step instructions for changing a chain saw sprocket

To replace the sprocket on a chainsaw, you can not only in the service, but also with your own hands. The whole process is relatively simple, the repair will require:

  • spark plug wrench;
  • wrench to remove the coupling (an ordinary bolt wrench for the nut will also do, but it is desirable that it was thicker);
  • piston stop (special tool, but it can be replaced with a tight cord);
  • a crescent wrench/wrench (may not be needed).

Replacement of the drive sprocket and chain begins with fixing the piston in the chainsaw cylinder. To do this, remove the upper housing cover, the air filter, and unscrew the spark plug. A special piston stopper is installed in this hole, but it is not in great demand among craftsmen: the metal one can scratch the piston, and the plastic one can break and get inside. Most often it is replaced with a regular, thick cord or wire about 10 to 15 cm long. It’s important that there is no debris or metal wires sticking out of it, all of which can get into the cylinder.

Put a stopper or cord in the hole. The piston may be in the way and to lower it, you must rotate the sprocket slightly by moving the chain or the chain itself clockwise.

Remove the cover on the side of the chainsaw where the guide bar is attached. It is usually held in place by two bolts and secured by two nuts. Unscrew them by hand or with a wrench or Allen wrench. Chain tensioning is loosened so that the chain and guide bar can be removed immediately. At this stage you should also perform external cleaning of accumulated dust, sawdust.

Depending on chainsaw design, the sprocket may be located under the clutch drum (either separately or as a part of it) or on top of. In the second case, everything is easier. remove the part and replace it with a new one.

Under other circumstances, it may need to be disassembled. The clutch is left-hand threaded and can be unscrewed clockwise using a wrench or impact wrench, remove the drum and then remove the chain sprocket. If the chain saw has been in use for an extended time, parts can become very stuck. In such a situation, physical force may be required, but never use a hammer or chisel. this would destroy the part as a whole.

Remove all the parts:

remove, drive, sprocket, chainsaw

Carry out an initial inspection of all components for wear and deformation. Then you can repair the machine and replace the sprocket on the chain saw. If it is part of the clutch drum. the whole part must be replaced. An important moment will be the selection of a new part. it must be similar to the regular one.

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