Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Adjust the Guide Bar & Chain Tension on the Husqvarna 55 Rancher

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Maintaining proper guide bar and chain tension is essential to the safe and efficient operation of any chainsaw. On the Husqvarna 55 Rancher, adjusting the bar and chain is designed to be accomplished in the field with basic tools and a minimal amount of time. Chain tension should be checked before starting the chainsaw every time you use it. Failure to maintain proper chain tension could result in damage to the saw or injury to the saw operator.

Check the chain tension. Release the chain brake by pulling the front hand guard back toward the front handle. With your left hand on the top of the front handle, use your right hand to grab the chain on the top of the bar. Attempt to rotate the chain. It should spin freely and no slack should be seen in the chain on the underside of the bar.

Loosen the two bar nuts one full turn, using the wrench end of the combo wrench or 1/2-inch socket.

Use the screwdriver end of the combo wrench or the flathead screwdriver to turn the chain tensioner screw on the front of the saw -- clockwise to increase the tension, counterclockwise to reduce the tension. When properly tensioned, the chain should rest snugly against the underside of the bar with no visible slack.

Hold the bar tip up with your right hand and use the wrench end of the combo wrench or 1/2-inch socket to tighten the two bar nuts.

Chain Tension On A Husqvarna 445

When a chainsaw's chain is under too much tension, it's subject to excess friction when it rotates, which makes the chain more likely than normal to break. The chain is under the right amount of tension when its tie straps touch the guide rails on the bottom of the guide bar and the chain doesn't sag away from the bar. The chain should be loose enough, though, to turn easily by hand. Rotating the screw clockwise increases the tension. Chain tension needs to be checked regularly as you use the saw. Put on gloves, grasp the chain between your fingers, lift the chain away from the guide bar and release the chain. A new chainsaw chain stretches during its initial use. Before you make any cuts with a new chain, let the saw run at one-half throttle for a few minutes, and then stop the saw's engine and check the tension after the chain has cooled.


When using a new chain, check the tension frequently until the chain is run-in.


Never adjust the bar and chain while the saw is running. Make sure the stop switch is in the "off" position. Always wear gloves when working with the chain in order to protect your hands.

Garden Guides