Anatomy Of A Chainsaw: Individual Parts And Their Functions


About the Anatomy Of A Chainsaw, A chainsaw can only work the way it does because of the different parts it features. 

You can use and maintain the tool better when you know these parts and how they work.

Some parts ensure the operator’s safety; others ensure the motor runs efficiently, while the rest help the blade cut. 

Generally, a chainsaw is a relatively simple tool, so knowing its parts won’t be difficult. 

In this post, We’re going to do the anatomy of a chainsaw and take a close look at the parts of the chainsaw.

Table of Contents

Parts of a Chainsaw Introduction

Listed below are the different parts of a chainsaw:

Anti-Vibration Handle

The chainsaw handle is the part you hold while operating the machine. For safety and comfort, the handle resists vibration, which is thanks to a built-in spring.

Otherwise, keeping the tool steady while running would take much work. Note that some chainsaws’ handles absorb vibration more than others; it depends on the rubber quality.

Close view of chainsaw handle

 [Close view of chainsaw handle]

Hand Guard/Chain Brake

The work of a chain brake is to stop the cutting chain from moving out of place. Like the anti-vibration handle, the chain brake also works on a spring. As you change the cutting position, the chain brake secures the chain to prevent accidents. Also, the chain brake doubles as a guard, preventing the running chain from striking your hands.

Hand guard attached to a chainsaw

 [Hand guard attached to a chainsaw]


The clutch and sprocket of a chainsaw work hand in hand, and both parts are for safety. The clutch links the cutting chain and the engine.

It disengages or engages the chain as the engine loses or gains power. The clutch squeezes a small round metal component it wraps around to disengage- or stop- the chain. This small component is the sprocket.

Worn out chainsaw sprockets

[Worn out chainsaw sprockets]


A muffler reduces the noise an engine makes – in the UK; they call it a silencer. It’s present in almost every piece of machinery that uses an engine, of which chainsaws belong. Since the chainsaw is not a large tool, it comes with a small muffler.

Cutting wood with a chainsaw

[Cutting wood with a chainsaw]

Spark Arrestor

You’ll find the spark arrestor inside the muffler, but it doesn’t work to stop the noise. Instead, it stops tiny metal pieces that may fly out of the chainsaw.

These tiny metals are sometimes hot and flammable since they come from engines. So, if the spark arrestor doesn’t arrest them, they could cause serious injuries and fire hazards.

Chain Catcher

The chain catcher is similar to the spark arrestor. But it catches the cutting chain instead of catching tiny metals, should it break loose. If such happens, the chain catcher hooks and stops it from hitting you. It’s a critical safety part of a chainsaw.

Throttle Interlock

There’s usually a button on top or close to the chainsaw handle, known as the throttle interlock. It prevents the speed of the chainsaw from increasing or decreasing on its own, consequently preventing irregular use and accidents.

This part is most important for gas-powered chainsaws since it sends fuel to the engine. 

A high definition picture of a chain saw

(A high-definition picture of a chainsaw)


It won’t be wrong to say the chain is the most important part of a chainsaw. It is the part that goes around the bar and does the cutting.

Some people refer to the bar and the chain as the chainsaw blade. Chains are of different types and sizes. They are not universal; you must get the right one for your chainsaw.

Closeview of chainsaw chain

[Closeview of chainsaw chain]


The bar of a chainsaw is the part that holds and supports the cutting chain. It’s usually metal and is just as important as the chain itself. Like chains, bars come in various sizes.

Chainsaw bar with a chain around it

[Chainsaw bar with a chain around it]

Fuel Tank

For gas-powered chainsaws, the fuel tank holds the gas and oil. Tanks are different sizes, but most come with 40 to 1 or 50 to 1 mix ratios. Consequently, the size of the fuel tank will determine how many hours a chainsaw can operate at a go. 

Closed fuel tank of a chainsaw

[Closed fuel tank of a chainsaw]

Pull Cord

Chainsaws come with motors that need pulling to start. So, they also come with a pull cord. The pull cord is a simple, small rope with a sturdy rubber handle. You’ll find it connected to the engine at the top of the chainsaw.

Pulling a chainsaw

[Pulling a chainsaw]

Air Filter

The general function of air filters is to ensure that only clean air goes into and circulates an engine. It’s no different with a chainsaw.

The air filter will trap dust, dirt, and other contaminants. It becomes dirty and clogs with time, so you must clean it occasionally. At one point, you must replace it.

White chainsaw air filter

[White chainsaw air filter]

High/Low Adjustment Screws

The high and low adjustment screws adjust the carburetor in a chainsaw. In particular, they adjust a chainsaw’s minimum and maximum RPM, which controls the tool’s idling speed. Carefulness is critical when adjusting these parts. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the user manual.

Sideview of chainsaw carburetor

[Sideview of chainsaw carburetor]

Summer/Winter Shutter

Only a few people use the summer/winter shutter of their chainsaws. And the majority of the few that do misuse it. However, it’s not a complicated part.

The summer/winter shutter adjusts the ventilation of the engine depending on the weather. For example, during winter, you would want to shut out much of the cold air from getting into your engine.

Repair chain saw

(Repair chain saw)


The chainsaw engine is what drives the entire tool. It’s usually a square metal component with lines and stays covered. Most of the other parts of the chainsaw – the pull plug, spark plug, fuel tank, and muffler – connect to the engine. The size of the engine will differ for different capacity chainsaws. It’ll also vary if the engine is gas-powered or electric-powered.

Chainsaw engine parts

[Chainsaw engine parts]

On/Off Switch + Choke

Of course, chainsaws come with an on-and-off switch. Before you drag the pull cord to start the engine, the switch must be in the on position.

Likewise, you kill the engine when you flip the switch to the off position. The switch also works as a choke when you pull it down.

Manual Fuel Pump

The manual fuel pump in a chainsaw is a tiny bulb, similar to those on a weedeater or lawnmower. Its work is to facilitate starting the engine.

The manual fuel pump will draw up a small quantity of fuel when you press it. That way, the fuel gets to the engine faster when you want to start the engine.

A chainsaw at work

(A chainsaw at work)


At this point, you should know the different parts of a chainsaw and the role each one plays. In summary, a chainsaw has two main categories of parts.

The first involves the chain assembly, while the second involves the power source. Knowing the components of a chainsaw can help you use it better.

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