How to Reset a Husqvarna Chain Brake – Easy Free Fix

Chainsaw chain brakes are a common safety feature today on almost all chainsaws. I can’t even think of a single gasoline chainsaw that’s been manufactured in recent times that is not equipped with a chain brake.

What is the purpose of a chainsaw’s chain brake?

The purpose of a chainsaw’s chain brake is to protect the chainsaw operator from the chainsaw’s moving chain. Chainsaw chain brakes can be manually engaged by hand or by inertia when a chainsaw kicks back at the operator while cutting.

If you’re reading this post chances are you have a stuck chain brake on your Husqvarna chainsaw. The situation probably occurred due to you having forgotten to disengage the chain brake before removing the chainsaw’s side cover. This situation can be annoying but it can be easily fixed.

This fix can be done in just a few minutes with common household tools.

Tools needed to reset the chainsaw’s chain brake will be the following:

  • Vise (or something to sturdily hold chainsaw’s side cover)
  • 2 common end wrenches
  • Chainsaw Bar Wrench

Step 1. Place Chainsaw Side Plate in Vise

Place the chainsaw’s side plate into the vice. Make sure the side plate is secure and sturdy. You will be placing pressure on it and it needs to stay firmly gripped by the table vise in order for this fix to work.

Be careful not to damage the chainsaw’s side plate with the vise by applying too much pressure. You will need to find the chainsaw’s side plate’s longest flat edges to grip with the vise.

When tightening the vise do not crush the side plate. This can easily happen if too much force is used.

Step 2. Place End Wrenches in Proper Position to Apply Pressure

Grab the two end wrenches and place the open end of one wrench into the chain brake lock mechanism on the chainsaw’s side plate. Then place the open end of the other end wrench into the closed end of the end wrench that is on the chain brake lock mechanism.

The chain brake lock mechanism on the side plate is where the chain brake band is engaged and disengaged. Now that we have the wrenches in place we are able to apply pressure to force the chain brake lock mechanism from engaged to disengaged.

Step 3. Unlock the Chainsaws Chainbrake

To apply pressure use one hand to hold the end wrench that is applied to the chain brake mechanism and the other hand to apply pressure on the other wrench that is acting as a handle.

Simply apply constant pressure in the direction to move the chain brake mechanism to the opposite position that its currently in. You did it. The chainsaw’s chain brake is now unlocked.

Step 4. Reinstall the Chainsaw’s Side Cover Back Onto the Chainsaw

Now that the Chainsaw’s chain brake is unlocked the side cover can be reinstalled onto the chainsaw. Place the side cover back onto the chainsaw and use the chainsaw bar wrench to tighten the bar nuts.

Step 5. Test The Chain Brake for Proper Function

Now that the chainsaw chain brake is reinstalled and the chain brake is unlocked we need to make sure the chain brake is working properly.

Push the chainsaw’s chainbrake handle to the forward position to engage the chain brake. Now that the brake is engaged use the bar wrench to see if the chain on the chainsaw is indeed locked in place.

If the chain will move with the chain brake is engage, something is wrong and you will need to start the process over. After repeating the process and the chain brake is still not working you will need to take your chainsaw to a dealer for repair.

NEVER OPERATE A CHAINSAW WITH A NON-FUNCTIONING CHAIN BRAKE. Operating a chainsaw without a working chain brake can injure you severely or cause death.

If your chainsaw’s chain brake is working properly you fix is now complete. Congratulations! You did it!

How Do You Activate a Chain Brake on a Chainsaw?

The chain brake on a chainsaw is pointless if it does not function properly. Chainsaw chain brakes are activated in two disctict ways by the chainsaw user.

The primary way to activate the chain brake on a chainsaw is for the operator to push the chain brake handle forward until it clicks and locks. The secondary way of activating the chain brake is done automatically by the chainsaw through intertia if the chainsaw kicks back at the user.

When Should A Chainsaw Chain Brake Be Used?

A functioning chain brake is a vital part of the chainsaw. If a chainsaw’s chain brake is not functioning do not use the chain saw until the chain brake is repaired or replaced.

When should you use the chain brake on your chainsaw?

A chainsaws chain brake should be used when starting a chainsaw, walking with a cranked chainsaw or being in close proximity to other people with a running chainsaw.

There is another scenario when a chainsaw chain brake is used but it is done automatically by the chainsaw if the chainsaw is used improperly.

This senario is when the chain of a chainsaw comes into contact with a solid object in a specific way. This can cause the chainsaw to kick back at the user. The inertia of the chainsaw kicking back is supposed to engage the chain brake quickly to prevent the operator from being injured by a spinning chain.

If the chain brake is not functioning properly and kick back occurs severe injury and or death can result.


Wrapping Up

Husquvarna Chainsaw’s are fantastic chainsaws and some of my personal favorites. That being said any piece of equipment has its qwirks and most times they can be easily avoided or remedied with a little knowledge.

Now you have the knowledge of how to unlock your Husquvarna chainsaw’s chainbrake if you accidental removed the side cover without disengaging the chain brake first.

The complete procedure can be done in less than 5 minutes and with tools you probably are own, so it essentially free to do. Remember to check and make sure your chain brake is functioning correctly after you unlock the chain brake.

Be safe out there and happy cutting!

Steven R

I have been part of the chainsaw and outdoor power equipment business in one way or the other for over 35 years. There are not many things that I have not seen in the business. From repairs, sales, equipment operation, and safety I can help you with your questions.

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