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Why Did My Chain Saw Freeze Up?

If you find that your chain saw is freezing up, you should stop cutting immediately. This is because there is a chance of binding or kickback, which happens when the saw chain stalls when it hits a foreign object. Besides preventing the saw from freezing up, you can also avoid this problem by using bumper spikes and only cutting at full speed. If you’ve never seen this problem before, you should know that it is a relatively common problem and is caused by improper usage.

Why Did My Chain Saw Freeze Up?

Untightened chain

First, make sure that the chain is properly tightened. It should have three to four rivets above the guide bar. Otherwise, it will not work properly. If the chain is too loose, you should tighten it again and check for any other problems. In addition, it may be necessary to replace the chain.

Unevenly worn bar rails

Unevenly worn bar rails can make your chain saw freeze up and refuse to cut properly. The bar’s teeth have become unevenly worn, creating a burr on the edge of the bar. The burr causes drag in the cut and eventually breaks off of the bar. To prevent this problem, grind the bar rails until they are level with the bar. If you don’t grind them, you risk damaging the saw’s main bearings.

To inspect the bar, remove it from the chain saw and clean it of debris. Hold it level to your eye and examine it closely. Check for bending and chipping. You’ll be able to see it most clearly if the bar is unevenly worn.

Ignition coil failure

When your chain saw doesn’t start after several attempts, it may be the result of a faulty ignition coil. This component sends voltage to the spark plug, which ignites the fuel and turns the saw on. A malfunctioning coil can develop over time as the saw is used frequently. Use an ignition coil tester to check the coil and replace it if necessary.

Bad carburettor

If the spark plug is dirty or contains black carbon, it might also be the culprit. Another cause of a chainsaw freezing up and stopping mid-use is a bad carburetor. If the fuel is too stale, the carburetor will likely stop functioning properly. If the fuel is contaminated or old, a carburetor rebuild may be necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to replace this component.

Oiler failure

Another common cause of a chain saw freezing is a lack of oil. Check the oil level and the oil filter, and make sure the chainsaw has the right amount of oil. Also, ensure that the air filter is clean and working properly. If the chainsaw continues to freeze up, take it to a qualified mechanic.


There are many reasons why your chain saw might freeze and we’ve tried to pen down some of them. Hopefully, by going through this article, you’ll be able to deal with it conveniently!

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