Parts of a Chainsaw: Glossary

Chainsaws are a very useful tool that many people own, but few people know the parts that they’re comprised of. Most of us assume that knowing the parts that make up the machine is unnecessary knowledge. Some people may not have time to study a complex piece of machinery, but we’d say it’s well worth the time.

According to a study done by the CDC, there are over 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries each year. We never want to see someone injured while operating a chainsaw which is another reason we put this list together.

We highly recommend that you take the time to become more familiar with your chainsaw as it can help you in the future with maintenance and protection.

Why Should I Know the Parts?

The biggest reason would be your safety. A chainsaw is not a toy and is instead a very dangerous tool that can even prove deadly. We would never recommend someone use a chainsaw if they don’t know what they’re doing. A good way to educate yourself is by learning the parts and knowing what they do.

Another reason to know the parts of your chainsaw is for maintenance purposes. Knowing the parts and what they do can help you establish a basic understanding of how to make your chainsaw last longer.

Now, let’s dive in and look at what parts make up your chainsaw:

Chain Catcher

The chain catcher is one of the most important parts of the chainsaw. This plastic or metal guard is designated to protect the operator from injury in case of a situation in which the chain breaks during use or comes off the bar. Always be sure your chainsaw has the chain catcher in place to keep yourself safe.

The Chain

Speaking of which, the saw’s chain is next on our list. The chain itself is made up of different components such as the cutting teeth on the outside and the drive links on the inside. While the cutting teeth are self-explanatory, the drive links keep the chain on the bar and allow the chain to be propelled by the motor.

Guide Bar

The guide bar is the steel bar that the chain is wrapped around. Its purpose is to guide the chain while the chainsaw is in use and hold the chain in position.


The clutch is attached to the chain sprocket. It’s there to control the speed at which you cut with the chainsaw.

Chain Brake

The chain brake is very important for all chainsaws and their users. Its purpose is to stop the chain immediately if a kickback occurs. This keeps the operator safe from serious injury caused by the chain.


The flywheel shares the jobs of controlling the speed at which the chainsaw operates and cooling the engine to prevent overheating from occurring.


The muffler is a key part that helps to reduce engine noise and is very similar to how a muffler on a vehicle works. This helps keep the operator safe from damaging their ears due to the loud noise of the engine.


The throttle controls the chainsaw’s RPM or revolutions per minute. It works by increasing or decreasing the volume of fuel to the cylinders. When pressure on the throttle is released, the chain will stop running.

Hand Guard

The hand guard is a plastic shield that protects the user’s hands from potential kickback. Most injuries occur when the chainsaw kicks back, so this is a convenient part of the machine.

Decompression Valve

The decompression valve is a part that releases saw compression. In turn, this makes the chainsaw easier to start.

Anti-Vibration Valve

The anti-vibration valve is a very useful part for protection as well. Due to the power of the chainsaw, it produces a lot of vibrations, but this part reduces the stress that it puts on the user’s hands while operating the chainsaw by absorbing most of the vibration.


The carburetor’s sole purpose is to control the intake of fuel by the engine.


Each chainsaw also has filters which help keep the machine free of dust and dirt. This prevents particles from getting into the carburetor and doing damage. Be sure to clean out your chainsaw filters every so often to ensure your carburetor stays nice and clean.

Choke Valve

The choke valve is in place to allow the operator to start up the chainsaw. It modifies the intake of air pressure along with the fuel allowing a better supply of fuel when starting up the machine.

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