Oregon PowerNow Chainsaw Handbrake repair

You are probably here because the handbrake on your saw will not stay in the engage position. I figured since I had to rip my whole saw apart to find the solution, I would post it here so that you will only have to remove 8 screws. It is a very easy fix and should be part of the maintenance schedule of this saw and included in the owner’s manual. As always, repair at your own risk or take it to an authorized repair shop.


It is not very safe to try and hold the brake while you saw. So let’s get it fixed.

Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

First remove the side cover that covers the bar, chain, and powersharp feature by loosening the large black hand screw. Take off the bar and chain. It should now look like this.SAM_2106 The powersharp red lever will need to be removed. Take note of how the spring is before removal so that you can reassemble it correctly. There is a bolt and washer that holds the powersharp feature on at the pivot point of it. Remove this screw. There is a screw at the bottom of the powersharp feature to hold the bottom end, remove this screw. Now SAM_2107it will look like this. There are 6 screws that hold the metal plate onto the saw. This plate covers the spring mechanism for the hand brake. 5 of the screws are the same, one is shorter and has different threads. Take note of which hole this odd ball screw goes in. Remove all 6 screws.



Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

Now it should look like this. Clean out the dirt and debris. An air compressor may help remove it. Notice the short screw on the table. It goes in the middle bottom hole.  Now you may notice in the picture that more things are missing from my saw than what I have told you to remove. That is because no one had written these instructions out before so I took my saw apart from the other side to begin with and then found that the metal plate was all I had to remove.

Your welcome 🙂 .

Put it back together in reverse order. Make sure the brake operates correctly. Now you can start having fun with your saw again.

For my full review of this saw go here.

4 thoughts on “Oregon PowerNow Chainsaw Handbrake repair

  1. So I saw the comment about the user who complained about the dust and brake problem. Then I saw your fix and at the end it seems there is another easier way just removing the plate. So now I am confused. Why didn’t you just show the quick method instead.

  2. The written instructions are the easiest way I found. If you look closely at the pictures tho you will see that I had much more of the saw apart then the written instructions told you to take apart. That was because I had almost totally disassembled the saw looking for the place to fix the hand brake. Once I found out it was behind the shiny metal cover, I wrote the instructions for doing it with the least amount of disassembly as possible. Sorry for the confusion. I did not have a picture of how it would have looked if you had followed the instructions.
    Does that explanation help any?
    Short answer, just follow the written instructions.

  3. Did not fix my saw handbrake stays in position. I took the other side off and saw the small off on switch that kickback operates cleaned good still does not work. The saw is only 3 years old had moderate use. Do you think the switch could be bad or motor burned out ?

    • On mine, the handbrake kept kicking out, even if I did not do something that should trip it. Are you sure the battery contact connection points are clean? Maybe the battery is not even getting power to the motor? Do you have a digital multi meter (DMM) that you can check for voltages along the path of current travel from the battery to the cutoff switch to the trigger switch to the motor? That would be the way to test it since the handbrake is actually staying in the correct position.
      You could use one of the free harbor freight DMM’s that you get for purchasing something. You just need a DC volts setting that goes above 20. I don’t have a wiring diagram, but I would guess it goes from the battery to either the hand brake cutoff or the trigger switch and then to the opposite one and then to the motor. I can’t imagine anything else in the circuit to stop the flow of electricity. You will have to have the hand brake in the right position and the trigger depressed to test it. You could try jumpering across those switches with some wire leads. Take the chain off before you do the testing in case the jumpering works. If you give me more info from what you get for voltages you at different points, I might be able to help you more. Also you can use the OHM setting to test the switches to see if they make a connection when closed. Hope that helps. I use my saws quite a bit when I use them. I actually bought a second one for my son to use because I like them so much. Just bought a ST275 for string trimming this year. Have not used it yet. Hoping to get the pole saw eventually also.

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