How to Keep Your Chainsaw in Good Condition

Maintaining your chainsaw will keep it running for many seasons to come.

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  Autumn often means time to cut firewood for the next winter’s supply. Many people cut their firewood early in summer as well, but the most important thing in all this is to keep your chainsaw in good running condition. Nothing is more frustrating in cutting firewood than a chainsaw that refuses to start when you need it most. Maintaining your saw after each cutting will ensure the saw will not fail you.

  The first step in keeping the chainsaw buzzing is to make sure you put clean gasoline in it to begin with. Any time fuel is added to the saw, make sure there is a filter screen on the gasoline can which will catch any debris which may have fallen into the container. Some older chainsaws may not have fuel filters, so make sure the can has a filter. It only takes a tiny bit of debris in the system to stop a saw.

  Secondly, make sure to mix the gasoline and oil to the proper ratio. Many saws call for a 40:1, or forty to one mixture. This means forty parts gasoline to one part oil. Contrary to popular belief, regular motor oil can be used in place of two cycle oil, but this is not recommended. If you are unsure of the fuel mixture ratio, call a small engine repair business and ask them. In the worst case scenario, it’s better to add too much oil than not enough.

  Make sure all gaskets are in place on the gasoline cap, oil cap, breather, and so forth. When adding oil or gasoline to the saw, clean the filler cap off with a dry rag to ensure no debris will fall into the chainsaw while filling it. Some saws have a “spark arrestor” on the exhaust. This feature keeps hot cinders from coming out of the exhaust and catching the forest on fire. The spark arrester can become clogged with soot, which will cause the saw to run poorly, if at all. Check the exhaust to see if there is an arrestor screen, and keep it cleaned.

  The bar on a chainsaw has to be properly oiled as it is running to reduce friction. The bar is most often oiled automatically through ports in the bar. Older saws have manual pumps to keep the bar lubed. In either case, make sure there is always plenty of bar oil in the oil tank. only use good, clean bar oil, and clean the cap off before removing to fill with oil.

 One of the absolute most important things to do is to keep the chainsaw bar clean. This really needs to be done after each use, but most people don’t pay much attention to this area of maintenance. If you cannot figure out how to take the bar and chain off your saw to clean it, take it somewhere to have it cleaned, such as a small engine repair facility. On my saw, I simply take off the two retaining nuts, loosen the chain and take the bar off. Once the bar and chain are off, ensure the oil ports are clean. This keeps the bar oil flowing freely onto the bar. Take the bar and clean it as best you can with a solvent. I have even used carburetor cleaner to clean the bar. If possible, blow the bar and chain off with air pressure from a compressor. This will get all the grit and tiny fragments of stone out of the machine.

After each cleaning and cutting, tighten all the bolts on the exterior of the chainsaw for good measure. Chainsaws produce alot of viberation, which can loosen bolts and screws on the machine. If a small bolt falls off in the woods, good luck finding it!

  Wipe your saw down after hard use. Oils and solvents can damage the exterior of the saw over time. The best way to keep your chainsaw sharp is to keep it out of the dirt while cutting. This goes for transporting the saw as well. Keep the bar covered with a scabbard or even an old towel to keep the dirt off the chain.

 Over all, the most vital thing to do to your chainsaw is to clean it often. Keep the chainsaw maintained and clean, and it won’t let you down in a pinch. Thanks for reading!

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