Chainsaws: How to Care For and Maintain
A chainsaw that is poorly maintained can be a source of frustration but can also pose a serious threat to its operator. Here is what you need to know to keep your chainsaw running like new when you need it most.
What to do to maintain chainsaws After Each Cutting
Check Your Bar: A well-oiled bar is the key to keeping your chainsaw running well and this is a step that most people tend to forget. Some chainsaws oil the bar automatically via ports but a few older versions will have a manual pump. If you are having trouble taking off your bar, most small engine repair shops will be able to help. Once you’ve learned how to check your bar, you can also rotate it to help ensure the most even wear and tear. Whatever the case for your chainsaw, make sure that you are using good, clean bar oil.
Tighten The Bolts: A chainsaw produces a lot of vibrations, so its good practice to check all of your bolts and tighten any that have come loose. If a bolt falls off while you’re cutting, you’ll spend a long time looking for it and, in some cases, it may be lost for good.
Wipe Down After Use: Oils around your chainsaw can mix with dirt and wear away the exterior. After you use your chainsaw, a quick wipe down will help avoid this type of wear and tear.
Check Your Blade: Your chainsaw blade will dull after repeated use but can be sharpened with little to no hassle. After you cut and while you still have the chainsaw in your hand is the best time to check your blade.
General Tips for keeping chainsaws in good condition
Keep Your Fuel Clean: Every time you add new fuel to a chainsaw you want to make sure that the filter is there to catch and stray debris. If you are working with an older chainsaw, you may not have a fuel filter at all and you may need to purchase one that fits or upgrade to a newer chainsaw. You should also clean your fuel filter as well as your tank every month during busy wood cutting season.
Mind Your Ratio: Most chainsaws call for a 40:1 gasoline to oil mixture. However, a quick search online can probably give you the exact ration that is ideal for your own chainsaw. When in doubt, it’s better to have too much oil.
Always Clean Your Spark Arrestor Before You Cut: Your spark arrestor can become clogged with debris and soot causing your chainsaw to run poorly. Moreover, a clogged spark arrested may produce cinders that can burn you or cause a forest fire.
Check Your Fins: The fins are located in the cylinder to prevent overheating. It’s recommended that you check your fins every week if you are constantly using the chainsaw, or anytime you’re maintaining between seasons.
Inspect Your Chain Break Band: This is the metal band that wraps around your clutch and drum. A bad break band can quickly stop your chainsaw, so it is important to inspect your brake band on occasion.
Check All Of Your Attachments: If you have an electric chainsaw, you either have a chord or a charging port. Over time, both of these can fall pretty to wear and tear. A frayed chord poses the risk of electric shock and may rip at any time. If you notice the power aspects damaged in your electric chainsaw its best to get a replacement fast.
Mind Your Safety Features: Some of the most common safety features on a typical chainsaw are the chain brake and the throttle trigger lockout. Before you turn on your chainsaw, you should test all of your chainsaw’s major safety features to ensure that everything is working well.
Replace Things When They Go Bad: This sounds like common sense, but some people don’t always replace parts of their chainsaws that break. Instead, they come up with a temporary fix- —which usually only makes things worse. Replacing parts can be inconvenient or just plain expensive, but it is safer and cheaper than the alternative.