Chainsaw Maintenance (Why and how)

A chainsaw is an amazingly efficient and powerful tool that when used properly will save a user countless hours of saw time. As impressive as this saw is it must be properly cared for. By careful inspection, proper servicing and maintaining a sharp blade you will keep your chainsaw running as it was designed to for years.

A chainsaw must be properly maintained in order to have it function according to factory specifications. Any discrepancy from these settings may cause anything from less efficient cutting, parts that continuously break, safety hazards and fire hazards.

Firstly, and probably the most basic maintenance is to perform a visual inspection. This should be done regardless if you are a seasoned professional or if you use your saw twice a year. It costs nothing. Inspect that there are no loose parts, no leaking fuel, and that you have a secure chain. As a result of exposing a chainsaw to hot and cold temperatures, parts do become loose due to metal contraction and expansion.

Verify the tension of your chain, there should be no give or sag of the chain. Adjust the slack so that the chain is tight to the bar but can still rotate freely. Recheck the tension and verify that it’s not too tight or too loose. Next you should manually inspect all the safety features of your particular brand of saw. Verify that the chain lock functions properly, verify that the chain catcher pin is there and intact, ensure that the stop switch functions properly.

You should always mix the correct octane with the correct oil mixture. Do not create your own custom mixture or skimp on oil. Add some bar oil to keep a lubricated chain. Do not use motor oil as it will splatter. Use proper chainsaw specific oil.

A chainsaw sees messy work, so always replace your air filter as needed. If you hold a filter up to light and see no light then the filter must be replaced. This is probably the most important maintenance procedure as a filter will impact how much air is mixing with fuel thus directing affecting the engines performance.

Make sure your bar is straight and true. Verify that the edges are perfectly flat and free of debris. If necessary file down the edges. Clean out the track along the bars edging using a piece of cardboard. Inspect the chain; a chain should be sharp as to not put stress on the user or the motor. Several chain sharpening options are available including manual bar mounted files that are great for remote use as well as electric grinding wheel sharpeners designed for the professional shop or discriminating home user. Sharpen your chain according to factory specifications.

You may now feel assured and confident that your chainsaw is ready to perform at its best. Not so fast. Always use appropriate gloves when using or even maintaining your chainsaw. Always wear safety goggles’, after all chains can be replaces, your eyes cannot.

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