How to Clean a Chainsaw

Do you want to clean your chain saw like a pro? Then this article is for you. A chainsaw is a valuable and versatile tool for woodworkers. It is also an expensive tool. Therefore, the chainsaw needs proper care and maintenance to increase its life and performance. Failing to clean a chainsaw may damage it and might force you to buy another one. You don’t want that, do you?

When working with a chainsaw, it collects dust and wood chips in to its motor and other functional parts. The particles block the airflow and cooling functions. This results in the engine overheating, and eventually, you will not be able to work with it efficiently.

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Furthermore, using a clogged chainsaw may stop its performance permanently. Therefore, it is better to put up a cleaning and maintenance routine because chainsaw is quiet pricey. Here are cleaning and maintenance guidelines to get your chainsaw running as new once again!

Required Tools

  • Warm water
  • A lubricant or degreaser.
  • Wrench
  • Wire brush
  • Universal cleaner
  • Bar groove cleaning tools like knife
  • Oiler hole cleaning tool like a flathead screwdriver.
  • 1 or 2-inch paint brush.
  • Air compressor (optional)

Cleaning The Chainsaw

The Guide Bar and Chain

Preparing chain saw for cleaning: To clean the saw, you need to dissemble it for easy access. First, secure the saw in a stable table. You don’t want it to move while working on it. Put it with its base flat on the table and ensure the chain does not touch anything. Then, if your saw is electric, disconnect it from the power source; if it is cordless, take out the battery before you clean. Also, you must drain the fuel in a gas powered chainsaw.

Remove the chain and bar: Loosen the bolts on the bar with a wench. This will enable you to separate the chain and the bar from the power head. Be sure to disengage the anti-kickback chain brake just before you take off the chain and bar.

Clean the guide bar: Place the chain aside then wipe off the debris in the guide bar with a cloth. Put some degreaser in to warm water and place the chainsaw in it. Wash away the dust and grease.  Use the wire brush to scrape away the hardened dirt. Clean the bar groove using a special bar groove cleaner for the best results.

Next, clean out the dirt in the oiler holes on the bar. An Air compressor is effective for cleaning the vents.

Cleaning The Chainsaw chain

Soak the chain in water and ammonia solution for 10-20 minutes. This will help to remove grease from the chain links. Proceed to brush away the dirt until it is clean. When using ammonia, ensure that the area is well ventilated. Take caution and make use of gloves and eye protection to avoid any contact. Do not mix chlorine bleach with ammonia because it produces a toxic gas.

Rinse the chain with clean, warm water to remove any remaining dirt. Dry it as much as you can with a towel. Let it air dry by hanging it in the open air. You can also blast the water off by using compressed air for fast results.

Lubricate the chain: Put the chain in a chainsaw oil then let the excess oil drip off by hanging it up for a few minutes. Go ahead and slide the chain on to the guide bar. Tighten it on the bar by adjusting the knob. Lubricating the chain minimizes wear and tear. It also increases its life.

Cleaning The Powerhead

You also need to wipe the powerhead exterior with a dry cloth. Remove any debris lodged in the bar studs, crankcase and clutch drum using a soft paint brush. However, for thick gunk, scrape it out with a thin screw driver.

Cleaning The Air Filter And Spark Plug.

Take off the air filter and soak it in warm soapy water. Use a gentle brush and scrub off the dirt. Rinse it clean and let the filter dry off. You can also replace the filter if you can make it completely clean. Check and clean your filters regularly to prevent increased wear on the engine parts. Besides, it also prevents excess fuel consumption. Refrain from using compressed air on the filter. This is because you may damage it by blasting a hole in the filter.

Clean the cooling fins on top of the cylinder head by using a bar cleaner or a screwdriver. Removing the accumulated dirt will improve the cooling function and increase its lifespan. Next, check the spark plug. If its tip is black, replace it, but if it is not damaged, brush over it gently.

Unclogging The Carburetor

Check out the carburetor for any signs of clogging. The presence of gummy build up prevents the fuel from flowing to the engine hence, resulting in difficulties when starting your chainsaw. Use the compressed air to clear any dirt.

Read the manufacturer’s manual to remove the cover plate, needle valves, and diaphragm. Soak the parts in a cleaning solution for a few minutes. Scrub the parts separately with a brush to remove residue. Rinse the carburetor parts with clean water and dry using a microfiber towel.

Use compressed air to dry off any remaining water. Ensure the pieces are fully dry before reattaching them. Wetness can damage the saw by causing rusting.

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Even though the chainsaw is a tough tool, it needs proper care to enhance its performance. Trust me when I say that you don’t want the frustration of dealing with a chainsaw that will not start when you need it. Therefore, to get value for your money, clean up the saw frequently to remove any build up that might damage it early. Routine cleaning and checkup cannot only help you catch a problem soon, but it can also enable the machine to maintain its smooth operation and prolong its lifespan.

For maintenance purposes, replace the worn out parts and lubricate the moving parts to improve the performance levels. Be sure to consult the owner’s manual before you dissemble the chainsaw. Furthermore, keep the chainsaw completely dry to prevent rusting that could eventually damage it.