Chainsaw 101

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Though the chainsaw has had starring roles in Hollywood’s most popular horror flicks, its true fame comes from being a staple tool for loggers and professional landscapers.

Homeowners have also discovered how chainsaws can make landscaping and yard care projects simpler for them, too.

Chainsaws make it easier and faster to…

  • Prune thick bushes and trees.
  • Clear brush that’s too thick for a string trimmer or pole pruner.
  • Cut up firewood.
  • Clean up storm damage such as fallen and tangled branches and trees.

When it comes to chainsaw care, though, many people aren’t as knowledgeable as they are with other outdoor power equipment like lawn mowers.

Watch our popular chainsaw video for the how-it-works lowdown:

It’s definitely more than worth the extra time for proper chainsaw maintenance. It will improve fuel efficiency and extend the life of the tool significantly.

Here are eight important maintenance tips for gasoline-powered chainsaws:

1. Before and after each use, inspect the chainsaw for loose bolts or screws.

2. Regularly check the following parts

  • Air filter, which has the important job of preventing dirt and debris from getting into the engine. If it’s dirty or torn, replace it.
  • The chain for dullness and damage such as bent chain links. Chainsaws are designed to cut right into wood; if you have to work hard with it, the chain is dull. You can have it professionally sharpened. It’s often less expensive and easy to simply replace the chain.

3. Make sure that you ALWAYS follow the owner’s manual’s instructions for proper gasoline and oil mixture. Failing to use the right mixture will result in insufficient lubrication and cause problems.

4. Remove and clean fuel filters regularly. If there are tears or if debris is clogging the screen, replace it. Enter your chainsaw’s model number to find the fuel filters designed specifically for your model.

5. Regularly, use a degreaser on greasy spots. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping away with a clean cloth. Then use a hose to rinse off the unit. Be sure to allow the chainsaw to dry completely before using it.

6. Clean the air filter after every five hours of use and replace it every 100 hours or three months, whichever comes first.

7. Regularly use bar-and-chain oil for bar lubrication. Conventional motor oil does not work well for this purpose; the rotating movement will expel the oil quickly.

Check out these bestselling oils specifically designed for chainsaw bars and chains: Poulan Bar & Chain Oil and Echo Bar & Chain Oil.

8. Every 25 hours of use or once a season, replace the spark arrestors located within the engine’s muffler. Since spark arrestors are made of fiberglass, they’re not designed to be cleaned and reused.

RepairClinic has chains, oil, air filters, spark arrestors, fuel filters, spark plugs and many other products for chainsaws. Enter your chainsaw model number here.

Something broken?

Check out our free Repair Help for troubleshooting and repair help information specifically for your chainsaw model.

How to prep for off-season storage

Before storing your chainsaw for the off season, be sure to drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer. Chainsaws require clean, fresh fuel for best performance. Before the off season when your chainsaw is stored, drain the fuel or use fuel stabilizer to prevent clogs in the carburetor.

Chainsaw safety

  • Read the owner’s manual thoroughly.
  • When operating it, always wear ear protection, safety glasses (a.k.a. safety goggles), and heavy-duty gloves. Cover your arms and legs with thick clothing.

RepairClinic has replacement parts for chainsaws, pole pruners, edgers, string trimmers and more. With your chainsaw model number, shop now for replacement parts and maintenance products now.

Chainsaw not starting? Or starting and then stopping? Click here for RepairClinic’s free troubleshooting information about possible causes for the problem and possible solutions.

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Not sure where to find the chainsaw model number?

On most models, you’ll find it in one of the locations as shown in this image and video:

Enter model number for recommendation

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