Chainsaws are very common tools. Lots of homeowners use chainsaws for their personal wood projects. An average chainsaw is more than capable of cutting logs and wooden pieces for your project.

Now while using a chainsaw, it is advised to use safety gear to protect yourself, but what about the chainsaw’s safety? Yes, no matter how sturdy your chain saw looks and feels, it still needs to be taken care of. In fact, without proper care, your chainsaw is hardly going to last a while.

For any kind of tool, some TLC (tender loving care) is required for a long lifespan. A chainsaw is no different from that. To work with chainsaw efficiently, some maintenance has to be carried out.

This article aims to provide all the necessary information about how you can take proper care of your chainsaw.

So, hop on board and consider following these 9 tips.

1. Keeping The Chain Sharp

The chain is the most important part of this tool. So, it needs to be looked after properly. Over time, chains tend to become blunt, and sharpening is required. For that, some points need to be remembered.

For sharpening, you will need a round file, flat file, file gauge, and stamp vise are used. Files may differ for different chain types. There are also many sharpening kits available. You should  do your research and find the best sharpening kit that suits your needs.

The filing gauge will help you in identifying the right cutting angle for the chain.

2. Chain Filing Time

Chain filing depends on what you use your chain saw on and how much the chain has worn out. For example, if the chainsaw is used to cut ice, then it will get blunt often and will need to be filed immediately.

Normally, it’s good to file always while refueling rather than just filing after a long period of time. This keeps the chainsaw in a healthy shape.

3. File Properly

Now comes the big question of filing properly. Filing can be done with files (round, flat, etc.) manually. But using a file gauge is the best approach. As for filing, the shortest cutter has to be found. Placing the file gauge over the chain will help you locate the shortest cutter.

After filling all the teeth according to the exact size, the chain will have to be turned upside down. Then do the same process with this side as well.

4. Keep The Chainsaw Clean

The first & foremost thing for keeping any tool healthy is proper cleaning. There’s no alternative to that. The same goes for chainsaws. They tend to be dirtier as they are used to cut down trees, logs, and hardwoods mainly.

Sawdust, oil, debris, etc. are the primary items that will be clogged into various parts of the chainsaw. These will slow down and possibly damage your chainsaw’s performance.

Here is what you need to do:

First, you need to attach the chainsaw with a vice on a working table. Then take off the chain & blade. If the chain is dirty, it needs to be immersed in the mixture of ammonia & water for 30 minutes. After that, a soft brush can be used to clean out the debris. Then rinse with clean water and let it dry automatically.

Next, we need to check the carburetor. If it is blocked by unnecessary residue, it will block supplying fuel to the engine. Spraying compressed air in the carburetor will help in cleaning. Feil additives can also be used.

After that, we can dispatch certain items like Needle valves, diaphragms, & cover plates. These items can be cleaned using the mixture we used earlier for chain cleaning.

Lastly, the air filter has to be cleaned with soapy water. But if the debris is too much to remove, it’s probably better to just change the air filter.

5. Correct Chain Tensioning

Chainsaw barThe chain is stuck to the blade all around. The chainsaw works perfectly only when the tension of the chain & blade is proper. If the chain remains loose, it may come out of the blade while running & badly injure someone. Again, if it is too tight, then it won’t let the blade move freely and will damage the chainsaw.

Thus, you need to properly set the chain tension. This can be easily done. First, you have to locate the chain tension adjustment point. Once you find it, if you want to tighten the chain, then turn the adjustment screw clockwise. If you want to loosen it, then simply turn it counterclockwise.

6. Chain Lubrication

Chainsaw OilPoor lubrication always results in premature wear of the chainsaw. So, every time the fuel is being added or changed, the lubrication needs to be checked. For checking, a stump can be used. The chainsaw has to be held over a stump, & the engine needs to rev up. This will help you see whether the chain is properly lubed up.

7. Bar Maintenance

Most chainsaw bar problems occur due to poor lubrication, incorrect chain tension, & wrong working techniques. Mainly the underside of the bar wears off early as it is used more.

So, every time the maintenance is done, it’s good to shift the sides of the bars. It will ensure a longer lifespan. Also, guide bar grooves need to be cleared regularly. Filing can be done, too, where required.

Replacement needs to be made if the bar groove is worn out & can’t hold the link anymore. If the chain is not straightening up, replacement is required too.

8. Replacing Chain

Chainsaw chainGenerally, the chain serves for a long time. Chain replacement is done almost once every 5 years. When the chain gets too blunt to cut, it needs to be replaced.

Sometimes the teeth of the blade break and result in uneven cutting. If the chain breaks or gets chipped and if you have reached the safety lines of the chain, then it’s time to get yourself a new chain.

9. Using New Gas & Oil

Last but not least, we need to be careful in terms of using gas & oil. If a chainsaw is not used daily, there’s a chance that the oil kept inside will get clogged. If that happens, the carburetor won’t be able to supply the fuel to the engine.

For this reason, the gas should not be kept for more than 30 days. If one tends to store for a longer period of time, a stabilizing additive should be added.

The best approach is to buy premium non-ethanol gas or all-petroleum based gasoline for chainsaws. A highly recommended thing is not to bargain with brand oils because comparatively, it will keep the chainsaw healthier.

Final Thoughts

Chainsaws are built to take a beating, but like every other tool, if you want your chainsaw to last, then you need to take care of it. Follow these 9 tune-up tips and make the best use out of your chainsaw.