Chainsaws are the ideal equipment for cutting down and pruning trees. However, they can also be quite dangerous and may even cause serious injuries if not properly taken care of. Since modern chainsaws are so efficient, most owners tend to believe that their tool can chew through countless timbers without suffering any damage. This leads to them taking their tools for granted, and eventually paying a hefty price for neglecting their machine’s health in the form of a massive repair bill.
Despite the arrival of newer models with safety features included, proper care and maintenance is essential in order to extend your machine’s life and also prevent the possibilities of accidents and other hazards. Keeping your chainsaw in top shape isn’t too hard as long as you know the basic maintenance tips. The most important thing you should consider is to avoid using a chainsaw which has been damaged or assembled improperly.
Tips for a preventative chainsaw maintenance
As the name implies, preventative maintenance only requires a small investment of time as well as money. The good thing about it is that you can be able to save a lot of money in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to high-revving, alloy-construction chainsaws.
1. Clean and sharpen the blades
Perhaps the most important part of chainsaw maintenance. As time goes by with continued usage, the blades would become blunt especially when it comes in contact with soil or rock. The most common indication that the blades have become blunt are as follow:
- Your chainsaw spews out saw dust instead of saw chips
- It starts to cut irregularly
- It jumps and chatters each time you use it, and adjusting the depth gauge won’t help much
So how do you clean and sharpen the blades? To do so, you just have to clamp it to a vice and secure it in place using a hard guard. Using a sharpening file of the right size, start sharpening by pushing it in a horizontal direction across the blade. Lift it at the end and repeat once more. Keep in mind that blades should only be sharpened in one direction. After sharpening, clean it properly and lubricate with oil.
2. Clean the carburetor’s needle and intake components
Over time, impurities could build up on the carburetor’s surface, eventually blocking the fuel passage. These impurities are sticky and appear in either light brown or golden color. In order to remove the deposit, you can dissolve them using a fuel additive or a spray cleaner.
3. Apply lubrication
Every chainsaw comes with an oiling system which prevents friction in between the chain and guide bar. It usually works on automation and will reduce the heat energy produced. During a maintenance, you should make sure that it is working properly. You can do so by accelerating your machine on a white piece of paper – there has to be oil sprayed on the paper. If not, then you should clean the oil reservoir and then replace the filter afterwards.
Air filters must be cleaned or even replaced once they get clogged. It’s because a chainsaw’s efficiency will also depend on proper air intake. Other than that, too much dirt and debris buildup could result to improper cooling, causing the engine to overheat easily. In order to clean the air filter, check first if there is dirt or debris present. Once there is, you can use soapy water or a gentle cleaning liquid to remove it. However, this is only applicable for metal filters. For chainsaws with a paper filter, you will have to replace it.
4. Check the spark plugs
Spark plugs are an essential component of any chainsaw, thus they will need regular cleaning and maintenance. A loose connection between the spark plugs terminal and the ignition wire terminal could cause fire, therefore it is recommended to avoid testing your machine’s ignition system if the ignition wire is removed from the spark plugs. To prevent any possible fire accidents and injuries, it is recommended to use only authorized products. Also, don’t forget to keep your spark plugs clean.
5. Ensure proper storage
Proper storage conditions is just as important for your chainsaw as keeping it clean and maintained on a regular basis. If you don’t use your machine for more than a month, make sure to store it in a place where dust and dirt won’t accumulate. Proper storage is essential for this tool’s maintenance, hence you should get it ready for those times when you’re not using it.
To do so, make sure you empty the fuel tank, drain the oil, and even remove the chain and store it on a separate storage. Store your chain in a covered container and have it filled with oil. Afterwards, clean the rest of the saw before you store it. Keep in mind to keep your chainsaw in a locked up place out of children’s reach.