Mechanical chainsaws were developed in the late 19th century, to serve the purposes of tree limbing, felling, pruning, and bucking. The design of a chainsaw consists of an engine, guide bar, cutting chain, and safety features. Traditionally, chainsaws sported gas engines but now battery-powered or electric engines are most common. Since these machines are used to perform tough jobs, regular maintenance is required to keep them operating at an optimal level.
If you own a chainsaw and are looking for ways to maintain it, this guide will assist you in understanding how you can care for your chainsaw.
1. Keep It Clean
After prolonged use, the chances of wood pieces and debris being stuck in the chain are high. For a chainsaw to work efficiently, cleaning out sawdust or tree sap is imperative. Fortunately, cleaning chainsaws is really simple and straightforward. When the chain gets dirty, take it off and soak it in a mixture of water and ammonia. Scrub off the debris from the chain with a brush. You can then rinse it with water and it’ll be squeaky clean again.
2. Sharpening The Blades
Over time, the blades of a chainsaw tend to start getting blunt. They start discharging sawdust instead of saw chips and may feel like it jumps when you use it. According to the experts at https://www.backyardmike.com/best-chainsaw-sharpener-reviews/, this signals that it’s about time to sharpen the blades. Start off by clamping the chainsaw to vice with a hard guard. With a sharpening file, start filing in a single direction and use the same number of strokes for every tooth.
3. Lubricate Your Chainsaw
Friction tends to generate between the chain and the guide bar if there’s not enough oil. The chain turns slower than it should, and it starts overheating. You can easily check the oil level by putting cardboard over the chainsaw and rev the engine. Some of the oil sprays over the surface of the cardboard. And if that doesn’t happen, then clearly your chainsaw needs more oil to be added to it. Different chainsaws have different ways of refilling the oil. Check the user manual of your chainsaw to know exactly how to do that.
4. Unclog The Carburetor
Quite often some residue might clog up the carburetor. This residue can block the fuel from reaching the engine, resulting in the chainsaw having trouble starting. The carburetor can be cleaned by spraying compressed air onto it. A mix of water and ammonia can be used to clean the chainsaw’s parts like valves and plates of the carburetor. To clean the air filter, soap water can be really effective. If need be, you can easily replace the filters too. This will leave your chainsaw not only clean but also effectively functioning.
5. Care For The Chain Brake
A chain brake is one of the main features of a chainsaw. In an event of kickback, the brake kicks in to stop the chain from rotating around the guide bar. It is crucial to ensure the functioning of the chain brake. You can test the working of the chainsaw brake by placing the saw on a stable surface and try to engage the brake. If it is slow to engage or does not engage at all, you must get it repaired or completely replaced. A faulty brake can result in dangerous hazards so it must be checked every single time before using the chainsaw.
6. Check The Chain Tension
For a chainsaw to run smoothly, the chain tension around the guide bar needs to be tightly fit and clear of all debris. If it is loose or sagging, the chances of mishaps increase dramatically. Always check the chain tension to ascertain the optimum condition of the chainsaw. Regular cleaning and maintenance of a chainsaw’s chain give it a longer life. However, always make sure that the chainsaw is turned off before you inspect the chain to avoid any kind of injury.
7. Keep A Check On Fuel & Oil Filters
If you own a chainsaw powered by gas, keep the fuel filter cleaned and unclogged. Dust can get accumulated on the filter that can hinder the performance of your chainsaw. Located under the fuel cap, the fuel filter can be easily removed and replaced. The same goes for an oil filter. No matter what kind of chainsaw you’re using, you can locate the oil filter near the guide bar. Oil is required to lubricate the bar and the chain to avoid friction. The filters get clogged easily, but they can be replaced much more easily. If you use your chainsaw throughout the year, you must change the filters often.
8. Examine The Safety Features
There are several safety features in a chainsaw, namely stop control, chain catcher, kickback guard, right-hand guard, throttle lock, and chain brake. From accidental throttle advances to protecting the user’s hand, these safety features perform various functions to prevent any hazardous event. Read the user manual thoroughly all over again before using a chainsaw during the seasons. Apart from the safety features, it is necessary to take certain precautions of your own to avoid unfortunate accidents.
Always remember that the more time you spend cleaning and maintaining your chainsaw, the longer and more efficiently you’ll be able to use it. An important thing to keep in mind is that some maintenance requires the chainsaw to be turned on and some require it to be turned off. Be careful no matter what, because the sharp edges can inflict deep cuts or even sever a body part. You can take protective measures by wearing safety equipment like gloves and a helmet. If ever in doubt about how to change or clean a chainsaw, first refer to its manual. If the task of maintenance seems doable then well and good. Otherwise, you can always take help from professionals. Hope this guide gave you an overview of how to properly maintain your chainsaw!