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Outdoor power equipment chainsaw in use

Published on July 30th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman

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Chainsaw 101






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:

how to find a chainsaw model number

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part.

RepairClinic.com stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.




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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is RepairClinic.com’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.



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