How to make your chainsaw run like new

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Life would be harder for me this time of the year if I didn’t own a chainsaw. Chainsaws help me clear away bush/tree damage and tangled debris left behind by winter storms.

Throughout the spring and summer seasons, my chainsaw is also my go-to tool for clearing brush that’s too thick for a string trimmer or pruner.

How to make your chainsaw run like new:

1. Tune it up after off-season storage.

A tune-up kit specifically designed for your model will optimize efficiency. A chainsaw tune-up kit most often includes an air filter, fuel filter and spark plug. Enter your chainsaw’s model number at to discover the kit for your model.

2. Provide consistent maintenance.

Follow the recommendations listed in the owner’s manual and on our Chainsaw Maintenance Tips.

3. Lubricate the bar and chain.

Regularly apply bar-and-chain oil for proper lubrication. Never use conventional motor oil on a chainsaw, as it does not have the consistency necessary to stick to the bar. The rotating movement with expel the oil quickly. My favorite chainsaw bar and chain oil? Poulan Bar & Chain Oil and Echo Bar & Chain Oil.

People often ask me, “How do I know if my chainsaw’s chain is lubricated enough?”

Here’s the simple way to check chain lubrication:

1. Start the chainsaw.
2. Hold the running chainsaw a few inches above a tree stump, thick cardboard or other suitable surface for two to three minutes.
3. After these few minutes, an oil stripe should appear on the testing surface. If it does, your chainsaw is properly lubricated. If no stripe appears, the blade and the chain are not sufficiently lubricated.

4. Fix what’s broken.

If there are changes in your chainsaw’s performance or if anything is broken, troubleshoot and fix it as soon as possible to avoid downtime and more expensive repairs later.

Enter your chainsaw model number to find free troubleshooting and how-to repair help.

Related information
Chainsaw Troubleshooting and Repair Help
Chainsaw Maintenance Tips
Chainsaw 101

Shop for tune-up kits on sale through May 31, 2014.


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