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Chainsaw Sharpener ~ A Must Have Tool for Chainsaw Maintenance

Aug 18, 2008
If you want to be able to take your chainsaw out of the garage and use it, whenever you need it, without trouble you will have to do some chainsaw maintenance, even if it's out of season. There are some basics you need to do to make sure you maintain your chainsaw well.

Sharpening:

You must keep your chainsaw sharpened. You can easily do this with a chainsaw sharpener. You can tell your chain is dull in a couple of ways. Is it biting through the wood? Chainsaw chains should grab the wood and pull itself through the cut. When a chain fails to do this it is probably because it is dull. Also a sharp chainsaw should throw out decent sized wood chips. If you find your chainsaw is throwing out nothing more than saw dust you need to sharpen your chain.

A dull chain makes cutting much more difficult and increases the chance of accidents. So making sure you have a sharp chain is imperative to safe cutting.

The Fuel System:

Make sure to keep the fuel free of moisture and all other contaminates. Chainsaws use a mix of oil and gas. The exact ratio for the mixture will depend on which model you are using. To avoid using the wrong gas make sure to label the gas can. It's easy to use the wrong one with all the small yard tools having different gas/oil ratios. You do not want to use gas mixed for another appliance.

Check the fuel filter often during peak use times. It can easily become clogged and this decreases the flow of fuel going to the saw. Make sure you clean your fuel filter regularly and change it when needed, which may be up to once a week if you are using your saw a lot.

The Chain:

In addition to keeping your chain sharp there are other factors that need to be checked to make sure your chainsaw is running safely and in optimal condition. You want to check the chain to make sure it is loose, but not too loose. If your chainsaw's chain is too tight or too loose it will cause problems. When the saw is off the chain brake is released you should be able to manually feed the chain through the saw. Make sure you frequently check the bar retaining nuts as they can come loose from all the vibration.

Give your saw a once over before you fire it up, each time you use it. Look for bent teeth, or bends or crimps in the bar. Make sure the chain moves easily around the bar.

There is no warning light when you are getting low, and you may be surprised how quickly go through it. Check the bar and chain oil level frequently during use. Add more before you see the smoke coming from your saw.

Air Filter:

Chainsaws are always used in dusty environments. it's just part of what chainsaws do. Because of the dusty environment you must clean the air filter after every use. Before you expose the air filter, make sure to clean the outside of the saw and move it to an area away from sawdust or other materials that could fall into the carburetor. Remove the filter and clean it with an air compressor or as recommended in your owners' manual. During peak usage periods you will probably need to replace the air filter once a week.

Engine:

It is best to take your chainsaw to a professional chainsaw technician if you suspect there is an engine problem. They have the tool and expertise to efficiently and correctly fix your chainsaw.

Out of Season Storage:

If you don't use your chainsaw for more than 30 days at a time, you need to take some special precautions to limit damage to your saw. Drain all fuel out of the tank. Next, drain all fuel from the line and carburetor by starting the saw and running it until it stops. Drain all oil and remove the bar and chain. Store the chain in an airtight container that is filled with oil so that the entire chain is submerged. Apply a light coating of oil to the bar and wrap it in paper. Clean the exterior and interior of the saw. Remove the spark plug and apply a rust inhibitor into the combustion chamber. Replace spark plug and pull the starter rope slowly several times to distribute the inhibitor over the cylinder.

There's nothing worse than needing to use your chainsaw and finding it doesn't run. You can keep it running in good condition no matter what with a little maintenance during use and proper storage during the off season.
About the Author
To learn more about chainsaw maintenance and how to use a chainsaw sharpener stop by for more chainsaw sharpener tips.
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