How to Clean a Chainsaw

How to Clean a Chainsaw

Are you building a log home? Cutting trees for burning in your wood stove or fireplace? Trimming or pruning bushes and hedges? Whatever you do with your chainsaw, it will get filthy from using it each and every time.

The chain gets full of gunk, sawdust, and dirt, resin or sap from the wood of a tree, and the bar oil. Chainsaws are used by homeowners, professional loggers, utility workers, forest wildfire fighters, workers for tornado damage, and more. Chainsaw cleaning makes the saw more efficient and safer.

Knowing how to clean a gas-powered chainsaw is vitally important. These machines are one of the most dangerous tools today. Even though they are now safer to use with better technology and robust construction, they still deserve respect for their power and must be cleaned to operate efficiently and safely to maintain its life—and yours too.

How to Clean Your Gas Chainsaw

  • Cleaning the Chain—is the first place to start. This keeps the chainsaw running and functioning the way it was intended. Clean chains reduce kickback along with having a sharp chain and you can read about sharpening a chain here.

Bar Groove Cleaner

  • Make sure your chainsaw is cold then put it on a flat surface so that it won’t move. Remove the chain by turning the knob for tightening or loosening slack in the chain. Slide the chain off the guide bar. Soak it in the all-purpose cleaner with water as directed on the bottle for about 20-minutes. You can use a cup of ammonia to a gallon of warm water as well.

Brush the chain with a wire brush after it has soaked until it looks clean. Rinse with water and towel dry to prevent rust.

  • Oil the chain to reduce friction between the chain and bar guide.
  • Empty the oil tank.
  • Cleaning the Carburetor—prevents clogging and obstructing fuel flow to start instantly. By not cleaning the engine the chainsaw can be damaged beyond repair. You want this part to be clean for the fuel and air to mix for the saw to run.
  • Drain the carburetor first and avoid the diaphragms from bonding together due to stickiness.
  • Check screws, bolts, and nuts for tightness. Clean them as well.
  • Check the spark plug gap or replace the plug.
  • Cleaning a gummy carburetor is easy to do cleaning the air filter, air intake valve, diaphragm, needle valves, and cover. Use compressed air, or a spray cleaner with a small brush to clean the outside of the carburetor.
  • After cleaning the outside, put the needle valves, diaphragm, and cover shield into a bowl with the cleaner and let soak.
  • Clean the body holes of the carburetor and the throttle air intake. Don’t use a brush here. Use compressed air, spray cleaner, or an air compressor.
  • Clean the parts that are soaking then put it all back together.
  • Run the Chainsaw—to be sure it’s operating correctly. Be sure it’s dry and store it in a dry ventilated place. You might want to lock it up if you have young kids.

You can always consult your User’s Manual for the brand you have for cleaning. With a clean chainsaw, it will last you many years.

How to clean an electric-powered chainsaw, any brand, video.

Cleaning a battery-powered chainsaw is the same as cleaning an electric chainsaw model, but be sure to remove the battery before starting to clean and be sure it’s cool.

How to clean a gas-powered chainsaw, any brand, video.

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