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How to Clean a Chainsaw

In this article we details discuss how to clean a chainsaw easily.

Cleaning a chainsaw is important to keep it working efficiently for a long time. As you use your chainsaw, dust and wood chips can accumulate in its motor and other parts. This makes the motor turn hot really quick. Also, it restricts airflow and cooling performance. 

If you do not give proper attention to its care and maintenance, you might need to buy another chainsaw soon. As that can be quite costly, it is better to spend some time cleaning and maintaining your chainsaw regularly. 

The following guide will help you take up a proper method for how to clean a chainsaw:

Required Tools:

The tools you need to clean your chainsaw include:

  • Wire brush
  • A lubricant or degreaser
  • A universal cleaner
  • A cleaning tool for bar grooves (such as a knife)
  • Warm water
  • Wrench
  • A cleaning tool for oiler hole (such as flathead screwdriver)
  • Air compressor (optional)

Method For How to Clean a Chainsaw

Here is the step by step guide to clean your chainsaw properly:

1. Prepare your chainsaw for cleaning

The very first step is to prepare your chainsaw in order to clean it. All you need to do is to unplug it from the power source if you have an electric chainsaw. If you have a cordless one, make sure you remove its battery before cleaning. However, if you own a gas-powered chainsaw, you must drain the fuel first. 

2. Remove the bar and chain

Using the wrench, loosen the nuts on the sides of the bar. It will separate the bar and chain from the powerhead. You need to ensure that anti-kickback chain brake is already disengaged before you remove the bar and chain.

3. Clean the bar

Now, you need to clean the bar properly. Add some degreaser/lubricant to the warm water and put chainsaw in it. Use a cloth rag to remove all the dust and grease. If you see hardened dirt, you can use a wire brush to scrape it all away. 

In order to clean the bar rails, you can use the cleaning tool for bar grooves you have. 

The task doesn’t end here. Clean the oiler holes present on the bar to remove all the debris. You can also use an air compressor for the efficient cleaning of holes. 

Now, the bar and its edges must be cleaned, flat, and smooth. 

4. Clean the chain

To remove all the grease from chain links, you need to soak it in a degreasing agent mixed with warm water. Let it stay there for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Use the wire brush to scrape all the dirt and debris away. Wash it again and wipe it multiple times with a paper towel to make sure all the dirt is gone. 

5. Clean the powerhead

Next, you need to clean the powerhead to remove all the dirt around the clutch drum and bar studs. The oiler port needs to be cleaned of debris as well. 

Use any soft tip brush to remove all the dirt. For inner and tighter spots, you can use any other cleaning tool that can easily access the dirt inside.

6. Clean air filter and spark plug

If you cannot access the inner parts of your chainsaw, you should remove the top cover. It will give you easy access to the air filter, spark plug and carburetor. 

Once removed, have a good look into the air filter. If it has less to moderate amount of dirt, you can easily clean it with any cleaning brush which has a soft tip. A paintbrush can also be used. However, if you can see nothing else than dirt, it requires effective cleaning. 

Take warm soapy water and clean the air filter from inside out properly. Afterward, rinse it with clean water and let it dry. 

Next, you can see the cooling fins on the cylinder head. You can use any bar cleaner tool or a simple screwdriver to clean all the dirt accumulated in the cooling fins. This will help with cooling performance and increase the lifespan of the engine. 

Now, inspect the spark plug. If it shows no signs of degradation, run a brush over it and it is easy to use. But, if it is black on its tip and totally covered with dirt, it is better to replace it. 

7. Take off carburetor parts

If your chainsaw is not clean for a long time, it needs a full cleaning. You must take off the parts of its carburetor like needle valves, diaphragm, and cover plate. 

Soak them in a cleaning solution for 5 to 10 minutes. Once all the dirt is removed, use a simple brush for complete cleaning. Dry the parts and reattach them. 

Follow by assembling the bar and chain as well once all the parts are dry. 

Your chainsaw is ready to use again. 

Charles Larson

Hi, I’m Charles Larson. We do everything we can to support our readers with hundreds of hours of research and comparison testing to ensure you find the perfect tool for your workshop.

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