Proper chainsaw maintenance is just as important as safety and will help ensure that your equipment will not let you down.
Fuel and air filters
Before using your chainsaw, you need to inspect the fuel system for any visible leaks or clogs. The fuel filter’s lifespan will depend on how often you use your chainsaw. Additionally, remove any sawdust buildup around the fuel cap before refueling. Sawdust and other debris can clog up fuel filters very easily.
The air intake filter tends to clog up with sawdust. You can use soap and hot water solutions for cleaning a dirty air filter, but in some extreme cases, you might just want to replace it with a new one.
Suitable protective clothing
No matter how small the job, chainsaws produce noise levels that will affect unprotected ears after only 15 minutes of exposure. Wear ear muffs or ear plugs to keep as much noise as possible out.
Safety chaps tend to be a little expensive, but they might come in very handy in case of an emergency. A good pair of chaps will bring the chainsaw to a stop if you accidentally make contact with the lower section of your body.
A good pair of safety goggles will help protect the eyes from flying debris.
Bar and chain
Always make sure you check safety features such as chain brakes, safety chains, and deadman switches.
The chain tension should be checked and adjusted if needed before every use.
Inspect the chain to make sure it is properly lubricated and refill bar and chain oil if needed. If possible, soak your new chain in oil to allow it to penetrate all chain components.
Carburetors and spark plugs
New chainsaws already come with the proper carb adjustment, however, you may need to make additional carburetor adjustments after extended usage. This comes with experience, so you may need to take it to a repair shop if you’re unsure.
Spark plugs like filters need to be inspected and switched out after extended usage. A weak or “bad” spark plug will cause a reduction in engine performance. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean oily or black spark plugs. A spark plug tester is an excellent tool that can help determine whether you need a replacement.
Tips when searching for a chainsaw
- A vibration dampening system can make simple work of the most difficult tasks.
- Chainsaw two-stroke engines have a great power-to-weight ratio compared to many four-stroke engine designs.
Alternative to gas chainsaws
Modern chainsaws have additional safety features and are easier compared to their predecessors. Nonetheless, always think about safety before you use a chainsaw. Only trained individuals should operate a chainsaw or at the very least undergo basic training. Most chainsaw manufacturers have excellent safety videos available.