Every tool and every machine needs regular maintenance in order to work perfectly and chainsaw isn't an exception. Chainsaw maintenance is essential if you want your chainsaw to last for years to come. Regular chainsaw maintenance also prevents critical failures that can lead to injuries.
Keep the Air Filter Clean
Maintaining the air filter in crisp condition is among the most vital things the chainsaw owner can do to extend the saw’s useful life and enhance performance. Cleaning the air filter is the only deterrent against the engine downing dirt and sawdust which can cork the carburetor and result in the saw starting hard and running poorly. Contaminants also damage the piston rings resulting in loss of compression, consequently reducing power. Most saws come with a screen instead of a paper filter or foam. For saws with a paper filter or foam, replace it regularly.
Chainsaw bar problems are mostly related to incorrect chain tensioning, poor lubrication or faulty working techniques. The area of the bar most exposed to wear is the underside of the bar, where most of the cutting is done. To keep your bar in top shape you should turn the guide bar every time the chain is changed so that it will wear evenly. Also, you should clean the guide bar groove and oil inlet regularly and file away burrs from the bar rails.
No matter how well you maintain it, at a certain time it will be necessary to change the bar. You should buy a new bar if the bar groove is not deep enough to hold the drive link. You must check that at the most worn part on the rail. Also, you should change the bar if the chain is not kept straight up in the groove.
Chain lubrication is one of the most important things in chainsaw maintenance. You may not know this, but poor lubrication is a major cause of premature wear. You should check and refill the chain oil every time you refuel. Always use original chain oil because it has been developed to provide good lubrication for your chainsaw no matter how hard the wood is or how cold it is. You can check if your lubrication system is operating properly simply by starting a chainsaw, hold it over a stump and rev up the engine. If there is a line of oil on the stump, the chainsaw lubrication system is running properly. If there isn’t a line on the stump, you should check up the oil level and check the nozzle which can be clogged with sawdust.
Proper Chain Tensioning
Ensure your saw’s chain is tensioned correctly. A loose chain may veer off the guide bar and may injure you and ruin the machine. Also, an unduly tightened chain may cause an untimely corrosion of the guide bar. Tension is okay when the chain is touching the bottom of the guide bar while still allowing you to pull it easily by hand. Don’t forget to let the chain cool before adjusting the chain tension. When the chain cools off, it will shrink.
Conditioning A New Chain
When it is time to change the chain, prepare the new chain by drenching it in bar and chain oil to ensure that all pivot points are perfectly lubricated. After a couple of hours, hang the chain, preferably from a nail to let the surplus oil drip away. Lodge and tension the chain. Run it until it warms up. As the chain heats it loosens, consequently, stop the chain and tension it once more. Run a few light-duty chores like cutting small branches and limbs for about half an hour. Tighten the chain again, and you are ready for the heavy-duty tasks.
Use Non-Ethanol Gasoline
You may not know this but most gasoline these days contains ethanol, and ethanol is the bane of small engines. If you use gasoline with ethanol in your chainsaw, over time the ethanol in the gas absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and this ethanol-water mix separates and sinks in your gas tank. This ethanol-water mix corrodes metal and gums up small engine carburetors. You should find and use all-petroleum-based gasoline. Most of the pumps have non-ethanol gasoline so it shouldn’t be a problem to acquire. But if you can’t find non ethanol gasoline, then use the gas which contains ethanol but add a stabilizing additive. No matter what option you choose, the most important thing is to only use fresh gas. It is best to buy it in small quantities.
Products Helpful For Maintenance
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