How To Clean a Chainsaw Properly in 2024? Easy Cleaning Tricks

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

cleaning a chainsaw in 8 simple stepsChainsaws don’t work appropriately if they aren’t maintained. Dirt, oil, and filth may reduce the life of a chainsaw and affect its functioning. Do you wonder why your chainsaw is not functioning properly? 

Poor maintenance can be one of the major reasons. Sometimes the tool seems fine apparently. You can’t see the sawdust from outside, so you will have to go underneath to clean the dirt and oil residing inside it. 

This guide is here to teach you how to clean a chainsaw and its other parts. Proper and timely cleaning and maintenance of chainsaws ensure their optimal functioning and extended life.

Ensure Your Safety

Before you start cleaning, make sure that you have switched off the chainsaw and it wouldn’t start working in the middle. Take these precautions:

  • In the case of a battery chainsaw, don’t forget to remove the battery and apply the chain break
  • If you have a petrol chainsaw, make sure to turn off its engine and apply the chain break
  • If you own an electric chainsaw, do unplug it before cleaning
  • Do wear sturdy work gloves or goggles for your safety

Tools Required for Cleaning

Keep the following items by your side before you start cleaning:

  • A paintbrush
  • A chainsaw cleaner spray
  • Filing gauge
  • A soft cloth

Steps to Clean A Chainsaw

After ensuring your personal safety and availability of required tools for the task, follow these steps to clean your chainsaw:

1. Position the Chainsaw on a Workbench

It is necessary to make the environment work friendly before you start working. It helps you to get the work done efficiently and effectively. So, place your chainsaw on a stable and clean workbench. It will help you to secure the screws you remove while working and you won’t lose important parts of chainsaws.

2. Cleaning of Spark Plug

Spark plug plays a significant role in the accurate starting and working of your chainsaw. Therefore, check the position of its cleanliness and make sure that the spark plug is in optimal working condition. Now, remove the spark plug and have a look at whether there is any build-up of carbon? If yes, cleanse it with a stiff or a paintbrush. In case, you find that your spark is clogged with too much carbon, replace the spark plug with a new one. You can easily find a spark plug from the market at an affordable price.

3. Clean the Guide Bar

Adjust the knob and put off the chain from the bar to clean the bar groove first. Remove all the debris, waste, or oil from the bar and bar groove with the help of a soft and clean cloth. Cleaning rags work well but you can also get bar groove cleaners for detailed cleaning.

4. Clean the Chainsaw’s Chain

It’s time to clean the chain now. For this purpose, prepare the chainsaw cleaning solvent. Take a gallon of water along with ammonia dissolved and mix it well, the solution is ready to use. Now, soak the chain in solution for a minimum of 20 minutes. As a precaution, while dealing with ammonia, make sure that your working space has proper ventilation. Try using gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes. These precautions are mandatory as ammonia can be damaging for your eyes or hands.

After 20 minutes, scrub the chain with a stiff or a paintbrush. Rinse the chain twice or thrice with water and dry it well. Your chain is clean now.

Read the detailed guide on how to clean a chainsaw chain here!

5. Lubricate the Chainsaw’s Chain Using WD-40

The chain must be lubricated enough to function properly. To make it well-functional and extend its life, have some WD-40 as it provides lubrication and prevents rust and contaminants as well.WD-40 is a multipurpose product that prevents metals from corrosion and rust. Dip the chain in lubrication oil and place it on a newspaper till the oil stops dripping.

6. Chain Lubrication Hole

Ensure that the hole through which lubrication oil reaches the chain is unblocked and clear. In case you find it unclean and dirty, clean the hole using some piece of wire. After lubrication, you can attach the chain back to the bar. 

7. Unclog the Carburetor

Oil and dirt if kept residing on the carburetor, blocks the flow of fuel towards the engine. Check the carburetor of the chainsaw if it is clogged up with sticky residue. If there is a gummy accumulation, it requires an instant cleaning. For this purpose, use chainsaw cleaner spray. This spray comprises compressed air that removes clogged waste and debris. However, you can also use an ammonia-water solution the same way you used it for the chainsaw’s chain. Remove the diaphragm, needles, valves, and cover plate to soak in the solution. Rinse them with clean and cool water. Dry all the parts with a microfiber towel and reattach them to the carburetor.

8. Check the Air Filter

Poorly maintained air filters can be the reason for excessive fuel consumption and high wear of engines. Therefore, it is important to check them after a certain period. 

Put off the air filter for cleaning. Wash it with warm and soapy water and clean with the help of a stiff brush gently. However, if you find it too dirty to be cleaned. Buy a new one from the market as it is easily available at a cheap price.

For better cleaning, have a look at this video tutorial by Homestead Jay:

Assembly and Performance

Now that you are done with cleaning, assemble all the separated parts of the chainsaw in reverse order. After these steps of deep cleaning, you will observe a visible improvement in its performance. But if it is still underperforming, you must consider purchasing a new one or you can give it a pressure wash

Conclusion: How to Clean a Chainsaw?

Chainsaws often stop functioning well due to poor maintenance. Apparently fine, they collect loads of dust and dirt inside them. But this guide is here to help you. Follow the above-mentioned steps and precautions in the guide and extend your chainsaw’s life.

Richard McMann
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