How to Tune a Chainsaw in 10+ Easy Steps? A 2022 Guide

tuning a chainsaw in detail“To use a chainsaw efficiently and in a trouble-free way, you need to know how to tune a chainsaw.”

The chainsaw engine often becomes logged due to heavy working and overloading. And the engine needs a little adjustment for enhanced performance and better working. This adjustment is called tuning, which involves the engine’s main part, a carburetor.

It would be best for you to learn tuning a chainsaw properly. This tuning process solely revolves around the carburetor. So, the carburetor is the part that you are going to work with for tuning.

That is why you need to be familiar with the structure of the carburetor for better tuning.

What is A Carburetor? Its Structure and Need for Tuning

A carburetor is very important for the proper working of the chainsaw. It helps to ignite the engine by mixing a certain amount of fuel with a little bit of air. But it becomes filled with carbon if too much air enters and gets mixed with the fuel.

The fuel will not be able to power the chainsaw with full power. In this situation, smoke is produced, which leads to the accumulation of carbon. Thus, you need to tune the carburetor for better functioning of the chainsaw. But you need to know about the parts of the carburetor for proper adjustment.

There are three screws in a chainsaw for making adjustments.

Idle Speed

The idle speed screw determines the extent to which the throttle valve will be opened. This valve is in the shape of a butterfly. The other name of the adjustment is throttle speed, and it works with the release of the throttle trigger.

This adjustment should always be at its optimum limits. If the idle speed is too low, the engine of the chainsaw will die soon after the release of the throttle trigger. And if it is too high, the chain will begin running due to the working of the centrifugal clutch.

High Speed

The high-speed adjustment controls cutting speed by mixing air and fuel, which makes it the critical adjustment in a battery chainsaw.

The saw will be at optimum RPM speed if this adjustment is normal.

If this adjustment is too high, the saw will not have the required RPM level to provide maximum power. If it is too low, there is the risk of bearing failure and cylinder seizure.

Low Speed

This adjustment precisely controls how much air will get mixed with the fuel. The low level of this adjustment makes the engine starve and causes a surge. While too high adjustment causes the death of the engine due to load up.

How to Tune a Chainsaw in Simple and Easy Steps?

Let’s start learning how to tune your chainsaw. We need to work on a carburetor for that so, follow these steps.

  • Check the air filters and clean them. Make sure that no clog remains to ensure the smooth running of the chainsaw.
  • The second check should be of the fuel. Check for its level as a half-full tank is best for turning. Because the adjustment with a full tank will be too rich.
  • You should check for carbon buildup in the exhaust port and the muffler. If you change the settings of the carburetor when the muffler is plugged, the saw will run lean. It will happen only if you have cleaned all the carbon clogging the ports.
  • Now you have to adjust the carburetor by adjusting the screws. You should screw them gently onto their positions and then back.
  • You need to warm the chainsaw up. For warming up, keep it running for a few minutes. If you don’t do this step, the engine will have over-optimized adjustment. If it is not maintaining the idle then keep warming it up by repeated squeeze of throttle. Make sure that the chainsaw is running steadily.
  • Now adjust the idle speed. You should use a tachometer for adjusting the right speed. The start speed should be 2700 RPM.  If you cannot get a tachometer, set the maximum speed without the engagement of clutches.
  • Now adjust the low-speed setting but turn the screw inwards. You should keep doing this unless the engine starts surging or starving for fuel. Now start turning the screw outwards slowly to make sure the engine is running better. Keep doing this step unless the engine starts loading up.
  • When this happens, note down the position of your screwdriver to compare this position with the lean adjustment position. Now start rotating the screwdriver inside unless the idling is at its best.
  • The optimum and best position is between these two noted positions.
  • To make a high-speed adjustment, you should keep turning the screw inside till the time when the fuel leans out. Now turn it towards the inside again and you will heal a sound. At this moment, you should have the right RPM which you can adjust with the help of a tachometer.
  • After all this tuning, you will see your gas chainsaw working at its best.
  • You should keep in mind the surface is flat where you are working. And there are no extra things around your saw.

Learn the whole process accurately in this video tutorial by Whitetail Properties:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs written on a carburetor while tuning?

The signs on a carburetor are for different settings positions. The L labels “low-speed setting”, H labels “High-speed adjustment”, and I is for “idle setting”.

How much time does it take to tune a chainsaw?

If you follow all the instructions carefully, it doesn’t take more than ten minutes to tune your chainsaw.

How should I clean the filters in the carburetor?

Cleaning the filters in the carburetor is very simple. For cleaning a paper type filter, use dish soap and hot water. In contrast, chainsaw gas comes in handy for cleaning a wire type filter.

Conclusion: How to Tune a Chainsaw in 2022?

There is no need to rush to a mechanic to tune your chainsaw in case of a problem. We have narrated all the information you require for tuning the chainsaw on your own. Follow these steps and save your time.


Richard McMann

Richard lives out in the wild with his other half, Diana Richard. He tests chainsaws based on his personal experience and loves to share their nitty gritty details with his audience. Although Richard does focus on other home improvement tools, his focus remains on cutting fallen trees or maintaining his backyard via chainsaw tools. He pledges to come up with new knowledge about chainsaws every once in a while. Explore Details About Richard