Why is My Chainsaw Smoking? 5 Reasons and Solutions [2024]

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

5 solutions to chainsaw smoking problemsPeople buy chainsaws for different reasons it can be for some personal adventures and it can be for professional or private use.

In all cases, everyone starts working with the chainsaw as a beginner.

Thus, most people are not aware of its working and they come across certain problems that make them worried about it.

One of the common problems that make people worry is smoking chainsaws. You are working with your new chainsaw and suddenly after some use, it starts making huge smoke.

You might think that there is some big fault or maybe you just wasted your money but it is not the case.

To help you with why is my chainsaw smoking problem, let’s have a look at the reasons and some solutions as follows:

Why is My Chainsaw Smoking? Some Reasons and Solutions Explained


First of all, you need to find from where the smoke is coming. Either bar is producing smoke or the engine. Just like you should know where actually it is aching only then you can diagnose the problem and then some remedy for it. The same is the case with the chainsaw, first identify the location of the smoke so that you can understand the actual problem.

Now, let me tell you some of the reasons why chainsaw smokes and how can you resolve those issues easily.

5 Reasons & Solutions to Chainsaw Smoking Problem


Your chainsaw contains an air filter that regulates the flow of air in the chainsaw. While you are cutting wood, some waste of the wood gets accumulated in the air filter and it shocks it. Therefore, the air could not pass through it and your chainsaw heats up.

In the case of a dirty air filter, it damages the engine of the chainsaw and if not handled properly, it leads to worse damages. Also, In the case of battery-operated, it leads to poor performance and severe damage. Due to this, the chainsaw produces white smoke.

The solution to this is really easy and it just needs your care and attention towards your chainsaw. You should keep cleaning the air filter after every 5 hours of use or after 2 to 3 times use. Taking care of these small aspects of a chainsaw gives it a longer life and prevents damage.


Getting worried because your firewood chainsaw is perfectly managed but still it is producing huge smoke? Do you worry I will tell you what is the problem? It is because of the Oil‒Gasoline mixture that you are using in your chainsaw as fuel.

Properly oiling a chainsaw is not enough but you must be very careful about the ratio of Oil and Gasoline. If the ration is not properly balanced then your chainsaw trouble you and produces smoke.

To prevent this, check the user guide manual or your chainsaw that you will get with the chainsaw. In case you are unable to find the manual, you can Google it and from there read the perfect ratio.

After knowing the perfect ratio of fuel, take a measuring beaker and mix Oil and Gasoline accordingly. If you remember about the ration that you have already used in the chainsaw then you can set it easily by adding Oil or gasoline accordingly. Or in the other case, you may discard it and add new fuel to it.

One more thing that you always care about is that your fuel should be clean. Check for impurities, if there are any, then change them. Always use the best quality and fresh fuel for your chainsaw. These small things matter a lot and you will surely see the difference in the performance.


When you are working with a gas chainsaw, it faces a lot of friction. The friction occurs at two levels. At one level the metal-to-metal friction between the metal of the chainsaw bar and the chainsaw chain. The other level is friction between the metal of the chain and the wood that you are cutting.

This forceful friction puts a lot of pressure on the chainsaw while cutting and thus it produces smoke if not properly oiled.

To resist such huge friction, your chainsaw must have proper oiling. Keep checking for the oil and make sure that every part that needs to be oiled is properly lubricated.


Sharpening your chainsaw chain timely is of great importance if you want to get the most out of it. When you manage and take care of such gadgets, they last for a longer period. Therefore, keep your gadgets in a good position and fulfill all the requirements.

An unsharpened chainsaw chain is one of the major reasons of smoke and it can create huge trouble other than it will produce smoke. Be aware of the right time to sharpen a chainsaw chain.

If you are feeling more pressure while cutting wood or it is generating fine dust of wood as waste then these are signs. You must pay attention to these signs and sharpen your chainsaw chain right away.

Sharpen your chainsaw chain properly. Start with sharpening teeth and then rakers and at the end do check for the bar of the chainsaw. There is proper guidance available regarding the sharpening of a chainsaw chain step by step.

Follow all the steps in sequence and sharpen your chainsaw chain timely. Then, you will not face the difficulty in cutting and you will also get rid of the smoke issue.


One more reason for the smoke of chainsaws is a tight chain. You should be careful about the tension of the chainsaw chain over the bar. Or else you are damaging both your chainsaw and chain badly.

The chain should not be loose or too tight. To check the perfect tension of a chainsaw chain there is one thumb rule. Push the chainsaw chain in an upward direction and if it is raised a bit and it does not leave the drive link out of the bar nose then it is perfect tension.

A perfectly tightened chainsaw chain prevents smoke and any other damage to the chain or chainsaw.

Here are some other suggestions given by PartSelect about chainsaw smoking problems and their solutions below:


1. Why is my chainsaw not cutting?

There could be multiple reasons why your chainsaw is not cutting. The most common reason could be that the chainsaw chain is not perfectly tight or is stretched. Either the chain is too tight or too loose. The other reason could be that you have been using your chainsaw without paying attention to its maintenance.

An unsharpened chainsaw chain could be also a strong reason for your chainsaw’s poor performance. Also, do not forget about oiling your chainsaw and chainsaw chain.

2. Why my chainsaw is producing white smoke?

There are many reasons why chainsaw produces smoke but one of the prominent reason for white smoke is bad quality fuel or an inappropriate ratio of Oil and Gasoline that is used for fuel.

To prevent this, your quality of fuel must be good and it should be fresh. Check if there are any impurities in the fuel, then change it immediately. Also, read the user manual for knowing the perfect ratio of Oil and Gasoline and add proper ratios of both to avoid issues.

3. Why my chainsaw is smoking while running?

If your home use chainsaw is producing smoke while running, it is because of the imbalance in the ratio of Oil and gasoline. In this case, the amount of oil is greater in the mixture that is giving over power to the chainsaw and thus it produces smoke while cutting.

4. Why my chainsaw is smoking on startup?

It can occur because of insufficient oiling to the chainsaw. Due to the friction that the chainsaw faces, huge smoke is produced. You should oil it properly to avoid smoking and other issues. If you do not oil it properly then it can damage the engine and may result in running a chainsaw.

LAST WORDS: Why is My Chainsaw Smoking?

This article not only highlighted the reasons and their solutions but also the importance of maintenance of your chainsaw. I hope this information is going to help you in saving the life of your chainsaw.

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Richard McMann
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