How often do you maintain your chainsaw? Doing this regularly is a must if you want it to operate efficiently and deliver an acceptable level of performance. Not doing so will make your tool inefficient, making it difficult for you to use. Plus the longevity will also be decreased. As such, you should regularly maintain your chainsaw. But how do you manage this? By acting on what we have suggested below.
Sharpening the blades
This is probably the most important part of chainsaw maintenance. With increased usage, your saw can become blunt when it comes in contact with rocks or soil. How will you come to know of this? The following signs indicate that the blades have become blunt, and it is time to sharpen them.
• Your chainsaw cuts irregularly.
• Your chainsaw chatters and jumps when you use it. If adjusting the depth gauge does not work, it indicates the blades need sharpening.
• Your chainsaw is producing saw dust, rather than saw chips.
Now the real question: how do you sharpen your chainsaw? Clamp your tool into a vice and secure it in its place with the hand guard. Take a sharpening file of a recommended size and push it in a horizontal direction across the blade. Lift it at the end and then repeat one more time.
Please note that blades should be sharpened in one direction only. When you are done, clean the chain properly and lubricate it with oil.
Lubricating the chainsaw
In every chainsaw, there is an oiling system which prevents friction between the guide bar and the chain. The system is usually automatic and minimizes the heat energy produced. When you conduct maintenance, make sure that the oil system is properly working. You can check this by accelerating the chainsaw on a white piece of paper; oil should be sprayed on the paper. What if this is not the case? Clean the oil reservoir and replace the filter.
Cleaning or replacing the air filter
A dirty or clogged filter affects the performance of a chainsaw and has to be cleaned regularly. Inspect it and if you notice dirt and debris, you can remove them with soapy water or a gentle liquid cleaning. This is for air filters that are made of metal. If your chainsaw has a paper air filter, you will have to get it replaced.
Mixing the fuel
A chainsaw has a 2 stroke engine, which requires mixing the fuel for lubricating the moving components. This means you have to mix gasoline with oil in a commonly used ratio of 50:1. Just to be sure, go through the instructions manual and ascertain the same. Mix oil and gasoline in a fuel can, and shake it well. You should use a two-cycle oil for efficient operation.
Cleaning the intake components and needle of the carburetor
As times passes, deposits and impurities can build up along the surface of the carburetor and obstruct the fuel passage. The impurities have a sticky surface and are light brown or golden in color. Use a spray cleaner to remove this deposit, or dissolve them with a fuel additive.
Adjusting the carburetor
The carburetor performs the function of supplying a vaporized fuel and air to the engine. Why adjust it? For safe usage of the chainsaw, you can do this by the following process.
1. Go through the manufacturer’s specification, and accordingly, adjust the high and low rpm screws. Now run your chainsaw at the highest speeds, and listen for a fluttering sound. If you can hear this, it means that not enough fuel mixture is being provided to the chainsaw. Rotate the high rpm screw in a counterclockwise direction until the noise is reduced.
2. Now observe the chain; if it is still rotating, turn the throttle screw in a counterclockwise direction until the rotation stops.
3. Rotate your chainsaw and make sure it is running in all possible positions. If not, too much fuel is being provided. You can adjust this by playing around with the low rpm knob.
By now, your saw should be running smoothly, and getting fuel in adequate amounts.
Not using your chainsaw for a month or two
If you are planning on not using your chainsaw for a month or two, you should store it properly. Remove all fuel from the tank, and also remove the oil. Now take off the chain and place it in a container filled with oil. Clean the rest of the tool, and then store it in a safe place.
After doing all of the above, did you notice a difference in the performance of your saw?