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How to Clean a Chainsaw? | A Complete Guide for Newbies

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Imagine you and your friends are out on a trip or camping in a thick jungle. And you all plan to make a treehouse to pass the cold night. To make it, you need wood pieces. But what if your saw is pale and unable to cut even the slightest part?

Then all your fun will go in vain and it will become a very tough night for you to pass. One of the worst situations is that your good chainsaw stops working in the middle of a job.

In order to avoid those unpleasant circumstances and to extend the life of your chainsaw, it is necessary to know how to clean a chainsaw.

How do you Clean your Chainsaw?

So, every time after finishing work, you get tired and never get the chance to clean your chainsaw? Know that if you left your saw messy after every single heavy project, it usually covers up with chronic lubricants and the chain got ravaged by damp of sawdust and wax from cutting woods.

By learning some steps, you can easily clean them. Besides, you’ll get to know how to give a perfect edge to your saw by reading up these step by step guidelines.

Step 1: Gather the Tools You Will Need

  • A stable solid workbench to place the chainsaw
  • Wire brush or pipe cleaner to scrub hard grimes
  • A towel or rag
  • Compressor to supply air for cleaning
  • Small paintbrush to wipe the stuck dust
  • A small screwdriver to loosen the nut and clean the oiler hole
  • Household ammonia, cleaning solution, and oil
  • Warm water to wash more efficiently

When you are ready to clean your chainsaw with all the required tools, place it on the stable work table. Ensure that the saw is lying flat and the chain is not touching anything. Don’t forget to disconnect the saw from any power source.

Step 2: Check which parts are removable

Detached parts are often easy to handle and clean. So first, observe your chainsaw and search which components are removable.

Now, carefully unload every part that can be demounted. Remember the place of all the parts you removed or note them. Let’s have a look at which parts you can remove and how.

  • Chain

Move the knob that controls the slack of the chain. Loosen the chain until you are able to slide the chain off and then take it off the saw.

  • Needle Valves and Diaphragm

Remove the needle valves and diaphragm from the machine. Loosen all the nuts to unlock them or consult experts.

  • Air Filter and Cover Plate

Remove the air filter and cover plate carefully from the chainsaw.

Step 3: Cleaning the Chain

You can consider cleaning the chain as one of the most important steps as it keeps the saw working smoothly and prevents kickbacks. Let’s have a look at how to clean it.

  • Make a Mixture

Pour 1 cup of ammonia into half a bucket of water to make a blend of solution. Now let it rest for a few minutes. Don’t forget to wear hand gloves and eye protection. Know that contacting the solution with the skin is harmful.

  • Soak the Chain

Put the chain in the solution and wait until it is soaked finely. It can take up to 20 minutes or more than that depending on how sloppy it is. Remember that, soaking it for a long time or overnight can rust the chain.

  • Scrub the Chain

When you will be done with soaking, you will notice that the solution gets most of the grease and waxes out from the chain. Now scrub with a wire brush until all the leftover dirt and grease are removed.

  • Rinse and Hang the Chain

After scrubbing it’s time to rinse the chain well with clean water. Swab it with a towel to mop all the water and simply hang the chain to dry it off completely.

  • Apply Lubricant

Dip the chain in some bar oil and wipe off the excess oil. By doing it before storage, you can extend the life of your chainsaw.

Step 4: Cleaning the Carburetor

Do you know that not cleaning the carburetor will result in the obstruction of the fuel flow? Yes, as a result, it won’t let the machine get turned on.

The buildup of dirt, gummy buildup, and old oil clogged the carburetor. To unclog them, you can start by using compressed air. And then spray some cleaner solution through all its holes to assure no dust is stuck in any portion of it.

Keep in mind that using a brush is not recommended to clean its components. You can also utilize a small vacuum machine to clean the small parts of the carburetor.

Step 5: Cleaning needle valves, diaphragm, and cover plate

Once you completed cleaning the carburetor, clean the detached needle valves, the diaphragm, and its cover plate by soaking them in a solution that is a combination of water and ammonia for 20-30 minutes.

Now scrub them until all the grease and dirt get out and rinse them well with clean water. To avoid rusting, mop, and dry them entirely.

Step 6: Cleaning the Air Filter

If you find it dirty, soak it in warm soapy water and scrub it smoothly. However, if you think that it’s not possible to clean it then replace it.

When you are finally done, reattach the detached parts. Your chainsaw is now ready to cut wood again, just refill it with gas or oil before using.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

1. I don’t use a chainsaw very often. How many times do I need to clean them?

Even if you don’t utilize your chainsaw very often, it’s still a decent idea to give it a short cleaning two or three times a year.

2. Why you should clean a chainsaw?

A well-maintained chainsaw can extend the life of your chainsaw; even sometimes it can prevent causing accidents that can save your life.

3. How should I choose the cleaning solution to clean my chainsaw?

There are several cleaning solutions that you can choose to clean. A combination of home ammonia and water works great for it.

4. Can I mix ammonia with chlorine bleach?

Never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach as it will build a harmful gas that can harm your breathing nerves.

5. What precautions should I take before cleaning my chainsaw?

Work in a well-ventilated area, wear hand gloves, and eye protection to avoid contact solutions with your skin.

6. Why lubrication is important after cleaning the chain?

A well-lubricated chain will help to avoid any friction. So it will thicken the buildup heat and lets the saw cut evenly without any resistance.

7. How to prepare carburetor before cleaning?

The carburetor is an air-fuel mixing machine that works to provide the engine with vaporized fuel and air. Before cleaning it make sure that all bolts, screws, and nuts are taut or drip out all the fuel from the carburetor.

8. Can I use compressed air to clean the air filter?

You can use it if the compressor is set for low pressure but it’s not recommended. You can use some warm soapy water to clean them evenly.

9. What are the parts that I can detach from a chainsaw for cleaning?

If you observe the chainsaw carefully, you can notice that the chain, needle valves, diaphragm, air filter, cover plate, and some other small components.

10. How to oil the chain of the chainsaw after cleaning?

Just drip the chain in the oil for some time and take it out. Then mop it with a clean cloth and hang it.

Every time, after using a chainsaw in heavy-duty, its chain sticks with some blends of resin, dirt, and sawdust. Sometimes, the flowing oil from carburetor and woodpiles oil makes a thick layer into the chain.

If you want to assure a chainsaw with an efficient, smooth, hassle-free service for years just like a new one, you have to know how to properly clean the chainsaw, take care of it, as well as storing it in the perfect place.

So, after cleaning it is completely ready and applicable for starting your upcoming project.

Final Words

The importance of cleaning a chainsaw knows no bounds since it can prevent a life falling accident. Besides, as a craftsman, you better know how a dull chainsaw feels while working. It’s more interrupting than dangerous that can completely ruin your day.

So, give the article a thorough read to learn how to clean a chainsaw. By following those given steps, you will rest assured that you have provided favorable cleaning to your chain and helped to expand its lifetime.

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James R. Robertson
James R. Robertson

James R. Robertson is an expert advisor in all types of saws. His hobby is using different types of saw tools and has over 8 years of experience. Based on his experience with different types of saws, he is sharing his opinion about various saws. So that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!

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