Regardless of whether its before you use your chainsaw, while you are working with your chainsaw or after you finished you work, inspection and maintenance are critical to not only the chainsaws mechanical integrity but also your chainsaws ability to function properly and safely. Most owners manuals will have a section with a maintenance chart detailing the types of maintenance you should perform and at what intervals.
In your manual, the section will cover the basic inspection and maintenance that you must perform to keep your chainsaw in top shape. If you are unable to perform any of the functions for any reason, return your chainsaw to any authorized dealer to have your inspection and maintenance performed before you use your chainsaw.
Performing an inspection and performing proper maintenance of your chainsaw and its components prior to using your saw will result in a more productive and safer cutting experience.
Always make sure that you have turned off the engine, the chain is stopped and the muffler is cooled before refueling, making adjustments, performing maintenance and repairs, changing the saw chain or cleaning the saw and never attempt any maintenance or repair work not described in your owners manual. Have those items taken care of by your authorized dealer.
First check the fasteners on your chainsaw, making sure they are snug. Retighten any loose fasteners and replace any that may be missing or damaged.
Check the AV system and that all of the buffers are in place and functioning properly. Replace damaged, broken or excessively worn buffers immediately. They may result in a loss of control of your chainsaw.
A sponginess in the feel of your chainsaw, increased vibration or noticeable bottoming during normal operation may indicate damage, breakage or excessive wear and if replacement is necessary, always replace the buffers in sets.
Check your air filter often. There are several different types and designs of air filters and if yours is dirty, clean the filter according to the manufacturers directions in the owners manual or replace the filter if necessary. Most filters can be cleaned temporarily by simply tapping them on the log, for instance, releasing the heavier particles that have built up on the filter.
A tip when accessing your air filter: always close the choke on your carburetor before removing the air filter. This will block sawdust and other dirt from accidentally falling into the throat of the carburetor.
Occasionally, you will need to inspect your fuel filter, be certain not to do this around any open flames or other sources of ignition of fumes from the tank are very flammable. Clean or replace the fuel filter as necessary according to your owners manual.
Make sure that the chain on your saw does not rotate on the bar when the saw is idle. If the chain moves when the chainsaw is idle, you must adjust the saws idle using the proper adjustment screw on the carburetor. Check your owners manual for more detailed information on your saws idle screw placement and adjustment procedure.
If you cannot get the chain to stop rotating at idle, take the saw to your authorized dealer for the necessary adjustments and repairs before using your saw.
Check your muffler and spark arrestor according to your manuals maintenance schedule. If you find that the spark arrestor is clogged or dirty, clean the part or replace it. Operating your saw with a clogged spark arrestor can cause serious damage to your saws engine and never operate your chainsaw without the spark arrestor.
As the sparks from the muffler can easily start a fire, the bar, chain and sprocket will require frequent inspection and upkeep and are some of the highest maintenance components of your chainsaw.
There are 2 types of sprockets commonly used on chainsaws today: rim type sprockets and spur sprockets. Sprockets will wear as the chainsaws used and require replacement. A good rule of thumb for replacement is to install a new sprocket after every two chains that you wear out.
The method for replacing your sprocket will depend on the mounting design used on your chainsaw. Many models, use an outboard design that is very easy to service, even in the field. Simply remove the E clip and the washer and the rims slip off the clutch drum and the drum and bearing will slip off the crankshaft. Now you can easily clean your parts and reinstall them, making sure to add a slight amount of high temperature grease to the needle, bearing and crankshaft. When reinstalling the drum on your saw, rotate it about one turn to make sure youve engaged the oil pump drive. Slip on the rim on, reinstall the washer and E clip. Other styles may require the removal of the clutch first with special tools to access the sprocket for maintenance. Check your owners manual for the procedure to properly replace your sprocket.
Following these procedures and the directions in the operators manual will ensure your chainsaw enjoys a long life and that the equipment is as safe to use as possible. Ignore them at your peril.