Proper Chainsaw Maintenance

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How to Maintain Your Chainsaw

Now that you’ve selected a chainsaw from our chainsaw reviews, it’s time to learn how to care for your new chainsaw. Chainsaws, like any other tool, require maintenance to keep them running at their best. If you simply use your saw, and put it away without providing any maintenance, there is no guarantee that it will work the next time you need it. If you are lucky enough for it to work, you could end up severely injured as a result of improper maintenance that could have prevented an accident.

Daily Chainsaw Inspection how to maintain a chainsaw

Every time you use your saw, there are several things that you need to do to make sure the saw is in proper working condition. These steps will not only ensure your safety, they will also help you keep your chainsaw running properly for much longer than those that are not properly maintained.

Air Filter Check

You should inspect the air filter after every use to make sure there is no debris caught in it. If there is, you can lightly tap the filter to remove the particles, or you can use a soft bristled brush to brush it off. It is also a good idea to clean the filter with warm, soapy water periodically to ensure the best possible airflow. You should never use any other liquid to clean the filter, including gas or other flammable solvents.

Chain Brake

The chain brake could be a life saver in many situations, so you need to make sure that it is working properly. To make sure that the brake is working as it should, run the saw at full power and engage the break. If it is working properly, the chain should stop almost instantly. If it does not, do not use the saw until you have it repaired.

On/Off Switch

While it may seem unlikely, it is possible for the on/off switch to fail. If this happens, the saw will not start when you want it too, or it could fail to stop when it shuts off. Both issues will result in frustration or danger.

Starter Cord

You should always check the pull cord for any areas that are starting to fray. If the rope has any weakened areas, it could result in the cord breaking when trying to start it. You should also make sure that you pull the cord straight out rather than at an angle to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

Chain Catcher Pin

This is a small pin that is located at the bottom of the saw. This pin will stop the chain if it breaks or dislodges from the bar. You should make sure that it is undamaged, and present prior to using the saw.

Other Chainsaw Maintenance how to maintain a chainsaw with scabbard

There are also other steps for chainsaw maintenance. Depending on how often you use your saw, and for how long, you should be able to follow these steps regularly to keep your saw running well.

Chain Sharpening

You will need to know how to file the chain to keep your chainsaw cutting at optimum levels. Before you begin this process, make sure that the saw is secured in a way that will prevent it from moving. You will also need to engage the chain brake to prevent movement.

You will use a file gauge to sharpen the cutting teeth. You will use the gauge at a right angle to the rollers, and you will file every second tooth. You will also need to file the depth gauges between the teeth every third or fourth time that you sharpen the teeth.

For more information, see our guide to sharpening a chainsaw the right way.


All chainsaws are different, so you should also make sure to check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer’s requirements are for properly maintaining the machine. For more information check out Husqvarna’s quick chainsaw maintenance video

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