How to Clean a Chainsaw

Cleaning your chainsaw is a necessary task. Not only does it keep your tool running at peak performance, but it also ensures that you don’t injure yourself or others by using a dirty chainsaw. To clean your saw, follow these steps:

Why do you need to clean a chainsaw

Well, it seems obvious, but the reason you need to clean a chainsaw is so that it runs properly. And if you’re not sure why this is the case, here are a few reasons:

  • Your chain will wear out faster if it gets worn down by dirt and grime.
  • Cleaning your chainsaw can help keep your blade sharper for longer. A dirty blade will dull more quickly than one that’s been properly cleaned after every use.
  • Regularly cleaning your chain saw means less work in the long run! You’ll spend less time sharpening, polishing, and replacing blades because they won’t get as dull as often when you maintain them regularly.

How to clean a chainsaw

So, you’ve had your chainsaw for a while and it needs a good old clean, eh? Well, don’t worry—we can help!

The first thing to do is check that you have the right tools and supplies on hand. These include:

  • A stiff wire brush (for cleaning the bar)
  • Chain oil or bar oil (to lubricate your chain)

Place the chainsaw on a solid ground

You should place the chainsaw on solid ground. Make sure that it’s flat and level, not wet, not too hard, and not too soft.

Clean the bar

  • Use a soft cloth, like the one you use for cleaning your glasses, to wipe the bar.
  • If you have fine sandpaper, rub it in between your thumb and forefinger. This will remove debris stuck in the chain saw’s teeth, which can be difficult to remove with anything else.
  • A wire brush with an angled tip is designed for cleaning out small bits of dirt from hard-to-reach places on chainsaws—and it works well at removing this kind of grime as well!
  • A toothbrush is good at getting into crevices where dirt may be hiding out. You can use this type of brush or a pipe cleaner or even an old cotton swab if you want something more firm than what comes standard on most toothbrushes!

Clean the chain

There are a number of ways to clean your chain. The most common is a chain brush, which you can buy at any hardware store. You can also use a chain cleaner, like the ones made by Oregon and Stihl. These cleaners have been specifically designed for chainsaws and will help them last longer by removing dirt from between the gears on your saw’s drive system.

You can also use an oiler (like those made by Husqvarna), lube (such as Lucas Oil), or even just plain old motor oil if you want to get really cheap—and messy—with it! A tool kit containing everything you need should cost around $60-$80, but when paired with all these other materials it could be up to $120—so consider spending more money upfront to save yourself some hassle later on down the road!

Clean the powerhead

The air filter is located on the powerhead and should be cleaned after every use. To clean it, remove it from its housing by twisting counterclockwise. Remove any debris in or around the air filter with a dry rag before reinserting it into its housing.

Clean the spark plug by removing it from its holder with a wrench or screwdriver. Then scrub the dirt off of the insulating sleeve on each end using an old toothbrush, followed by scrubbing off any residual dust from inside of the cylinder head with a wire brush attachment on an electric drill (or an old toothbrush). If you have access to compressed air and/or oil for lubrication purposes, use them now for better results!

Remove cooling fins completely by unscrewing them with pliers or wrenches; if they are too stubborn to pull off easily then spray some penetrating oil on them first to make things go smoothly. Once they’re free from their housings, wash them thoroughly under running water until all traces of grime have been removed—this may require more than one pass so make sure you give each fin adequate attention! Once clean, allow all pieces involved in this step (cooling fins included) to dry completely before reinstalling everything back onto your chainsaw as usual.”

Clean the air filter

  • Remove the air filter cover by lifting it up and pulling it forward.
  • Clean the air filter with a rag that’s been dampened with water or an approved oil-free cleaner such as Simple Green, WD-40, or kerosene (if you’re using a high-pressure washer).
  • Replace the clean filter back into its spot, making sure to align it so there are no gaps between the frame and filter when you reinstall it in step 1 above!

Clean the spark plug

The spark plug is the engine’s primary source of ignition. If you have a dirty or clogged spark plug, your chainsaw will not start or operate as it should.

To clean the spark plug:

  • Remove the log from your chainsaw, and put on eye protection if you have any nearby branches that could fall on you (or anyone else) during this step.
  • Remove the nut holding down the spark plug with a wrench by turning counterclockwise while holding it down firmly with both hands so that it doesn’t fly off and hit someone nearby – you’ll need both hands to hold onto it when removing it!
  • Remove the old spark plug by pulling upward gently until it comes out; if there is no longer an old one then skip this step completely!

Clean the cooling fins

To clean the cooling fins, remove the air filter and use a brush to clean away any sawdust or dirt that may be stuck in them. Use a cloth to wipe them down, making sure you get all sides so that no debris remains. Finally, re-install the air filter and you’re back in business!

Reassemble the chainsaw

Now that you’ve cleaned the chainsaw, it’s time to reassemble it. You may want to refer to the instructions in your manual for this part.

  • Make sure the chain is correctly assembled. It should be positioned directly in front of the sprocket and sprocket cover after assembly. The chain should not rub against any other part of the saw (including the bar), so make sure it’s properly aligned within its guard or housing unit before tightening down on it with nuts and bolts or screws.* Check for tension by pulling on one end of each link: if there’s resistance, tighten up on them until they’re relatively loose (not too loose).* If your saw has a brake lever, check that its function is still intact by pressing down on it with your foot while running at full throttle—it should stop immediately when activated properly.* Check your chain oil level by removing one end cap from each side (where applicable) and pouring in fresh lube until there are around four inches left between where you poured into and bottomed out.* Replace all parts removed during disassembly back onto their original positions


Now that you have cleaned your chainsaw, it is time to put it back together. First, make sure the chain is not too tight or too loose on the bar. Then, place the bar back into its position on the powerhead and tighten it down with a wrench or socket wrench until snug but not overly tight. The same goes for tightening up all other parts before reassembling them together as well!

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