“I want a chainsaw badly, because I think cutting down a tree would be unbelievably satisfying. I have asked for a chainsaw for my birthday, but I think I’ll probably be given jewellery instead.”

says famous American journalist and author Susan Orlean. It’s not very often you get to hear a woman say that she enjoys the act of tearing things out of the ground, digging, cutting and pruning. But for this writer, it is a rather enjoyable task and what better investment than a great quality chainsaw?

Chainsaws have always been viewed as a manly and rugged tool to own. But the uses of having one at home, or in the tool shed are various! It is not only a tool for ardent DIY (Do It Yourself) fans, but also for those who want to do quick and easy home repairs without worrying about paying exorbitant fees to a carpenter.

Normally perceived as a tool too intimidating to own, a chainsaw can be used for a myriad of purposes apart from the standard heavy duty cutting. It not only enables easy cutting and sawing of materials but can also help with gardening and out of the box creative art projects. A lower power and smaller sized chainsaw can be used for pruning and maintaining overgrown and hard to control shrubs and weeds in a home garden. Electric saws of a smaller size can also be used to cut and shape wood, plastic and other materials with ease, thus enabling you to create unique and one of a kind wooden sculptures and art installations right at the comfort of your home!

This article will explore in short the various do’s and don’ts of owning, using and maintaining a chainsaw in the easiest and time-saving manner.

Maintaining a chainsaw


1. Maintain the sharpness of the chain:

All chainsaws lose their sharpness after prolonged usage. To ensure the long life and optimum health of your saw, it is important to check the sharpness of the chain from time to time. Some signs that indicate a chain going blunt are –

  • The chain does not pull itself natural into the surface. It requires additional pressure from your side.
  • Despite the saw having appropriate lubrication and chain tension, smoke rises from the surface of the chain.
  • The chainsaw loses its steady control and may bounce and shake while being used, thus reducing the quality of the output. It may also result in wispy sawdust as compared to bristly threads.

2. Proper chain tension:

It is extremely important to check the chain tension of your chainsaw from time to time. Over prolonged use, the chain might get loose over the bar and may sag. This is a hazardous situation and needs to be rectified immediately. A chainsaw is said to have good tension when the chain is still a little loose over the bar guide, but the drive links are tight enough on the bar nose. A chainsaw with bad tension is one in which the drive links easily pull away from the bar nose. One must also be careful about over tightening the chainsaw, leaving no play in the chain, thus increasing the risk of it snapping off while being used.

3. Regular and timely repairs and service:

While a chainsaw is a rugged and sturdy piece of equipment, its long life and usability are maintained by correct and timely servicing. Regularly service your chainsaw (every few months to a year) to maintain its optimum quality. This tip stands more relevant if there are any repairs to be carried out on your saw that are not mentioned in the manual provided by the company you’re using.

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1. Ignoring the air filter:

The air filter is often ignored by the user because it is extremely underrated. However, it is the most vital part of the equipment, as it inhales and ingests all the dust, dirt and debris created from the usage of the chainsaw. There are two types of air filters, depending on the chainsaw you use. If it has a screen, use an air compressor to direct the air and remove all debris in a backward motion to prevent it from getting lodged in the media. Tap the filter on the edge of a strong bench, if it seems difficult to procure a compressor. If your chainsaw has a paper filter or foam, make sure you replace it often to ensure the optimum health of your saw.

2. Improper storage:

It is important to store your chainsaw safely when not in use. When not used often, chainsaws may rust and collect dirt and grime. The proper way to store a chainsaw when not in use is to empty the fuel tank, drain the oil and remove the chain from the bar. Keep the parts separately in a clean and dry space to prevent dirt and dust from accumulating. Also, ensure that all parts are kept away from children to avoid any accidents.

3. Improper and low-cost blends of oil and fuel:

Most people spend a large sum investing in a good quality chainsaw but skimp on purchasing the best quality oils and fuels that it requires. The right blend and quality of oils and fuel are a must have to ensure the long life of a chainsaw. Using only fresh gas or all petroleum-based gasoline is essential. Commonly available gasoline has a high level of ethanol which severely affects the engine carburetors. If you are using a gas that contains ethanol, ensure that a stabilizing additive is added to minimize the effects of the corrosion and damage. Also, investing in good quality bar oil ensures better lubrication and more viscous oil that lasts longer. 

A chainsaw is a versatile and extremely sturdy piece of equipment that is a great addition to any toolkit. It is incredibly forgiving and lives a long life with minimal maintenance. However, the right materials along with some TLC will ensure you the best quality and long-lasting equipment that is sure to add some flair and ruggedness to all your projects.