6 Chain Saw Maintenance Tips
Chain saws are essential for felling trees, removing limbs or reducing storm-toppled trees into firewood. Regular maintenance is a must to keep your chain saw working properly. To get the most from this heavy-duty power tool, consider these six tips.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions
Whether you’ve used a chain saw multiple times or it’s your first time removing a tree limb, always begin by reading the owner’s manual. Follow all instructions for care, repair and the basics for how to use a chain saw.
Regularly sharpen the chain saw blades
According to the U.S. Forest Service, “A sharp chain produces shavings that fall to the ground away from the power head.” If your chain saw is producing nothing but dust, the chain saw blades need to be sharpened. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for sharpening chain saw blades, or have them professionally sharpened.
Keep chain saw bar clean
The chain saw blades and the chain saw guide bar are the two most important parts of the power tool. Keeping the chain saw bar clean and in good condition helps the saw to make a straight, clean cut. Refer to the owner’s manual for the proper way to lubricate the guide bar as part of regular maintenance. Kmart has Explorer Bar and Chain oil to help with lubrication and rust protection. If you need to replace the chain saw bar, Kmart has replacement parts for chain saws manufactured by Worx, BLUE MAX, Oregon and more.
The chain saw air filter needs to be clean for the tool to ensure proper airflow for the best performance capability. The Wisconsin Arborist Association suggests cleaning the chain saw air filter by gently tapping it to loosen any dust particulate. In addition, the air filter may be washed with warm, soapy water — always rinse and dry the filter thoroughly before replacing. Kmart.com also offers replace chain saw air filters for various Craftsman gas chain saw models.
Use proper fuel mix
Not using the proper fuel mix can cause performance issues with your chain saw. Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct fuel mixture for your chain saw model, only using the recommended ratio. Too much or too little fuel mix can cause a chain saw to run rough and over time may damage the power tool.
Follow all safety protocols
Always turn the chain saw engine off before attempting maintenance or repairs. Never use a damaged chain saw. Check the chain catcher pin before engaging the chain saw motor — the pin should be undamaged and in place before operating the tool. Regularly check the cord of an electric chain saw for fraying, which can cause shorts and potentially dangerous situations. Always store your chain saw properly, away from water and moisture. Drain the fuel if the chain saw will not be in use for several months.