Regular maintenance of the chainsaw is carried out after completion of work. If the tool is used for a long time (more than one tank of fuel), then certain measures are carried out at each refueling. Maintaining a chainsaw that won't be running for more than two weeks is different from regular maintenance. You will learn about this from the material under consideration.
Why maintain a chainsaw?
Any equipment needs maintenance, and a chainsaw is no exception. Thanks to complete care:
- the resource of wear parts increases;
- productivity is maintained;
- ensures ease of starting the engine;
- fuel and lubricants are saved;
- reliability and reliability increases.
A chainsaw that is deprived of normal maintenance starts poorly, cuts slowly, overheats quickly, and often breaks down. A household-grade tool needs careful care, as it is inherently less reliable and durable than a professional one. An expensive branded chainsaw also needs to be serviced without relying on its quality.
Note. As practice has shown, regular maintenance of equipment works wonders. In careful hands, even a cheap Chinese chainsaw can serve without fail for years. Of course, this is provided that it is not subjected to loads for which budget components and mechanisms are not designed.
Chainsaw maintenance tools
To care for a chainsaw of any class, you will need the following:
- Candle key.
- Tire removal key.
- Screwdriver for tensioning the saw chain.
- Brush with hard bristles.
- A device for cleaning the guide grooves of the tire.
- Grease for tire sprocket.
- Chain sharpening tool.
- Devices for monitoring and adjusting the height of limiting teeth.
- Feeler gauge for checking the gap between the spark plug electrodes.
- Compressor or other source of compressed air.
When using a chainsaw, you will also need a tool for bolts and screws. Hexagons 4 and 6, screwdriver or wrench for carburetor adjusting screws. If there is no source of compressed air and a brush, then use a clean, dry cloth.
Note. Adjusting the chainsaw carburetor is not discussed in this material. This is a complex procedure and is not a simple maintenance procedure. It is described separately.
Stages of regular chainsaw maintenance
The photo below is an example of a chainsaw that had been worked on a little the day before. This specimen is 10 years old. Of course, there are many things in it that are not original - the piston, the crankshaft, the carburetor... This chainsaw was once returned to the owner inoperative, after severe abuse. The tool has been restored and works as good as new.
Using the example of a simple Chinese-made chainsaw, the following 5 stages of regular maintenance are considered:
- Cleaning the housing from sawdust.
- Tire care.
- Saw chain maintenance.
- Cleaning the air filter.
- Spark plug maintenance.
As a bonus, a separate paragraph describes the features of caring for a chainsaw before long-term storage.
Cleaning the housing from sawdust
Cleaning the chainsaw from sawdust is done before any other activity. This is especially true for fine wood dust in combination with lubricant. When they are combined, you get a “porridge” that sticks everywhere.
The easiest way to remove sawdust is with compressed air. If there is no compressor, use a brush or rag. However, without compressed air it will not be possible to completely clean the chainsaw.
Sawdust from the chainsaw body ends up in the refueling tanks when refueling. There are filters, but their resources are not unlimited. Cheap instruments have poor mesh filters that do not retain wood dust. As a result, the carburetor becomes clogged and interruptions in the operation of the chainsaw begin. Sawdust also settles on the piston fins, which prevents normal engine cooling.
A dirty instrument looks untidy and leaves marks in transport and storage areas.
A clean chainsaw looks great, even if it's cheap and 10 years old.
The chainsaw set must be serviced after each use. If the tool is used for several hours in a row, then this should be done 2-3 times a day. The photos below show the bar removed from the chainsaw after a short period of use. Here look at the lubricant supply hole and the guide groove. They become clogged with a mixture of sawdust and oil. The resulting “porridge” impairs lubrication.
Clean the guide grooves. Use wire, a coffee stick, and a toothpick. Personally, I use a template to straighten the limit tooth. It fits true to size and is handy. You need to remove dirt from the guides in the direction from the sprocket to the beginning of the headset. If you do the opposite, then sawdust will accumulate between the sprocket and the base, and it will be difficult to remove them from there.
Clean the lubricant holes. Note the indentation in the guide opposite these holes. Dirt often remains there even after cleaning.
The last one to be serviced is the sprocket. There are holes for its lubrication. You need to put some lubricant there. This is convenient to do with a syringe. If grease is not at hand, the sprocket bearing must be lubricated with chain oil. Before doing this, remove any accumulated dirt.
Before installing the saw attachment on the chainsaw, service the platform to which the bar is adjacent. There should be no sawdust in the channel. The surface of the pad must also be thoroughly cleaned, otherwise the headset may not fit tightly. As a result, part of the lubricant pumped by the oil pump will flow past.
Caring for your chainsaw bar allows you to maintain effective saw chain lubrication. Without lubrication, the part overheats and wears unevenly. It ends with the chainsaw cutting crookedly. When the saw set overheats, the chain gets stuck in the bar, which makes the problem worse. Tool performance decreases and fuel consumption increases.
Note. Check the guide geometry at every service. The photo below shows how this is done correctly. If one side is lower than the other, the tire must be rebuilt or replaced with a new one. If there are burrs and flattened metal on the sides , remove the defects with a file or sandpaper. On old tires, you should also periodically measure the depth of the guide grooves. If it is less than 5 millimeters, replace the part with a new one.
The chainsaw bar is symmetrical. It works both in the normal position and inverted. Use this to increase part life. Every time you remove the headset from the chainsaw, install it back upside down. Both sides will be subject to load, and the part will last twice as long.
Saw chain maintenance
Maintenance of the saw chain should be performed after each tank of fuel is used up. If you don't have time for this, take with you a spare chain that has been serviced in advance. Regular maintenance includes sharpening the working teeth and checking the height of the stop teeth.
If the chain is sharpened regularly with a round file, then 2-3 movements on each tooth are enough to restore sharpness. If sharpening was neglected, or the saw collided with something hard, restorative sharpening is needed. It is done on a sharpening machine, which makes the cutting teeth identical. The cutting tooth after some work and finishing with a round file is shown in the next two photographs.
After 3-5 sharpening of the cutting tooth, check the height of the limiting tooth with a template that is selected step by step. If the stop tooth sticks out from the template, remove the excess with a flat file. This preserves the normal penetration of the cutting teeth into the wood and the performance of the chainsaw.
A dull chain cuts poorly and slowly. Fuel consumption increases. The longer the chainsaw operates without sharpening, the more the geometry of the cutting teeth changes. As a result, more time and effort will need to be spent on restoring the chain.
Cleaning the air filter
The air filter prevents sawdust from entering the carburetor diffuser and engine. When wood burns, it forms ash, which settles in the form of soot on the piston, in the ring grooves, on the spark plug, and in the exhaust. Pieces of this carbon chip off and scratch the piston, forming scuffs. Carbon deposits cause rings to form. This is when the compression rings get stuck tightly in the grooves and no longer work. Compression drops, the engine does not start, consumes a lot of fuel, and gets hot.
Cleaning the chainsaw air filter, if it is mesh, is done with warm water and detergent from the kitchen. If your saw has a paper filter, blow it out with compressed air. Replace a heavily worn filter with a new one. It's inexpensive.
To ensure a clean filter lasts longer, remove any sawdust that has accumulated near the carburetor. To prevent them from getting into the engine, close the air damper and plug the diffuser with new medical cotton. Now feel free to remove the sawdust with compressed air.
Spark plug maintenance
When servicing the filter, access to the spark plug is provided. It is often not worth unscrewing and checking the spark plug. If the carburetor is configured correctly, the engine starts easily, runs steadily and produces rated power, it is better not to mess with the spark plug.
If you decide that this is necessary, inspect the electrodes, check the gap and spark.
Based on the color and cleanliness of the electrodes, evaluate the correctness of the carburetor settings. If the spark plug is chocolate, brown or orange, then everything is fine with the fuel mixture. A layer of black soot indicates that the carburetor is preparing a mixture that is too rich, the air filter is clogged, or you are using low-quality two-stroke oil (or adding a lot of it to gasoline).
The white color of the electrodes, like the spark plug in the photo below, indicates that the air-fuel mixture is lean. Carburetor adjustment is required. In this particular case, the carburetor produces a lean mixture at idle. This can be seen both in the tachometer and in the reaction of the chainsaw to pressing the gas trigger.
If there is carbon on the candle, remove it. Check the gap between the electrodes. The standard is 0.5-0.7 millimeters. Set the correct gap.
Note. Checking sparking is discussed in a separate material. If the chainsaw starts normally, there is no need to do this procedure.
Caring for your chainsaw before long-term storage
Storage is long-term if the chainsaw is not intended to be used for more than two weeks. In such cases, service the instrument as described in this material, plus do the following:
- Drain the chain lubrication oil. Especially if you, like me, use used oil or a mixture of it with fresh oil. This will avoid the formation of sediment in the filling container and failure of the oil pump.
- Drain the fuel from the gas tank. This is necessary in order not to use the old mixture of gasoline with two-stroke oil and to complete the next point.
- Use up the remaining fuel. Start the chainsaw engine and let it idle until it stops on its own. This is done to avoid leaving gasoline and oil in the carburetor. Residues of the fuel mixture lead to sticking of the fuel valve and clogging of the nozzles. Especially if you use mineral or cheap oil. A mixture of gasoline with high-quality synthetic oil can be stored for up to 6 months. Accordingly, it is not necessary to produce such a remainder.
- Pour 1-2 ml of two-stroke oil into the piston. This is done with a syringe through the spark plug hole. After filling the oil, pull the starter once, screw in the spark plug and install the filter. If you are using inexpensive oil of questionable quality, it is better not to do this procedure.
- Release the chain tension. This is necessary to remove the load from the saw set.
The chainsaw should be stored in a dry, ventilated area. Better at positive air temperatures.