Whether you’re cutting firewood or professionally, you’ve made an investment in your saw. Naturally you want to get the most bang for your buck and extend the life your saw as long as you can. Being in the industry since 1966 we’ve seen just about everything. From backing over it with a truck to just finally wearing it out, chainsaws do die, you name it we’ve seen it. So here are some tips so you can learn from some of the things we’ve seen to get the most out of your saw.
Keep your Chain Sharp:
Keeping your chain sharp is probably the easiest and most effective way to extend the life of your saw. The chain is designed to carve out big chunks of wood at a time as it grips and pulls itself through the piece of wood. The main signs that you’re chain is dulling is if you start seeing dust like sawdust and if you’re having to force the saw through the wood. This dust like saw dust can block your air filter and even get into the block of your engine causing the carburetor to choke itself. This will cause problems starting the saw, foul a spark plug, or create overheating if the dust should get to the cylinder head.
The other aspect of having dull chain is that the saw won’t pull itself through the wood because the cutters aren’t sharp enough to grip the wood. Keep in mind that as you’re cutting, you’re primarily guiding the saw through the wood, never forcing it through. If the saw isn’t pulling itself through the wood there is a chance that you could over work the engine. It simply isn’t helping itself the way that it was engineered to. This can create overheating and overload your engine, as well as not give you a good cut.
Flip your Bar:
To get even wear across your bar, it is important to flip your bar upside down after you change a chain. Almost all saws allow you to do this without damage to the saw. This allows the bar to wear evenly and not form grooves that can cause excess wear.
Drain your Gas:
Gas from the pump contains around 10% ethanol. This can cause all kinds of problems in your fuel line and fuel system. Your saw can run on this fuel, without much worry. However, if you leave your saw (or any 2 cycle engine) with fuel in the tank, the ethanol will separate from the gasoline. This will create a pool of water in the bottom of your tank. This concentrated ethanol can wreak havoc on your fuel line and filters destroying them relatively quickly. Therefore it is important that you drain the fuel from your saw before you store it for an extended period of time.
Check your Sprocket:
Your sprocket is the part of the saw that turns the chain. Typically the sprocket drives the chain by the teeth on the chain. If you’re sprocket gets worn it can start to spin on the link of the chain instead of the tooth. This will create burrs on the chain, cause it to not spin around the bar correctly and will cause wear on the saw, the chain, and the bar. The rule of the thumb in the past has been to change your sprocket for every three chains.
Keep a watchful Eye:
At the end of the day the saw isn’t going to stop because it feels sick. If you have a gasket leak which changes your air mixture and causes your saw to rev faster, you’re saw is going to keep right on going until your pistons melt. It is the responsibility of the user to know that something isn’t right and to get their saw in to a professional for repair.