3 Steps to Tuning up a Chain Saw

A chain saw is a valuable tool when you live in an area where you need to cut wood for fuel or clear off trees. A chain saw is in essence a motor with a chain that circulates around a bar. This chain is very sharp and cuts through wood by removing tiny chips of it. Great care should be used when operating a chain saw. The first part of that care is in giving your chain saw a yearly tune up.

Start with the Basics

A chain saw has a small gas powered motor on it. This motor needs to run effectively in order for the saw to be able to cut through the wood. If you have a motor that is constantly quitting or runs very rough, it can lead to poor cuts and even kickbacks. These kickbacks are very dangerous and can cause severe injury.

When tuning up a chain saw you need to start here with the motor. There are basically three things that need to be done when tuning up the motor.

  • Replace the Sparkplug—Remove the sparkplug from the chain saw with a socket wrench and a special spark plug socket. It may be stuck in from the heat, so carefully apply pressure. If you snap off the plug itself, you will have to take it to a repair place to remove it. Install a new spark plug, that is gapped to the right specs for the engine and tighten. Do not overtighten. This will cause warping of the engine case.
  • Clean Air Filter—As you saw you are kicking up a lot of dust and wood chips. These chips will easily clog the air filter and cause the saw to run very rough. Remove the air cleaner and blow air into it. If it is very clogged, then replace it with a replacement part.
  • Clean Carburetor—The last thing you should do to tune your chain saw engine is to clean out the carburetor. Use some carburetor cleaner and spray it around the surface. Use a clean rag and wipe off the dirt and grease.

Sharpen Chain

A dull chain on a chain saw makes your saw both worthless and very dangerous. You will know when the chain needs sharpening by the size of the chips that are being removed from the wood. Large chips means that the chain is sharp. Smaller chips means it is getting dull. A dull chain can lead to dangerous kickbacks.

Sharpening your chain should be done several times when you are cutting. However, it should also be done when you are tuning up your saw. Use a round file and slide it through each tooth at an angle. You do not grind it back and forth, but use a swift forward motion. Repeat until the chain is sharp.

Add Bar Oil

The last part of tuning your chain saw is to add bar oil to the reservoir. This is what makes the chain circulate easily and cut through the wood. Without this oil you chain saw will overheat and seize.