Just like pickup trucks, pro football teams, and politicians, everyone has an opinion about the very best chainsaw brands available on the market today – and everyone is gung ho about their favorite and pretty much down on the rest of the competition!
But we really feel like the best chainsaw is a perfectly maintained, razor-sharp, and safely used chainsaw, and that’s what we kind of want to highlight in this quick guide.
Going through a proper chainsaw maintenance process on a regular basis is going to help you have a lot more confidence when it’s time to use your chainsaw, but it’s also going to improve the overall results you get out of this piece of equipment as well.
Preventative maintenance extends the utility of your chainsaw dramatically
Pretty much everyone knows that you’re going to have to refuel and remix gas in your chainsaw on a regular basis, that you’re going to have to adjust the tension on your bar and chain from time to time, and that you’re going to have to hit a sweet spot with oil and lubrication all over the chainsaw – but a lot of folks avoid preventative maintenance for too long and really cripple the longevity of a pretty expensive piece of equipment.
What a mistake!
Thankfully though, running through preventative maintenance shouldn’t take you all that long and it is only going to really be necessary a handful of times each year. Think of it as an oil change or a tuneup for your chainsaw and you’ll be able to wrap your head around it pretty quickly.
Preventative Maintenance Includes:
The first thing that you’re going to want to do when it comes time to knock out preventative maintenance for your chainsaw is really assess the quality of your chainsaw and find the key areas that you’ll want to work on first.
Brand-new chainsaws are going to require very little maintenance, maybe a swapout of the fluids that they have been running for a while and a tightening of your bar as well as a visual check on the chain to make sure that it is still in rocksolid condition.
Chainsaws that have seen a considerable amount of use, however, should be checked over more thoroughly.
You’ll want to run a fresh tank of gas through older chainsaws, paying specific attention to how the motor sounds and whether or not it needs a little bit of TLC. You’ll also want to swapout all fluids (lubricating oil as well as bar and chain oil) completely, really cleaning down the chainsaw before you apply new fluids.
Finally, it’s not a bad idea swapping out your chain every year (or as necessary throughout the year). Yes, chains can be sharpened, but eventually – like any other tool – they are going to reach their breaking point, and you don’t want to find that out the hard way when you’re in the middle of a project or when you are on the way to the emergency room!
Handle these bits and pieces of preventative maintenance on a routine basis (say every month or so, every quarter, or every six months at the very latest) and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Chainsaw Basics You Need To Know
Really understanding everything that your chainsaw is capable of (as well as its limitations) is going to give you a lot of extra confidence when using this power tool that you might not have otherwise had.
Yes, a chainsaw – from the smallest electric chainsaw all the way up to the largest gas operated behemoth and everything in between – is going to make life a lot easier for you, but it’s also going to have the potential to cause some pretty unreal damage and devastation instantly, especially if it isn’t used intelligently and responsibly.
The details below will help you avoid those catastrophic issues while also guaranteeing you are able to make the very most of this powerful tool.
Understand the different components of your chainsaw and how they work together
The more you know about your chainsaw, the better prepared you are going to be to make the most out of everything that it’s able to offer you.
You’ll want to know how the chain works with the bar to handle the actual cutting, and you also want to understand the importance of keeping just the right amount of tension and slack in the chain to give you the results you’re after.
You’ll need to know the importance of mixing your fuel at just the right ratio for optimum operation, but you also need to know the value in keeping your chain and your bar lubricated as well – and how to know it’s time to top up on these critical fluids.
You’ll certainly want to know about the safety features that all chainsaws include, especially when it comes to kickback and automatic shut off operations. These are essential features that have been built into every chainsaw for a real reason, and you’ll want to know what happens when a kick on so that you don’t injure yourself.
Have a preflight checklist you run through every time before operation
Pilots – and their maintenance crews – go through a very specific checklist before each and every single flight to verify that their equipment is in perfect working order, that redundancies and safety equipment are in place, and that they aren’t going to be met with any ugly surprises midflight.
You’re going to want to do the exact same thing with your new chainsaw.
You are going to want to have a quick checklist that you run through to make sure that your new saw is fueled up, perfectly lubricated, has just the right amount of tension on the chain, and that the chain itself is in perfect condition to tackle the kinds of cuts that you’re going to be making.
You’ll then need to make sure that your safety features, including automatic shut off and kickback features, are in place and ready to rock and roll and that you have all of the protective clothing and accessories you need to get the job done safely.
Go through this particular checklist each and every single time you fire up your chainsaw and you won’t ever have to worry about nasty accidents popping up seemingly nowhere that could have otherwise been avoided completely.