Chainsaw troubleshooting (problem tracing and solution)

Who likes disturbance while doing an important job? Even if none of us do, we can’t always avoid troubles by just not wanting them. The same goes for a chainsaw. Be it a gas chainsaw or an electric one, it can stir trouble anytime during any task.

Therefore, you need to know how to take care of a problem on the spot if it’s not a bigger one that can only be solved by professionals. In this article, we’ll shed some light on chainsaw troubleshooting.

How to trace and fix chainsaw problems (Chainsaw troubleshooting)

1. Chainsaw is not turning on

The electric chainsaw is not turning on

If your electric chainsaw is not turning on, the first thing you can do is set it up for charging. If it is battery operated, you probably have a faulty or damaged battery. In this case, you can check for battery damage and go for a replacement if needed.

As you check for battery damage, if it appears to be perfectly in health, there might be a problem with the fuse that needs a replacement. If the tool is connected to the power supply and still not turning on, opt for a different cord.

The gas chainsaw is not turning on

If your gas chainsaw is not turning on, it is probably because of the fuel level. This case is dissimilar to that of an electric chainsaw. As there is no fuel involved, we focused solely on the battery. But in the case of a gas chainsaw, you have to check the fuel level from time to time. Also, the gas and oil mix needs to be done in a perfect ratio. If you’re not confident about mixing them, you can take help from an expert or purchase ready mix oil from the market.

Also, check if the guide bar and chain are assembled the right way. The chain needs to be installed in the right place and in the right direction for the saw to operate and cut accurately. Check the chain tension and make sure that it is not too tight or too loose. You can do this by rotating the tension adjuster screw. Loosen the bar-retaining nuts before doing so and tighten the nuts after the task is completed.

2. Chainsaw does not cut properly

If your chainsaw is not cutting properly, there’s a problem with the chain. It’s either not adjusted the right way or it is worn out. If you see loads of sawdust gathering around, or the cuts that the chain is making are crooked or curved, your chain needs sharpening. You can either use a chainsaw chain sharpener following all the given instructions or you can take them to a local store to sharpen up.

3. Chainsaw functioning roughly

A rough functioning chainsaw is often the result of looseness, lack of lubrication, or dirt. First, check if the tension of the chain is too little or too much and adjust accordingly.

Next, take the chain out of the bar and check for dirt. If it’s dirty, clean the dirt and debris using a chain cleaner. If the dirt is caked and not cleaning properly, take a pan filled with solvent and soak it in to get rid of the caked substance.

After cleaning the chain take another pan and fill it with 10-weight, warm oil. Soak the chain in the oil-filled pan for around 12 hours before replacing it on the bar.

4. Chainsaw won’t stop turning

If your chainsaw won’t stop turning, there’s a problem with the clutch. The return springs are supposed to engage the clutch to stop the chainsaw from turning. Also, the clutch pads can become sticky with time that can cause the chainsaw not to function properly. In this case, you may have to replace the clutch unit.

5. Sprocket damage

A sprocket is a very important part of a chainsaw. You should always keep the sprocket in check. If your sprocket is not functioning well, it can damage the chain and wear it out. Replace it if needed. Also, lubricate the clutch bearing lightly if there is one.

6. Chainsaw is loud and smoking

A loud chainsaw indicates improper lubrication. The chain and other components of a chainsaw demand adequate lubrication to run smoothly. If they are not lubricated properly, the chainsaw can become dry as it performs and starts getting louder which is disturbing and not good for the tool as well.

Similarly, a dry chainsaw can also start smoking. This situation is absolutely unwanted. Only the correct oil in the right amount can solve this problem. The best oil to use for a chainsaw is SAE oil. Properly lubricate your chainsaw to get rid of loud noises and avoid smoking the tool.

7. Clogged air filter or fuel filter

Air or fuel filters are most likely to get damaged when it comes to a chainsaw. This happens mostly because of dirt and debris that slowly form on the filter after each task and make it clogged. Whether it’s a fuel filter or an air filter, it needs cleaning from time to time.

Plastic filters are easy to clean with simple soap and water. You should frequently change the paper and foam filters as these are prone to damage and need frequent replacing. As for the screen filters, those can be cleaned using compressed air or by tapping on a hard surface to dislocate the caked debris. The screen of a fuel filter can be cleaned with a good quality solvent.

As you clean the air or fuel filter, you might also want to check the muffler, exhaust port, and spark screen. All of these are easy to clean. You can clear away the muffler and the spark screen with a brush and good quality solvent. Use a wooden stick and gentle solvent to clean the exhaust port.

8. Problem with the spark plugs

This problem is common with a gas chainsaw. As it uses gas and oil mixture, the spark plugs are often damaged. To know if it is okay or not, remove the spark plug and check the color of the tip. The color should be brown or dark greyish. If it’s not, you will have to clean the spark plug thoroughly using a wire brush and reset it.

9. Carburetor damage

The carburetor of a chainsaw gets clogged up easily. Cleaning a carburetor is not tough if you follow the steps properly. A filthy carburetor can make the engine run idly that can make the chainsaw stall. You should remove and drain the carburetor to get rid of the filth. While doing so, make sure that you disassemble the parts in order so it’s easy to assemble them later.

Your carburetor may also need some tuning or adjustments. This too is not that complicated. It is better to clean the carburetor beforehand to make it run more smoothly. Now to adjust the carburetor, you have to either loosen or tighten three of these screws – low-speed screw, high-speed screw, and idle speed screw. Follow a proper step-by-step guide to do this and if you find it hard, don’t overexert yourself and visit an expert instead.

Some safety precautions

Taking safety measures never goes to waste with power tools.

1. Keep the brake and throttle control of the chainsaw in check.

2. Always check for loose screws or nuts. You need to make sure that the parts are neither too tight nor too loose.

3. In the case of a gas-powered unit, if you’re not confident about mixing the gas and oil properly, you can opt for the ready-mixed ones available in the market.

4. Always make sure that the area where you’re working with the chainsaw is free of clutter.

5. While cutting trees or woods, it is likely for wood chips to fly around. So make sure that anyone watching is out of that range.

6. In case you’re carrying the saw from one place to another, highly make sure that the chainsaw has been turned off.

7. Use both of your hands while operating s chainsaw. This will give you more stability and ensure more control over the tool.

8. Avoid raising the chainsaw above your chest level. Also, don’t place your body behind the bar’s work. You should be on the side of it.

9. For the gas chainsaw, keep the fuel level in check. For electric chainsaws, check for battery damage from time to time.

10. Use chainsaw gears, boots, and gloves.

Bottom line

You can never be too safe with power tools. Since a chainsaw is a hefty tool designed to conduct heavy jobs, it is wise to follow a checklist to ensure proper safety. Despite that, you may still face some difficulties while dealing with it in the long run. Tracing a fault and correcting that properly is very essential. We have shown you some of the possible troubles that you may face while using a chainsaw with ways to avoid or correct them.

Most of the chainsaw problems can be solved easily. Adequate care and maintenance will surely put off the chainsaw problems longer but you’ll face them eventually. Hope this article helped you in tracing and solving some of these problems. Also, never hesitate to take the help of a professional when needed.

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