Tools & Materials Needed to Maintain your Chainsaws

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Though chainsaws require very little maintenance, when properly maintained your chainsaw will last longer and be a safer tool to use.

Every chainsaw owner should keep the following list to help ensure the proper upkeep of the chainsaw. 

Tools & Materials Needed to Maintain your Chainsaw

Important Safety Note: Before you service or perform any maintenance on your chainsaw make sure that it has had proper time to cool down. Always ensure that the spark plug has been disconnected if your chainsaw is gas powered. If your chainsaw is electric always, ensure that it is unplugged before performing any maintenance. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling or performing maintenance on your chainsaw.

BASIC TOOLS NEEDED TO MAINTAIN YOUR CHAINSAWS

  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Combination spark plug/guide bar wrench (Several chainsaw manufacturers make and sell multipurpose tools, which function as Guide bar wrench, screwdriver, spark plug wrench, and basic wrench, specifically made for your particular chainsaw. You can purchase one or two of these tools so that you can carry one with you into the woods or when you are working with your chainsaw.
  • Safety Goggles
  • Bar and chain oil (that is recommended for the make and model of your chainsaw)
  • Fresh fuel/oil mixture (that is recommended for the make and model of your chainsaw)
  • Gloves
  • Owner’s Manual (Store in plastic baggie keep for reference, in addition, it is recommended that you either make an extra copy or request a copy from the manufacture.)
  • Round file and file guide for sharpening saw chain
  • Screwdrivers
  • Shop rags
  • Spare Spark plugs
  • Spark plug gapping tool
  • Sprocket lubricant
  • Spare parts as needed (that are recommended for the make and model of your chainsaw)


In addition to the require tools listed above, you should also have the following items with you:

  • First aid kit (this should contain at least one large wound compress.)
  • Multipurpose fire extinguisher
  • Sharp axe
  • Sledgehammer and wedges
  • Bar and chain oil
  • Pre-mixed two-cycle motor oil and gasoline for the engine (gas chainsaws)

The fuel for your chainsaw should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s requirements. Never use reclaimed crankshaft oil in your fuel.

All chainsaws sold in the United States must be equipped with a Chain Brake. This is designed to stop the saw chain instantly and is either activated manually or activated by the force of the kickback itself. You must refer to your owner’s manual on the proper way to check the chain break for your particular saw. Maintenance on this safety feature is vital and should one be attempted by a certified, properly trained chainsaw service technician.

Important Safety Note: Every chainsaw placed into initial service shall be equipped with a chain brake and shall otherwise meet the requirements of the ANSI B175-1.1991 “Safety Requirements for Gasoline-Powered Chainsaws.” Each chainsaw placed into service before February 9, 1995, shall be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chainsaw kickback. No chainsaw kickback device shall be removed or otherwise disabled. **

**Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration Section 6 of the Logging Preamble. For more information please visit their website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/logsafe.html

Rotational Kickback: The rapid upward and backward motion of the saw that can occur when the moving saw chain near the upper portion of the tip of the guide bar contacts an object such as a log or branch.
(Source ANSI B175.1 2000)

Linear kickback (also called pinch kickback): The rapid pushback of the saw that can occur when the wood closes in and pinches the moving saw chain in the cut along the top of the guide bar. (Source ANSI B175.1 2000)

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