How To Maintain Chain Saws

Learn how you can maintain and fix your chain saw in no time at all!

Chains saws are powered by either gasoline motors or electric motors. Both saws are sharpened the same way. When oiling the saws, all saws have either automatic or manual oilers. These oilers lubricate the chain. Both type of oilers must be refilled with the grade of oil specified in the owner's manual. With a manual oiler, push the oiling button about once every minute while cutting. Otherwise the chain will become damaged from over-heating.

Oil-gas mix:

Most chain saws are powered by two-cycle engines.

The oil used to lubricate two-cycle engines is mixed with gasoline. Do not confuse this with the chain oilers mixture. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the proper oil-to-gas ratio for your chainsaw. If instructions aren't available, go with 16 parts gas to 1 part of oil.

If the engine smokes after using this mixture, reduce the amount of oil. Always mix the oil and gasoline in a separate container, do not pour directly in to the fuel tank.


Keep your chain saw clean and free of sawdust. Use a wire or small screwdriver to clean the oil holes in the guide bar and the guide bar slot. Brush all vents around the the engine housing and muffler, so that air can cool the engine.

Always wipe up any excess spills on the chain saw to avoid fire hazards.

On gasoline powered saws, the fuel-air mixture is controlled by screws that can be adjusted. If your engine stalls frequently, adjust the idle speed. The speed can be increased by turning the screw clockwise. Counterclockwise reduces the idle.

Adjusting chain tension:

Proper chain tension is important when cutting wood. The chain will stretch and heat up during cutting, so you might want to check it after every re-fueling. Make sure your saw has cooled down before adjusting the tension.

Gasoline engines have re-coil starters, whose ropes and springs are capable of breaking. However, the repeated breaking of the rope means engine trouble. This is caused by the wrong fuel mixture or fouled spark plugs. You will need to have the engine repaired if this is the case.

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