How To Clean A Chainsaw?

How To Clean A Chainsaw

Does your chainsaw’s chain wear off easily? Are you thinking of getting a new one because of poor performance? No need to invest in getting a new one as with a little effort and proper guidance you can turn your old, rusty, dull, and dysfunctional chainsaw into a new, efficient, and smooth one. If you have never tried to thoroughly clean your chainsaw before, then keep reading to find out how to clean a chainsaw to make it as good as a new one.

Cleaning a chainsaw is not limited to the sharpening and lubrication of the chainsaw chain, as your chainsaw is a robust and vigorous cutting tool consisting of a lot of different parts. Each part needs attention for proper maintenance. An efficient method of cleaning a chainsaw is one that includes the entire chainsaw. Whether it is the guide bar, chainsaw chain, grooves, powerhead, oil filter, air filter, and spark plug. Without further ado, let’s sink into all the details that one needs to know before cleaning the chainsaw.

How Does Cleaning Make A Difference?

Being one of the most potent and vigorous cutting tools to date, a chainsaw is used by workers for doing tough and demanding tasks. If you are using chainsaws as a professional woodcutter, then it is pivotal for you to keep your chainsaw functional by taking regular care of the cleanliness of your chainsaw. A Chainsaw has very small parts that come together for it to work properly. When you use a chainsaw for cutting the powerful engine spins the sharp teeth.

How Does Cleaning Make A Difference

Wood is converted into a small dust-like material. The sawdust, dirt, grease, wood chips, and moisture collectively affect its working. The dust accumulates in between the grooves, inside the chain, filter, and engine affecting the smoothness of the chain. A dull chain makes your work a lot burdensome and tiring. The oil and dust can make the spinning of the guide bar slow. The debris accumulated can absorb moisture making your chainsaw rusty. So, cleaning can increase the performance and longevity of your chainsaw for sure.

How To Clean A Chainsaw?

Cleaning a chainsaw is a step-by-step procedure during which you have to attentively clean each part of your chainsaw for it to benefit you in the long run. You can just wipe the spoilage off your chainsaw with a damp cloth. The sawdust is produced with a lot of force during the wood cutting process. It enters the powerhead and grooves of the chain making the internal working of the saw difficult by clogging the system. So, you will have to deep clean the chainsaw once in a while to make your tough job easier.

1. Gear Up For Cleaning

The first and foremost thing is to have a proper place and the right tools that can assist you in thoroughly cleaning your chainsaw. Tools are not the only key to making your chainsaw clean, but they do make the work easy and less time-consuming. You must have a proper base such as a wooden table or workbench which will provide stable support to work on. One must have cleaning brushes, lubricants, soap, ammonia, wired brush, bristle brush, wrench, screwdriver, water, cloth, and airbrush. You must clean your chainsaw outdoors for safety.

2. Disassemble The Chainsaw

You can just clean your chainsaw on the surface. You have to clean the whole chainsaw completely. Only then you can see the results. The first step is to cut the power source of the chainsaw. It is a dangerous tool. One has to take all the necessary precautionary measures while dealing with it. It depends upon the type of chainsaw you are using. Then you have to separate the guide bar from the powerhead, so you can easily take the chain off of it.

You will have to use a wrench and screwdriver to loosen all the knobs and screws that are holding the guide bar and chain with the powerhead. Secure the screws and nuts, so it will be easier for you to assemble the chainsaw back to normal. You can take help from the user manual. Take the cover of the powerhead off, so it will be easier for you to get the job done. Safely place all the disassembled parts on the wooden work table.

Step-By-Step Guide

3. Clean The Guide Bar

Now that you have successfully detached the guide bar from the base of the powerhead, there is no potential danger of harm. You must wear gloves while taking the chain off of the bar as the sharp teeth can cut your hands. Once you have detached the chain and guide bar, now you can easily and thoroughly clean the bar. The guide bar has grooves, within these grooves the dirt can get collected and can clog the chain making it difficult to work properly. As a result, you will have to put in extra effort to make straight and smooth cuts.

You can use an airbrush to get the sawdust, wood chips, or debris out of the rails of the chainsaw. If the bar is greasy, then you can use a soap-water solution to get the grease off of the guide bar. You can also go for degreasing solutions such as ammonia solutions to cut the stubborn grease off the guide bar. Soak the bar inside a bucket of soap or ammonia solution, and let it rest in the solution for fifteen to thirty minutes. Take the bar out, rinse with clean water, and let it dry thoroughly. Make sure there is no moisture to prevent rusting. Have a look at the best chainsaw cleaners with which you can rid of dirt & rust.

4. Clean the Chainsaw Chain

The chain is lubricated continuously by the oiler with the help of the two holes on the bar. The oil can absorb moisture and dirt causing the chain to become greasy and dull. Take the chain and use an airbrush to get rid of the sawdust and dirt. This is not enough as the grease is too tough. You will have to take a bucket with a solution of ammonia and water, soap solution, or any other grease-cutting solution.

Put the chain inside the solution and let it soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. After it takes the chain out, put it on a tray and with the help of a bristle brush try to scrub the tough debris accumulated in between the chain’s teeth. Once you have got rid of the dirt, wash the chain by running water through it. Hang the chain to let it dry or you can also use compressed air to dry it quickly.

5. Lubrication Of The Chainsaw Chain

Lubricating the chain is very important for the chainsaw to cut the wood properly. The oil makes it easy for the small parts of the chain to glide on the bar. The bar oil not only makes it smooth but also protects the chain against moisture. This prevents rusting of the chain. You will have to take an optimum amount of bar oil in a container. Dip the chainsaw chain in the oil and let it rest in it for some good hours. After a few hours take the chain out. You can either hang the chain or can use a dry cloth to take off the excess oil from the chain.

6. Clean The Power Head

Powerhead is one of the most neglected parts when it comes to cleaning. Many users think that the powerhead doesn’t need much cleaning. But believe me, if you have never cleaned the powerhead before, you will surely become surprised by the amount of debris underneath the lid. First, you have to use a damp piece of cloth to clean the outer shell of the powerhead.

Then you will have to take the cover off. Now, you will be able to see the small parts of the inside of the powerhead. You will have to use an airbrush or any soft brush to clean the sawdust or dirt accumulated around the internal parts of the powerhead. Make sure that you don’t forget to brush the inside of the cover as it is too filled with dust.

7. Clean the Air Filter, Carburetor, and Spark Plug

All these small parts are inside the powerhead. First, you will have to check the fuel tank and carburetor. You will have to drain the fuel tank. Then you can clean the tank by using a cloth to get rid of any remaining fuel. Use an airbrush to clean the sawdust, chips, or dirt that might be clogging the carburetor. Now, you will have to take the air filter out. Use a bristle brush to scrub off the dirt accumulated on it.

The spark plug needs to be taken out and examined if it’s working properly or not. If the spark plug is looking good then you will have to use a damp cloth to wipe it. If it is damaged then you must replace it with a new one to make sure proper functioning of the chainsaw. You will have to see what other parts look damaged and need replacement. You will have to get new parts for the chainsaw if needed.

8. Put It All Back Together

Now that all parts of the chainsaw are pristine and unspotted, you can reassemble all the parts back together. Put the spark plug, carburetor, and air filter inside the powerhead. Screw them all back together tightly. Put the lid cover back on the powerhead. Place the chain back on the guide bar. Attach the guide bar with the powerhead. Fill the fuel tank and you are good to go back to work with a high-performance and smooth chainsaw.


Do I need to clean my chainsaw?

Yes, of course, every chainsaw needs to be cleaned. No matter how much high-quality chainsaw you are using it is necessary to clean it once in a while. How often the chainsaw needs cleaning depends upon the user. If you are using the chainsaw on a daily basis for heavy-duty cutting, then you will have to clean the chainsaw thrice a week. It is necessary because if you do not take care of the cleanliness of your chainsaw it will get clogged and dull.


Working with a chainsaw might seem difficult but in reality, it is not. Don’t know how to clean a chainsaw? You can follow these simple steps to make your chain as good as new. Cleaning a chainsaw properly not only enhances the performance but also increases the durability of the chainsaw. You will have to degrease the guide bar and chain. Clean the powerhead, cover lid, air filter, carburetor, and spark plug with the help of an airbrush. Lubricate the chain and you are good to go.

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