How Often Should I Clean My Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are a great gardening and construction tool to own. To get the most out of chainsaws, you need to make sure you’re looking after them properly. So, how often should you clean your chainsaw?

Chainsaws should have a basic clean conducted after every use, and a good clean every month. This can vary depending on how often the chainsaw is used. Ensure the carburetor, plug, chain, guide bar, fuel tank, and air filter are cleaned out each month if the chainsaw is used regularly for maintenance.

We’re going to talk all about cleaning your chainsaw, so read on to find out more!

Do I need to clean my chainsaw after each use?

You should be cleaning your chainsaw after every use to ensure that there is no build up in the bar or chain. This prolongs the lifespan of your chainsaw and maintains it’s good performance. Also, completing a basic clean at the end of each use can help you check that no damage has occurred to your chainsaw.

You don’t need to complete an intense clean every time you use your chainsaw. But you should be sure to clean the chain and guide bar especially. This will stop any chunks of wood or dirt, plus any grime, from building up and rotting your chainsaw.

You should also be sure to properly dry your chainsaw after use before putting it away in storage. There’s no point in conducting a good clean of your chainsaw, just to leave it wet and unable to dry. This can cause rust to form on your chainsaw and decrease the lifespan of it.

Cleaning your chainsaw after each use is also important because it might be a while before you decide to use the chainsaw again. You don’t want to just use your chainsaw, chuck it in storage, and have to deal with the mess at a later date. You’re better off cleaning the chainsaw straight away and conducting chainsaw maintenance before putting it in storage.

What regular cleaning should be done to my chainsaw?

If you use your chainsaw regularly, a daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance routine is essential for a safe, maximally optimized chainsaw. We’re going to break these up below.

Daily chainsaw cleaning tips

Check your throttle trigger

If you use your chainsaw almost every day, you should check your throttle trigger daily. This is vital to the function of the chainsaw. If the engine doesn’t return to an idle when you release the trigger, you need to take the chainsaw to be inspected. You should be testing this daily to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your chainsaw.

Clean chainsaw air filter 

Always keep your chainsaw’s air filter clean before daily use. If you remove it to clean, ensure it dries appropriately before reinserting into the chainsaw. If it’s too dirty and clogged, please replace the air filter.

Clean the bar groove

Clean your chainsaw chain and bar

To keep your chainsaw from wearing out, clean the bar groove each day. Check the lubricant hole to ensure it’s not clogged. Lubricate regularly; this will reduce friction and damage to the machine parts.

Inspect the sprocket and sharpen the chain

Inspect the chainsaw sprocket to make sure it’s in good condition; if not, replace it. Check the taut of your chain. If it’s fixed too tight or too loose, adjust correctly. If you want to sharpen your chain, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s manual.

Check the chainsaw starter

Check that your starter cord and starter are in good condition. Your emergency stop switch should work promptly too. If any of these aren’t functioning correctly, then have your chainsaw serviced.

Weekly chainsaw cleaning tips

Each week you should be conducting maintenance checks to your chainsaw during cleaning. This includes checking that your anti-vibration parts are in good condition. They should not be torn, worn out, or damaged. Other weekly chainsaw checks include:

  • Ensuring the clutch drum bearing is well lubricated.
  • Checking the bar for burrs around the edges. File them until they disappear.
  • Checking chainsaw spark plugs, clean them, replace if necessary.
  • Clean the chainsaw cooling fins properly. This enables smooth heating and cooling distribution.
  • Clean the chainsaw carburetor, flywheel fins, and recoil springs.

Make sure that everything is running as it should with your chainsaw. If you are noticing any problems, you can take your chainsaw to be serviced. Or, you might be due to check out new chainsaws for sale.

Monthly chainsaw cleaning and inspection tips 

Each month you should conduct a thorough clean of every part of the chainsaw. While you are doing this, you should be inspecting each part to make sure it is working properly.

Inspect the chain brake band to be sure there’s no weak bands or cracks. If there is a visible crack, you will need to replace this for your safety. Inspect the chainsaw clutch for any tear or damage. Clean and inspect your fuel filter. If it is getting a bit old, you might need to replace it. Clean the gas and oil tanks in the chainsaw.

You should also be inspecting the wires, plugs, and cables that connect to your chainsaw. The monthly clean of your chainsaw should be similar to the clean you conduct before storing a chainsaw away.

What happens if I don’t clean my chainsaw?

We have collated a list of a few things that could go wrong if you don’t clean your chainsaw or check it routinely:

  • The chain can become dull, cutting on an angle, and risking kickback.
  • A neglected and clogged air filter can stop the engine from starting.
  • Clogged spark plugs or spark arrestors cause issues to the chainsaw engine.
  • If the chainsaw doesn’t have enough oil, the chains can become damaged from too much friction.
  • The chain bar can be damaged from lack of oil and lubricant due to improper cleaning and maintenance.

So, if you have taken our advice to clean your saw regularly, what parts should you clean?

What are the main parts of a chainsaw to clean?

This section will list and explain the main parts of a chain saw and the best cleaning methods. They are:

Why cleaning a chainsaw is important

The chainsaw bar

To clean the chainsaw bar, loosen the nuts that hold it in place with the chainsaw head. Use either a rag or compressed air to clean the dirt on the bar or a chain groove. After cleaning, put the bar in the reverse order from how you disassembled it at first; this will allow for even usage and longer.

The chainsaw chain

To clean your chain, ensure you are in a well-ventilated, open area. You also want to wear gloves to protect your hands. Make a solution containing ½ cup of water and ½ cup of household ammonia (household lye is another option instead of ammonia).  Soak your chain in this solution for 20 minutes, then remove your chain and brush hard with a firm brush. Clean it thoroughly, and after that, dry with a towel.

Lubrication comes after cleaning. Take the clean chain, immerse it in chain oil, and hang it. The purpose of hanging is for the excess lubricant to fall off. Once that is done, fix your chain back correctly. 

Chainsaw spark plug 

This small part can prevent your engine from working. So, checking its condition is a must! Clean off the carbon build-up on the plug with a stiff brush. If the carbon residue is too much, you want to consider replacing the plug.
Fuel tank cleaning

If you don’t use your chainsaw often, it’s important to clean the fuel tank thoroughly. This is because fuel left in the machine’s tank for too long can begin to deteriorate.

Drain your tank if you have any fuel left inside it. Clean out the tank with a strong solvent. 

Chainsaw carburetor

Mix 1 gallon of water with ½ cup of Ammonia to create a cleaning solution for the chainsaw carburetor. Then remove the diaphragm, needle valves, cover plate, and soak them in the solution.

Rinse the parts with warm water and clean with a stiff brush to remove residue. Then leave it out to dry properly. Ensure there is no mixture as dampness results in rusting.

Chainsaw air filter

The best cleaning method for your air filter is to manually clean with warm soapy water and a brush. Compressed air can’t clean the air filter because it might render it useless by creating holes in it. So clean gently with a brush. If your filter is too dirty, please replace it.


Spark arrestor

This screen protects the saw from creating sparks when you work.

Unscrew the muffler attached to the arrestor, tap it on a bench to force the residue out, or clean it with a brush. Then clean the arrestor. 

After this, put it back and screw the muffler back on, and you are good to go!

What should you use to clean your chainsaw?

To clean your chainsaw, you need:

What you need to clean your chainsaw
  • A universal cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Wire brush
  • Hand file
  • Grease gun
  • 1 inch or 2-inch paintbrush
  • A lubricant and degreaser
  • Tiny pick or flat head screwdriver for your lubricant hole
  • Screwdrivers of all sizes to loosen and tighten bolts

Other tools you might need but aren’t compulsory include:

  • Air compressor 
  • Pressure washer 
  • Shop-Vac


The performance of your chainsaw will depend on how well you maintain it. This is why conducting proper cleaning of your chainsaw is so important. Follow our guide as an outline and you are sure to have a well-running, brilliantly clean chainsaw ready to use!
If it’s time to replace your chainsaw, check out our range of Husqvarna battery powered chainsaws and Husqvarna petrol chainsaws. We also have high quality chainsaw chains for sale if you are in need of a new chain. For all of your gardening and construction needs, check out our Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers store today!

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