How to winterize a chainsaw

To ensure that you have your chainsaw in top condition the following year, it is prudent you carry out a  pre-winter routine(Winterize) in preparation for the harsh weather. A chain saw is such a tool that ought to be winterized. Here is how to go about it.

Ensure you have paper towels, some oil, spanner or pliers to loosen the chain and guide bar, and an old rag. They come in handy, especially when cleaning the chain saw.

Cleaning is the key to winterizing. It prevents your parts from developing stubborn stains (especially dirt that can be hard to remove due to time). Also, you may want to save yourself the embarrassment of having dirty equipment.

Cleaning a chainsaw is an easy process that shouldn’t take a lot of time. Be careful with the chain’s sharp teeth and fuel in the oil tank. You want to ensure you clean while keeping yourself safe.

The different parts of the chainsaw require different cleaning methods. For instance, the tank and the chain blade are materially different and such is the cleaning approach.

Wiping the Blade Surface

Wear a glove to protect your fingers from mild abrasion from the chainsaw teeth. Use a paper towel or rag to wipe the dust and dirt on the blade surface. Ensure you use separate paper towels for the body. A less dirty paper towel is an indication that the blades or bodies are actually clean.

Cleaning the Guide Bar, Chain and Reservoir Cap

Start by carefully wiping the guide bar, saw chain and oil reservoir cap to get rid of visible gunk.

Remove the dirt from your fuel cap considering the small films of oil that accumulate dust along the rims of the cap. An old cloth efficiently removes the greasy parts..

Fill in the bar and chain oil reservoir to prevent them from drying up due to the long storage period.

Remove the saw chain and guide bar from chain saw. This should allow for easy cleaning of individual parts.

Ensure that you thoroughly clean the outer parts and inside the guard bar rails.

Lubricate saw chain and guard bar by lightly oiling the metallic parts of the blade and body of the saw. After which wrap the oiled parts with heavy cloth or paper towels this prevents dust accumulation and reduces the risk of corrosion. The oily surface traps dust and dirt.

Winterizing the Engine

Gently wipe and clean the powerhead using paper towels or soft cloth.

Draining fuel reduces the risk of fuel gum formation in the tank especially if you intend to store your chain for over 30 days. You can avoid this by either using a fuel stabilizer or draining the tank.

A fuel stabilizer ensures there is minimal if not any gum formation although it is usually done after the tank has been emptied. The draining option consists of running the engine until carburetor and fuel lines are empty. However, this may prove less economical considering the price of fuel. Use a funnel to drain the fuel tank into a container.

Ensure that you carry this process in a well-ventilated area or open space and away from flammable materials.

Run the engine until the saw runs out of fuel to completely empty the tank. Ensure that when running it the saw is at least ten feet from any fuel container.

Wait for the engine to cool before proceeding to the next step.

Cleaning dusty air filters are the final step. Use some cloth is soapy water to clean the filters. While at it, inspect the unit for loose joints and parts. Ensure that you read the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer while doing this.

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Place the chain saw and all components in a carrying case and store in a dry area out of the reach of children.

Don’t forget to remove the spark plug. After doing this, add a spoon of oil to the plug opening (preferably 40:1-2 cycle oil). The next step is the distribution of the oil. This is achieved by pulling the starter rope 8 to ten times. Then replace the spark plug.

Winterizing a chainsaw is important in maintaining the quality and performance of your equipment. The process ensures your saw does not corrode, develop gum in the fuel tank and moving parts are in good condition.