Chainsaw Troubleshooting

Chainsaw troubleshooting is an important skill to have, especially if you're working in a remote location. By carefully observing your chainsaw's operation, or lack thereof, you should quickly be able to narrow down the likely problem.

Chainsaw Troubleshooting: Symptoms And Causes

  • Chainsaw "chatters" - A loose chainsaw chain will produce a distinct chattering sound and must be tightened. To adjust the chain on your chainsaw, follow the instructions in your user's manual. The chainsaw chain should be tightened so that you are able to pull the chain ¼" away from the bar with moderate tension.
  • Chainsaw won't cut straight or cuts rough - Check the cutter links of the chainsaw chain. If the chain has hit material other then wood (stones, metal, etc.), the cutting edges may be blunted and need to be sharpened. If the depth gauge edge of the cutter links is blunted, they will have to be filed back into shape using a filing gauge.
  • Chainsaw pulls to one side - Inspect the chainsaw bar and sprocket for uneven wear. Replace the bar, if required. In general, the chainsaw bar should be replaced at the same time as every fourth chain replacement. The sprocket should be changed during every other chain replacement.
  • Engine dies or accelerates unevenly - Remove and inspect air and fuel filters. Tapping the air filter against a solid surface can help dislodge dirt and debris. Clogged fuel filters may need to be replaced.
  • Smell fuel while starting - If you've tried to start your chainsaw a few times and begin to smell fuel, your saw is most likely flooded. Set the chainsaw down and allow it to sit for 15 or 20 minutes and then try again. If the chainsaw still won't start, remove the sparkplug and look for moisture. If you see moisture, there is too much fuel in the engine. Drain fuel from the engine through the sparkplug hole. Wipe down the sparkplug hole and insert a fresh sparkplug.
  • Chainsaw won't fire on start - A fouled or badly gapped sparkplug could be the culprit. Remove and inspect the sparkplug. Clean a dirty plug with a stiff wire brush. Replace any sparkplug that is fouled with fuel. Check the gap on a clean plug using a sparkplug gauge-your owner's manual can tell you the proper gap distance.
Related Life123 Articles

Learning how to sharpen a chainsaw will help keep this useful tool safe to use and can extend its lifespan. 

Chainsaws: great as horror movie props, not so great for learning how to juggle. Like most bladed tools, chainsaws are actually safer when they're sharp. A sharp chain saw blade will cut easier, making it less likely you'll have to struggle. Regular chain saw blade maintenance will also extend the life of your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

Learning how to use a chainsaw means learning how to respect the tool. The powerful blade of a chainsaw can push or pull you if you're not properly prepared, so focus and knowledge are the keys to safety.

What do you do when your chainsaw will not start? A gas-powered chainsaw shares the same parts and mechanisms as other tools of this type, and troubleshooting is usually straightforward.

Knowing how to tune up a chainsaw can save you costly repair bills down the road. A chainsaw has a lot of moving parts that take a pounding as it does its work. Regular maintenance is the only way to keep a chainsaw's parts working smoothly.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company