22 Ways to Repair and Maintain Your Chainsaw

If you’re facing the frustration of a broken chainsaw, fear not!

This is the step by step chainsaw troubleshooting process I use when diagnosing and repairing chainsaws.

I’ve also added a list of individual chainsaw parts in case you need specific part information.

All that’s left is to get your small engine tools kit ready to fix that chainsaw.

Chainsaw Troubleshooting

Check the Fuel System

  1. Ensure there is enough fuel in the chainsaw’s tank.
  2. Confirm that the fuel valve is open if applicable.
  3. Inspect the fuel line for any blockages or leaks.
  4. If the fuel is old, drain it and refill with fresh fuel.
  5. Clean or replace the fuel filter if necessary.

Examine the Ignition System

  1. Check the spark plug connection and ensure it’s securely attached.
  2. Remove the spark plug and inspect it for signs of damage or fouling.
  3. If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, clean it or replace it with a new one.
  4. Set the spark plug gap to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  5. Check the ignition coil for any loose connections or damage.

Assess the Air Filter

  1. Locate the air filter and remove it from the chainsaw.
  2. Inspect the air filter for dirt, debris, or damage.
  3. Clean the air filter if it’s dirty, or replace it if it’s worn out.
  4. Ensure the air filter is properly installed and seated in its housing.

Check the Chain and Bar

  1. Inspect the chainsaw’s chain for proper tension. Adjust if necessary.
  2. Check the chain for any damaged or dull teeth. Replace or sharpen as needed.
  3. Examine the guide bar for any signs of wear, damage, or misalignment.
  4. Clean the guide bar groove from any debris or sawdust.

Verify Safety Features

  1. Ensure all safety features such as chain brake and throttle lock are functioning correctly.
  2. Check the wiring and connections for the safety features to ensure they are intact.

Review Other Possible Issues

  1. If the chainsaw still won’t start or perform properly, check for other potential issues such as a clogged carburetor, a faulty fuel pump, or a damaged recoil starter.
  2. Refer to the chainsaw’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for specific troubleshooting steps or professional assistance if needed.

Check out the LR FIX outdoor power equipment blog for information about installing or repairing individual chainsaw parts.

Chainsaw Parts List

This is a list of the common parts found on many brands of chainsaw including from Ryobi, Craftsman, Stihl and Husqvarna.

  • Guide Bar: A long, flat metal bar that supports and guides the cutting chain.
  • Cutting Chain: A loop of chain links with cutting teeth that rotates around the guide bar to cut through wood.
  • Chain Tensioner: A mechanism or tool used to adjust the tension of the cutting chain for optimal performance.
  • Engine: The motor that powers the chainsaw, typically either gas-powered or electric.
  • Spark Plug: The device that provides the spark to ignite the fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber.
  • Air Filter: A filter that removes dust and debris from the air entering the engine for combustion.
  • Fuel Tank: The container that holds the gasoline or fuel mixture for the engine.
  • Carburetor: A device that mixes air and fuel in the proper ratio for combustion in the engine.
  • Throttle Trigger: A control that regulates the engine speed by adjusting the amount of fuel and air mixture.
  • Recoil Starter: A pull cord mechanism used to manually start the engine.
  • Choke: A control that restricts the air supply to the engine during startup to enrich the fuel mixture.
  • Chain Brake: A safety feature that stops the rotation of the cutting chain in case of kickback or other hazardous situations.
  • Anti-Vibration System: Mechanisms or features designed to reduce vibrations and minimize operator fatigue.
  • Oil Pump: A pump that lubricates the guide bar and cutting chain with chain oil to reduce friction and increase cutting efficiency.
  • Oil Tank: The container that holds the chain oil used for lubrication.
  • Chain Catcher: A safety feature that catches the chain if it derails or breaks, preventing it from striking the operator.
  • Handle or Handlebar: The part of the chainsaw that the operator holds and uses to control the saw.
  • Front Hand Guard: A protective barrier that shields the operator’s hand from debris and accidental contact with the cutting chain.
  • Trigger Lockout: A safety feature that prevents accidental activation of the throttle trigger.
  • Muffler: The component that reduces noise produced by the exhaust gases expelled from the engine.