How to Clean a Chainsaw
Get your saw running good as new!

A good chainsaw will serve you for a long time, but only if you treat it with care. These machines go through a lot of wear and tear, so every so often it's good to give it a nice once over. If you're pulling out your saw after months of storage, or if you're just noticing it's not as smooth at it used to be, then take a look at these key areas.

You can view our video here or our written guide below:

Air filter

Remove the air filter cover, and then the air filter. You can clean the air filter with compressed air. If your filter is a metal type you can use a soft wire brush. Inspect your filter for damage, and if it is damaged, replace it.

Spark plug

Remove the spark plug and inspect it for gunk, specifically carbon buildup. You can easily clean away these deposits by using a soft wire brush. However if the spark plug is damaged or the electrodes are burnt, you’ll want to replace it.


Remove the carburetor and give it a thorough cleaning with a carb cleaner. Check for damage, and replace if necessary.

Spark Arrestor

Pull out the spark arrestor, which is typically a small mesh green. Use a tooth brush or a fine wire brush to remove any deposits or carbon build up, and then reassemble.

Fuel Filter

If you’ve left your chainsaw out for more than three months, it may have a clogged fuel filter. Drain and remove the fuel filter from the gas tank, and inspect it for clogging and damage. Clean it up, reinsert it (or replace if damaged) into the tank and you’re good to go.

Guide Bar

Use a wrench to remove the nuts that hold the guide bar to the body of the chainsaw. Loosen the tensioning screw to allow slack in the chain and then remove it. Clean up any dirt or debris around the oil inlet hole on the guide bard as well as the oil way on the engine housing

The Chain

Keeping your chain sharp and clean is important to getting the best performance out of your saw, as well as being important to safety. A dirty chain can cause kickbacks, which can result in serious injury. Remove your chain using the steps above and soak it in a bucket of soapy water. Use a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the entire chain clean. Before putting the chain back, try adding a light coating of oil to keep it running smooth.

And that's all there is to it. Give your saw a quick test and it should be running smooth as ever. If you're planning to fix up your chainsaw a bit, make sure you have all the chainsaw parts you need.