Chainsaw Maintenance

Thanks to petrol chainsaws, self-preparation of wood for firewood ceased to be hard work. The machine will be reliable if it is properly maintained.



The length of the guide ranges from 30 to 50 cm. Some models may have 2 or 3 interchangeable guides with different diameters.

Electric saw

The power of the electric chainsaw varies from 1400 to 2500 W, depending on the model, with a guide bar length of 30 – 40 cm. It is used for cutting trees of small and medium thickness.

Petrol chain saw

The petrol chainsaw is more efficient. Engine capacity ranges from 35 cm3 (cutting branches, cutting trees with small cross-sections) to over 60 cm3 (cutting thick trees).

Chain saw construction

Cutting links

These are the cutting parts of the string. The depth gauge determines the cutting depth, and it ranges from 0.6 mm for hardwood to 1 mm for softwood.

Chain pitch

This is the distance between three consecutive rivets divided by 2.

Chain scale

This is the thickness of the portion of the guide link that enters the guide groove.

Before each maintenance work, disconnect the spark plug wire or the electric wire.



We remove the chain by unscrewing the screws securing the guide, and clean the guide groove. 

Check if there are any defects in the guide. If they are – we level it with a flat-file.

The guide bar wears only on one side only. It is advisable to rotate it 180º regularly.

We check the drive rack. It should not show signs of excessive wear.

If the chain is not to be used for a long time, we store it in a container with oil or kerosene. Grease the guide and wrap it in the greased paper.


 A well-sharpened chain for chainsaw has proper performance and makes work easier.

We use a unique file guide to sharpen the chain.

Place the round file in the guide on the upper plate and depth gauge.

Cutting links should always be sharpened from the inside. This will reduce the strength needed to sharpen them.

First, sharpen the cutting teeth on one side of the guide. When finished, turn the saw and grind the teeth on the other side of the chain.

All teeth should have the same length.

 We sharpen until all damage to the cutting teeth is removed (side and upper plate).

There are also practical and precise electric sharpeners.

Castorama service deals with sharpening cutting chains.


Adjusting the depth stops

 After sharpening the teeth, check the height of the stops. We also control it before the next sharpening.

If the depth stop is too high, the chain loses performance, if too low – the chips are too thick and the chain quickly breaks.

Setting the cutting depth

After every three chain sharpenings, adjust the cutting depth.

We put a depth gauge (template) on each cutting element. We align the protruding cell stop with a flat-file. We round the limiter to give it the right shape.

Chain tensioning

 The chain tension is adjusted with a screwdriver by loosening or tightening the adjustment screw on the saw body at the base of the guide. The position of the chain tensioning screw depends on the saw type. We do this after unscrewing the nuts securing the clutch cover and brake.

The chain is well tensioned when:

– it slides freely in the guide bar when the engine is cold,

– the links do not slip out of the guide groove during attempts to lift the chain.

Maintaining the correct chain tension improves work safety and extends chain life. A chain that is too tight may break or cause the engine to overheat. The chain is too loose – it can slip.


If the saw is to be stored unused for a long time, pour out fuel and oil.

We fill the tank with fuel mix before using it again. We do it away from the place of future work.


 We fill the tank with chain lubrication oil.

 Regularly lubricate the toothed wheel in the guide bar end and the clutch drum bearing.

 We never use the saw without oil. Insufficient lubrication of the chain may cause it to jam.

Air filter

Petrol chainsaws are additionally equipped with an air filter.

 The air filter should be cleaned regularly, even once a day, especially when working in a dusty place.

We take out the air filter and clean it with a brush or shake it vigorously. However, it is best to wash it with soap and water.

Leave a Comment