Home » How to Clean Your Electric Chainsaw (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Clean Your Electric Chainsaw (Step-By-Step Guide)

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Strong, powerful, and fierce, used for the toughest of wood cutting tasks, a chainsaw is as rugged as it gets. Among the different types of saws, the chainsaw is one of the strongest, with enormous power, and is made for difficult tasks.

Chainsaws are used to cut down trees, harvest firewood, prune, and create firebreaks in the forest, among other things. There are different types of chainsaws based on their power sources, with the electric chainsaw being a popular option. It is powered by electricity and is quite useful when you have to use the saw for a prolonged period.

Seeing that an electric chainsaw saw does a lot of work, and even for a longer period – it is exposed to more dirt and debris flying around. These particles go into the corners of the saw and may clog the parts, thereby causing damage.

Hence, constant maintenance is required if you must enjoy your electric chainsaw for a long time. Many people know they should sharpen the blade of their chainsaws but not many know or value cleaning their electric chainsaws.

Even though there are affordable chainsaws, however, most will still require a considerable investment. You do not want to waste such investments by not taking proper care of them. Moreover, cleaning the electric chainsaw may seem quite simple, but it can add more years to the lifespan of your saw.

Knowing where to clean and how to clean the electric chainsaw is vital; however, knowing why you should clean is just as important. That’s why we’ll see why cleaning the chainsaw is essential before we see a concise guide on how to clean an electric chainsaw.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Electric Chainsaw

Benefits of Cleaning Your Electric Chainsaw

There are so many reasons why you should clean your electric chainsaw frequently. Knowing the importance of keeping the chainsaw clean can be a huge motivation for anybody.

  • Rust: When dirt lingers on metal parts of your electric chainsaw, it can collect water and cause rust over time. This reduces the longevity of the saw.
  • Smooth operation: Dirt in some parts of the electric chainsaw can hinder the smooth operation of the saw. It can clog moving parts and impede movement.
  • Reduced value: A dirty saw reduces the value of the saw. A dirty saw will command a lesser fee than a clean one when in the market. Dirt also makes it unappealing when you or anybody looks at it.

Tools Needed to Clean Your Electric Chainsaw

Here are some of the tools you need to clean an electric chainsaw:

  • Wire brush: Select the right wire brush size that would require minimal effort to clean. The brush is used to remove dirt that has clogged the saw.
  • Warm water: this deals with tough stains from lubricants and oils.
  • Paintbrush: Removing dust is easy with a paintbrush. Get a 1″ or 2″ paintbrush.
  • Universal cleaner: This is a dedicated cleaner with substitutes like ammonia and kerosene.
  • Scrench
  • Flat hand file
  • Grease gun
  • Gloves

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Electric Chainsaw

When it comes to cleaning a chainsaw powered by electricity, the process is similar to any other chainsaw barring a few things like the safety method to take. You need to know the parts most susceptible to dirt and how to clean those parts. This is what this guide will teach you.

1. Disconnect Power Source

Before you start handling your electric chainsaw, unplug it from the socket and remove the battery, if any. You want to ensure it cannot accidentally start when you’re working. An accident like that can prove costly, especially when dealing with power tools of this magnitude.

Take your safety seriously by double checking to ensure it is not connected to electricity, and any battery that stores charge is removed completely.

2. Remove the Bar and Chain

Remove the Bar and Chain

Place the electric chainsaw on a comfortable table or platform where you will not have to strain to reach. A wide table at waist height is ideal. Next, you’ll have to remove the bar and chain from the rest of the chainsaw. Two nuts are holding the guiding bar to the powerhead. Use your hexagonal wrench to loosen the two nuts. The nuts can be located by the side cover.

3. Clean the Guide Bar

Clean the Guide Bar

Adjust the knob controlling the tightness of the chain, slacken it and remove the chain from the bar. You’ll find dirt on the guide bar. Clean this bar and the bar groove with a bar groove cleaner and compressed air. You can also make use of a rag soaked in a cleaning liquid.

When replacing the bar, do not forget to put it the other way round, so its degradation happens uniformly.

4. Clean the Chain

Clean the Chain

Make a solution of ammonia and water, or you can use a universal cleaner. Use a combination of one cup of ammonia to one gallon of water. Soak the chain completely inside this solution for up to 20 minutes, so the dirt and dust that has clogged up the teeth of the chains are weakened.

Use your wire brush to remove the weakened dirt from the chain. Brush the chain carefully till you’ve brushed the full length of the chain. Use clean water to rinse the chain after removing the dirt. Dry the chain with a rag or air dry it for some hours, depending on the humidity.

Soak the chain in a lubricant and hang it so excess lubricant can drip off. Attach the chain back on the guide bar and adjust the knob to tighten it.

5. Clean the Powerhead

Clean the Powerhead

The electric powerhead consists of the engine and its control. Although this area will not typically see as much dust as the chain, a little amount of dust inside can cause a lot of damage. Dust can go into the engine and disrupt its normal operation.

Clean the crankcase area with a paintbrush by lightly brushing over the surface. Ensure to cover all the areas, including tough-to-reach corners, to remove dirt that may have gathered for a long time. Locate the air filter inside this case and brush with the paintbrush if dirt is minimal. Gently brush the air filter to reduce dirt while ensuring you do not damage it. When the air filter is clogged with dirt, it is best to soak the air filter in warm water and a cleaning agent. Rinse with clean water before putting it back into the powerhead.

Keep water away from the powerhead when cleaning as this can enter into some parts and cause severe damage. Instead, use a paintbrush or compressed air to remove dirt. Inspect the cooling fins and use a screwdriver to remove dirt. A clean cooling fin will improve its cooling effect on the engine.

6. Clean the Spark Arrestor

The spark arrestor prevents sparks from coming out of the engine and harming the user. Typically, the spark arrestor will gather dust over time and become dirty with reduced efficiency.

The spark arrestor is located under the muffler. Unscrew the cover and remove the spark arrestor. Gently tap it on a bench to remove some of the dirt, and use a brush to wipe the remaining dust off it. Replace the spark arrestor and screw the muffler cover.

7. Clean the Oil Reservoir

Clean the Oil Reservoir

Oil reservoirs carry oil that automatically lubricates the guide bar and chain. Sometimes, it blocks the channel and makes it impossible or difficult to have oil on the bar. Remove the dirt, so there is a free flow of oil to the bar.

8. Clean the Body

Clean the Body

The body of the electric chainsaw should not be left out when cleaning. Typically this should be handled lastly, as it can get dirty when cleaned first. After cleaning the other parts of the saw, it is normal to find fresh grease stains in addition to the previous dirt on the body.

Use your paintbrush to gently wipe dirt or grease off the body. Maintain a gentle approach to ensure you do not leave brush marks on the body of the chainsaw. Assemble all the parts and ensure the nuts are tightened properly.


Electric chainsaws are popular because they can be used for longer. Their prolonged use exposes them to more dirt which clogs the parts and reduces their efficiency and longevity. Undergoing regular maintenance like cleaning will keep this saw in top condition.

Imbibing a culture of regularly cleaning your electric chainsaw will save you a lot in repair/replacement cost, and low efficiency, among others. Luckily the guide has done justice on how to clean electric chainsaw and where to do it.