How to Service a Stihl Chainsaw

Written by eric blankenburg
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How to Service a Stihl Chainsaw
Chainsaws require regular maintenance. (chain saw image by Pali A from Fotolia.com)

Perform regular checks and maintenance to keep your Stihl chainsaw running properly. This will optimise your saw's performance and identify small problems before they become bigger. Stihl saws require different services at different times throughout the saw's life, depending on how often you run your saw. Some maintenance activities are quick and simple, and should be performed after each use. Perform others after longer hours of operation.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Leather work gloves
  • Round file
  • Flat file
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Flat metal object (knife)
  • Toothbrush
  • Gasoline
  • Rag
  • Engine grease lubrication
  • Sparkplug wrench

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Instructions

    After Each Refueling

  1. 1

    Inspect the saw's chain for chipped or damaged teeth. Sharpen the chain with the round file to the chain manufacturer's specifications. Use the flat file to file the depth gauges as needed.

  2. 2

    Check the chain tension on the bar. Use the screwdriver to loosen the bar tensioner screw so the chain is tightened properly.

  3. 3

    Start the saw after refuelling. Make sure the chain doesn't turn when not throttled. Adjust the idle valve with the small screwdriver as needed to keep the chain from spinning when not throttled.

    After Each Use

  1. 1

    Inspect the chain's teeth again for damaged or broken teeth. Sharpen the chain as needed.

  2. 2

    Remove the clutch cover, bar and chain. With the rag, wipe down the bar and the engine housing underneath the clutch cover. If necessary, use the toothbrush and a little gasoline to remove excess wood chips and debris.

  3. 3

    Remove the air filter cover and the air filter. Clean the air filter with the toothbrush to remove sawdust.

  4. 4

    Refill the gas and bar tanks if you will use again within one week. Drain both of the tanks if you will not be using the saw for a while. Run the saw until it dies to use up the last of the gasoline.

    Weekly Checks

  1. 1

    Inspect the bar for any burrs or nicks along the edge. Use a flat file to file these down.

  2. 2

    Clean out the bar's slots with a flat piece of metal, like a knife. Slide the knife along the edge until it can run smoothly through the guide slots. Wipe the bar down with the rag.

  3. 3

    Flip the bar over and use the other side as the top.

  4. 4

    Inspect the bar tip's sprocket. Make sure the sprocket tip spins freely in the bar. It should not be warped or bent.

  5. 5

    Remove the E-clip from the flywheel and take off the washer and the sprocket. Inspect them for heavy wear and tear. Replace if necessary.

    Monthly Checks

  1. 1

    Pull off the clutch assembly to expose the oil pump. Lubricate the worm drive and spring drive of the oil pump with engine grease lubrication.

  2. 2

    Run the saw without the bar and clutch cover attached to see if the proper amount of oil is coming out of the pump. Look for a little oil to come out where the bar attaches to the engine housing.

  3. 3

    Empty the gas and oil tanks. Remove the fuel filter. Clean both the tanks with a little gasoline, toothbrush and rag. Replace the fuel filter and reinstall it.

  4. 4

    Remove the sparkplug with the sparkplug wrench. Clean the sparkplug with a little gas, toothbrush and rag. Replace if it is old or damaged.

  5. 5

    Remove the muffler's cover, using an Allen wrench. Pull out the spark arrester screen and clean with the rag and toothbrush.

Tips and warnings

  • Never flat-file the bar at an angle. This will cause the chain to wear out quickly.
  • Take your saw to a licensed Stihl repair shop if you don't know how to perform any of these tasks yourself.

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