Electric Chain Saw Problems

Written by eric blankenburg
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Electric Chain Saw Problems
Electric chainsaws can have issues in their bars, chains and motors. (NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

With fewer parts than their gas counterparts, electric chainsaws will generally encounter less problems that lead to breakdowns. However, most electric chainsaws are double insulated to protect against electric shock, so only professionals should ever repair the inner engine parts of the chainsaw's motor. Still, many problems can arise on these chainsaws, which will debilitate the chainsaw's cutting function.

Chain Problems

The chain on the electric chainsaw bears the full force of the cutting. These chains move rapidly and are put under a lot of pressure, which will cause chain teeth to dull, chip or break off. Chains need regular and frequent sharpening before and after each use to ensure the best cutting performance. When sharpening the chain, always check the tie straps, which hold the links together, for stretching and other signs of damage. A snapped chain can fly back and hit the sawyer in the legs, causing serious injury.

Guide Bar Problems

The chain moves in a circle around the guide bar. This metal bar also takes a lot of the pressure during cutting. Guide bars can bend easily, warp slightly and become uneven. Whenever these bars are damaged, the chain won't spin properly and may come off regularly. Clean the bar regularly and check for dents or signs that it's bending to one side. Rotate the topside of the bar after every two to three times the chain is sharpened. Replace bars that are dented or damaged in any way as they can't be fixed.

Bar Oiling Problems

The chain needs a continuous and sufficient supply of lubricating oil to withstand the heat, friction and pressure of cutting. If the bar and chain don't get oiled properly, the chain will heat and burn out other areas of the engine. The guide bar contains two oiling holes and the slots on both sides of the bar for the oiling mechanism. These holes and slots may get blocked with old oil, dirt and sawdust. Clean them regularly with the tip of a knife. Always check the automatic oiler function according to your model's specifications before each use.

Electrical Connection Problems

The electrical cord extends out of the motor on electric chainsaws. This cord, while insulated and heavy-duty, can get damaged during operation. Keep the cord away from the chain at all times, and inspect it before each use. If the electrical connections start to get loose on the cord or inside the motor, the chainsaw will not start at all. Protect these parts as they may be unfixable, and leave all electrical repairs to a professional as electrocution is a serious possibility for the untrained.

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