Can Chainsaws Overheat?

A chainsaw is a precision machine that is also very dangerous to operate if you’re not fully aware of the best way to use one. A good question to ask yourself is can chainsaws overheat? Knowing the answer to this question can help you to know how you can try to prevent it from happening and what to do in case it ever happens to you.

Can Chainsaws Overheat?

The simple answer to this question is yes, your chainsaw may overheat. This can happen because of the high-speed motor that is churning the sharp metal chain around the blade-like guide of the saw that actually does the cutting, and how there are times when you are cutting wood, you can hit harder spots that can cause the saw to need to work harder to get through the material. In addition, the sharpness of the chain, fuel used, blocked air intake vents, and proper lubrication can all be contributing factors to a chainsaw overheating when you use it.

How to Prevent Overheating

The key to preventing your chainsaw from overheating is proper maintenance.

  1. The first section of proper maintenance is the engine. You need to keep the air filter clear from any obstructions along with the spark arrestor. The best thing you can do is to clean these areas before you use your chainsaw every time. It’s better to do this before rather than after because you may either forget after using it or it may have dust and debris accumulate between uses that could block these parts.
  2. The next area you need to maintain is the chain and bar area. While the engine is working, it will send out a mist of oil onto the spinning chain to keep it lubricated to prevent overheating. Whenever you fuel up your saw, you should fill the oil well, too. Also, check the oil ports for clogging. You may need to use a needle to clean them out. Don’t over-tighten the chain as this can contribute to overheating, as well.
  3. An additional portion of proper maintenance is using the right fuel for your chainsaw. Most saw manufacturers will let you know which is the optimum fuel for your brand. Many of them do well with 87 octane with no ethanol, and some manufacturers do say that their brand runs better with about 10 percent or less of ethanol in case you don’t have access to brands with no ethanol.
  4. The final bit of maintenance that you need to do is sharpen your chain when it dulls. A dull chain must work harder to make the cuts you need. Some experts recommend having two chains to use interchangeably. When one is dull, you can use the other sharp one before getting around to sharpening the dull one.

What To Do With an Overheated Chainsaw

If your chainsaw starts smoking or overheating, turn it off immediately. This means something is going wrong. Wait for it to cool down before examining it to see if there is a maintenance issue you need to address. Often, overheating is caused by the lack of air or lubrication, so check these areas first. If you use it too much while it’s overheating, it’s possible you may burn out the engine or pistons causing you to have a broken chainsaw that will either need to be repaired or replaced.

Following these tips can help to keep your chainsaw running smoothly for years to come. Don’t get stuck in a bind by not following through with your maintenance on a regular basis.

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