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Chain saws are very thrifty inventions and if properly cared for they can last indefinitely. It is always wise to wear heavy gloves when handling the chain or saw of your machine. When beginning maintenance be sure the ignition is switched to off and if it is an electric model make sure it is unplugged.

To refuel a gasoline powered chain saw, begin by brushing away all sawdust, dust and other trash from the outside area. Clean the air flow passages, which enable air to pass through the housing as well. Make sure the fuel you are adding to your chain saw is clean by brushing dust and other objects from the gas can before you begin. If any dirt or debris have entered the gas can, always strain the gasoline as it is poured from the container.

When refueling make sure you use regular gasoline and two cycle or 1-40 oil. Never use unleaded gasoline or motor oil for a chain saw. These items are made for larger engines and will not ensure your chain saw is running at peak performance. In some cases when using car products, the machine will not work at all. If they make 1-40 oil for your chain saw, use this instead of conventional oil for the best results. You will need to mix your oil and gasoline in a clean container according to the ratio given by the manufacturer. When you have finished refueling, check the spark plugs. If they are heavily coated with oil you will need to replace them. It is wise to do this any time you are planning extended or heavy use of the chain saw. Clean the fuel filter in automobile carburetor cleaner after pulling the tube from the tank with a wire hook. Simply detach the fuel filter for cleaning. If you notice the engine is bogging down while you are using your chain saw, you will need to replace the fuel filter.

Remove the air filter, which is housed under the carburetor cover, and clean with a mild detergent and water. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly before reattaching to your chain saw. Next you will need to fill the oil reservoir with chain oil, which is sometimes called bar and chain oil. You will need to do this each time you refuel. If you have a manual oiler you need to check the oil level often while using the saw. Clean any dirt or debris out of the guide bar oil hole with a wire.

Since dirt tends to dull the chain you will need to sharpen your chain. To do this use the round file specified by the manufacturer and a file holder positioned at 35 degrees. Begin by filing the teeth in the center of the guide bar starting on the inside and working out. Release and advance the chain until all the teeth are sharpened. You will only need to use about four file strokes per tooth. Before you use the chain saw check the tension. This should also be done often while working with the saw. When your chain saw is cold the chain tangs should be invisible. When it is hot about half their length should show. If you need to tighten the tension, slightly loosen the guide bar mounting nut then turn the tension adjusting screw clockwise. Some saws will have more than one nut. If this is the case loosen them all, but be sure to retighten or the tension setting will not last. Also, never tighten the chain tension when the chain saw is hot. In fact, in most cases, it is better to maintenance your chain saw before using it.