Chainsaw Troubleshooting

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Oftentimes, a chainsaw that's not making good cuts or straight cuts is a result of a problem with chain tension or sharpness. Find out how to sharpen a chainsaw and adjust the tension with help from a certified home inspector in this free video on home carpentry.

Part of the Video Series: Carpentry & Saws
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Video Transcript

Hello. My name is Mark Blocker and in this segment we're going to cover chainsaw troubleshooting. Okay, if you're having problems with your chainsaw and it's related to its cutting, maybe it's not cutting a straight line, it's cutting curved, it's cutting very poorly, it's not producing good chip, just real poor performance in the cutting end of the saw. The problems can generally be found in the chain, the chain tension or the sharpness of the chain itself. Most all of them are related to the tension and the sharpness of the chain. And those can be corrected simply by sharping the chain and making sure the tension is adjusted correctly. If you're experiencing problems with it starting, a lot of times these can be cause by chainsaws being left over a long period of time and not being used. In which case, you're going to take some extra cranks to get the fuel pump system working again. Or two stroke oil or two stroke gasoline which uses an oil and gas mixture ratio, when it sits for a long period of time, it has a tendency to coagulate. And that plugs up the carburetor itself. So one of the things that you could do for preventative maintenance is make sure you drain your chainsaw out. And then start it up and let it run to cycle through any gas that might be left in the carburetor. Providing the choke assembly and everything is working correctly and you've actually turned the chainsaw to the on position when you're trying to start it, one of the things that's quick and easy to check for, a chainsaw needs spark, fuel and air to operate. Remove the cover assembly and you get access to a spark plug and boot assembly. First remove the boot from the spark plug. Then you can remove the plug itself. And you want to inspect the spark plug for any damage, carbon deposits. Make sure the air gap between the electrode and the tip itself is free and there has not particles or anything stuck in there and that the gap is set correctly. Thus being said, if the chainsaw itself is flooded, you want to make sure and turn your chainsaw to the off position because it's going to develop a spark in the run position. And it could spark and cause an explosion from the rich fuel mixture inside. But to clean out a chainsaw that has been flooded, just simply turn it to the off position, with the spark plug removed, crank the chainsaw over several times making sure you blow out all that extra fuel that's been built up in there. Reinsert your spark plug. Reinsert the spark plug boot and go back to your starting procedures. Those are just some of the tips you can use for helping you troubleshoot a chainsaw.

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