Like any power tool, if you want your chainsaw to perform well and work for a long time, you have to take good care of it. A big part of that is chainsaw storage – storing your chainsaw in a way that will keep it safe through any weather and prevent oil from leaking is an important part of chainsaw ownership.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about proper chainsaw storage, as well as a few other helpful maintenance tips.
Chainsaw storage tips
Unless you are a professional, year-round logger, chances are there will be times when you need to store your chainsaw for a few weeks or even months. Doing this properly will help to prolong the life of your chainsaw, as well as saving you the headache and money of having to replace or repair parts.
If you don’t already know how to store chainsaw, don’t worry – there aren’t too many steps involved. Let’s go through some of the most important things you will want to keep in mind.
Emptying the fuel tank
Step one of storing your chainsaw, whether it will be in a garage or other storage area, is to completely empty the fuel tank.
Leaving fuel in the fuel tank when you store the chainsaw for a long time can have two serious consequences. The first is that the fuel can leak into your garage or storage area, which can damage shelves, be harmful to animals, and just leave a nasty smell. The second consequence is that it can cause damage to the engine if left for too long. You will want to empty it completely, and make sure you empty the carburetor as well, to prevent the diaphragms from sticking together.
Emptying your fuel can somewhere safe can be tricky. Ideally, you could save the fuel for the next time you use your chainsaw, if you have a secure canister on hand.
Remember that fuel in your chainsaw needs to be mixed with oil, so you cannot just empty it back into a gas cannister that has fuel in it already – it will offset the mixture ratio. If you are using pre-mixed chainsaw fuel, you can just go ahead and empty your fuel tank back into the container.
If you can’t save the fuel, make sure you empty the tank in a responsible way, out of the way of people and animals.
If you are wondering how to store a chainsaw without oil leaking, the answer is simple: empty your oiler and oil valve before you store it. You may want to give the oiler a through rinse to make sure that all the bar and chain oil is out.
Dismantling your chainsaw
You will want to take your chainsaw apart to store it, in order to prevent corrosion or other damage – as well as just to save yourself some space. Taking apart the chainsaw is one of the most important steps of how to store a chainsaw in a garage.
Take the cover off your chainsaw, and remove the chainsaw bar and chain. You can clean both of these with a household cleaner or a mixture of water and ammonia, then rinse them and allow them to dry completely before storing them.
It is also helpful to spray your bar and chain with a protective oil. That is how to winterize a chainsaw – the oil will protect the metal parts of your chainsaw from moisture and cold, to keep them from corroding while they are in storage.
For pole saw storage, you are going to want to take the handle off your chainsaw, as well as removing the bar and chain. Like any chainsaw, pole saws can be delicate and need to be stored carefully when you are not using them.
Store in a dry place and away from the sun
This should be obvious, but your chainsaw should not be stored anywhere it is in danger of being exposed to the elements.
Too much moisture can damage the bar and chain of your chainsaw by causing a buildup of rust and corrosion – the last thing you want is take out your chainsaw at the end of a rainy winter and see that the chain has become unusable.
Direct sunlight can also cause serious damage. UV rays from the sun can cause the metal parts of your chainsaw to get brittle. This could actually be really dangerous – a brittle chain is at a higher risk of breaking while you are using the chainsaw.
If your chainsaw comes with a case, like a lot of power tools do, you will definitely want to keep it in its case while you are storing it. If not, find another form of covered storage to keep the chainsaw in.
One option is to keep it together with your other tools and furniture in a storage unit. If you’re looking for a storage in London or in California, you will find lots of options that will let you keep your items safe.
Keep your chainsaw dust free
Like moisture and sunlight, dust can have damaging effects on your chainsaw if it is left for too long. A build up of dust on the metal can dull it and leave spots. Too much dust built up in the engine can harm the chainsaw’s performance.
One way to keep your chainsaw from collecting a grimy build up of dust is to spray or rub the metal parts with a protective oil before you store it. Even just a light layer of your ordinary bar and chain oil will help for this. We do not recommend motor oil, as it is a little thinner and will not leave the same protective layer over the metal.
Another easy way to keep the dust off your chainsaw is just to store it in its case, or in another dust-free, enclosed container. A plastic storage bin could work for this. Or, if all else fails, even a garbage bag. Just be careful – a bag will not protect your chainsaw from getting scratched or dented by other objects while it is stored.
Finally, when you take your chainsaw out of storage, give it a good cleaning and oiling to make sure that it is totally dust free before you use it again.