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Deep cleaning chainsaws

canadianclimber

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Sep 23, 2010
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163
Any good tips on giving the saw a good cleaning? Sprays or tools used. (apart from air and brushes)

Trying to clean the sap and gunk off seems to be a little challenging at times. Especially the cylinder fins.

I'd like to bring them back to looking new, but getting the sap off handles and covers are a pain. Saw a thread where someone used a mini steam cleaner they had for car detailing. Not sure if that would be too hot on plastic or not.

Any tips would be great
 

cory

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Aug 23, 2008
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CT
You mentioned air already, but just saying we blow off thoroughly every saw and air cleaner prior to 95% of refueling. I think it keeps em running better, longer.
 

pantheraba

More biners!!!
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Jul 31, 2005
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near Atlanta
I installed a small air compressor in my tree trailer...inverter in my truck to run it if needed. I clean saws with air after each use...makes fueling/oiling clean and worry free. Makes it look like you give a rats A$$ about your gear if it's clean when you start the day. Love being able to blow chips off of me, too, at end of day before getting in truck again.
 

Burnham

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An old thread, some of the same suggestions, some different.

 

Magnus

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South East Sweden
If its brown cylinders it has often more to do with bar oil than sap.
Oven cleaner.

I clean saws in parts washer with diesel in it. As most saws I keep are stored for a long, sometimes very long time, I don't want to help corrosion in any way so diel is a good thing.
 

lumberjack

Young man on the go
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Aside from scraping off some accumulation under the side cover with the scrench (compulsion rather than need), I don’t believe I’ve cleaned a saw in my 17 years of tree work.

ETA:
I do have a tickle of a memory of blasting air at a saw, probably futzing around in the shop (compulsion not need).
 

lxskllr

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Jul 21, 2019
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1,919
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MD USA
Same here Carl. I do brush it out probably every other time I use it, but that's mostly to relax after doing work. I figure knocking the big chunks off is good enough, cause it's just gonna get covered again in the first minute I use it.
 

Mick!

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South West France
Aside from scraping off some accumulation under the side cover with the scrench (compulsion rather than need), I don’t believe I’ve cleaned a saw in my 17 years of tree work.

ETA:
I do have a tickle of a memory of blasting air at a saw, probably futzing around in the shop (compulsion not need).



Snap, I’ve blown out saws with an airline, but I class that as maintenance not cleaning.
 

stig

Patron saint of bore-cutters
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Aug 26, 2007
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Denmark
I have a buddy, who, whenever he wants to sell a saw, fills the bathtub with soapy water and dumps the saw in there over night.

I swear they look like new after been blown clean and wiped down with some WD40.
 

ruel

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Jan 27, 2015
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Harpswell, Maine
Haven't tried it on saws, but the hand cleaner stuff is a dream for removing pitch from skin. Technu poison ivy soap is the best pitch remover I've personally used, pretty pricey though.
 

Jonny

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Sep 29, 2018
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Buffalo, NY
I use WD40, it works well for pitch/ sap, and seems gentle on plastics and the paint on bars. Technically WD40 is more of a solvent than a lubricant. Have to rub pitchy spots w a rag sometimes but compressed air works well for everything else.
The cylinder fins, might need a little brush.

If nothing else, keep the air filter clean. If chainsaws or any other small engines are part of how you earn your living, you need an air compressor.
 

treesmith

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Feb 4, 2009
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Alabama
Quick trip to the car wash will clean them right up. (Hand-wand type...not drive-thru.....):|:
 

cory

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Aug 23, 2008
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CT
Technically WD40 is a Water Displacement formula #40 ;)
Good to know!

There is an area on my terex bucket, the axle which connect the bucket to upper boom, it shoulda been built with a zerk but it wasn't , they say spray lube in there. Well I tried probably 20 different kinds of lubricant including expensive high end stuff, The only thing that has worked is good ol WD 40
 

Tree09

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Feb 28, 2017
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Peoria il
50 50 acetone and atf fluid. I'm serious!!! Mason jar and a paint brush. You can also use an old school squirt oil can, i have to recommend a new one and jb weld the bottom. Even then it will likely leak
 

flushcut

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Jan 15, 2011
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Delavan, WI
Good to know!

There is an area on my terex bucket, the axle which connect the bucket to upper boom, it shoulda been built with a zerk but it wasn't , they say spray lube in there. Well I tried probably 20 different kinds of lubricant including expensive high end stuff, The only thing that has worked is good ol WD 40
Can you drill a hole and use a needle zerk? It wouldn't be a very big hole maybe 1/16"-3/32"
 

cory

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Aug 23, 2008
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Sounds like a good idea but I'd be afeared to do it myself
 
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