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How to Troubleshoot an Electric Chainsaw

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chainsaw image by Andris Daugovich from Fotolia.com

An electric chainsaw, as the name implies, relies on electricity instead of gas to power its motor and allow the chain to rotate. Chainsaws are quite useful for trimming tree branches, lumberjacking and many home construction projects that involve wood. Chainsaws can be very hazardous if they are used improperly, and severe injury can result. As a result, an electric chainsaw needs to be examined thoroughly in the event of any mechanical malfunction before it is used again. Troubleshooting an electric chainsaw requires some diligence.

Charge the chainsaw if it is not turning on. If it has a battery, the battery may be faulty and require replacement. If it won't start even when the saw is plugged into a power source, the battery is not the likely culprit.

Replace the fuse in the chainsaw if it is still not starting and the battery appears healthy. Try a different extension cord of the saw is plugged into the wall.

Replace the chain if it is dull and not cutting properly. Soak a new chain for at least six hours in SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers graded) lubricating oil before installing it on the saw. Follow the saw's instructions for recommended tension, but the chain will likely stretch in its first 30 minutes of operation. Double-check the tension after some mild usage to ensure the new chain is properly adjusted.

Examine the sprocket when replacing a chain. A damaged spocket will quickly wear out a chain. Replace the sprocket if it looks warped or worn prior to placing a new chain on the saw.

Ensure the chain and saw components are properly lubricated. A dry saw may not run correctly and could be much louder than one that is oiled. A dry saw may also start smoking, which is a sure sign that oil is needed. Incorrect oil type can also damage saw components. SAE oil or bar and chain oil are typically used on electric chainsaws.

Fill the chain oiler if your electric saw has one. It automatically keeps the chain lubricated during operation, but it needs to be checked frequently to ensure it has proper oil in it.

Tip

Have your saw professionally serviced if it is still not working properly. A technician should be able to restore its functionality safely.

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