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Homelite Chainsaw Tuneup Instructions

By Eric Blankenburg ; Updated September 21, 2017
Tackle those tough cutting jobs by keeping your chainsaw properly tuned up.
logpile 2 image by Watt from Fotolia.com

Keeping your Homelite chainsaw properly tuned will increase the life of your chainsaw and reduce repair costs over the long term, according to Chainsaw Hub. A few minor repairs and fresh parts can also save you a lot of time. You should perform tune-ups after every 30 to 50 hours of usage; clean the Homelite chainsaw, sharpen its chain and check for broken or loose parts after every use. Acquiring an acute ear for engine sounds, good and bad, will also help you recognize when your chainsaw needs work.


Shut off the saw’s engine and make sure the chain stops running before working on the saw. Disengage the safety chain brake handle by pulling back on the black handle on top of the saw’s body.

Loosen the bar nuts by unscrewing them counterclockwise until they are finger tight. Loosen the bar tensioner screw by unscrewing it counterclockwise until the chain sags loosely below the bar. Pull the bar cover, the bar and the chain off the engine’s body.

Unscrew the metal oiler plate that sits next to the two metal bar posts on the engine. Hold the bar up with one hand. Push the sharp edge of the oiler plate into the guide slot on the bar with the other hand. Scrape the edge down the length of the bar and remove any compacted sawdust, oil and other debris from both of the slots.

Run your fingernails along the fine, outer edge of the bar. Feel for any small uprising or burs in the metal. Check all four edges and make sure they are all smooth and flat. Push the flat file over any burs to make sure the edge is flat.

Check the nose sprocket on the tip of the bar to make sure it spins freely and isn’t jammed or dirty. Insert the lube gun into the hole on the tip’s center and pump the gun once to lubricate the sprocket inside the bar’s tip. Replace the guide bar if the nose sprocket is bent or damaged in any way.

Use the knife to clean out the two oiler holes on the rear end of the bar. Make sure they are both unobstructed. Sharpen or replace any dull or broken chains.

Air System

Unscrew the protective cover over the air filter (turn it counterclockwise) to remove it from the engine. Wipe the cover down with a rag. Unscrew the air filter from its mounting rod and pull it off the engine.

Take out the filter and clean it with a little gas and the toothbrush. Slap the filter against your palm to remove any excess fuel before reinstalling it. Replace the air filter if it’s very dirty or can’t be cleaned.

Unscrew the bolts holding the muffler cover in place over the muffler and spark arrestor screen, using the Allen wrench.

Remove the spark arrestor screen and scrub it with the toothbrush and gas. Wipe it clean with a rag before reinstalling it. Replace the screen when it’s covered or obstructed by heavy, black carbon deposits.

Spark Plug and Fuel System

Pull off the rubber boot that is attached to the spark plug. Unscrew the spark plug with the socket wrench and pull it out of the engine. Replacing the spark plug with a new one is much easier than cleaning it or checking the gap, according to M & D Mower and Appliance Repair.

Pour any remaining fuel into an approved fuel container. Reach into the tank and pull out the fuel filter. Replace the fuel filter with a new one. Clean the inside of the gas tank with the brush and rag if it is dirty. Inspect the fuel lines to make sure they aren’t clogged or kinked. Replace the fuel lines if necessary.

Fill the chainsaw with gas that has been freshly mixed according to your Homelite’s owner’s manual recommendations.


Things You Will Need

  • Leather work gloves
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Flat file
  • Rag
  • Gas
  • Brush
  • Allen wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Spark plug
  • Fuel filter
  • Fresh gas


  • Read and follow the maintenance schedule in your user's manual.


  • Always wear the proper protective equipment when working around chainsaws.

About the Author


Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at GoNomad.com and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.