If you are a beginner you might probably wonder one thing: should a chainsaw smoke when cutting?
No, a chainsaw shouldn’t smoke too much when cutting. However, it happens only when the bar oil is not reaching the chain bar or it is running low. As a result, smoke is produced due to excessive heating due to friction.
This is not only bad for the saw but also for your health. So, if you find your chainsaw smoking while cutting wood or something, then you should stop using it and check the bar oil level.
However, chainsaw bar oil is not the only reason sometimes. There might be some other issues, especially in the bar and chain area or in the airfilter, etc.
Luckily you have come to the right place because, in this article, you and I will investigate the issue of chainsaw smoking in a step-by-step manner and hopefully resolve it too.
Sounds interesting right? Keep on reading then!
Should a Chainsaw Smoke When Cutting?
Although I gave you a short answer before that a chainsaw will not produce smoke in normal conditions. However, sometimes you may find smoke coming out of the chain and bar area. This is normally an indicator that something is wrong with the tool.
Under such conditions, it is time to start the investigation. But, whenever you are finding the root cause of the problem you need to keep a basic engineering principle in mind i.e. always start from the small dots.
Here are some of the most common reasons for chainsaw chain smoking.
1. Check If You Have Enough Bar Oil
One of the most things which confuse new chainsaw users is the difference between the guide bar oil reservoir and the fuel tank.
The oil reservoir contains oil for the bar that lubricates it when cutting wood.
Now for those who don’t know let me tell you that this oil is very important.
It is because whenever you are cutting wood a higher amount of friction is produced during the process.
This friction overheat and put too much pressure on the engine and other parts of the tool and thus causing wear and tear.
Now if the bar oil in the oil reservoir is less it will not be able to lubricate the chainsaw bar and the chainsaw chain properly and you will end up having a smoking chainsaw.
But how will you know that you have enough bar oil in the oil reservoir?
Well, it is simple.
The guide bar oil reservoir has a light line of dots that allows you to measure whether you have enough oil or not.
For beginners, I would highly recommend reading the user manual to learn the exact amount of oil needed in the tank because too much oil can also cause problems.
2. Check The Fuel Mix Ratio
If you are a beginner and this is your first time handling a chainsaw you should know that it requires a fuel mixture to operate.
This fuel mix is basically a combination of oil and gasoline in a specific ratio.
According to the Stihl USA, the best fuel-to-oil ratio is 1:50 oil to gasoline, meaning 1 part oil and 50 part gas.
Therefore, I highly recommend checking and maintaining a correct ratio in the fuel tank before operating chainsaws.
3. Notice the Color of the Smoke
Whenever you find your chainsaw chain smoking there might be an issue with the bar oil. However, it is possible for other parts to start smoking such as an air filter.
In such cases, you need to pay attention to the color of the smoke.
A smoking chainsaw will try to tell you what’s wrong if you look carefully and notice the color.
For example, if you find black smoke coming out of the exhaust port then it is a clear indicator of a blocked air filter.
A blocked air filter means there is a lack of proper airflow which results in overheating.
Similarly, white smoke means there is condensed water heating inside the engine while blue smoke represents the overflow of the fuel and the engine is likely to be flooded.
4. A Worn out Chainsaw Chain
The most common reason which leads to excessive smoking is a worn-out chain.
I highly recommend checking the condition of the chain prior to the operation. if the chain is worn out it will be producing smoke whenever you are using it.
This is because of the excessive amount of friction caused by the rubbing of the surfaces.
This also puts too much stress on the engine which results in decreasing the overall performance of the machine.
How To Fix Chainsaw Smoking
Now that you have learned some of the most common causes for chainsaws to start smoking. Now you will be interested in a complete solution to get rid of this issue.
In this section, we will learn how to fix this issue.
Make Sure Your Bar Guide is Properly Lubricated
The first thing that you need to ensure the bar guide is getting lubricated. This will reduce the chances of friction and makes sure the saw doesn’t get overheat.
In order to check this you will need to start the saw and let it run for a few minutes and then turn off the engine.
Next, check the bar oil in the reservoir and see if there is less oil add more. If you have more than the mentioned limit then pour out some of it to maintain the level.
Fix Chainsaw Chain Related Issues
If you notice the smoke coming out of the chain area then this issue is very easy to fix. A good way is to check the blade regularly before working on any project.
If the chain is worn out you will need to replace it with a new one.
After that, you will need to check for the chain tension and ensure that it is not adjusted too tightly.
A chain that is too tight will also cause problems therefore, you will need to adjust and loosen the tension slightly.
Chain tension is very important because it can result in increased bar-to-chain friction if not properly adjusted.
Also Read: Do Drive Links Matter on a Chainsaw Chain?
Idle Speed Adjustment
One of the most overlooked issues is the idle speed of the saw. Most chainsaw owners don’t give too much attention but it can result in serious issues. Thus if you find you saw smoking it is time to adjust the idle speed of the saw.
It is very easy to fix all you need to do is find the idle speed adjusting screw which will help you control the idling speed. After that turn, the screw backward 90 degrees and add up the throttle.
You need to see if the engine is accelerating smoothly while you adjust the screw. Test the tool with full throttle and notice the difference yourself after the adjustment.
How Do You Tell If A Chainsaw Is Overheating?
Heating is a normal process in almost all power tools. This is because different parts are working at different speeds and there is a lot of friction going on. But the problem is how do you tell if the chainsaw is overheating?
There are two ways to tell if a chainsaw is overheating. First, when you touch the saw it will be too hot to touch which is a clear indicator of abnormal heat produced by the machine. Second, when the saw gets overheated you can tell by the smell.
If you see that the chainsaw is producing a burning smell then it is most likely overheating. In this case, you should stop using the chainsaw and let it cool down.
Why Is My Chainsaw Blade Burning The Wood?
If you see that the chainsaw blade is burning the wood then it is most likely due to poor lubrication. Since the chainsaw chain is the hardest working part, therefore, it needs to be properly lubricated.
Lubrication allows different parts of the saw to move smoothly and it also prevents excessive friction. If the saw is not properly lubricated then it will cause the chain to become very hot and cause the burning of the wood.
Apart from that, sometimes if the chain is dull then the blade won’t be able to cut through the lumber. As a result, the blade will only heat up the wood and make it burn instead of cutting it.
Safety Measures To Keep in Mind While Working with a Chainsaw
Chainsaws are one of the most powerful and dangerous tools. Therefore, it is extremely important to take all the necessary safety measures while working with them.
The first and most important safety measure is to wear proper safety gear. This includes gloves, goggles, earplugs, and boots. It is also extremely important to wear a mask while working with a chainsaw.
Another safety measure is to always keep the saw in good condition. This means that you should regularly clean and lubricate it. Moreover, you should also sharpen the chain whenever necessary.
Another safety measure is to be extra careful while working with the saw. This means that you should never try to cut through anything that is too thick or too hard. Moreover, you should also never try to force the saw.
If you do so then it can easily lead to an accident. So, these were some of the safety measures that you should keep in mind while working with a chainsaw.
The Bottom Line
In this article, we learned the main reasons why your chainsaw might be smoking. We learned that when a chainsaw is smoking when cutting it is a sure sign that the bar oil is not reaching the chain. Lubricating the chain will fix the issue.
Furthermore, a clogged filter can block the air, and due to the lack of flow of air, the engine will heat quickly causing it to produce smoke. In addition to this, you should also learn to use gasoline in an appropriate ratio mixed with oil.
Make sure to change the filters of the saw every once in a while. If you see that the chainsaw is smoking, you should stop using it and let it cool down.
I hope this article was helpful in solving your problem.
Thank you for reading!