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How To Change The Air Filter On Your Chainsaw? | 5 Easy Steps!

Chainsaws are a powerful and versatile tool that can be used for many different tasks. However, despite their power, they can be prone to overheating which can often lead to poor performance and potentially a fire hazard.

We all know that chainsaws are amazing, but the air filter can be the most overlooked part of your power tool.

Whether you cut down a tree or your neighbour’s tree, the air filter box on your saw is most likely going to get clogged up.

When using your saw it is very important the air filter is clean and free from debris so that you can get the best performance from your saw.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to replace the air filter on your chainsaw to prevent overheating. We’ll also explain the process involved in changing safety and air filter chainsaw maintenance filters.

 Here’s how to change chainsaws air filter:

Step 1. Remove the chain guard

To remove the chain guard, first make sure the blade cover is closed. Then turn the handle clockwise until the chain guard comes off.

You may need to use an Allen key to loosen some screws holding the chain guard together. Once removed, place the chain guard aside.

Step 2. Disconnect the battery cables

Remove the two black wires connected to the positive terminal of the battery pack. The negative wire will remain attached to the body of the chainsaw.

Step 3. Unscrew the bolts securing the air filter housing

Unscrew each bolt by hand one at a time. You should only have to do this if there is no access panel covering the area where the bolts connect.

Step 4. Pull out the old air filter

Once the last bolt has been unscrewed, pull the air filter assembly straight upwards. It should come away easily. If not, try pulling harder with both hands.

If the air filter does not want to budge, then gently pry it out with a screwdriver. Be careful when doing this as the metal parts inside could become loose and fall into the engine compartment.

Step 5. Install new air filter

To install the new chainsaw air filter just install it the way you removed the old chainsaw air filter. Then just carefully put it back all the screws and other parts of a chainsaw.

Chainsaw engine maintenance care and air filter maintenance

Chainsaws are powerful and have a life expectancy of around 25 years. The only way to make the chainsaw last longer is to make sure it is kept in good condition and that you do the main maintenance job on the saw.

  • Chainsaws engine check

The first thing you need to do is look for any signs of damage to the engine. There may be signs of corrosion on the engine and if this is the case then you will need to have this checked over.

Corrosion can cause negative impact on engine performance. So always used stroke oil for lubrication.

  • Always check chainsaw engine oil

Always check the chainsaw engine oil for its viscosity level before starting the chainsaw. This helps ensure that the right amount of oil is being applied to the engine.

It is recommended that you buy a quality brand of chainsaw oil which contains anti-wear additives. These help protect against wear and tear on the engine components.

  • Always have time to check and clean air filter

Unclean air filter can lead to poor fuel efficiency and even engine failure. Always keep the air filter clean so that it doesn’t get clogged up or dirty.

  • Also check fuel filters  

Check fuel and change fuel filters to avoid performance drop of your chainsaw Fuel filters remove impurities from gasoline/diesel fuels. They also prevent dirt particles from entering the carburetor.

  • Change fuel filters regularly

Changing fuel filters every 6 months is highly recommended. Also replace them after they reach their maximum capacity.

  • Clean gas tank

Gas tanks collect dust and debris that gets sucked through the intake system during operation. Cleaning the gas tank removes these contaminants and prevents blockages within the carburetors.

  • Cleaning gas tank

You can use an aerosol cleaner spray to clean the gas tank. Make sure that you don’t leave the cleaning solution in the gas tank too long because it might corrode the rubber seal.

Air filter cleaning tips / quick guide

Clean the air filter regularly using compressed air from a compressor. Use a brush attachment tool to scrub the dirt particles off the surface of the filter.

Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up dust and debris stuck between the mesh screen of the air filter. You should not use water as it could ruin the filter material.

How often to change air filter?

  • Every 3 – 4 hours of usage 

When operating at full throttle you can change the air filter for better performance. If you operate with low power, you can wait until next day to change the air filter.

When changing the air filter, turn off the chainsaw completely. Remove the old air filter by pulling out the retaining screw located near the handlebar grip. Replace the new one by tightening down the retaining screw.

  • After each major overhaul

Before changing the air filter, take out the spark plug wire and disconnect the battery cable. If there is no power supply available, turn off the ignition switch.

Do all chainsaws have air filters?

Yes! All types of chainsaw have air filters. The size of the air filter depends upon the type of saw. For example: A small chainsaw has smaller air filter than large ones.

What are the benefits of having an air filter?

An air filter improves the overall performance of the chainsaw. It reduces noise levels while cutting wood logs.

It increases the life span of the motor. And lastly, it protects the internal parts of the chainsaw from getting damaged due to excessive heat build up.

Dirty air filter symptoms: How to know when to clean your air filter

  • Air filter appears dirty

When air filters are dirty you should clean it directly before starting the engine. This will help reduce the chances of damaging any part of the machine.

If you notice some oil coming out of the chain guard area then this means that the air filter needs immediate attention.

  • Decreasing gas mileage

Decreasing gas mileage every period of time is a sign of clogged or dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, less oxygen enters into the combustion chamber which results in lower efficiency.

The best way to check if the air filter is clogged is to remove it and see how much resistance you get when turning the key. If you feel more resistance then the air filter may be clogged.

In case you do not find any signs of obstruction then try to blow air inside the cylinder.

  • Your engine misses or misfires

The cause of engine misfire from your chainsaw is usually because of a faulty carburetor or bad fuel mixture. But sometimes it happens even without these reasons.

So make sure that you don’t miss any important maintenance steps like checking the air filter.

In order to avoid such situations always keep track of the maintenance schedule. Also, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer regarding the replacement of air filter.

  • Strange engine noises

Strange engine noise on your chainsaw can cause by air intake issues. In most cases, strange sounds come from the exhaust system.

You need to replace the muffler as soon as possible so that you can enjoy smooth operation of your chainsaw.

  • Check engine light comes on

When the engine lights on from your chainsaw is activate. This means that something wrong with the electrical circuit. You must immediately contact the service center for repair.


Always check and clean you chainsaw machine for proper functioning. Always remember to maintain them properly.

Follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturers about replacing the air filter regularly.

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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