How To Clean Chainsaw Air Filter: 3 Simple Steps

how to clean chainsaw air filterToday we’re going to look at how to clean the air filter on your chainsaw. You may not think so, but the air filter is one of the most important parts of your chainsaw. Without the air filter, your chainsaw would not work properly, you wouldn’t be able to cut through anything, and you would have a serious lack of power.

Air filters get clogged. Because your chainsaw uses a combustion engine, it needs air to breathe and to function. While your chainsaw is sucking in air, a lot of the air is full of debris and sawdust. This can get stuck in the air filter, and the more that gets stuck in the air filter, the harder it is for your chainsaw to function.

This is because the combustion engine needs air and fuel to work. Without the proper amount of air getting into the combustion engine, it just doesn’t work right. Having a clogged air filter is like having a gas tank with no gas.

So, you need to keep the air filter clean, you need to change it when it gets too dirty, and you need to keep a close eye on it at all times.

How Often Should I Clean The Air Filter on My Chainsaw?

The air filter on your chainsaw constantly gets dirty. While it doesn’t need to be cleaned every single day, you should definitely check your air filter before and after every use to see if it is dirty. If you use your chainsaw for over an hour, chances are it got filled with dust and you should clean it.

However, a simple inspection after every use will determine whether you need to clean your air filter or not. Any time you stop to refuel, take a break or move to a new location, always take a quick peek at your air filter.

Most chainsaws have easy access to the air filter. You shouldn’t need a bucket of tools to reach it. It is also handy to have a fresh air filter with you or somewhere nearby in case so much debris has gotten into your air filter that it is no longer useful. At this point, it is recommended to change your air filter rather than clean it.

You can also do a quick inspection of the air filter from the outside. Because the filter is well protected inside the actual housing of the chainsaw, you can see where the air enters the machine through the slits on the case. If you see dust accumulated around the slits on your chainsaw where the air is sucked into the machine, you definitely need to stop what you’re doing and clean the air filter.

How to Clean Chainsaw Air Filter

To clean the air filter, first, find where it is. You will probably need some screwdrivers so that you can remove the outer covering of the filter. Once you have located the filter and removed the cover, then you will need to gently pull the filter out of the saw. With your filter removed, you can now go about the business of cleaning it.

Get your supplies together. You will need two buckets of water, a small bristle brush or a toothbrush, and some soap. You want to fill one bucket with hot water and soap. Then, you are going to take your toothbrush or bristle brush and gently scrub the air filter to get the dirt particles off.

When scrubbing, you want to be very gentle. The air filter is delicate, and you’re not trying to remove stains from it. All you need to do is get the dust and debris out, so the filter is not clogged. Scrub gently to remove the dirt, and continuously dip the filter into the bucket of hot water to rinse it off.

When rinsing your air filter in the bucket of hot water and soap, you want to do a little swirl to get the dirt loose, and then let the dirt settle at the bottom of the soap bucket. When your filter appears to be clean, take it out of the soapy water and then dunk it into the cold water bucket.

A rinse in the cold water bucket will help to absorb the soap and get rid of any extra dirt that was not removed by the scrubbing and the hot water. After you feel confident the soap is absorbed and the dirt is gone, you can lay your filter down somewhere to dry.

Keep Cleaning!

Once the air filter is clean, you should turn your attention to the covers. The outside covers can also be filled with dust. And if your filter is clean but the covers are not, and you start the machine back up, the dirt that is stuck to the covers can very quickly clog the air filter once again. Obviously, this is not ideal.

Take the filter covers and give them a good scrub in the soap. Make sure you get any chunks of mud or grime off the covers before removing them from the soap to rinse them in the cold water. Caked on mud can easily clog the covers, which prevents air from reaching the filter. This is just as bad as a clogged filter.

Once everything is dry and sparkling clean, you can place the filter back inside the machine, then put back on the covers. Now your air filter is totally clean and ready to be filled with dirt once more. Just remember that a dirty air filter equals a poorly performing chainsaw. Your chainsaw simply can’t work its hardest without enough air.

As an alternative to soap and water, you can always quickly blow out your air filter using compressed air. This is not as good as washing, but if you don’t have time and you have an air hose handy, you can always just spray the filter quickly to get the big chunks of dirt off, then get back to work.

Randy Peterson Cutter Life

Randy Peterson

Randy is a chainsaw enthusiast and an experienced lumberjack. He'll most likely be found cutting, chopping, and trimming trees, usually working with a wide variety of tools. Randy likes the outdoors and socializing with friends.