How to Clean Chainsaw Air Filter? 5 Easy Steps 2023

An air filter is an inevitable part of the chainsaw which is used to trap the sawdust and keep the engine safe from contaminated air. With time, the filter becomes filthy and clogged preventing the clean air to pass to the combustion chamber. Meanwhile, being a beginner, it might be confusing about cleaning of chainsaw air filter – even if you are experienced in using a chainsaw, still you may be skeptical about cleaning of a filter of a chainsaw.

If the air filter of your chainsaw is clogged, you may experience malfunctioning such as overheating, excessive emissions, and poor performance of your power tool. Keeping the air filter of your chainsaw clean can add significant time to the service span of your chainsaw. But it can truly be a major trouble when you find dusty air filters without knowing how to proceed with a suitable cleaning process.

Therefore, a chainsaw can only be called well-maintained when it has properly cleaned filters; otherwise, you will certainly face interruptions and inconveniences while working with your power tool. Go through the guide thoroughly, and know how to clean a chainsaw air filter using simple steps, along with a detailed answer on when to clean the air filter of your chainsaw.

When to Clean the Filter of Your Chainsaw? 

How do you know that the air filter of your chainsaw has become clogged? This is a common question that would certainly hit your mind – it is necessary to know the answer to this question so that you can take steps in time.

The followings are some indications that help you know that the air filter of your chainsaw has become clogged.

1. Overheating of Chainsaw

The chainsaw becomes hot while working with it; however, abnormal heating can be easily accessed. If your chainsaw is heating more than usual, the clogged or uncleaned filter might be a potential reason. Do check your chainsaw’s air filter when it starts overheating while working.

2. Unusual Noise from the Engine 

Noise that comes out from your chainsaw indicates if it has normally worked or not. If you have noticed an unusual noise from the engine of your chainsaw, it is time to check the air filter and clean it. In-time cleaning of the filter can save you from the additional expense of replacing it with a new air filter.

3. Poor Performance 

If you have a fully-fit chainsaw, it is truly unlikely to experience any lag while working with it. If your chainsaw starts missing the speed, or you feel lags in its performance, it is recommended to check the air filter; it can be one of the possible reasons.

4. Filter Looks Dirty 

If the air filter of the chainsaw looks dirty, it is confirmed that it has clogged or will be clogged in the coming days. So, do not forget this indication, and clean it.

These are some of the most common indications that warn you about the cleanliness of the air filter of your chainsaw. Paying heed to these indications, you can take early steps, and save yourself from the anguish of replacing the air filter with a new one.

Now, you have known when to clean the air filter – without any delay, let us move to the simple steps to know how to clean a chainsaw air filter.

Cleaning Chainsaw Air Filter 2023? 

This is quite a simple process that involves no technicality. However, you need to gather some things before you start the cleaning process;

  • You must have access to both hot and cold water
  • Brush with sturdy hairs (preferably a tooth brush)
  • Soap or a cleaning solution
  • Two buckets of water

Once you have these things, you are ready to start with steps to clean chainsaw air filter;

1. Locate the Air Filter

Every chainsaw has different construction, so the location of the air filter varies with the manufacturing brands and models, Husqvarna 435 chainsaw’s location of air filter will probably be different than of Echo CS 310 chainsaw.

Usually, the air filter is present on the top of the chainsaw right before the engine. You can locate it through opening airways used to get the air inside the chainsaw. Unscrew the casing, and the filter will be visible to you. In reality, you will locate the air filter in seconds.

2. Get the Air Filter Out 

Having located the air filter in your chainsaw, the next step is to get the air filter out from your chainsaw. Under the casing of the chainsaw, you will find another cover in which the filter is enclosed. Unscrew this cover, and get the air filter out of it.

3. Clean the Air Filter 

Get a bucket filled with hot water and soap in it. Tap the filter on the ground from its base – it will help you collect the dust in the bottom of the plastic made base. Now, scrub the filter with a brush and get the trapped dust particles out of the filter. Immerse the filter in sudsy water to loosen the grip of dust particles, and then clean it again with a brush.

After you have repeated the process twice or thrice, rinse the filter with cold water in another bucket. Let the air filter dry in the fresh air.

4. Wash Chainsaw Casing 

The cover or casing in which the air filter is enclosed should also be cleaned in hot soapy water. This is how you can stop the air filter from getting clogged soon. Clean the cover in hot water, and then rinse it in cold water.

5. Attach the Air Filter 

Now, you have cleaned the filter and its cover. This is the time to reattach the air filter – close it again in the cover, tighten the screws, and apply the outer casing as well.

This is how to clean a chainsaw air filter in five simple steps. There is nothing complex in the whole process – you can simply do it at your home without anyone’s help.

How Often Should You Clean Chainsaw Air Filter? 

It is another important factor that must be known to everyone who uses a chainsaw. Technically, there is no fixed time after which you should clean the air filter of your chainsaw. Usually, it is recommended to clean the air filter of the chainsaw after 8 hours of use. Other than that, if you do not use your chainsaw frequently, you should clean the air filters once a month.

Typically, the time of cleaning the air filter of your chainsaw largely depends upon the wood you cut with it – if the wood is hard, you may need to clean the air filter sooner than the recommended time.

On the other hand, the air filter of the chainsaw must be replaced once a year; this is necessary to ensure good performance from your power tool.


The aforementioned simple steps can save you from considerable problems such as poor performance of your chainsaw, chainsaw overheating, and above all the reduction in its life span. Follow these simple steps, and keep your chainsaw safe and well-maintained.

In the end, I would like to convey to all chainsaw users that they must unscrew the casing of their chainsaw, and check the filter before they store it after use. Timely cleaning of air filters can save a lot of time and money as well.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions regarding this topic, you may ask me – I will certainly answer the question.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I wash my Stihl chainsaw air filter?

Yes, you can wash Stihl chainsaw air filter; however, it is recommended to consult the user manual before washing it with water. Most of the air filters can be washed in hot water, and cleaned with the help of brush. Then they can be rinsed in cold water and placed in open air to get dried.

Q2. Should you oil a chainsaw air filter?

Yes, it is recommended to apply oil on the chainsaw. The purpose of oil is to prevent debris and dust particles passing through the air filter.

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