How to Tune a Chainsaw? Quick & Easy Guide

The engine is the most important part of the chainsaw – if it is logged, the chainsaw will certainly not deliver the job efficiently; rather, it may get even worse and stop functioning. So, it stands necessary to take care of all parts of the chainsaw, but the engine is deemed as the most important one. Usually, regular users of chainsaws keep working on the adjustment of the engine to enhance performance, and this adjustment is termed tuning. So, in this article, I will tell you about tuning of a chainsaw, and how this tuning can be beneficial to your chainsaw.

Technically, the process of tuning solely revolves around the carburetor, which is the most important part of the engine. It would rather not be wrong to say if state it as tuning of the carburetor – however before I start telling details about the tuning of the carburetor, let us have a look at its working and structure.

Working of Carburetor 

The carburetor is taken as the fundamental component of the engine. This is the part of the chainsaw that helps it in the ignition process by mixing a suitable amount of air with fuel. The mixture is then sent to the chamber of the internal combustion engine where it initiates the combustion process. Once the combustion process has started, the chainsaw will keep on acquiring continuous power.

However, the carburetor is more prone to technical faults such as improper mixing of air and fuel which causes the building up of carbon levels inside the carburetor.

Structure of Carburetor 

Whether you call it the structure of the carburetor, or the adjustment of the carburetor – technically, all these terms are used for a similar thing which I am going to tell you. Typically, in the carburetor of a chainsaw, there are three screws used to make adjustments;

1. Idle Speed Screw 

It determines the capacity of the opening of the throttle valve – its working is associated with the release of the throttle trigger. The idle speed screw should be at its optimum position; if the speed of the idle screw is too high, the chain of the chainsaw will start running due to the malfunctioning of the centrifugal clutch.

Meanwhile, if the speed of the idle screw is too low, the chainsaw will stop instantly after releasing the throttle trigger.

2. Low Speed Screw 

This screw is responsible for deciding that how much air will mix with the fuel. The lower adjustment of this screw causes the starvation of the engine in the absence of a rich amount of properly mixed air and fuel. While the higher adjustment also kills the efficiency of the engine due to the overloading of extra-rich amounts of fuel and air.

3. High Speed Screw 

This is to be taken as the most critical adjustment in the carburetor. It is responsible for controlling cutting speed by mixing fuel and air. If the speed of the high-speed screw is at optimum, the chainsaw will operate at normal RPM. If the high-speed screw is at a low level, bearings in the engine might fail to cause the seizure of the engine.

On the other hand, the adjustment of these screws is high, the chainsaw will not get the required power due to abnormal revolutions per minute.

Why Do You Need to Tune a Chainsaw? 

Tuning of the chainsaw becomes necessary when the carburetor shows any abnormality.

Most probably, a carburetor creates a problem when it becomes filled with carbon which is usually caused by the mixing of an excessive amount of air with fuel.

In this situation, a considerable amount of unburned fuel remains behind, and the burnt fuel is unable to deliver the required power to the chainsaw.

Later on, this unburnt fuel causes smoke which leads to the building up of carbon.

How to Tune a Chainsaw

Unless you remove this excessive carbon, the chainsaw will not be able to work perfectly. So, here comes the need for tuning the chainsaw which can also be termed as tuning the carburetor.

How to Tune a Chainsaw in 2023? 

Tuning of chainsaw is all about adjustment of the carburetor – followings are some simple steps that will help you understand the tuning process of the carburetor:

1. Clean Air Filters 

Cleaning air filters is a mandatory step. If air filters are clogged, the passage of fresh air will not be possible to the carburetor which causes the improper mixing of air with fuel.

2. Carbon Build-Up 

Carbon build-up is common in muffle and exhaust ports. Make sure that you clean all the ports clean from carbon clogging.

3. Screw the Carburetor 

I have explained everything about the three screws of the carburetor. Ensure that they are at their optimum positions – they should neither be too low nor too high.

4. Warming-Up of Chainsaw 

To make it warm enough, keep running it for a few minutes. If the chainsaw isn’t warm enough, the engine may have optimized adjustment. Unless the running of the chainsaw is smooth and steady, keep warming it up.

5. Adjustment of Idle Speed 

To adjust the idle speed, it is recommended to use the tachometer, and adjust the start speed to 2700 revolutions per minute.

6. Low Speed Adjustment 

Turn the low-speed screw inwards to adjust the low-speed setting. Keep the screw turning inward unless the engine starts starving for fuel. Now, start turning the screw outward ensuring the smooth running of the engine – keep turning the screw outward unless you are sure that the engine has started loading up.

7. Compare with Lean Adjustment Position 

Now, note down the position of your screwdriver with the lean adjustment position. Here you can better set the idle speed comparing it with the lean position.

8. High Speed Adjustment 

Enter the screwdriver in the high-speed screw, and move it inside unless the fuel leans out. Then turn it outside – and use a tachometer to know about the right RPM.

So, using these aforementioned approach you can easily tune a chainsaw or carburetor of the chainsaw. Having followed all these steps, you will surely feel smoothness in working of your chainsaw.

How Does Chainsaw Tuning Benefit Users?

Now, let me tell you about some major benefits of tuning chainsaw;

  • Chainsaw gets maximum power while operating
  • It works smoother than before
  • There remains no unburned fuel – all fuel is burned to power-up the chainsaw
  • The overall efficiency of chainsaw improves
  • Lifespan of chainsaw also increases
  • There is hardly any problem in starting the chainsaw

Therefore, it has become clear that tuning chainsaws are an important process that should be repeated frequently by regular users; otherwise, you will not only compromise on the efficiency, but the service span of the chainsaw will also reduce.

Final Words

So, if you find a problem of abnormal functionality with your chainsaw, the first step is to tune it – and hopefully, you will not need to do anything else. All steps have been described in detail in their simplest form – now, you have no need to rush to the mechanic to get it tuned because you have learned to tune a chainsaw.

I have tried my level best to make the whole information as simple as I can, still if you have any questions, you can ask me.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. How do I tune-up my chainsaw? 

Tuning up your chainsaw isn’t something very complex. Once you understand the structure and working carburetor or chainsaw, you can tune it on your own. The above article describes everything in detail about the tuning of the chainsaw.

Q2. How much does it cost to get your chainsaw tuned? 

Usually, their mechanics charge a different amount for tuning of chainsaw considering different factors. This amount starts from $5 and might reach $80 depending upon the work. But if you follow the aforementioned guide on how to tune a chainsaw, you can surely tune it on your own. At least, you can give yourself a try, and fix minor problems.

Q3. What is H and L on a chainsaw?

Letters on the chainsaw exhibit High with (H), Low with (L) and Idle with (T). Screw on which (H) is mentioned is responsible for mixing of air/fuel at high RPMs. While screw with letter of (L) represents low which is functional at lower RPM for the cause of mixing of air/fuel. T screw tells you about how much fuel is being sent to the carburetor.

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