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This Is How You Remove Rust From a Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a mechanical tool that runs on a two-stroke engine. The portability of a chainsaw is what makes it one of the most useful tools for homesteaders. The chainsaw, being a mechanical tool has a set of sharp blades which are attached to the chain which runs along the guide bar. The chain rotates at a very high speed to cut through wood. One of the biggest enemies of a chainsaw is rust. It slowly weakens your chainsaw in many different ways.

This Is How You Remove Rust from a Chainsaw:

  • Step 1: Create the rust removal mixture
  • Step 2: disassemble the rusted parts
  • Step 3: Use the mixture on the rusted parts
  • Step 4: Scrub with water
  • Step 5: Dry the Chainsaw
  • Step 6: Clean the Engine
  • Step 7: Assemble the Chainsaw and test it

We advise you to delve into this article as we provide you with the methods through which you too can remove rust from your chainsaw.

How Is Rust Bad For Your Chainsaw?

Rust can be formed in many ways and many parts of your chainsaw. It will slowly damage the blades or teeth of your chainsaw and then decrease the amount of efficiency you could get from it. It will also damage your chain and disrupt the circulation of the teeth. Rust will again have an impact on power management too. Having rust will immediately decrease the efficiency by half or even more. That is why one needs to be aware and cautious of how damaging rust is.

There are many precautionary measures you can observe to prevent your chainsaw from acquiring rust. If you use your machine regularly then you have a lower chance of having rust on your chainsaw. If you’re an occasional user and if you’re storing your chainsaw wrong then your chainsaw will catch rust pretty easily. So in case of protecting your chainsaw from rust, you have to properly store it and also properly oil it or as they say, lubricate it.

The process of storing a chainsaw properly is very easy. It just requires that the user have some knowledge of the storage process of this machine. While using a chainsaw you must be careful about the damage that the tool might receive. Again, after you have finished working, you should be careful of the damage that the chainsaw can receive while sitting idle in storage. So if you’re really serious about learning how to store your chainsaw properly and how to properly clean out rust from your chainsaw, then stay with me and read the whole thing article with patience and I can guarantee you that you will learn something valuable that will help you all your life.

Cleaning Rust From Your Chainsaw

The chainsaw has some parts that catch rust if you don’t properly maintain the machine. The chain, the bar, the teeth, the engine will catch rust pretty easily if you leave it like it is without taking care of it. So you must always be cautious about this. It doesn’t matter if you regularly use the tool or not.

You can remove the rust by following some steps:

● Step 1: Create the rust removal mixture:

To remove rust from your machine you can use several solutions or mixtures:

  • Rust converters, sprays, and inhibitors like WD40 rust remover, Evapo-Rust Original Super Safe Rust Remover, Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover Spray Gel, and many others.
  • Chemical rust removal solutions you can purchase in specialized stores.
  • White vinegar: The rust reacts with the vinegar and later dissolves. Simply submerge the rusty metal object in the white vinegar for a couple of hours, the rust reacts with the vinegar and will dissolve. If the object is larger put some paper towels on it and pour the vinegar over it. After some time wipe the rust away.
  • Baking soda: Create a thick paste by using baking soda and water. You can try different amounts to see what works best for you. Spread the paste over the metal, and after some time scrub it off and wash it with water.
  • Salt & lime: Sprinkle some salt over the rusted area so it is completely covered. Then squeeze lime or lemon over the salt, and leave it for 4 hours. Scrub it off and clean with some water.
  • Ammonia: Take a gallon of water and a cup of household ammonia and create a mixture.

● Step 2: Disassemble the rusted parts:

Remove the rusted non-electrical parts from your chainsaw, like the chain and the bar.

● Step 3: Use the mixture on the rusted parts:

Use the mixture on the rusted parts that you just have disassembled. Follow the instructions on the rust removal solution you have chosen. For most DIY solutions you have to leave it on for several hours.

● Step 4: Scrub with water:

Now that you have soaked them, take them out and thoroughly scrub them and rinse them in water, and take out as much dirt and rust you can. For difficult-to-reach parts, you can use a toothbrush.

● Step 5: Dry the chainsaw:

Once you are done, dry them up using blowers or other tools of that kind.

● Step 6: Clean the engine:

In the case of the engine, take it and scrub it with a strong brush to clean the whole thing up. Then use a blower to take out all the dirt and other debris. You can use a steel brush to scrub the rust out of the surface of the engine. This way you can clean out all of the parts of the chainsaw that have rust in them.

● Step 7: Assemble the chainsaw and test it:

When you are done cleaning all the elements like this, be sure to take them all and put them back to the place they originally were. And then attach and mount them just the way they were before. Once you have done that, try turning the machine on and see if it works or not. If you have done everything according to my guidance, I am very much sure that it will run without a problem.

The rust and other damaging things are a huge problem for chainsaws and also other machines. Whatever the tool may be, it needs to be properly maintained or else it will give in to damaging factors and the machine will lose its quality and efficiency.

Different Types of Damage Received By a Chainsaw

Except for rust on your chainsaw, there are various other kinds of damage your chainsaw can receive because of how you’re using it and how you are storing it. If you’re not very patient at reading things then let me give a quick list of the types of damage and just look through it to know what you and your precious little chainsaw are up against. Everyone should at least read this out once to know about the damaging factors and how to handle them. Here I will talk about the types of damages and how you may receive them. And I will also talk about how you, yourself can resolve these problems and fix your machine yourself.

Types of Damage
How it happens
How to resolve
Damaged Blades
The blades can get damaged if they hit too much dirt and also if they hit rocks while working. Rocks weaken and damage the blades. The blades become blunt and therefore the efficiency reduces.
The only and possible way is to buy and set up a new set of blades. You can try sharpening the blades but it’s a lot of hard work. I would suggest if this happens you just go ahead and buy new blades and replace the old ones.
Now, this is what the whole discussion is about. Rust happens for many reasons. The improper storage of the machine makes it gain rust. The rust can be gained from using improper lubricant, storing in a damp place where water is leaked, not cleaning the tool properly after and before use.
When your tool gets rust, you need to start cleaning it up properly. The tool must be primarily cleaned and then properly oiled up at all places to fight against the rust. Then the tool has to be cleaned again. And after that, you might want to sharpen the blades or the teeth.
Broken chain
The chain can break for many reasons. One of the reasons would be using the chainsaw in a harsh environment where the tool receives an immense amount of damage. Therefore the chain gets broken
If the chain gets broken then there is no other option but to buy a new one and replace the old broken one. This would waste less time and effort yours than trying to repair the old broken chain.
Damaged engine
The engine can be damaged in many ways. Lubricating the machine with the wrong lubricant and then using the machine right away can lead to overheating and this has a high possibility of destroying the engine and making your machine stop working.
To have a clean and fully working engine you must always keep your machine clean and you must always use it properly. The machine should get enough interval and enough lubricant to keep it cool and also clean.
Damaged bar
The bar can be damaged manually or while working. Working in a harsh environment will damage the whole machine along with the bar.
Use the safety equipment and use the machine properly to keep it away from any kind of damage.

Here, I have talked about the kind of damage that your machine might receive while you’re working with it and also while it is stored away. These are just some of the types. There are many different kinds of damages that your machine might receive while you’re using it. Let us talk a little more and discuss these issues now. Some of the unexpected things that you will face while working without proper knowledge are given below.

Using improper lubricant:

Using the wrong lubricants to oil up your machine might look like a good idea because you’re using cheap and free stuff to get a job done which would cost you money. But trust me, it will only cost you more money because using wrong and improper lubricants make your machine vulnerable and more prone to damage. The lubricant will make your machine overheat and before you know it, your machine will start having different problems and one of the major problems will be the engine overheating and starting to put the machine on a kind of self-destruct mode. So always use the proper lubricant to oil up your machine so that it works fine and you can store it away for good.

Randomly Hitting a Nail:

While cutting wood with your chainsaw it is very natural and possible for you to suddenly face a nail. The use of nails in wooden materials is a very common issue and when your chainsaw suddenly hits a nail out of nowhere it is likely to receive damage from the nail. The whole thing won’t be damaged at first but the blades that hit the nail at first will receive severe damage and will even have a possibility to break. So that is why you need to always be careful about hitting nails out of nowhere.

Hitting Dirt and Rocks:

While randomly cutting wood and logs that are put on the ground, you are very likely to face dirt and stones, and rocks in the ground. This will damage your blades severely and this is a killer for your chainsaw teeth and also the chain and the engine. Always be sure to check while working that the surrounding is clean. Because if you do not check your workspace, you might have an accident at any time. If the land you’re working on is uneven or very dirty or rocky then the chainsaw will have difficulty in being efficient and that would be very dangerous for anybody.

Rust From Wrong Storage:

Now we finally talk about the rust that your machine will receive when it is stored in the wrong way. The storage of a machine plays a great deal in the lifespan of your machine. The key to fighting against rust is to always keep your machine clean no matter if you’re using it or not. The machine has to always be top to bottom cleaned and kept in a dry place. The blades, the chain, the guide bar, the engine, and other components have to be cleaned dry and then lubricated properly and stored away covered in something. This process will never allow rust to invade and take over your machine. So that means, you can keep your machine fresh and secure just by keeping it properly clean.

Cleaning the Chainsaw Properly

Before we move on to the part where we learn to clean out the chainsaw and fight against rust, let us first know how to properly clean the chainsaw from start to finish. If we can understand this process properly then we can learn about many different parts and how they can be cleaned. So if we learn that, we will have an upper hand while maintaining our own chainsaw. So let us not waste any more time and dive into the proper mechanism of cleaning out a chainsaw ourselves!

Find a Suitable Hard Spot for Your Chainsaw:

This is the preparation phase where you find a sweet spot for your machine and place it there. The place can be any solid table or anything of your choosing as long as it is solid and can hold the weight of your machine and your hands. Make sure the place you are placing your machine on is clean and has no dirt or rocks. This way you will be able to keep track of all of your parts and none of them will have a possibility of getting lost.

Cleaning the Spark Plug:

While starting to clean your chainsaw, the first thing you want to check and clean out is the spark plug. If the spark plug is dirty it will prevent the chainsaw from having a proper and efficient start-up and this would lead to the chainsaw functioning improperly and losing efficiency. To make sure this never happens, when you’re giving your chainsaw a general clean, always make sure to clean the spark plug and move on to the other parts of your chainsaw.

Fuel Tank:

The fuel tank has to be cleared out and I repeat, it is a must for you to drain it all out and clean it up if the fuel has been there for three months or even more than that. You will have to drain all the fuel out and clean the whole tank up. Then you have to refill the whole tank with new and fresh fuel. If your chainsaw has gasoline pumped in the tank before storage, then you should take it all out and refill fresh fuel because gasoline can start evaporating and turning into sticky slime after just one month if it is lying around in your chainsaw. So, be sure to clean out the fuel tank and refill the tank with fresh fuel.

Clean the Bar:

The next thing you should be cleaning is the guide bar. If you look around you will find a knob that will help you to loosen up the chain and then remove it entirely from the bar. Do that and take the chain aside for that moment. Now clean up all the dirt and debris that you find in the guide bar. If you have any kind of cleaner then use that and clean up the whole bar as thoroughly as you can. Take all the time you need to clean the bar. When you’re done cleaning the bar, prepare to put it back where it was. But this time when putting it back, keep in mind to put it back the other way around.

If you put it back in a reversed position, it will help the machine attach it even more tightly and the lifespan of the guide bar will increase at a huge rate. The efficiency will also be increased if you remember to do such a small thing while putting it back.

Clean the Chain:

The chain is one of the most important parts of a chainsaw. You have to clean it properly to retain its efficiency. The best way for you to clean the chainsaw chain is by soaking it in water. Take a gallon of water and a cup of household ammonia and create a mixture. Then take the chainsaw chain and soak it in. Leave the chainsaw chain in that solution for almost twenty to thirty minutes and then take it out.

Once you have finished soaking it, take it out and start cleaning it by scrubbing it properly. Take a strong and stiff brush and scrub it thoroughly. Clean out the chain as much as you can using the brush. Now when you’re done with this, take a dry cloth or towel and clean it up. If you have any kind of dryer, use it to speed up the process of drying the chain. Now what you need to do is lubricate the chain. To do so, take the chain and drip the whole thing in chain oil. Then take it out and hang it up and let the excess oil drip off the chain. Now let it dry up real good for as long as it takes.

Chain Lubrication Hole:

The holes that allow lubrication oil to pass through and reach the chain have to be clear. So make sure to make that possible for the oil, by cleaning the hole properly. Use a narrow wire or a pipe cleaner to make sure that this is done. When you are done with clearing out the holes in the chain, leave the chain to be soaked or to be dried. You can do the hole-checking before or after soaking the chain in the oil.


Now the carburetor has to be cleaned properly or the engine will have problems afterward. Clean all the sticky residue that you find in the carburetor. Take out all of the components that the carburetor has and soak all of it in the previous solution that you made of a gallon of water and household ammonia of one cup. Let the parts soak down in the solution for about twenty to thirty minutes again.

When the soaking process is done, take all the parts out and start scrubbing and rinsing them to clean out as much as you can manually. When the parts are scrubbed properly, use warm water to rinse them thoroughly. When the cleaning is done, let it air dry. The drying process is very important to avoid any kind of rusting.

Air Filter:

The air filter catches lots of dust and other particles that have to be cleaned out too. Take out the air filter and wash it using warm water. Use soap in the water and make a solution of soapy water and use the brush along with it.

Clean the filter gently and when it is done, let it dry. If the filter of your chainsaw is really dirty then I would suggest you leave out the idea of cleaning it and just go ahead and buy a new one. That will save you a lot of time and also a lot of effort.

Spark Arrestor:

This spark arrestor component keeps the sparks inside the chainsaw while it is being run. This means it works as a screening material that prevents all the mechanical sparks to come out and interrupt the working process. Because of this, the spark arrestor can get clogged and has to be cleaned from time to time. The cleanliness of the arrestor has a big effect on how well the chainsaw will work. That is why you must always clean it out while giving the machine a general clean.

To clean the spark arrestor, unscrew and take the cover out and bring out the arrestor from behind it. Now tap the spark arrestor and clear out the deposits. Now you can try to deep clean it but tapping it does the work. So you can either clean it more or attach it back to the place it was. If you want to deep clean it then take a brush and start cleaning it up softly and when you are done, simply mount it back to the place where you took it from.

Now if you have read the whole thing till now then I will be delighted to say that you have successfully learned how to do a proper clean-up session on your chainsaw. If you follow this regime that I have set for you, you can keep your chainsaw good as new and have the maximum efficiency given to you whenever you use it.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have had the energy and patience to read the whole thing and learn stuff that will help you with working with a chainsaw. A chainsaw is an essential tool for almost everybody when it comes to woodwork. I hope you read the whole thing and you could learn new things from it. The idea of my discussion was to make awareness amongst users about maintaining their tools properly. Because proper maintenance will help even a very old machine work like it is newly bought. So that is why everyone should just like me, learn to clean up their machines themselves and keep them as good as new. I hope this discussion helps you in your work.  Till then, stay safe stay good.