Chainsaw Basics: Maintenance and Safety

Your chainsaw is a powerful and efficient tool for wood cutting. Learn the basics of maintenance and safe operation so that using your chainsaw is a smooth, safe and enjoyable experience.

video thumbnail image

Chapter 1: Preparing to Use Your STIHL Chainsaw

Before you start cutting any wood, you’ll want to understand chainsaw basics. First, make sure you have the right saw for the task at hand. Your STIHL Dealer can help you pick out which chainsaw is best for your needs, whether professional or homeowner, gas or battery powered. Read Instruction Manual throughly before use and follow all safety precautions — improper use can cause serious of fatal injury.

Tools for Chainsaw Maintenance

To keep your chainsaw in proper working order, you’ll want to have a few tools at your disposal.

  • Filing tools — round files, flat files and depth gauges help you sharpen your saw chain.
  • Stump Vise — holds your chainsaw’s guide bar in place while you sharpen the saw chain cutters.
  • Scrench — a half-wrench, half-screwdriver tool that helps you loosen the nuts on the sprocket cover, remove the spark plug and adjust the saw chain.
  • Fuel — for gas-powered chainsaws, you’ll need either gas and a 2-cycle engine oil or our recommended STIHL MotoMix® premixed fuel.
  • Battery and Charger — for battery-powered saws, you’ll need at least 1 compatible battery and its corresponding charger.
  • Bar and Chain Oil — to lubricate the cutting portion of your saw.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about preparing to use your chainsaw for the first time, contact your local STIHL Dealer.