Electric Chainsaw Maintenance FAQ
Why did my electric chainsaw stop working? If you’re in the unfortunate boat of people asking this, I have both good and bad news for you. The bad news is that it’s going to take work to fix your chainsaw. The good news, on the other hand, is that there are quite a few surprisingly easy fixes that are often missed. We’re going to discuss 2-stroke oil, whether electric chainsaws even need oil, and more.
Today’s Topics Include:
- Why Did My Electric Chainsaw Stop Working?
- Does My Electric Chainsaw Need Oil?
- Can I Use 2-Stroke Oil In an Electric Chainsaw?
- Do Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners Work?
With that said, let’s just get right into things. yeah?
Why Did My Electric Chainsaw Stop Working?
So how do you troubleshoot a nonfunctional electric chainsaw? Surprisingly (despite how complicated chainsaws can be), this is a pretty straightforward process. Adhering to the following steps will see you find (and hopefully resolve) any issues with your electric chainsaw:
Check your power source.
Specifically, if you have a corded chainsaw, you’re looking for two things – damage and length. Inspect the full length of your cord. It’s entirely possible that it’s been damaged or frayed while you’re working, and electric chainsaws generally cut power if they detect an issue with the power supply.
Also with a corded electric chainsaw, double-check that a breaker hasn’t tripped. If it has, try moving the chainsaw to a new outlet and see if that solves the issue. Should the breaker keeps tripping, it’s likely you need more power than the current circuit can provide.
If you have a battery-powered chainsaw, though, you’ll want to inspect the battery. Treat it like a car battery – clean off the power nodes, ensure it’s charged, and replace it if you can’t get it to show a charge.
Check the safe-start mechanism(s).
Most electric chainsaws have a safe-start mechanism – usually a button you have to press while starting the thing. Ensure you’re pressing it fully, and inspect the button. It’s entirely possible that it’s broken or gotten something lodged under it. Give the button a quick clean, press it fully, and try again.
Check your cable gauge and length.
It’s likely that you got the properly sized cable, but it’s worth consulting with your owner’s manual. The farther away your project is from the outlet, the larger gauge cable you’ll need to provide proper power. This is a common cause of low-powered electric chainsaws.
In short, check that you have a good battery, an undamaged and properly sized cable, and that your breaker can handle the power draw of the chainsaw.
Does My Electric Chainsaw Need Oil?
This is a simultaneously simple yet somewhat complicated question. On one hand, electric chainsaws don’t use petrol or oil, whereas traditional chainsaws need both. However, no matter the power source of your chainsaw, the chain itself (alongside the bar) will need oil. Specifically, it needs lubrication.
So don’t go pouring oil into your chainsaw willy-nilly, but absolutely remember to oil your chain and bar. Something that surprises a number of chainsaw owners is exactly how much lubrication is actually needed. The United States Forest Service (USFS) actually found that thousands of gallons of chain and bar oil end up in American forests every year – because the majority of your lubrication goes back onto what’s being cut!
So yes – you certainly need to oil your chain and bar, regardless of what power source you have. However, you should absolutely not add motor oil to an electric chainsaw – you will ruin it if you do so.
Can I Use 2-Stroke Oil In an Electric Chainsaw?
Continuing on this path of discussion, the question of whether or not you can use 2-stroke oil on an electric chainsaw pops up quite a bit here.
This is a pretty quick answer. For the uninformed, 2-stroke oil (AKA 2-cycle oil or 2T) is specialised motor oil designed to be used in crankcase compression two-stroke engines. In other words, it’s designed to be used in small gasoline-powered engines.
While the formula for 2-stroke oil has changed over the years as advances in synthetic oils have come about, the rule for them hasn’t changed. Generally, you don’t want to use 2-stroke oil in a gas-powered chainsaw, and you never want to use it in an electric chainsaw.
Putting 2-stroke in a gas chainsaw can lead to nasty reactions between the remnants of previous fuels and the new formula. And adding it to an electric chainsaw is just plain dumb – as we established above, you don’t need motor oil in an electric chainsaw, only lubricant.
In short, no you cannot put 2-stroke oil in an electric chainsaw and expect it to work. The same goes for gas chainsaws – though truly high-quality brands like Stihl will be able to power their way through having inferior gas, at least for a bit.
Do Electric Chainsaw Sharpeners Work?
This is another super simple question and answer, but this time, it’s good news! Just like a good kitchen knife or pair of garden shears, sharpening your chainsaw’s chain is vital to its longevity and proper performance. As such, people have been constantly searching for more efficient ways to sharpen their chains. I mean, sharpening by hand is so… middle ages.
One of these steps that have seen incredibly great reception is the electric (or automatic) chainsaw chain sharpener. No matter the brand, you’ll find that they cut a drastic amount of maintenance time out of your day. Add in the super-sharp, efficient cuts of a like-new chain, and you’ll never go back to the old days of file-sharpening.
In short, yes – electric chainsaws work. In fact, they save an incredible amount of time and even cut down the likelihood of accidental cuts and nicks.
Wow! That was a mouthful. Okay – now that you know a bit more about how to maintain your electric chainsaw and why, things are hopefully a bit more clear. Now go get chopping! There are trees to fell and logs to chop – just don’t forget to take care of your chainsaw. If you’re trying to figure out which chainsaw to buy, take a look at our list of the best chainsaws on the market and our chainsaw safety article.