How to seasonally store your Chainsaw: 5 Simple Storage Tips

If you are going to put away the chainsaw for the season, it is important to show a little love and say goodbye in the right way. If you just “put” the saw away without any care, you may not recognize her when it’s time to reunite.

Over the years, I have tried some different ways in storing my chainsaws and here I have tried to collect all the tricks that worked for me.

Here are 5 simple tricks for storing chainsaws:

Treat the fuel tank before seasonal storage

When the engine has cooled down completely, you should drain it as much as possible of fuel. When all parts are emptied as much as possible, I recommend running a little fuel additive through the engine. This preserves and protects the engine from oxidation, corrosion and obsolescence.

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Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes after pouring into the fuel stabilizer and it will spread throughout the fuel system.

Pack the chain and guide bar

For long-term storage, it is smart to unscrew the chain cover and remove the chain and bar from the chainsaw. Use a cloth to clean and remove any dirt on the bar. Take the opportunity to remove the covers and brush clean where they sat. I usually use compressed air to get rid of the worst dirt and debris in an effective way.

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Then, oil the chain and the bar and package them. I usually wrap them in a light fabric (the same type of type I use to clean the chainsaw).

Remove loose parts

I would also recommended removing the air filter for inspection and possible cleaning if it looks dirty. For cleaning, it is sufficient (for almost all filters) to use a mild detergent. I usually spray the detergent on the filter and then simply rinse it off under water. Afterwards, it is important to dry the filter completely before storage. You can either let it air dry, or if you, like me and don’t want tp wait, dry it with compressed air.

Also remove and inspect the spark plug. A sooty / black electrode is a sign that the motor may be difficult to start. If so, the spark plug should be replaced when the next season begins. Reasons for a worn spark plug can be too greasy fuel mixture, dirty air filter, incorrect choke level, bad ignition cables or a too cold or hard spark plug.

Storage location based on 4 criteria

A good storage place for a chainsaw should meet these four criteria in my opinion:

  • Dry place
    Avoid storing the chainsaw outdoors or in a damp place.
  • Dust-free
    You always want to avoid getting dust into the engine. This is best solved by wrapping the chainsaw and / or placing it in a box or cabinet.
  • Sunny
    Sunlight can be bad for your chainsaw in the long run. With that in mind, it should not lie freely in an exposed place.
  • Safe place
    What’s worst, that your children or some petty thieves are fiddling with your chainsaw? Regardless, you should have all your tools securely behind locks and booms.

The guitar case trick

If you do not have a nice wooden box or chainsaw bag at home but still have a retired career as a rock star and have decided to replace the guitar with a chainsaw, this is the ultimate solution for you.

Luckily, chainsaws and guitars have a somewhat similar shape, and it is actually possible to store a chainsaw in a guitar case. If someone is resourceful enough to test, you have won today’s MacGyver award.

Places to store the chainsaw in:

A wooden box
An ordinary wooden or plywood box works great. Most hold a saw with 13-15 โ€ณ bars, chains, files and other picks. Just to lift in and out of the box, no spills or smudges outside.

Double check that the height of your chainsaw is not higher than the box, as you want to make sure you can close it to limit dust coming into the box. There are also variants in plastic. I have not personally tested one but can imagine that they work at least as well.

Plastic Tub / Carrying Case
Plastic tubs are my solution for transport and storage of everything possible as it is so very affordable and this is something I have used in the past for storage and transport of my chainsaw. I simply cut vertical holes in a cheap plastic tub for the bars and attached a small bucket with self-adhesive tape for small items in the tub. Then I put my helmet, boots and trousers on top and carried it to the car. It’s of course also possible to just buy a case intended for this purpose

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Shed or garage
This is of course the optimal place to store all of your forest tools, especially in winter. The alternative is to have it in the car or in the house, but then the tools take up unnecessary space when not in use.

In the House.
Nothing I would recommend, as the tools take up an unnecessary amount of space and risk getting dirty or risk of injury around the house. If this is the only option, I would have gotten a large cabinet where you can collect all your forest tools.

Summary

There is not one correct way on how to store your chainsaw. I think everyone has different conditions and ambitions around their chainsaw. Of course, not everyone is as invested as I am that they get an entire building for their forest tools.

I recommend testing yourself to find the solution that works for your equipment without it being worn, stolen or soiled unnecessarily. Whether it’s a permanent solution or a temporary one, taking good care of your equipment will make them last longer and work better next season you take them out!

Good luck and don’t let the saw-abstinence during the winter season strain your mood too much.

About the author

All my life, I enjoyed doing things with my hands and interacting with nature. I'm a self-taught carpenter, an angler, a hunter, an outdoorsman, an engineer, and an avid hiker. Not as agile as I was in my former years, I've decided to spend more time putting my experiences on paper.

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