The STIHL chainsaw is one of the best home power tools on the market. Don’t pay a landscaping company or tree trimming/removal company when you can easily and efficiently DIY. A STIHL chainsaw is worth the investment and can be used for a wide variety of home projects. It will significantly diminish the time (and money) you will spend on:

  • Pruning (cleaning up bushes, shrubbery, or trees you are not removing for aesthetics or if branches are hanging dangerously),
  • Felling (cutting down an entire tree),
  • Limbing (removing branches before cutting down the entire tree that needs to be removed), and
  • Bucking (cutting delimbed trees into log sections).

You can also use your STIHL chainsaw to repair fencing, effortlessly slice downed trees into firewood, and there are even specialized chainsaws for cutting concrete, brick and natural stone. No matter your project, the right chainsaw is out there for you! At HomCo we are a STIHL dealer and we want to set you up for lifelong success with your STIHL chainsaw! We asked Cody, our chainsaw expert at HomCo, to advise all our customers on proper chainsaw maintenance. Below is his advice on how to maintain and repair your STIHL chainsaw!

How to tighten your STIHL chainsaw chain:

One of the most important safety and efficiency checks is the tightness of your chainsaw chain. You want to make sure the chainsaw chain is set to the proper tension. Follow these steps to tighten your chain to the correct tension:

  • Loosen both hex nuts on the side clutch cover to allow the chain and bar to move freely.
  • Use a scrench by inserting it into the tensioning stud and turn it clockwise until you achieve the proper tension.
  • To achieve the proper tension, you want to see approximately the bottom of three drive lengths. “While you are tightening the chainsaw chain, make sure you are holding onto the bar nose so it does not drop.” – Cody

How to change or replace your bar or chain:

Proper maintenance of your STIHL chainsaw will, with time, require the replacement of some parts of your chainsaw, including the bar or the STIHL carbide chain. At HomCo, we do carry chain sharpener tools but you may get to the point if you are using your chainsaw very frequently that you wish to replace the chain. When you are replacing your bar or chain, that is also the appropriate time to thoroughly clean your chainsaw so it works efficiently and safely. Here are our steps to replace the bar or chain while simultaneously cleaning your chainsaw:

  • Loosen the hex bolts to completely get the side clutch cover off your STIHL chainsaw. Remove the old chain.
  • Scrape out the bar groove as there may be dirt, debris, and old oil stuck in there. You want the oil to be able to get freely into your bar groove to properly lubricate the bar and chain.
  • Clean both oil ports so that oil can freely enter the bar groove.
  • Next, move onto the clutch cover. Clean out any dirt, debris, or old oil.
  • Then clean around the sprocket and oil ports.
  • Replace the chain. “When replacing the chain, make sure the teeth are in the proper direction. On all STIHL chainsaws, there is an arrow indicating the proper direction.” – Cody
  • Fit the chain to make sure all the drive lengths are inside the actual sprocket grooves correctly so the chainsaw chain does not come off when you start to run your STIHL chainsaw.
  • Put the side cover back on.
  • Tighten the hex nuts.
  • Check to make sure there is proper tension in the chain.

How to clean underneath your chainsaw’s shroud and air filter:

Basic STIHL chainsaw maintenance includes cleaning underneath your chainsaw’s shroud and air filter. Here is Cody’s advice on how to properly clean and maintain your chainsaw’s shroud and air filter: 

  • Loosen all bolts on the shroud to remove it. Make sure the throttle control is down to full tilt to allow you to get the shroud out.
  • Remove the shroud. “The first thing to inspect is how dusty it is around the air filter. Clean out the dust around the air filter first because you do not want that to fall into your intake manifold. Once you have cleaned around the air filter, then it is safe to remove it.” – Cody The air filter is removed by twisting it off.
  • Use a soft nylon brush to wipe off any dirt or debris on the outside of your air filter. “We do NOT recommend you use an air compressor. It will tear the fleece and allow dirt and debris into parts of the chainsaw that you do not want it to get into.” – Cody
  • Twist the air filter back on until it is sealed completely. You hear a “click.” 
  • Next, clean out the cooling fins of the cylinder and the rewind starter. The flywheel pushes up air and naturally cools the cylinder as it is running so dirt and debris can get lodged in these parts as well. 
  • Next, check the pull start cord to make sure it is not frayed or cut. You won’t be able to start your STIHL chainsaw if this snaps. 

How to fuel your chainsaw:

You cannot just add straight fuel into your STIHL chainsaw as it will ruin your piston and cylinder. If your STIHL chainsaw requires a mixture, at HomCo we recommend 50-1 mixture using 89 octanes or better with our HP ultra full synthetic two-stroke blend. Here are Cody’s tips on how to properly clean and then refuel your chainsaw:

  • Clean dirt and debris built up around the fuel tank before opening it. 
    • Add fuel as needed. 
  • Clean dirt and debris built up around the bar oil cap. 
    • Check the barrow reservoir to make sure you will not run out of bar oil. Add more oil if the reservoir is low. “Make sure you won’t run out of oil in the middle of any cuts. It will potentially damage your bar and chain.” – Cody 
    • Add oil as needed.


At HomCo, we are your local STIHL dealer and we have a wide variety of STIHL power tools for our customers to choose from. From the electric STIHL MS 170 to the Professional STIHL MS 880 MAGNUM and everything in between, our expert team is ready to help with any questions you may have about which type of STIHL chainsaw models for sale are right for you and your needs. We also have everything you need to properly maintain your gas chainsaw so it performs optimally and safely for years to come. Our expert team is also trained to assist you in basic maintenance and repairs. Come in and see for yourself the variety of STIHL chainsaws for sale in our expansive power tools section!