SOLVED! A Fire Has Begun in Your STIHL Chainsaw (8 Reasons)

STIHL Chainsaw

What’s with the constant smoke from your chainsaw? The source of the smoke might provide important clues as to the fire’s origin.

When a STIHL chainsaw begins to smoke, it’s usually because of one of several issues: too much friction between the bar and chain, too much oil in the fuel mixture, water in the fuel system, or a clogged air filter.

Smoking STIHL Chainsaw:

  1. Improperly or insufficiently sharpened chain
  2. The link in the chain is too close
  3. None left in the bar and chain oil tank
  4. Bar and chain oil of the wrong type
  5. A clogged oiler
  6. Aspiration filter obstruction
  7. There’s too much oil in the gas
  8. Fuel with water

It is important to use extreme caution when attempting to diagnose and fix problems with your chainsaw. Put away the chainsaw until the engine has cooled, and then take off the spark plug boot.

Toking on the STIHL Bar and Chain

If your STIHL chainsaw starts to smoke while you’re cutting, check for anything that might be increasing the friction between the bar and chain.

The chain may be too worn to run smoothly over the bar, or it may be poorly lubricated or stuck in place.

Faulty or Improperly Sharpened Chain for a STIHL Chainsaw

An inefficient and smoke-producing chainsaw will be rendered useless by a worn chain. This is because greater force is required to cut wood when the chain is dull or not sharpened properly.

Metal on metal friction from the pressure creates heat and smoke.

Indicators of a worn chain include:

  • Higher bar pressure required for a successful cut.
  • When a cut is made, fine sawdust is produced.
  • Cracks or broken links in the chain.
  • Broken teeth and dull rakers.

The chains are easy enough to sharpen on your own. I recommend having a professional sharpen your chains if you don’t have expertise doing so. A poorly sharpened chain poses a significant risk to anybody using it.

A STIHL Chainsaw with No Bar & Chain Oil

When your chainsaw’s bar and chain aren’t properly lubricated, friction will increase. This may be the result of a blocked oiler or a tank that has run out of oil.

If the oil in the bar and chain tank is low or gone completely, fill it.

Run your chainsaw between half and three-quarters of the way through the throttle to ensure there is enough oil on the bar. Hold the bar less than a foot from the ground and observe for a line of oil to drip off it.

To ensure proper lubrication, check the condition of the bar and make sure the oil channel is clear. If the guide bar is broken or worn, you should replace it and clear up the oil passage.

If you want to keep your STIHL running smoothly, you should make it a habit to always add new oil to the bar and chain whenever you refuel it. But if the oil you’re using in the saw is too watery, you may have to check and replenish it more frequently.

A STIHL Chainsaw with the Incorrect Bar and Chain Oil

Damage to the bar and chain, as well as increased friction and smoke, might result from using oil that is too thin. A thin oil may not be able to cling to the bar and chain, and it may instead be flung away.

Use only high-quality bar and chain oil, such as the following options from STIHL:

STIHL Woodcutter Bar & Chain OilAmazonAce Hardware
STIHL Platinum Bar & Chain OilAmazonAce Hardware

The STIHL Chainsaw’s Chain is Too Tight

The chain can become slack as it is used, so make sure you check on it frequently and tighten it if necessary. But if you tighten it too much, the chain won’t be able to travel smoothly around the bar, and the friction will grow, causing smoke to be produced.

In order to fine-tune the chain tension on your STIHL chainsaw, you will need to:

  • Take the wire off the spark plug.
  • Release the chain’s tension.
  • The cover for the clutch and chain brake has to have its retaining bolts loosened, which may be found by removing the bar.
  • Just keep the bar’s nose in the air.
  • To relax the chain, turn the tensioning screw counterclockwise, and to tighten it, turn it in the opposite direction.
  • Once the desired tension is reached, the bar holding nuts should be tightened while the bar nose is still being held up.

The chain has to be snug around the bar without restricting its motion. Be careful not to let it become so slack that it dangles from the guide bar.

STIHL Chainsaw’s Engine Was Giving Off Smoke

If you see smoke coming from your STIHL chainsaw when you operate it, it’s likely due to a blockage in the air filter or an issue with the fuel mixture.

A STIHL Chainsaw with a Clogged Air Filter

Cleaning up after using a chainsaw is an absolute nightmare. Wood shavings and sawdust are flung everywhere.

Your chainsaw’s engine will run more efficiently if you utilize an air filter. The filter prevents debris like dirt and sawdust from entering the air intake and damaging the engine.

Check the air filter before each usage and change it once a year if you only use the chainsaw occasionally. If you use the saw often, the filter should be checked on a regular basis and replaced if it gets too dirty or is broken.

A buildup of dirt and sawdust might prevent enough air from passing through the filter if it is not checked and cleaned on a regular basis to ensure it is in excellent working order.

There will be excessive smoke and a high fuel mixture. Without enough oxygen, the engine might overheat and die.

A STIHL Chainsaw’s Fuel Blend Has Too Much Oil in It

A STIHL chainsaw’s engine requires lubrication to function, and oil supplied to the gasoline provides this. If you want to power a STIHL chainsaw, you’ll need to combine 50 parts gas to 1 part oil. If you use more oil than that, your engine may start smoking.

When you figure out that the smoke is originating from a poor gas-to-oil ratio, you may fix the problem by draining the tank and refilling it.

The effects of this are usually short-lived and not permanent. However, excessive carbon buildup in the exhaust system might disrupt engine operation if a gasoline containing too much oil is used.

If you want to know which fuel is best for your STIHL chainsaw, read this article.

A STIHL Chainsaw With Water in Its Fuel System

White exhaust smoke can be caused by water in the fuel mix. To put it simply, water is corrosive to the engine and fuel system.

If you want to get rid of the water in the fuel, you should empty the tank and put in a new mixture of gasoline and 2-cycle engine oil.

It’s not worth risking expensive repairs or a new chainsaw to save a few dollars on water removal.

To assist eliminate moisture and clean the fuel system, you can use an additive like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL. Start up the saw and let it run to circulate the treated fuel.

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