Top 8 Causes of Chainsaw Smoke (Troubleshoot & Fix)

The appearance of smoke from your chainsaw is cause for concern. During a cut, smoke may billow out of the bar or the vehicle’s exhaust. Don’t risk racking up an expensive repair bill by mishandling the chainsaw.

Too much bar and chain friction, too much oil in the fuel mixture, water in the fuel system, or a clogged air filter can all cause a chainsaw to smoke.

Burning Chainsaw:

  1. poor chain sharpening or maintenance
  2. Difficulty in releasing chain
  3. Oil tank with no bars and no chains
  4. False oil for bars and chains
  5. The Oiler Has Been Clogged
  6. Blocked air filter
  7. There’s too much oil in the gas.
  8. Fuel with water

Take caution while operating the chainsaw. Please observe all of the manual’s suggested safety measures. For example, you need to wait for the engine to cool down and take out the spark plug boot before repairing it.


When troubleshooting, repairing, or operating machinery, be sure to read and follow all directions in the equipment’s operator’s manual. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to conduct the repair safely due to a lack of experience, training, or health, it’s best to call in an expert.

Cutting with a Chainsaw Causes Smoke to Emit from the Bar and Chain

If you notice smoke coming from your chainsaw, it may be due to friction between the bar and chain.

A worn chain, one that isn’t properly lubricated, or one that gets stuck on the bar might all be to blame.

Lack of or improper sharpening of the chainsaw’s chain

Check the chain’s sharpness to make sure it’s safe to use. When a chain gets too old, it loses its sharpness and can’t cut wood very well, or even start smoking.

Metal on metal friction is what produces heat and smoke when you use a bar to cut wood at a higher pressure.

Indicators of a worn chain include:

  • In order to produce a cut, more force must be applied to the bar.
  • When a cut is made, fine sawdust is produced.
  • The chain or the chips are broken.
  • Raked teeth and worn teeth.

The chains are easy enough to sharpen on your own. It’s best to have a pro handle the sharpening for you if you don’t know what you’re doing with chainsaws. Incorrectly sharpened chains pose a significant risk to anybody using them.

A Chainsaw with No Bar & Chain Oil

Friction between the chainsaw’s bar and chain is what causes smoke, thus keeping them well-oiled is essential.

Inadequate lubrication may be caused by low oil pressure, a blocked oiler, or both. In certain saws, you may regulate the oil flow from the tank using an adjustment screw.

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

Run your chainsaw at about half to three-quarters throttle to make sure 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.

The oil channel and the condition of the bar should be checked if lubrication is poor. If the guide bar is broken or worn, you should replace it and also clean the oil channel.

Adjust the screw on your chainsaw if it has one so that additional oil covers the bar and chain.

Every time you refuel your chainsaw, it’s a good idea to also add some oil to the bar and chain. However, if the oil in the saw is too thin, you may have to check and replenish it more frequently.

Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil Not Suitable

Damage to the bar and chain, as well as increased friction and smoke, might result from using oil that is too thin. Too light of an oil and the bar and chain can just slide right off.

Use only high-quality bar and chain oil, such as that made by ECHO, Husqvarna, or STIHL.

A Chainsaw’s Chain Is Too Tight.

Using the chain will gradually loosen it, so be sure to check on it frequently and tighten it if necessary. However, if the chain is excessively tight, it will not be able to rotate smoothly around the bar, leading to greater friction and smoke.

Tensioning a chainsaw’s chain:

  • Take out the wire from the spark plug.
  • The chain brake must be unlocked.
  • Remove the cover from the clutch and chain brake by loosening the bolts holding the bar in place.
  • 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.
  • Hold the bar nose up until the desired tension is reached, and then tighten the bar holding nuts.

The chain needs to be wrapped snugly around the bar without restricting its motion. It shouldn’t be so slack that it dangles from the guide bar.

Exhaust and chainsaw motor were both smoking

Any time your chainsaw puffs up smoke while in operation, you should check for airflow problems, such as a clogged air filter or an incorrect fuel mixture.

Due to a Clogged Chainsaw Air Filter

Using a chainsaw is a very grimy occupation. There is a lot of sawdust and wood chips flying about.

To prevent dirty air from entering the chainsaw’s motor, you should utilize an air filter. The filter prevents debris like dirt and sawdust from entering the carburetor throat and damaging the motor.

Even if you only use your chainsaw occasionally, it’s still a good idea to inspect the air filter and change it once a year. The filter should be inspected often and replaced if it becomes too dirty or damaged to continue serving its purpose if the saw is used frequently.

If the filter isn’t checked and cleaned on a regular basis, it might become so dirty that it blocks airflow.

There will be excessive smoke and a high fuel mixture. Lack of oxygen might cause the engine to shut down.

Over-Oiling the Fuel Blend of a Two-Cycle Chainsaw

2-cycle chainsaws can only be fueled by a combination of gas and oil. The engine may start smoking if you use more oil than this.

When you figure out that the smoke is due to an improper gas-to-oil ratio, you may fix the problem by draining the tank and refilling it.

Usually, the effects of this are short-lived. Too much oil in the engine can lead to carbon buildup in the exhaust, which can disrupt engine performance.

In addition, several chainsaws on the market now have 4-cycle engines. These motors don’t call for a certain blend of gas and oil to run.

Damage to a Chainsaw Caused by Water in the Fuel System

White smoke from the exhaust is often caused by water in the gasoline. The fuel system and engine are especially vulnerable to water damage.

Rather of trying to conserve gas and filter out moisture, just drain the tank and fill it up with new gas. Take a look at this manual for information on the optimal fuel blend for your chainsaw.

Fuel additives like Sea Foam Motor Treatment can assist get rid of moisture and clean out the fuel system. The treated fuel has to circulate through the system, so start the saw and let it run.

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