The air filter plays a critical role in the smooth running of your chainsaw, and it's important that you look after it properly. There are several different ways of going about cleaning the filter and several different styles and fitments for filters too, so let's take a slightly deeper look after the jump...
The filter has one clear, obvious function in life, and it should come as no surprise that it's to
filter the air prevent debris from entering the carburettor.
In order to run, the engine needs a mixture of fuel and air, and with that in mind it's easy to see that a clogged air filter will upset this balance. During use the engine is sucking in air via the air filter, and along with the air is all the dust and dirt that you're throwing up whilst sawing - hence the need to filter the air.
With the air filter choked up with sawdust, there will be a lack of air in that fuel:air ratio and this will cause the machine to run rich.
Fortunately, cleaning the air filter is a simple affair, and it doesn't get much simpler than using a brush (a clean, unused paint brush is ideal) to swipe the dirt from the face of the filter. The idea is to gently brush the dirt off - not stab it further in to the mesh!
There are a couple of other ways to clean the air filter...
- Wash it in warm soapy water - remember to rinse it, otherwise you'll end up with a bubble machine next time you start the saw.
- Use an airline - you may need to split the filter in half in order to blow the dust off of the face (i.e. blow from the inside -> outside). Make sure that it's the type of filter designed to be split in half before trying it ;-)
There are many different styles of air filter in use, even with machines made by the same manufacturer, so you might find that you need to unscrew the filter, twist it to remove it or
fiddle around with those annoying little plastic clips simply lift it off.
One things for sure - if the filter and surrounding area is pretty filthy then you'd be wise to use that brush to remove 95% of the dust before removing the filter. Once the filter is removed, you might consider putting a loosely scrunched up ball of tissue gently into the carb opening; this will prevent small children and furry animals from falling in to the carburettor whilst the filter is off. It's also quite a good way of preventing more dust from getting in to the carb.
That's about it, for now, with air filters - keep it clean and you'll be helping your engine to run at it's optimum.