The air filter on the DCS4301 is hidden under the grey rear housing, which is easily removed by turning the large, black dial anti-clockwise a couple of turns. The dial itself is easy to grip and the cover is also secured by two plastic prongs along the front edge that must be positioned in to the main engine housing before tightening up, following removal to gain access to the components underneath. As for maintaining the filter itself, find out more after the jump...
Removing the top cover reveals the filter, access to the spark plug and the winter / summer setting. The air filter is held in by a wire clip, and what is nice is that the filter and the clip is shaped to make it a very simple affair to remove the filter quickly. There are no screws or nuts to undo, and although I find the twist-on, twist-off air filters (a la Husqvarna 350) easier, the wire clip really is no trouble and it does hold the filter on securely.
The spark plug is just forward of the air filter and the plug cap is moulded allowing you to get a good grip on it - useful when it comes to removing the plug. You do not need to remove the air filter to get the spark plug out (users of the Stihl MS260 would love that feature, although to be fair, if you've got a stubby combi-spanner you can get away with not removing the air filter when it comes to removing the plug).
The only other bit to play with under the top cover is the winter / summer setting - although it's doubtful that (in the UK at least) you'd ever need to take it off the summer setting. However, if you find yourself working in the cold winters of Scandanavia or similar, then it's just a matter of pulling the plastic cover up, turning it over and replacing it in the new position.
Other than these three things - filter, plug and winter / summer, there is nothing else for the user to touch; indeed the moulding doesn't even allow you a peek at the cylinder housing. Makita actually advise that you use a bottle brush from the side to clean out dirt lodged in the fins of the cylinder housing. All in all, it's very neat and certainly well-suited to the target home- / farm- users.
Next post... more on the DCS4301 chainsaw.