Should You Let a Chainsaw Warm up? [What You Need to Know]

Should you let a chainsaw warm up?

Well, that’s exactly what I’ll be going over in this post. I’ll be covering the benefits and everything you need to know.

Should you let a chainsaw warm up and why?

Yes, you should let your chainsaw warm up before use. Whether you’re going to be using it for 5 minutes or 5 hours, a warmed up engine is always the right way to do it.

If your chainsaw is operating at optimal performance, you lower the risk of accidental injury, also your chainsaw will stay working for longer. I’m not saying that accidental injuries can occur if you do not warm up your chainsaw.

What I am saying is that keeping your chainsaw clean and regularly serviced can ensure that it functions hassle free, therefore contributing to a safe working environment.

Chainsaw bogging down
Using a chainsaw in a public place
Using a chainsaw in hot weather

Why should I let my chainsaw warm up?

To put it simply, when your chainsaw has had a chance to warm up it has the chance to thin the engine oil and lubricate all the necessary parts of the engine. As a result, your chainsaw will perform better at higher revs.

Any gas chainsaw is either at high or full revs when in the process of cutting wood. So, a properly lubricated engine will function better for longer.

Warming up your chainsaw engine will positively impact the factors you didn’t even consider, like the fuel to air mixture ratio on your carburetor.

How do I warm up my chainsaw?

This is very easy to do. Once you have followed all the proper steps to start your chainsaw and it is idling, simply make sure your chain brake is engaged and then set it down in a safe area on the ground.

Let your chainsaw idle for one to two minutes (my suggestion although it is entirely up to you), if it’s a small engine it warms up quickly. Then you can start using it for whatever you need to do.

The benefits?

  • Allowing your chainsaw to warm up will thin the engine oil and properly lubricate your engine, reducing wear and tear on your piston, rings, sleeve and bearings in the long run.
  • A warm engine will create a constant temperature and help maintain a balanced air to fuel ratio.
  • While your chainsaw is warming up, you can quickly inspect your safety clothing one more time to make sure you are well protected.

Does it matter if the chainsaw is gas or electric?

Electric chainsaws:

If you have an electric chainsaw then you don’t need to warm it up. Because it is using electricity the power goes from the throttle or trigger to your electric motor.

You may have noticed that your electric chainsaw is warm or hot after use and that is normal. The heat you feel after use is created by the friction in the electric motor itself.

Safety tip: 

  • Keep your extension cord or battery unplugged and test your throttle lock’s safety mechanism first to make sure it is working properly.
  • If you have been using your electric chainsaw for an extended period of time, take a break and let it cool down. This can also prolong the life of your chainsaw.
  • Electric chainsaws were not intended for logging or cutting big trees down. If you plan on doing so, please consider a gas chainsaw.

Gas chainsaws:

It is best to let your gas chainsaw warm up, but it is entirely up to you. Remember that you have many more functioning parts in a gas engine than in an electric one.

Making a habit of warming your engine up before you use it can also save you unnecessary costs in the long term. Gas chainsaws are more expensive than electric chainsaws and that makes sense because they are more powerful.

Not letting your chainsaw warm up before using it can cause premature wear on crucial parts of the engine, much faster.

Your piston, piston rings, sleeve, and bearings might not have enough oil on them when cold starting and running your chainsaw. So you reduce wear on these engine parts if you allow a minute or two for the oil to warm up.

How long should you let a chainsaw warm up?

This depends on the type of chainsaw you have’ I am not talking about the make or model. I am also not referring to the type, gas, or electric.

Is your chainsaw a four-cycle (4-stroke) or a two-cycle (2-stroke) chainsaw? This does not make a massive difference but it’s good to know.

Here’s why:

Two-cycle (two-stroke) chainsaw engines require you to mix two-stroke oil into your gas in exact amounts. This amount is 50:1 (20ml of two-stroke oil per 1L of gas) or 40:1 (3.2oz of two-stroke oil per gallon of gas).

The two-stroke oil that you mix with your gas acts as the main lubricant for the components inside your crankcase.

Four-cycle (four-stroke) chainsaw engines keep their gas and oil separate. In fact, you are not supposed to pre-mix them at all if you have a four-cycle chainsaw.

Because your oil and gas are kept separately, your four-cycle chainsaw will take a little bit longer to warm the oil and get the crankcase sufficiently lubricated.

There is not really a set time that is required, meaning that if you let your chainsaw warm up for a minute or two before really getting to work then it will be warm enough.

Once again, it’s a small engine so it does not need to warm for ten minutes before you can use it. If you have been using it for a bit and have turned it off then you can start it and run it without warming it up.

Conclusion

Yes, you should let your chainsaw warm up as it thins the oil, allowing it to lubricate your chainsaw better and it helps maintain a balanced air to fuel ratio.

Hope you found what you were looking for in this post.

Happy sawing!

– Adam