How to store a chainsaw so it doesn’t leak oil

How to store a chainsaw so it doesn't leak oil
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're trying to find out how to store a chainsaw so it doesn't leak oil, the chances are that you've had a nasty surprise when you've gone to use your chainsaw. Oil leakages are frustrating, but there are things you can do to prevent against them.

Chainsaw oil leaks are an all too common problem that affect even the best chainsaws (opens in new tab), leaving annoying messes to clean up after storage. However, with the right prevention this doesn’t have to be the case. Keep your garage floor free of leaks this year by learning how to store a chainsaw so it doesn’t leak oil with these game changing tips, including advice from chainsaw expert Nick Greenaway.

How to store a chainsaw so it doesn’t leak oil

Nick Greenway is a chainsaw expert who runs firewood-for-life.com (opens in new tab), where he shares his chainsaw knowledge with all. He tells us, “Every chainsaw I've owned has leaked bar oil out of it during storage. So, I always place my chainsaw on a piece of cardboard to soak up any oil that leaks out.”

Nick Greenway
Nick Greenway

Nick Greenway lives in rural Michigan with his two children. Nick serves his community with his work in law enforcement and is passionate about helping people to live comfortably and affordably by using firewood to heat their homes. Nick and his family heat their home and water entirely using firewood using an outdoor wood burning furnace, and have never looked back since installing it. He runs two websites firepitfanatic.com (opens in new tab) and firewood-for-life.com (opens in new tab) where he spreads his knowledge with others. There he discusses everything about the process of harvesting firewood from storage methods to equipment maintenance.

1. Empty of oil before storing

Consider draining the chainsaw completely before storing it away at the end of the season. If you use your chainsaw seasonally, for instance to cut logs for Winter or tidy a garden but then don’t need to use it over the Winter then drain the remaining fuel and oil from the tank. 

2. Check the oil line

The oil line feeds bar oil from the oil tank to the oil pump. Any ruptures here will cause build-up in the line and possible leaks. Take the bottom cover off the chainsaw and check the line for visible leaking. Replace if necessary. 

3. Don’t overfill your chainsaw’s oil storage tank

During summer, you might be using your chainsaw day to day or week to week and it isn’t practical to empty the tank every time. When storing between uses, make sure your oil storage tank isn’t overfull. As oil expands with temperature changes, a drop or spike in temperatures could see it seeping out of the tank if it’s too full, especially if it’s stored in an uninsulated garage or outhouse. 

To combat this, take note of the capacity in your storage tank and ensure you don’t leave it more than two thirds full.

4. Ensure the oil plug is working

The oil plug will degrade over time. Becoming misshapen or developing small cracks could break the plug’s seal and leave your chainsaw vulnerable to the oil seeping out from the oil tank, especially when stored still over a long period of time. Replacements are usually inexpensive and readily available from the original supplier of your chainsaw. 

5. Protect against leaks

Unfortunately, knowing how to store a chainsaw so it doesn’t leak oil isn’t always enough to prevent it happening. Even the experts have a hard time stopping chainsaw oil from leaking, so do take precautions in how you store it. As Nick Greenaway suggests, place your chainsaw on a piece of cardboard so that it won’t make a mess on your garage floor. This will simplify any clean up.

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Tanisha Fletcher

Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.

With contributions from