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Chainsaw needing maintenance image
STIHL MS201T chainsaw without protection



STIHL MS201T chainsaw with debris guard installed



Cleaning your chainsaw is crucial, if you want it to last. Especially if your cutting palm trees. The above photo is a  STIHL MS194T, it's less than 90 days old and is heavily damaged. The damage is not covered under the manufactures warranty. It's caused by a lack of regular maintenance, not a manufacture defect. It's up to owners to keep their equipment clean. The engine cooling fins are clogged with palm tree fibers that were drawn into the saw through the cooling vents on the recoil starter housing. This caused the engine to overheat and seize. While cutting overhead your causing debris to rain down on the saw. It's plain physics for lightweight airborne cutting debris to get sucked into the saw with the flow of air. The flywheel draws air into the motor housing and blows it across the ignition coil & engine for cooling, the air exits around the muffler but can leave debris trapped inside. Palm tree material can be very acidic & corrosive to metal parts. Ignition coils are often damaged  from overheating too. You can prevent costly damage by cleaning your chainsaw on a regular basis. If you trim multiple palm trees daily, you may need to clean your saw daily. It depends on how often, how much and how it's being used. STIHL & ECHO manufacture a palm debris guard that can be snapped onto the side of a STIHL MS-201T or ECHO CS-2511T to reduce the amount of debris that gets into the saw. This will not prevent the problem, but it can extend the time in between cleanings. We normally keep them in stock and recommend them if your cutting palm trees. Cleaning the saw is easy, just remove the recoil starter housing, bar & chain cover. Grab a long tool like a thin blade screw driver, scrape & pick out the debris. Be careful around ignition wires, switches and fuel lines. You can also use compressed air to blow out debris but be careful around crankshaft seals and wear eye protection. Clean your air filter & chainsaw often, don't let your saws get as bad as this one, they cost a lot of money and can be ruined in short time. 

Technical tip & photos by Mark Newman.

ECHO CS-2511T guard #A127000480

STIHL MS-201T guard #1145 084 1200

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