Stihl Chainsaw Problem

travis_york_paSeptember 19, 2009

My Stihl 210 chainsaw is having trouble cutting. I just sharpened the chain and I haven't used it since the spring so the gas is a little old. When I'm making a cut, it gets to a point and will not cut any further, begins to smoke a bit and leaves burn marks on the right side of the wood. I even saw sparks near the underside of the bar, near the body.

It's also not cutting a completely straight cut, it favors to the left a little bit.

Tension on the chain is fine by the way.


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"When I'm making a cut, it gets to a point and will not cut any further..."

That's unusual for a chainsaw. It's very rare, but occasionally a piece of wood will have an embedded piece of metal in it. There are several ways that could happen. A person could have driven a nail, spike, or screw into the tree when it was young and it grew around it. Sometimes a tree grows around a piece of wire fence. Maybe a bullet embedded in the tree. Most chainsaws are not designed to cut metal, and that could explain the sparks you saw.

Try the saw on a different piece of wood. If the problem persists, take your chainsaw and the wood to your Stihl dealer and let him figure it out.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 11:12AM
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I would say that you need a new chain or to have your chain properly sharpened. Very hard woods will cause sparks. Anyone who has sawed ironwood knows that. Also the bar could be worn. Perhaps a combination of both. These things would cause your cut to "wander" off course.

Not to say That there couldn't have been a bit of wire or something in the tree that would have damaged the cutters. A bullet however would not hurt them since lead is softer then wood.

Let us know what you find out.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 12:54PM
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I agree it's a chain problem providing the oiler is working. smoke is a tale tale sign of dull chain or no oiling. Once it smokes if has to be resharpen.

Every time my saw cut slows down if from lack of oil to the chain, dull teeth which hitting metal will dull them in an instant, or alowing the chain to run in dirt weather it be by hitting the ground or dirt inside a stump.

It's easy to sharpen the teeth at the wrong angle and making the saw cut crooked or get dull very quickly. I would first make sure I got the right size file, inspect the teeth, clean the chain, using sharpen guide (and maybe review a video online in sharpen) and slowly sharpen the teeth and try to bring back the correct angle, then I would take a wet stone and remove any metal that's pealed over and fine tuning the teeth once more by hitting them 2 or 3 swips with file again. see if that helps. I would also make sure the oiler is getting oil to the bar and chain by cleaning out the oiler holes and bar chain track. You are using bar oil or 30w oil right??

as long as you have teeth left on the chain you should be about to bring them back. I have sharpen the teeth on some chains to were they vary have any teeth left and they start breaking off.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:42PM
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It sounds like your bar might be worn out, try turning it over if you haven't done this already. The bottom of the bar would then be the top of the bar.

Another possibility is the dogs just in front of each of the cutting teeth. As the teeth get worn and filed down those dogs must be lowered also to allow the teeth to cut. But be careful, they also are there to prevent kick backs.

I bought a new chain last winter and it worked great for a short time. After I sharpened it the third time it still would not cut like in years past. I think they have stepped up the anti-kickback features on the chain[stihl].

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:21PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

pipedream meant to say rakers. Rakers really control the amount of bite the tooth will take. If your rakers are too low, the saw will chatter through the cut or even bind. It can be a contributing factor to kickback. But kickback is really the chain "walking" up something instead of cutting it. That is why you must never start a cut with the top quarter of the nose. The chain will grab and walk up the wood. Small branches and the like is equally risky, sometimes instead of cutting the wood, the teeth just grab and pulls the material toward you and the saw in the direction of material. The chain can be moving at about 60mph, so thinking of it as trying to catch something that weighs a couple pounds going almost 60mph with a bunch of little knives on it.

Dogs are the big hook looking things attached to the saw frame. They are usually metal but sometimes plastic. You use the dogs to pivot the saw in the cut. Pulling up on the handle pivots on the dog and the bar and chain dig down into the wood.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:14PM
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