National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Chainsaw – 20" - 24" Bar

NFES Number: 
Small Engine Equipment
Storage and Shelf Life Checks: 
Storage and Shelf Life Procedure: 
Date Last Tested (DLT) not to exceed 12 months

Initial Inspection/Disposal Criteria

  1. Visually inspect for evidence of use (dust, oil, starter seal broken), damage or missing parts.
  2. Return to stock if there is no sign of use or damage and date last tested (DLT) does not exceed 12 months.
  3. Refurbish as necessary if unit has been used or fueled, damaged, or shelf life is exceeded.
  4. Dispose of the unit if it is not economically repairable.

Refurbishment procedures

A. Cleaning

  1. Remove dirt and oil using compressed air or detergent and shop towels as necessary.
  2. Use pressure washer and degreaser to remove heavy deposits of oil and grease.
  3. Equipment should be repaired and tested as quickly as possible after pressure washing to minimize rust formation on metal parts.

B. Repair

  1. Check for loose or missing parts and mounting hardware. Tighten or replace as necessary.
  2. Ensure that the air filter is clean and dry before reinstalling. Replace the filter if it is damaged or will not come clean.
  3. Replace spark plug and fuel filter if saw shows normal signs of field use. Use only solid terminal spark plugs
  4. Test function of rewind starter, ensure proper engagement of engine and recoil function. Check for damage or fraying of pull cord; repair or replace as necessary.
  5. Ensure all decals (operations and warning) are affixed and legible.
  6. Ensure fuel geyser danger sticker is present and legible. Reference cache memo 17-2 below.
  7. Inspect power-head (engine) for freeness of all moving parts, ensuring that the crankshaft, piston/cylinder, and all engine bearings are not damaged.
  8. Clean muffler of excess carbon.
  9. Inspect spark arrestor screen for build-up. Clean, repair or replace as necessary.
  10. Replace sprocket or star drum if the wear is deep enough to catch a fingernail. Inspect clutch shoes and springs. Replace if damaged or missing. Replace clutch drum if badly burned (discolored).
  11. Clean and re-grease the clutch bearing, replace if needle bearings are pitted or damaged.
  12. Ensure saw chain is properly sharpened to manufacturer’s specifications after each use. Replace chain if: Cutters have been filed down to 50% or less of the original cutter length; two or more cutters are broken; tie straps are worn down to rivets; if stretched beyond tensioning abilities; or when side plate is filed back to rear attaching rivet.
  13. Service the guide bar after each use. Inspect groove depth and width; true and file rails; and inspect for bends. Replace guide bar if rails are cracked, chipped, burned, or have a dip deeper than 1/16”. Inspect sprocket tip for wear and looseness. Lubricate tip if grease type.

C. Test for Performance

  1. Refer to the owner’s manual for operations and specifications information specific to chainsaw model.
  2. Should any function fail a test, refer to the manufacturer’s repair manual.
  3. Check condition of fuel mix; ensure fuel is fresh and the correct mix oil ratio is used prior to starting the engine. Use a fuel stabilizer in fuel during testing to help ensure proper operation of engine at post storage start up.
  4. Ensure recoil starter functions properly. Check for damage or fraying of pull cord; repair or replace as necessary.
  5. Start saw and allow engine to warm-up at idle.
  6. Ensure that there are no leaks at engine, fuel tank or bar oil tank.
  7. Run saw and inspect for proper function of bar oiler and chain brake.
  8. Ensure all engine controls are operational.
  9. Inspect engine speed using a digital tachometer, adjust carburetor to obtain specified speed.
  10. If saw chain rotates at the specified idle speed, inspect clutch for loose and or missing springs.
  11. Should any function fail a test, refer to the manufacturer’s repair manual and troubleshooting guide to correct the problem.
  12. Remove all fuel from fuel tank and run engine until carburetor is completely empty of fuel.
  13. Remove bar and chain oil from the oil tank (local cache option).

D. Repackaging

  1. Attach bar guard on cutting attachment  
  2. Use a nylon “zip-tie” to tie off (seal) starter rope to the handlebar.
  3. Attach a certification tag that indicates date last tested (DLT), property #, and name of inspector certifying the performance.
  4. Ensure that all identification (property #, serial #, owner ID) is affixed and legible.


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