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Chainsaw Engines



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The chainsaw will either use a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke engine to power them. The 2 stroke version is by far the most popularly used version despite the fact that it may be the inferior engine of the two. This is of course debatable as both types of engine have their advantages and disadvantages.


However the majority of chainsaws come with a 2 stroke engine which does suggest that the 2 stroke engine and the chainsaw make a very good marriage.


Both types of engine derive their names from how many times the cylinder in the engine moves up and down on each revolution. The 2 stroke engine moves up and down just the once on every revolution. Hence it fires only once per revolution. The 4 stroke engine on the other hand will only fire the once per every 2 revolutions. So on this basis it can be seen that the 2 stroke engine takes twice as long as the 4 stroke engine in completing the same process.


In short, the 2 stroke engine will fire up twice as many times as the 4 stroke engine. This will create more energy and produce a significantly more power amount than a 4 stroke engine of the same size. Just for this reason alone most chainsaw manufacturers employ the uses of the 2 stroke engine.





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Basics Of 2 Stroke And 4 Stroke Engines






1 - The 2 stroke engine does not have it’s own dedicated lubricating system. The result being there is increased wear and tear on all moving parts. Hence a shorter working life span in most cases.


2 - Compared to the 4 stroke they are more expensive to run. Every time you refuel you have to add 2 stroke oil to the fuel in the correct mixing ratio. This is an additional cost and of course there is the added inconvenience of having to perform the mix.


3 - As good as they are they are a primitive designed engine. They smell when used and give off pollution.


4 - Fuel efficiency is definitely lacking. Because of the simple design the engine is always thirsty. The 4 stroke gives you a lot more mileage.


5 - A chainsaw with a 2 stroke will give off a high pitched whine. This can affect the user and there are legal issues as well to consider. You need to check out your local area noise restriction levels.



To Care Is To Share

When you delve in to the workings of the 4 stroke engine you will see that it employs a system of valves in the engine block which allow hot air to escape. The hot air which escapes contributes to lowering the temperature of the engine block as well as lubricating the engine shaft properly.


The 2 stroke engine has no such valve system. Instead a fuel and oil mix at the correct mixing ratio keeps the engine block lubricated and cool. Due to this process a 2 stroke engine will cost more to run and create a lot more noise. Another bi product of this process is the production of smoke. But with the chainsaw this is an acceptable situation because the 2 stroke engine is significantly cheaper to manufacture. Hence the price of the chainsaw is monitored.


On the life span front of both types of chainsaw engine, the 4 stroke version should in theory, and in most cases does, out last the 2 stroke engine. The thing with the 2 stroke engine is that it is constantly under stress from lubrication and heat issues. It also has to work twice as hard which increases the wear and tear on moving parts. The 2 stroke engine will require a lot more maintenance as well to keep it in tip top condition.




2 Stroke Engine Advantages



1 - The 2 stroke engine will give twice as much power as an equivalent sized 4 stroke engine. It fires once every revolution and is a lively engine with a lot of get up and go.


2 - What makes the 2 stroke engine ideal for the chainsaw and other such hand held power tools is that it is small and compact. This makes it a lightweight engine that gives a great power to weight ratio.


3 - Cost always plays a part in any manufacturing and because of the simple design they are less expensive.


4- Because the 2 stroke does not have an oil sump, it can be used in any orientation. This makes it ideal for any motorized gardening tools such as the chainsaw.



2 Stroke Engine Disadvantages


Chainsaw Engine Servicing


If you have a petrol chainsaw, as opposed to an electric chainsaw, then your chainsaw has an engine that requires regular upkeep. Below are a few tips and pointers for maintenance advice that will help you get the most out of your chainsaw.


Before Using A Chainsaw


Before you start your chainsaw always check the complete unit over. The air intake on the chainsaw is there to assist in keeping the engine cool. So if there is any debris on the air intake filter you must remove it. At the same time it is productive to check around the oil filter as well for debris and foreign objects. Any general linkage points should be given the once over to ensure they are free and working correctly. Any debris on or in your chainsaw must be removed to prevent any unnecessary strain on the engine.

The flywheel fins on a chainsaw are often forgotten about or simply neglected. They sit behind the air intake screen and they should be cleaned up with a wire brush to remove any debris.

If your chainsaw has a 4 stroke engine you need to always ensure that the oil levels are correct. If they are too low then simply fill up.


Twice A Year Service


If your chainsaw has a 4 stroke engine you need to replace the oil twice a year. Just drain away the old oil and refill with new oil. Change the oil filter at the same time.

Get yourself some silicone lubricant or lightweight oil. You want to apply this to any exposed cables and pivot points such as the throttle or clutch. This will protect them properly and extend their life span.

The chainsaw air filter will get blocked eventually. It is good to clean the air filter after every use with the chainsaw. But eventually you will need a brand new air filter. A blocked air filter will put undue stress on the chainsaw engine.