How To Clean A Chainsaw Air Filter: Husqvarna, Stihl, ECHO, And More

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Cleaning a chainsaw air filter is usually a pretty quick and easy process that can be completed in 5 minutes.

In this post, you can see how I clean my Husqvarna 450 air filter which was quite dirty.

There are many different types of air filters, including:

  1. Mesh filters
  2. Steel with a flocked material
  3. Dense fabric filters
  4. Foam filters

And each may require a different type of cleaning process that I’ll share after showing you how to clean a Husqvarna air filter.

Cleaning A Husqvarna Chainsaw Air Filter

how to remove chainsaw air filter

First, you need to find your air filter.

On my 450, it is only a matter of flicking a few clips and the top casing comes away.

Sometimes you may need to unscrew the casing.

remove chainsaw air filter

Next, remove the air filter.

On this chainsaw, it’s held in by a small metal clamp that easily clicks down.

That’s one dirty chainsaw air filter!

Most chainsaw air filters are pretty cheap and sometimes it might make more sense to buy a new one if it’s incredible filthy.

For example, check out the price of air filters for a Husky 450 on Amazon here – they’re aftermarket, but very cheap!

how to clean husqvarna air filter

Remove the air filter from the chainsaw.

It should slip out very easily, but different types will be removed in a range of different ways.

how to clean husqvarna air filter

Next, I tap out and brush off all the excess dust and dirt.

It’s the top side of the filter that has all the gunk as the filter is preventing it from going into the engine.

wash chainsaw air fliter

Once I’ve removed all the excess dust that I can, I soak the air filter in warm water with a bit of soft detergent.

After a few minutes, I brush the top of the air filter with a dish brush to remove any further dirt.

My water was very dirty after this step and revealed how dirty my air filter was.

So after giving it a gentle scrub in the warm soapy water, I give it a very good rinse under the tap.

dry chainsaw air filter

Lastly, I let the air filter dry out completely in the sun before putting it back into the chainsaw.

If you have had a very dirty chainsaw air filter, you’ll be surprised at the difference a clean one can make to your chainsaw’s performance.

Cleaning Other Chainsaw Air Filters

Some methods you use for one type of filter will damage or even destroy others, so it’s important to get it right.

For example, Carb and Choke Cleaner is good for cleaning some mesh filters but will eat away or melt others.

Using compressed air to clean a compressed fabric can work well, but it will ruin a flocked mesh filter.

When all else fails, it’s good to check out the manufacturer’s recommended method for cleaning a particular chainsaw air filter.

Here are a few guides:

So, while there are various air filters depending on whether you have a Stihl, a Poulan, a Holzfforma, or a DEWALT, there are plenty of resources to show you how to do it correctly.

Chainsaw Air Filter FAQs

What’s the best way to clean an air filter for chainsaw?

The best way to clean an air filter will depend on the design and material of the filter.

For many, soap and water are the best way, while for others, a harsher cleaning product and compressed air is your best bet.

Can all air filters be cleaned?

Not all air filters can be cleaned.

Many of the dense fabric filters are better off being replaced. They are very cheap to buy new and your saw will perform better for it.

How often should you clean a chainsaw air filter?

How often you clean your saw ait filter will depend on how often you use it.

Heavy chainsaw users will clean their filter every week, while light homeowner users may only need to do so once or twice a year.

Most saws nowadays give easy access to the air filter, so if in doubt, check and see if it’s dirty.

When should I replace my chainsaw air filter?

If the air filter is damaged in any way, it should be replaced.

If there are signs that it is perishing, holes in any area, or it’s dirty beyond cleaning well, replace it.

All saws, electric, battery, and gas, need their air filters to be cleaned, so keep an eye on them to receive the best performance from your saw.

Check out our post on how to clean a chainsaw to see other maintenance tasks you could complete at the same time.

Let me know if you have any more questions down below in the comments.


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