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:
- Mesh filters
- Steel with a flocked material
- Dense fabric filters
- 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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Check out this video on cleaning different types of air filters.
Steve covers a wide range of different types of air filters and the different ways you should clean them.
Some methods that you use for one type of filter will damage or even destroy other types, 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:
- How to clean a Stihl gas chainsaw air filter – using the Stihl MS250 as an example
- How to clean a Stihl battery chainsaw air filter – using the Stihl MSA 300 as an example
- How to clean an ECHO chainsaw air filter – using the ECHO CS310 as an example
So while there is a variety of 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.