I'm curious if there's any difference in storing / maintaining a chainsaw for occasional use in winter. I live in the northern US and temperatures are typically around freezing, with some occasional deep-freezes (-20°F / -29°C).

I've found myself needing to run my saw maybe 2-4 times per month; aside from letting it run with half-choke a little longer to let it warm up and drying off any snow/ice that might end up on the saw (from setting it down) I haven't done anything different so far.

Is anything else needed / recommended?

2 Answers 2


For occasional use 2 stroke engines, I prefer the premixed fuel you can buy at most hardware stores and home centers. One of the trade names is TruFuel. It is available in either 40:1 or 50:1 mix. The main advantage is that it is basically old fashioned unleaded gasoline with none of the additives that can be problematic for 2 stroke engines. It doesn't seem to go bad. I've had chainsaws sit for a year, and start on the first few pulls.

Other than fuel and oil, there isn't much to go wrong. We stored our saws in an unheated barn all winter and never had issues. One mistake people make is to rev up the saw too soon. Get it running, and let it sit at idle for 30-60 seconds while the oil warms up and gets spread to all the moving parts.

  • thanks! I usually use the pre-mix and hadn't thought of it as being better for winter (where I live it's hard to get fuel without ethanol)
    – STW
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 16:11

Add a little fuel stabilizer (e.g. Sta-Bil) to the fuel tank before putting it away for long periods of time.

  • thanks! I use fuel stabilizer for small engines that I don't expect to start for at least a month or two
    – STW
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 16:12

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