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Can Chainsaws Be Stored Vertically?

Chainsaws are an essential tool on many homesteads, and they are generally considered to be rough and ready machines that can take a fair amount of abuse. While they can withstand heavy work, they do require care, maintenance, and proper storage. When it comes to storing a chainsaw, can they be stored vertically to save space?

Chainsaws can be stored vertically as long as precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the tool from damage from other items, dust, and fluids in your shed. It should be in an area where it will not get direct sunlight. The chainsaw is robust enough to be stored in the vertical orientation.

All power tools should be stored in an appropriate location, conditions, and position, so how does this apply to a chainsaw? Chainsaws are rather bulky tools that can take up a lot of space, be it floor space, bench space, wall space, or roof space. So would there be any danger to store your chainsaw vertically if this is the only open space available to you in your garage or shed?

image of someone holding a chainsaw in front of a large pile of wood

Is It Possible to Store A Chainsaw Vertically?

Space in the toolshed is often at a premium, and when storing an item such as a chainsaw, you want to store it in a location where you will not be tripping over it and also in a location that will be good for the saw. Sometimes the only space available is a space where the saw will only fit if hung vertically, and people often have some concerns around storing the chainsaw in this orientation.

If vertical storage is the only possible storage option you have for your chainsaw, it is perfectly possible and acceptable to store your saw in this way, provided you take a few precautions when storing it this way.

Storing your chainsaw vertically will not cause damage to your chainsaw if you observe some commonsense precautions.

The concerns that people express around this method of storage are as follows.

  • The fuel leaking out of the fuel tank.
  • Oil leaking out of the oil receptacle.
  • The constant weight of the bar and chain hanging on the drive rotors and gears of the chain.
  • Stress on plastic components of the saw.

Fuel Leaking Out Of The Chainsaw In Vertical Storage

Most chainsaw fuel tanks will have a cap that has a breather hole to allow air to enter the top of the fuel tank as the fuel gets used up. Without this airhole, a vacuum would form in the top of the tank as the fuel level drops, and it will prevent the fuel from flowing to the carburetor.

The concern with storing the chainsaw vertically is that if the fuel tank is very full, fuel could potentially leak out of this breather hole and cause damage to other components of the chainsaw or pose a fire hazard.

This fuel problem could be a valid cause for concern, and if you are going to store your chainsaw vertically, it would probably be wise not to store it with a brim-full tank of gas.

If the level of the fuel is low enough so that it does not reach the breather-hole, the potential problem will not occur, and you are good to hang your chainsaw in the vertical position.

If you are packing your chainsaw away for an extended storage period, say till next season when you will need it again, you should be bleeding excess fuel from the carburetor and emptying the fuel tank for long-term storage as a matter of course.

If you follow this procedure for long-term storage of your chainsaw, then there is no risk to storing it vertically.

Oil Leakage Hanging The Chainsaw Vertically

Generally, the oil fill cap on a chainsaw provides a leak-free closure, and it generally does not have a hole as a breather in the cap as the fuel cap does.

This is because the oil does not get used up at a fast enough rate to cause a vacuum to develop in the storage tank and thus present a flow problem for the oil.

For this reason, there should be no oil leakage from your chain saw should you choose to store it vertically.

Constant Weight On the Chainsaw Rotors And Gears

The weight of the chain and the chainsaw bar do not weigh very much. The bulk of the weight of the chainsaw is in the motor.

The gears and rotors are designed to drive the chin through the wood and are therefore robust and usually strong enough to support the weight of the chain and chainsaw bar for extended periods. This factor should not be a cause for concern when hanging your chainsaw vertically.

Stress On Plastic Components Of The Chainsaw

The plastic components on a chainsaw are pretty heavy-duty, particularly the handles, which is probably the best hanging point that you would use to hang the chainsaw vertically.

The main causes of damage to the plastic would be exposure to UV and solvents that could damage the plastics. If you are going to hang your chainsaw in the vertical position, make sure it is not going to catch the sun through a window, or it is under a shelf where you store solvents that could pose a problem for the saw should they leak out of their containers.

Hanging the saw by its plastic handle on a hook should not pose any problems for the chainsaw or the structure of the plastic handle. If you are concerned about this, use a broad piece of wood or metal as a hook rather than a thin wire or nail. This will distribute the weight of the saw more evenly and prevent potential problems.

image of someone using a chainsaw to cut through a log or tree trunk

Tips To Store Your Chainsaw Vertically

Chainsaws can be expensive machines that you want to take care of to make sure that you get a long, productive life out of them. Storing them carefully and correctly can go a long way to preserving your chainsaw for many years to come.

If you intend storing your chainsaw for a few months, it would be best to give your chainsaw a good clean by removing the chain and the chainsaw bar and cleaning out all the dust and wood chips from the saw before you give it a good oiling prior to storage. You should also empty out the fuels, take and drain the carburetor prior to any long-term storage of the saw.

  • Store the chainsaw securely. Make sure that the hook that you position the chainsaw on is robust enough to hold the weight of the chainsaw. A chainsaw crashing to the floor is a sure way to shorten its life or cause someone an injury if they happen to be below the saw at the time.
  • Store the chainsaw away from solvents. Solvents that leak on a shelf above the saw can cause problems for the motor or the plastic components of the saw.
  • Protect the chainsaw from dust. If the shed is dusty with products such as animal feeds and other dust-creating items stored in the same enclosure, you will need to protect the saw from dust adhering to the oiled parts of the machine and clogging vents, and contaminating fuel. If necessary, have a canvas cover made for your chainsaw that you can slip over it before you hang it up.
  • Keep the chainsaw dry. Often, if a shed is going to leak when it rains, the water will flow down the sloping roof and down the shed walls. Make sure your chainsaw will not be in a place where it could get wet should your shed leak.
  • Don’t store the saw vertically with a full fuel tank. Storing the saw vertically with a full tank can potentially result in the fuel leaking out. To make sure that this leakage does not happen, make sure the fuel level is below the filler cap when the saw is in the vertical position.
  • Never hang the chainsaw vertically by the guide bar. Some chainsaws have holes in the guide bar, but you should never use this hole to hang the saw vertically. This will place the entire weight of the chainsaw on the bar, which it is not engineered to handle. You could damage the bar if you store your chainsaw vertically in this way.

Following these simple ideas will allow you to store your chainsaw vertically without any issues that could cause potential damage to the saw.

Conclusion: Storing Chainsaws Hanging Up

When storage space in the shed is in short supply, we often store our tools in less-than-ideal conditions, or we may have some concerns regarding whether we are storing the tools correctly or not.

Fortunately, storing a chainsaw vertically by the handle at the back of the saw is not one of those situations that you need to worry about since the saw will not be damaged. So if this method will save you space and is the most convenient for you, then you can go ahead and store your chainsaw in this way.

Currently, we don’t have a chainsaw, though we do have other saws (including a table saw we’ve used to cut tile). All of our trees are still small enough that a heavy-duty set of long-handled trimmers or a hand saw do the job. But for if and when we do need a chainsaw? It’s really good to know that it’s durable enough to be stored safely hanging up in our shed.

Resources

It’s important to learn from your own experience, but it’s also smart to also learn from others. These are the sources used in this article and in our personal research to be more informed as homesteaders.

  • “The Correct Way to Store Chain Saws: Instruction.” STIHL, 6 May 2010, www.stihl.com/the-correct-way-to-store-chain-saws.aspx.
  • Farmlifeusa. “Can You Hang a Chain Saw Upside down?” Homesteading Forum, 5 Apr. 2009, www.homesteadingtoday.com/threads/can-you-hang-a-chain-saw-upside-down.299074/.
  • Hanging Chainsaws. forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=85466.0.
  • “The Main Parts of a Chainsaw.” Timber Gadgets, 3 Dec. 2018, www.timbergadgets.com/parts-of-a-chainsaw/.
  • nick21. “Saw Storage Hanging or Flat on a Shelf.” Arboristsite.com, Arboristsite.com, 22 Feb. 2011, www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/saw-storage-hanging-or-flat-on-a-shelf.165329/.

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