Do Chainsaw Blades Work When Rust?

A chainsaw, as we all know, is used for cutting wood. So in the cutting process, there is every tendency for the chainsaw blades to come in contact with sand particles and other debris if thorough cleaning is not carried out on the blades of the chainsaw, it will begin to rust.

Chainsaw blades may also rust as a result of improper storage and maintenance. Storing a clean chainsaw in a moist environment will develop rust on the chainsaw blades.

A chainsaw will work even if its blades are rusty because it is not the engine that is faulty. Still, the only problem is that the efficiency of the chainsaw will drop drastically, leading to a waste of time, energy, and resources.

In this article, we provided an in-depth guide on what to do to a rusted chainsaw to make it suitable for use. We also addressed some frequently asked questions concerning a rusted chainsaw. Do well to read through.

What Does Rust Do To Your Chainsaw?

Rust, as you know, is a hard, iron-like substance that forms on metal objects. It is caused by iron oxidation, which is only possible when the metal is exposed to moisture. Rust on chainsaw blades causes them to become weak, less durable, less effective, band more dangerous to use.

One thing about rust is that when it begins to form on any part of your chainsaw blades, over time, if not removed, it spreads and renders the saw useless. This is why you need to check your chainsaw regularly to ensure that it is rust-free and also to ensure that it is properly stored.

How To Protect Chainsaw From Rust

Chainsaw blades are arguably the most important part of the chainsaw. They are part of the chainsaw that cuts through the wood. You must ensure they don’t get rusted to get the best out of your chainsaw.

How do you clean a rusty chainsaw blade

What causes rust on metallic materials is the exposure of the material to water and air. This water and air mixture is known as moisture, and it is acidic. As a result of its acidity, it causes corrosion to metals. Rusting in chainsaw blades can be prevented on a large scale if proper safety measures are carried out.

It is often said that prevention is better than cure. This statement has been tested and confirmed by many to be true. In this context, when you prevent rust on your chainsaw blades, you will not spend as much since you will be required to clean out rust from your chainsaw blades.

To prevent your chainsaw blades from rusting, consider the following information below:

1. Lubricate The Chainsaw

When you apply oil to the chainsaw, it keeps the cutting edges of the chainsaw from rusting and prevents dirt from sticking to it, which typically causes the blades to corrode.

When you use a chainsaw, you need to be careful not to let the oil get too low. If you do, your chain and its blades will begin to rust, dropping your chainsaw’s productivity level and leading to even more problems that will eventually damage it.

Tip: Lubricate the chainsaw with the right type of oil (the one for the model of chainsaw you use) at least once a week or after every 30 hours of use.

2. Keep Away From Moisture

We said earlier that moisture is the leading cause of rust in metals. Chainsaw blades are metallic, and moisture will cause them to rust. Keep your chainsaw as dry as possible and store it in a cool and dry place to prevent it from rusting.

Tip: If you stay in an environment with prevalent rainfall and snow, cover your chainsaw blades with a tarp or something similar before storing them in your shed or garage.

Also, remember that too much heat can cause rust on any metal object, and a chainsaw is not an exception, so do not leave your chainsaw in the sun or store it near windows, where it will be exposed to direct sunlight, for long a long period.

3. Keep Chainsaw Blades Sharp and Clean

When you use your chainsaw repeatedly, there is no doubt that the blades will become dull. If not sharpened, it can begin to rust more quickly. To prevent this from occurring, endeavor to file the blades frequently to keep them sharp.

4. Use Protective Coatings On The Blade Surface

It is good to note that this method does not prevent rusting but prevents rust from forming on the blade surface. Meaning that it will take a longer time for the rust to form. With this method, the blades are secured from rusting immediately on exposure to unfavorable conditions like (moisture and heat).

Tip: Use this and other prevention methods to ensure your blades’ longevity and durability.

How To Clean Up Rust From Your Chainsaw

How To Clean A Rusty Chainsaw Chain

Rust on your chainsaw can be a pain. Yes, we agree rust can be found on many metal objects, but it is not something you want to see on your chainsaw blades.

You need to know how to clean up rust from your chainsaw blades, should they have some rust on them. Cleaning up rust from your chainsaw blade can be very frustrating, and you may consider getting a new one. But we promise; it is not as bad as it sounds!

You will love this process, as we have broken them down into easy steps. Depending on the rust remover method, there are many ways to clean rust off your chainsaw blades.

You can use these five ingredients to remove rust from your chainsaw blades. They are:

  • Lemon and salt mixture.
  • Vinegar solution.
  • Baking soda.
  • WD-20.
  • Oxalic acid.

We are going to show you how to remove rust using the five solutions listed above:

How To Remove Rust From Chainsaw Blades Using Lemon and Salt Mixture

  • Prepare a mixture of salt and lemon in a bowl at a ratio of 3:1.
  • Get your chainsaw blades and apply the solution to the rusted area.
  • Allow the solution to act for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the solution from the rusted surface with a moist sponge.
  • Clean the wet chainsaw cutting area with a dry towel and apply a layer of melted beeswax, a protective wax, over the chainsaw surface.
  • If the rust is not completely removed, repeat the process, but this time, increase the time allowed for the solution to act on the rust to 2 hours.

Tip: Use this method to remove minor rust stains on your chainsaw blades, as this method involves less abrasion.

How To Remove Rust From Chainsaw Blades Using Vinegar Solution.

Vinegar is acidic. Acids can remove rust by simply dissolving the rust in its solution.

To remove rust from your chainsaw blades using vinegar, use the following steps below.

  • Soak the chainsaw blades in a weak vinegar solution.
  • Allow rusted blades to persist in the solution for 6 to 7 hours.

Note: If the chainsaw is bigger than the containing vessel you have, place the chainsaw in an aluminum foil, and then pour the vinegar on the rusted surface.

Dip an aluminum foil into the solution and use it as a brush to scrap off the rust from the blade while it is soaked. If soaking is done overnight, scrap with foil before going to bed. If not, you could scrap with foil at intervals of 1 hour.

After soaking, remove the blades from the vinegar solution and scrap them with a steel wool brush. This will remove a great deal of rust left on the surface. Wipe blades dry with a clean and dry towel. If little rust persists after this process, rinse the blades again.

How To Remove Rust From Chainsaw Blades Using Baking Soda

  • Create a baking soda paste. Mix it with baking powder in a ratio of 1:1.
  • While mixing, add a small amount of water until a paste is obtained.
  • Spread the paste onto the brush and use it on the rusted surface.
  • Ensure that you apply the paste on all rusted surfaces of the chainsaw blades.

Tip: Use a toothbrush is scrub off rust; if it is not severe, however, if it is severe, use steel wool. Be cautious when using steel wool, so you don’t damage the cutting area of the chainsaw.

  • Allow the Soda paste to rest on the rusted surface for an hour before using the brush or steel wool, as the case may be.
  • Rinse the blade well when scraping is completed.
  • Wipe the blades with a clean and dry towel.

How To Remove Rust From Chainsaw Blades Using WD-20 Spray

WD-20 is a chemical made to remove rust from metal surfaces. To remove rust from your chainsaw blades using this chemical, here’s what you need to do:

  • Spray the chemical on the rusted surface and leave it to act for 24 hours.
  • Use a wire brush on a file to scrap the rusted surface.
  • The rust will come off quickly as you follow these steps.

If the rust persists, repeat this process.

Tip: You can spray this chemical on the rusted surface for 15 minutes or more. It is a container containing WD-20. Use the latter to remove tough rust.

How To Remove Rust From Chainsaw Using Oxalic Acid

Oxalic acid is a corrosive acid. And so, when using this method, you must strictly follow all safety precautions to avoid injury.

The safety precautions include:

  • Make use of Google and overalls.
  • Put on rubber gloves.

The steps to follow when using Oxalic acid to clean off rust are as follows:

  • Use detergent to wash the rusted blades.
  • Rinse and dry the blades correctly.
  • Prepare your oxalic solution.

Note: You will need five teaspoons of Oxalic acid and 250ml of hot water.

  • Dip the rusty blades in the oxalic acid solution for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the blades and clean them with a copper brush.
  • Wash and dry the blades once the rust is completely removed.


A Chainsaw blade will indeed work even when it is rusted. But, this time, it will work less efficiently and pose an even greater risk to you as it becomes less safe. Rusting of chainsaw blades can be prevented by simply maintaining the chainsaw properly and storing it in a place free from moisture and heat.

It is good to note that rusting on a chainsaw is not an irreversible change. So if you have a rusted chainsaw and you are contemplating getting a new one, rather than doing that, we suggest that you follow any of the five steps given in this article to clean off the rust from your chainsaw.

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