Chain Saws for Concrete

No matter what brand you use, whether it is ICS, Husqvarna or Stihl, concrete chain saws can be an effective tool for cutting deep openings in masonry and concrete walls, for example egress windows. Here are some points to consider when running a concrete chain saw.

  • Powerhead longevity and chain life are directly related to chain tension. A proper chain tension can be checked by pulling the chain around the bar. As it moves past the nose of the bar and the drive sprocket, there shouldn’t be any tight spots. If you cannot easily pull the chain by hand, it is too tight and needs to be loosened.
  • It is recommended that an operator checks and adjusts chain tension periodically when operating the saw. The chain could come off the bar if it is too loose or turn without turning the drive sprocket, potentially chewing up drive links. You should tension the chain when it reaches a point where the drive links hang approximately 1/2” to 3/4″ below the bar.
  • Water should be used with concrete chain saws. Cooling the chain with water prevents premature chain stretching by acting as a lubricant.
  • A pressured pump will typically not produce enough sustainable water for cutting.
  • A dedicated water supply should be employed. The minimum needed water pressure is 20 psi. Inadequate water supply may cause severe wear on the diamond chain.
  • Because of the nature of the cutting, filter life is essentially non-existent with concrete chain saws. You should clean or replace the filter element 12 times a year, or as part of your regular maintenance schedule.
  • Concrete chainsaws run on a combination of gas and oil. For the optimal performance and lifespan of the powerhead, use a high-quality, totally synthetic oil and higher octane gas.
  • After cutting or at the end of the day, spray the powerhead, bar, chain, and starting rewind with pressured water to rinse and wash away concrete slurry from the saw. After rinsing, spray the saw down with a lightweight lubricant, such as WD40, to prevent corrosion and ready the saw for the next usage.

Following these few basic guidelines will extend the life of the powerhead and provide you with trouble-free operation of your concrete chain saw.