If your chainsaw isn’t cutting wood as quickly and easily as it should be, despite your best efforts, you might want to consider porting it. Its lifespan will be extended in addition to its power being increased by doing this.
In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about porting a chainsaw so that you can make the necessary adjustments to reach optimum chainsaw engine performance.
Table of Contents
- What Does Chainsaw Porting Mean?
- Benefits & Drawbacks of Porting a Chainsaw
- Porting a Chainsaw Preparation
- How to Port a Chainsaw
- Risks of Porting a Chainsaw
- Porting a Chainsaw Yourself vs Hiring a Professional?
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Does Chainsaw Porting Mean?
A chainsaw is a crucial piece of equipment for any woodworker. They are useful for tasks like pruning branches and tree cutting. But if they are not maintained properly, chainsaws can be a little problematic. Sawdust and other debris can quickly jam the tools, which reduces their effectiveness and power. Regular porting will keep your chainsaw in peak shape.
On the topic of maintenance, visit our Chainsaw Bar Upkeep and Maintenance guide for more information!
The technique of porting improves airflow and prevents clogging by removing material from the muffler’s interior. The intake and exhaust ports of a chainsaw engine should be expanded and modified. Its performance is enhanced and its power output is increased. Porting can be carried out manually using files and grinders or using specialist equipment.
The procedure can raise the power output of chainsaws by 20%, improving their ability to cut through dense timber. The engine’s lifespan can be increased through porting too, which ultimately increases fuel efficiency and help it run cooler.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Porting a Chainsaw
One kind of saw modification that is offered is porting. Port timing tweaks, a new carburetor, and a modified stock cylinder shape are among these modifications. You will obtain greater performance in terms of gas mileage and decreased emissions if you port a chainsaw.
Following the procedure, you can benefit from these perks:
- The curves, torque, power, and reaction time of the chainsaw are affected by the higher compression ratios since they provide more output and efficiency.
- A lower operating temperature results in less wear or abuse and a longer lifespan.
Nevertheless, there are risks associated with porting your own saw. For instance, it can void any equipment warranties you may have. Additionally, if done poorly, it could harm or even completely destroy some components of the engine, necessitating expensive repairs or the purchase of replacement pieces for your machine. Make sure you are capable if you decide to do it yourself.
Porting a Chainsaw Preparation
Required Tools and PPE
- Manual file (metal)
- Grinders for opening muffler
- Pneumatic drill
- Manual bits and file bit
- Measuring gauge and marker pen
- Cloth for cleaning oil
- Eye protection
- Gloves (provide better grip)
- Mechanical apron
At the porting area, separate the chainsaw’s cylinder base and gas or oil tank to begin disassembling it. Get rid of the chainsaw chain bar. However, use care when disassembling anything. To remove grease, dry-wipe the cylinder wall next. Record the engine’s precise measurements in writing.
How to Port a Chainsaw
1. Widen the Exhaust
The gateway to accessing the inside part of the chainsaw is through the exhaust path. Connect the air compressor to the muffler’s exhaust port, then insert the airline. You should open the regulator on the compressor to the desired setting (experts typically increase it to 25 PSI), and it will deliver a blast of compressed air to the chainsaw. You can pressurize the muffler using an air-powered drill.
TIP: You can use an electric Dremel to prevent the exhaust system valve from being shot open suddenly and forcefully. To reduce the height of the chainsaw jug, you will also engage in squishing. The process you’ll use together with the thin gasket is called milling.
2. Remove the Muffler Exhaust Holes
Create some space inside the intake and exhaust system. Eliminate the exhaust ports on the muffler, leaving the compressor connected to the gas chainsaw. The CAT muffler may be removed to see every hole. Continue sawing after that until all of the metal has been taken out.
TIP: Turn off the compressor and give it at least 30 minutes to cool. It makes moving on to the next stage simple for you.
3. Attach the Muffler Top
Install the muffler cap (half portion) cautiously and firmly when the chainsaw has cooled down.
TIP: You can insert sealant gum into the holes you just created and wait for it to set.
4. Drill a Hole in the Muffler
Make a vent in the muffler of the vehicle. If you must hole, try to avoid doing it too deeply or at an odd angle. Use a power drill to create a clear, precise hole for the exhaust.
5. Polish the Holes
After drilling and sawing, use a metal file to smooth everything out and eliminate extra material. Check the chainsaw’s compression ratio by putting it to the test with the gas engine. For a more polished appearance, try painting and sanding the parts.
More information on files in our Chainsaw Chain File Sizes Chart guide!
Other Methods of Porting
Alternatives to the traditional strategy produce comparable outcomes. One approach is to fill the combustion chamber of the saw with sawdust. The saw’s combustion ratio will consequently rise, enabling it to make more power cuts.
The method’s primary goal is to lower the operating temperature of the chainsaw. Wood porting is an unconventional technique. Therefore, to prevent unneeded corrosion, a high level of competence is needed.
You shouldn’t try to do this technique to improve the chainsaw’s performance if you’re just starting off with these box-practice routines. In addition to porting a chainsaw, the following modest changes can also help increase power:
- The transmission ports of the compressor can be further adjusted using the majority of power tools.
- On the pistons, the exhaust ports can be polished.
- Remove the RPM limiting coil or replace it with an unrestricted coil.
- You can change the mechanical timing of the transfer ports on the chainsaw model by polishing and honing them.
- You should take out any extraneous components to make the piston lighter.
Risks of Porting a Chainsaw
The ports need to be treated with the utmost care because they are essential to using a typical chainsaw. Many YouTube channels cover various chainsaw porting techniques, but you can also consult a local expert or professional.
Sadly, not everyone is cautious when attempting to increase compression. They enable the exhaust ports to be so big that the exhaust system’s ring may get caught in them.
Incorrectly porting chainsaw engines may lead to experiencing some engine speed or power loss, and in severe circumstances, may become useless. This essentially means that it won’t have as much power and that cutting wood will be more difficult. Spend some time learning about your saw’s engine if you want it to have additional power.
When porting a chainsaw, people frequently remove a substantial portion of the piston crown or engine cylinder edge to make room for the piston ports. As a result, it experiences consequences and degrades. As a result, sometimes it is not worth porting chainsaws.
Porting a Chainsaw Yourself vs Hiring a Professional?
It can be fairly easy to port a chainsaw. However, it is crucial to emphasize that only skilled mechanics or experts should attempt it. Engine damage and lower performance can result from improper porting.
Perhaps you prefer to do things yourself or are only trying to save money. If you’re thinking about porting your chainsaw, you should be aware of a few things before beginning.
The first thing to consider is if you have the abilities and expertise required to do the task successfully. It’s generally advisable to employ someone who can execute the task properly if you’re unsure about your ability to do it.
Cost is another factor to take into account. It will be more expensive to hire someone to port your chainsaw than to do it yourself. But if you’re unsure of your capabilities, it’s usually worth the extra money.
You must make a decision regarding the type of exhaust port you choose. The two fundamental varieties of pots are standard and bespoke. Although standard ports are more affordable and simpler to install, they are not always the ideal choice for every Chainsaw. Custom ports, on the other hand, are more expensive and challenging to set up. Nevertheless, they provide a unique look and feel.
Regardless of how talented or well-regarded the mechanics may be, wood porting services are never reliable, even if supplied for a reasonable fee. It’s crucial to take your time and do your research when choosing a technician if you want quality work and greater performance.
As a chainsaw owner, you must be aware that the advantages of this method depend on how skilled the builder is. Try to avoid falling for the hype. The hype alone won’t make a builder an expert at wood porting. It typically takes a long time to respond. It often takes six to eight weeks, although it might also take many months.
Most chainsaw owners simply take their saw to a technician who wood ports without doing any study when they want to “upgrade” from the conventional saw to a brand-new one. The price of wood porting might be $500. It’s expensive, and you might not even get what you pay for if you don’t choose the “right” mechanic.
Here is a multi-part series on YouTube to follow:
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How can I get more power out of my chainsaw?
It is feasible to modify a chainsaw to boost its power, but you should proceed with caution. The most popular techniques include changing the muffler to increase airflow through the engine, removing the muffler to measure it, enhancing exhaust outlet flow and tweaking the carburetor, and opening and polishing the cylinder ports, transfer ports, and muffler. It’s crucial to remember that certain modifications might violate warranties.
How to port and polish a chainsaw?
You must disassemble the chainsaw and remove the cylinder and piston before you can port and polish it. The apertures in the cylinder can be polished and smoothed using a die grinder or a Dremel tool after the cylinder head shape has been removed. This will aid in boosting airflow and enhancing the chainsaw’s functionality. The surface of the cylinder and piston can also be smoothed with a honing stone. If you are not at ease with the procedure, you should think about hiring a professional.
How much does it cost to port a chainsaw?
You might have to pay $40 to have the cylinder cut at the machine shop. You still have four hours of work to do. Obtaining port timing data and performing porting requires this time. Depending on the requirements, the standard fee for the service ranges from $100 to $300.