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How To Port A Chainsaw in 8 Easy Steps

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Chainsaws are among the most commonly used power equipment in woodworking and handyman work. However, some woodworkers are dissatisfied with the compressor ratio provided by their chainsaws.

Most chainsaw users are satisfied with the level of cutting power that a gas-powered chainsaw motor can provide. Many of them are tinkerers, and the chance to boost the power of a chainsaw engine is far too appealing a project to pass up.

It is not an easy task, and it necessitates the knowledge, equipment, and abilities required to do these complex jobs. In this article, we will discuss how to port a chainsaw. Porting the chainsaw is a method that aids in achieving a greater compressor ratio within the saw chainsaw.

You may occasionally require more power than your chainsaw provides by default. This necessitates chainsaw adjustment. There are numerous ways to improve the basic chainsaw engine’s horsepower (HP) and torque.

One of them is woods porting. The main concept is to improve the chainsaw’s breathing and smooth out the exhaust system. After woods porting, you will notice a greater WOT (Wide Open Throttle) RPM.

The top speed will be close to, if not exceeding, manufacturer specifications. It’s a more moderate variant of race porting. Wood porting is usually done in the forest on a work saw, or a pro saw that runs all day. Keep reading to learn more on how to port a chainsaw.

How To Port A Chainsaw
“Beginning the porting process” via Reddit

Things You’ll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Rag to score out spilled oil
  • Work clothes or apron (PPE) to shield your skin from aluminum or any metal shavings
  • File bits or metal files for a drill
  • Measuring calipers
  • Flashlight
  • Air tool with an air cutter or electric drimmel
  • Screwdriver, and other hand tools

 A Guide on How To Port A Chainsaw

There are many ways to port a chainsaw. All you have to do to port a chainsaw engine is make a few changes, such as rejetting or replacing the carb, modifying the cylinder head shape, and tweaking port timing.

It allows for increased gas flow, resulting in a higher compression ratio. As a result, the engine gains additional power. Response time, torque, and power curves are all affected. In a nutshell, it boosts engine performance.

STEP 1: Enabling the Saw to Work

Ensure that you have brought your chainsaw with you. Turn on the saw and remove the chain from it. Let both of these sit for a few minutes until they are cool enough to touch without discomfort or pain. You may choose to wear gloves or oven mitts if protecting your hands is a priority.

STEP 2: Removing the Top of the Muffler

Attach your saw to an air compressor, and attach the airline with no tip onto the exhaust port on top of the muffler. Open up your regulator on your compressor, and turn it on at 25 PSI.

This will force compressed air through the saw. Place the air tool with an air cutter onto the muffler and pressurize it to 25 PSI.

CAUTION: When you release pressure on your regulator, your exhaust valve will shoot out the hole with incredible force. Ensure that there are no bystanders or bystanders in harm’s way when this happens! You may opt to use an electric Dremel as an alternative.

STEP 3: Cutting Out the Exhaust System

With the air tool still on, cut out all of the exhaust holes in your muffler. You can easily see these holes when they’re exposed. Ensure that you get every last one of them and that no metal is left behind.

When you’ve completed this step, turn off your compressor and rotary tool and allow for everything to cool off for about 30 minutes.

STEP 4: Re-Install the Top of the Muffler

You can now re-install the top half of your muffler and screw it on securely. Fill up the new holes you have created with a little bit of high-temp sealant, and allow it to dry.

STEP 5: Exhaust Holes in the Spark Arrestor

You can now drill a hole into your muffler’s spark arrestor. If you have a power drill with a metal cutting bit, this will make quick work of the job. Take care not to cut too deeply or at an angle, or you will puncture your muffler entirely.

STEP 6: Finalizing the Hole

You can now use a metal file to clean up and smooth out all your cuts and holes for a nice finish. You may choose to sand and paint over them before doing this, though, as these steps give it a nicer appearance.

STEP 7: Using Your Saw

You can test out your saw now to see the results of your work! Be sure to be safe and wear all PPE during the whole process. The increased performance that you should experience is simply amazing. You will love using this improved chainsaw and wonder why you didn’t do this sooner!

STEP 8: Maintaining Your Chainsaw

You can now keep your saw clean and oiled at all times, just as you normally would. Be sure to check out the user manual for specific instructions on maintaining your chainsaw. Enjoy using it long into the future! Congratulations, you have successfully ported a chainsaw!

Woods porting can also be done via squishing. All you have to do now is lower the saw’s jug. You can use a thin gasket or mill them out to make the adjustments.

It also boosts the power and compression ratio. Your saw engine’s compressor ratio can be increased by doing the items listed below:

  • Modify the compressor’s transfer ports.
  • Change the mechanical timing of the ports (by grinding and polishing)
  • Make the piston lighter by removing the surplus material.
  • Remove the RPM limiter coil or replace it with a non-limited kind.
  • Under the skirts, polish the piston ports.

Filling the combustion chamber with sawdust is also an option. As a result, the saw engine’s combustion ratio improves, making it more powerful at cutting.

Because of the high compression ratio, your chainsaw will have more power. However, there is a snag. Heat cannot be lowered in this process.

It does not lower the running temperature, which is one of the key goals of wood porting. More heat implies more wear, which will eventually harm the chamber.

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Final Remarks

Since it’s a DIY project, you can customize your chainsaw depending on what works for you. Porting your chainsaw necessitates prior knowledge and experience.

The transfer ports must be treated with care and respect. You can destroy the mechanical timing if you mess up the ports. Some people remove the jug gasket from the saw to increase compression.

Others thin it out and add a gasket from a Bud can. It would be a lot better if the rings were replaced. Some people create excessively large exhaust vents. Never enlarge the ports to the point where the rings are clipped.

When porting is done incorrectly, the engine’s power is reduced, and, in severe situations, the engine is destroyed. It’s worth noting that not every chainsaw can be ported.

Some chainsaw models are ineligible for porting. The chainsaw with the clamshell engine cannot be squished. As a result, double-check these details before you begin.

This article has shared how to port a chainsaw with you and the crucial steps involved. Take direct advice from an expert if you’re doing it for the first time. Lastly, always wear your PPE whenever you use saws to avoid being injured or worse. Be safe and enjoy!