How to Properly Store Equipment For The Winter (+ Checklist)

Published on
January 16, 2024 at 9:46:15 AM PST January 16, 2024 at 9:46:15 AM PSTth, January 16, 2024 at 9:46:15 AM PST

As the weather changes, it is time to start thinking about winterizing your concrete cut-off saws. Follow these 3 fuel-related strategies to help see your equipment through the cold season and take on the toughest cuts with confidence next construction season.

Basic Saw Storage During Winter

If you plan to use your saw weekly, store it in a warm area and stick with non-oxygenated fuel. This is the best way to dodge phase separation. Even sitting for only a few days, temperature changes create more water buildup in the tank. When fueling your saw, always use ethanol-free fuel, whether non-oxygenated fuel or MotoMix®

Short-Term Saw Storage During Winter

If you plan on only using your saw on a few occasions during winter it is a good idea to use MotoMix® as your primary fuel. Stihl’s® premixed fuel provides an extended storage life that lasts longer than ethanol-based fuel.

Ethanol-based fuels may induce phase separation, where fuel and the water in the fuel split into two layers. Ethanol attracts 50% more water than pure fuel due to the water-attraction properties of alcohol present in ethanol, increasing the chance of phase separation. Below is an example of phase separation.

When this happens the layer of water can corrode the bottom of the tank when sitting for too long. Once the engine is started, it runs the layer of water through first, creating a potential for internal saw damage.

MotoMix® eliminates this problem by using high-octane motor fuel and its highest-quality oil. If you are going to be putting your saw on the shelf for more than 2 weeks you should avoid using any fuel containing ethanol.

Long-Terms Saw Storage During Winter

If you are not going to be using your equipment during the winter, you should run the fuel out of it completely. This will help avoid carburetor issues and will lead to an easier engine start-up in the spring.

Stihl® recommends using MotoMix®, a premixed fuel, after draining the previous gas. Run the MotoMix® until it is completely gone to ensure there is no more of the old fuel in the tank. To learn more about the benefits of Stihl MotoMix® click here

Gas-Powered Cut-Off Saw Winterization Checklist

Use our Gas Cut-Off Saw Winterization Checklist before storing your gas-powered cut-off saw for the winter to ensure your saw is in the best shape to run next spring:

___Clean your saw thoroughly, remove all dust and debris, and wipe clean.

___Check over your blade guard for cracks or wear. Replace if needed.

___Check your recoil rope for frays or tears. Replace if needed.

___Check the functionality of the rewind. Clean and spray with lightweight lubricants such as ZEP 45.

___ Remove and inspect the drive belt. If any cracks or frays are present, replace them.

___Check the fuel filter in the gas tank. If dirty or discolored, replace.

___Check spark arrester. Clean or replace if needed.

___Take inventory of all nuts and bolts. Double-check that they are in place and torqued down to proper specs. Refer to the owner's manual with questions. Replace if needed.

___Check that the decompression valve on the saw is operational and that it moves freely. Replace if needed, or worn.

___Remove the spark plug. If a black/sooty color or excess buildup on the electrode is noted, check the gap, replace it.

___Take inventory of all plastic pieces. If they're broken or missing, replace them where needed. What may look to it be cosmetic issues may cause problems in the proper running of your equipment.

___Check the primer ball for cracks/functionality. Replace.

___Once the saw has been checked over and all items have been replaced, dump out the remaining gas into an approved container.

___Start your saw and run it outdoors. This will remove any gas left in fuel lines, carburetor and fuel tank.

___As your saw runs out of gas and dies, you are ready to properly store your piece of equipment.

___Gas left over from the season, properly dispose of and clean out gas cans.

___Start your spring season with fresh non-oxygenated gas/89 octane or higher. No ethanol if possible. Properly mix with synthetic oil to have a trouble-free time starting and running your piece of equipment.

Utilize your local Service Centers! Our Gold Certified Expert Mechanics are ready to get your saw properly serviced and prepared for a busy construction season.