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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Friday, October 5, 2012

Outdoor Power Tool Extended Storage Tips

It may not be time just yet to put your equipment up for the season, but it is a good time to start planning for it.  If you are looking to "mothball" a 2–cycle tool for a long period – say over 30 days or more – a few easy steps will help your equipment be ready for action when you are ready to go back to work.

You can also watch a new video on storage tips for your equipment on our YouTube Channel.

Clean it first: The air filter and the cylinder fins can be cleaned by gently brushing them with an old toothbrush. 
  • On your chain saw, remove the sprocket cover and brush away all the wood chips and sawdust.
  •  On a trimmer, clean the inside of the deflector to remove built-up grass. Remove the cutting line head on your trimmer, disassemble it and clean out all the debris (see your Instruction Manual).
  •  On an edger, clean out any dirt that has accumulated in the cutting guard.
  •  On your hedge trimmer, clean the cutting blades and spray them with a lubricant like STIHL Penetrating Oil.
Check the Spark Plug: Remove and examine the spark plug for excessive carbon buildup and adjust the electrode gap to its specification. See instruction manual. You may want to replace it once a year. Carefully reinstall the spark plug, making sure not to cross thread it or tighten too tightly, damaging the threads or breaking the plug. Carefully reconnect the ignition lead.

Check the spark arresting screen. It is a small screen at the muffler exhaust that is usually fastened with a screw or clip. Carbon can build up on the screen. The screen must be cleaned or replaced with a new one.

Dispose of old fuel:  Standard pump gasoline quickly deteriorates and should not be kept over 30 days in any season. Learn more about fuel related issues.  If you need to dispose of fuel mix, please do so in a proper and responsible manner. Small quantities (a quart or so) of STIHL 50:1 fuel mix can be used up in any gasoline engine without a catalytic converter, like a lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle. Remember that all STIHL products use the same 50:1 fuel mix, so the fuel you used for your trimmer will work in your blower or chain saw, while your trimmer is in storage. It is important to realize that you shouldn’t use the fuel you bought in the fall for next spring. Start each season with a fresh batch of 50:1 2–cycle fuel mix.

Empty the equipment fuel tank. After the tank is empty, if it has a primer bulb, pump the bulb until dry, then replace the cap and start the engine – otherwise, just start the engine. Run it at idle until the engine stops. It is important that the engine is run only at idle speed, so there will be lubrication in the system. Do not operate the throttle or "rev" the engine. Just let it idle until it stops. On a chain saw, engage the chain brake. Note: using a small splash of STIHL MotoMix® to run your engine dry will help clean out the entire system of any residual ethanol.

Put it away. For long–term storage, a dry and, if possible, dust– and frost–free place would be ideal. Some equipment can easily be hung on a wall, so you can save space. Store it out of the reach of children.

By taking a few steps to prepare your equipment properly for storage you can help ensure your equipment is ready for trouble-free operation for next season.
Tell us what you think and if you have any tips of your own.


  1. For power tools, it is a must to clean them before storage. More often than not, it's the dirt and debris that damage or deteriorate tools. Cleaning is an essential pre-storage part and of course, as always, a clean, cool, dry place works as one of the most conducive areas to keep things.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I'm glad you shared them because they can help in a lot of ways.
    -solar electricity

  3. These tips are the the good practice for storing your power tools and ensuring that they are kept from rust and corrosion as well as securing the working condition of the said items. An indoor shed is most ideal to prevent freeze.

  4. Could you suggest a good way to store gasoline and diesel fuel in a garage?

  5. Sorry for the delay in responding. In general you want to store as little gasoline as possible for any length of time. Normally keep only the amount you would normally use in a 30 day period. Check with your dealer for the right fuel container for your needs.

  6. There are a lot of nail guns for sale and of course, I'm tempted to get me some since I broke mine several months ago. However, I don't know how to properly store them and my kids keep on telling me how they look like their water guns they're so fond of. (Oh no!) Thanks!

  7. I just got a power drill from an online tool shop and it's my favorite hardware tool as of the moment. Any thoughts on how to properly maintain them? Thanks a lot!

  8. Ken, Farham, we can't really speak to storage and maintenance tips for equipment we don't make. You may want to check the site PlanitDIY.com. It is filled with information from hardware professionals and they may have what you are looking for.

  9. I usually store them inside the covered garage near the shelf. But if that is not possible, I store them inside the trunk. Currently I am offering these power tools for sale via craigslist to anyone who is interested.

  10. I've been planning on adding a proper storage shed in the backyard for a little while now. In the meantime, enclosed popup marquees will have to do.

  11. This outdoor power tool is a small one compared to a set of mori seiki live tools. But even if the two of them are having a difference when it comes to their respective sizes, both of them has their own respective function.

  12. Storage has always been a problem. This will solve storage problem to some extent for sure.

  13. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm doing some research on proper taking care and storage of the home tools for extending their durability and functionality. And I find a lot of useful information here.

  14. I think that the storage of outdoor things really difficult. but you really have solved it. You've helped me a lot. thank you so much.

  15. I was changing out fuel filter &accidentally pulled fuel line loose.How door I reconnect line?

    1. Travis, your best bet is to take it back to your dealer. You can also call our customer service line at 1-800-467-8445

  16. Thanks for sharing your tips. I know a couple of friends who learned it the hard way on the importance of storing their power tools clean and dry! Especially if you spent a hundred bucks, it doesn't make sense not to put a little bit of TLC to it so it'll last longer.

  17. Outdoor tools are really amazing and very useful because we still needs something better to achieve more then we have to make for new generation reliable essay writing service