How to Start a Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a very essential workshop tool for both the experts as well as the homeowners. When it stops working, there are many projects that may come to a standstill. Repairs would cost you much, especially if its warranty has expired while throwing it away won’t solve your problems. If the only issue you have experienced with it so far is failing to start, you could try some of the guidelines that are provided in this article.

Fundamental mechanics of a chainsaw

If you have a better understanding of the mechanisms of the chainsaw you are trying to start, you will be in a better position to know why it is not starting. There are many models of chainsaws that have been availed in the market today. Each of the models differs in their performance, type, features, etc. However, they have a similar concept, they cannot operate without an engine. In addition, each of these models of chainsaws has blades. These cutting edges have steel alloys that are sharpened and put up within that chain.


There are gear wheels in the interior of the motor. These wheels cause the chain to move along the bar when it is working. There is a piston located around the engine that enables the crankshaft turn gears. This in turn allows the chain to rotate in line with the guide bar.


Having some understanding of the mechanics of a chain saw can help you a great deal since you will know whether to DIY when it stops working or you will have to consult an expert.

  1. Starting a chainsaw

Ensure you are doing it right before anything else. If you are not a professional and you have little or no experience whatsoever, you should be very careful because there are great risks involved if it is not handled in the correct way. Follow each of these steps provided below.

  • Look for a flat ground and place the chainsaw on it. Ensure the bar cover is already removed before doing this.
  • Turn on the Chain Brake. This is done by pushing towards the front on the chain brake. This prevents the chain from spinning on the bar and prevents any harm from occurring.
  • Ensure the Smart Start Decompression is engaged. This is a major step. It is very imperative since it provides support during the chainsaw startup.
  • Exert some pressure on the fuel pump. This can be done by pressing that button frequently till the fuel becomes visible enough. This way, you will easily startup the chainsaw with less pulls.
  • Pull Starter Rope. Ensure the machine is securely where you placed it before starting off. Use the left hand to hold the top handle of the machine firmly and place the right foot on the chainsaw’s rear handle. Turn the cutting attachment away from the ground. This should be done before the starter is pulled. The starter should be pulled quickly but very smoothly.
  • Push Throttle Halfway. Ensure the saw is running by pulling the rope after the throttle has been pushed halfway. When the engine becomes active, accelerate it. This will ensure the engine stays alive. If the engine goes off after starting up, it is advisable to move the master lever in order to open up that choke. If the machine is working well, push the throttle button again. This is vital since the master control is reset to its original settings.


  1. Troubleshoot the chainsaw

You have followed everything to the letter. However, try as you might, your chainsaw won’t start. The next thing remaining before seeking help from a professional is to troubleshoot it. You will be required to check and resolve a few areas and determine where the problem lies.

  • The spark plugs

The plug of a chain saw ignites a spark. One of the first things you should check is if the saw’s plug ignites a spark. The spark prompts combustion. A spark plug is prone to wear and tear. Check whether it has corroded by removing it and testing whether there will be any sparks produced. For negative results, a steel brush would come in handy against corrosion. Clean the plug using it. If you test again and get the same results, you know it is time to replace it.

  • The Ignition Coil

If your chain saw doesn’t start, there is a possibility that its ignition coil is defective. This makes it not to send the voltage to the spark plug as the chainsaw runs. If you use its tester and find it to be defective, replace it.

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  • Recoil Starter

Recoil Starter has many elements. They activate the engine of the chainsaw when the chainsaw is started. You can either replace the rewind springs if they are not working or buy a new recoil starter assembly.


  • The chainsaw’s fuel tank

An empty fuel tank won’t allow your chainsaw to start. Check the tank and ascertain whether there is fuel. If you had stored the saw with fuel for a long time without using it and the tank has fuel, drain that fuel and refill the tank with fresh fuel. Use the right fuel for the type of engine that you have.

how to start a chain saw

  • A Flooded Engine

A flooded engine may cause problems to the chainsaw therefore preventing it from starting up. If you try to start your chainsaw and all you can smell is fuel, that is an indication that the engine is flooded. You can know when the engine is flooded by checking whether the sparkplug has moisture. Draining the fuel as well as deactivating the choke can solve the problem.


  • Clogged Carburetor

Some components of gasoline evaporate when the fuel has stayed for long without being used. Clogging is caused by the thick component that remains after evaporation. Cleaning the carburetor thoroughly can solve this problem. If this doesn’t work, consider replacing the carburetor.


  • Dirty Air Filters

When air filters become dirty and clogged, it means less air is let in the chainsaw. Regular hard run could do the trick. In addition, air filter should be regularly removed and cleaned thoroughly.


Other problems include;

  • Clogged Spark Arrestor

A spark arrestor can be clogged due too much soot. When this happens, the saw may stall after starting up or fail to run smoothly. Cleaning the spark arrestor can sort this issue. Replace the spark arrestor if cleaning fails to make it work.


  • Inspect Clutch Pads

There are instances where the engine comes live but the chain fails to spin. If this happens, there is a possibility that the clutch pads are worn out. This will require some replacements.


Chain saw Maintenance

Like every other workshop tool, a chainsaw needs proper maintenance. Well maintained power tools work efficiently. There are many parts of a chainsaw that are prone to wear and tear. Replace the parts that need some replacements.

Cleaning should be effected on other parts that require this service. This will improve the machine’s efficiency and aid in solving some of the problems before they even arise.

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You should also note that any workshop tool you come into contact with should be handled with care. These are a set of precautionary measures that come with the machine’s manual. Read and understand them. This will help you avoid injuries that come about due to careless handling.