How To Start A Chainsaw – Detailed Manual

How To Start A Chainsaw - 20+ Truly Easy-to-use Tips For You

Many people buy a chainsaw for the first time and have no experience with the tool. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to take any special courses to learn how to use the tool. After the purchase there is a great desire to try the tool in operation as soon as possible. To do this, be sure to initially familiarize yourself with the instruction manual for the tool, as well as safety precautions when working with a chainsaw. In the material we will consider how to properly starting the chainsaw, how to start a chainsaw if it is cold, as well as work with it.

How To Start A Chainsaw: Preparation For Starting

Every master who has a chainsaw should know how to start it correctly. Initially, it should be noted that in order to start the tool, it must be filled with fuel. For this purpose, not just gas chainsaw, but a gasoline-oil mixture is used.

Important to know! Pure gasoline for the operation of gas chainsaw cannot be refueled. It is necessary to fill only a mixture of gasoline with the appropriate oil for two-stroke motors.

To begin with, it is necessary to understand how to prepare the gasoline-oil mixture correctly. These proportions are naturally indicated in the instructions, but since few people read them, we should consider this issue in detail.


Gas chainsaw grade and above is used. It will also be necessary to use the appropriate oil, which can be purchased at the same place where the chainsaw was bought. The ratio of gas chainsaw and oil is 1 to 50, after mixing them, it is necessary to stir them thoroughly. At the same time, the mixture should be prepared in a separate container (plastic bottle), because it is not only convenient to store the prepared fuel mixture, but also convenient to fill into the tank of the tool through a small diameter of the gas tank hatch.

Pour the prepared mixture into the tank, the cover of which is marked in the form of the image of a gas station. This is very important because chainsaws have two similar tanks. The second tank is designed to fill the oil, which is used to lubricate the bar and chain during the operation of the tool.

Important to know! After filling the tank, you should not hurry to starting your chainsaw. You should also be sure to add oil to the oil tank to prevent the chain from overheating, which could result in damage to the chain.

For the chain, it is recommended to use special brand oil or motor oil for the car, but never used oil. If you see your neighbor filling up his chainsaw with used oil, you should not repeat his mistakes, because this will reduce the service life of not only the chain, but also the tool itself. Don’t forget to use the tool properly and follow easy rules on how to clean a chainsaw.

It is always necessary to check the oil and fuel mixture level in the tanks, but it is recommended to fill according to the following scheme:

  • Fill the fuel/oil mixture into the tank until it is full.
  • At the same time, the oil for chain lubrication is also filled to full.
  • Consumption of oil and fuel mixture is about the same, therefore it is recommended to fill both tanks at the same time.

How To Start A Chainsaw: Peculiarities Of Starting And Chain Brake

start a chainsaw

After the tool is ready to start, you can proceed. The process of starting the chainsaw looks as follows:

  1. To begin with a check of the tension of the chain is performed. Place your left hand on the high handlebar. It is required to try to lift the middle chain links at the high of the bar by right hand. If the chain pulls with effort, everything is fine, but if it pulls easily, you need to retighten it. Do not overtighten it, as overtightening the chain is also highly undesirable.
  2. Checking the chain for overtightening. If after tightening the chain there is any doubt that it is overtightened, you can check the correctness by turning it by handle on the bar. The chain should rotate normally without tension.
  3. Installation of the engage the chain brake. The manual engage the chain brake is located on the front near the top rear handle to hold the tool. With your left hand on the top handlebar, lean your wrist forward to push the chain brake handle forward. If you push the lever forward, the chain will not rotate after starting, and when you return it to the reverse position, the cutter will start to move. You have to put the tool on the engage the chain brake before starting.
  4. Fix the tool on a level surface and starts it up. To prevent the tool from jerking when starting, you must grasp the upper rear handle with your left hand and hold the lower rear handle with your right hand. The chainsaw is now locked in place and you can turn on the ignition button, pull out the throttle and then pull the starter grip two to several times. While pulling the crank, the engine should give the first burst 2 to 3 times, indicating that you can pull the throttle and starting. Pull the starter grip should be sharp, and then immediately return it to its original position, without holding it in the pulled position.
  5. Disengage the chain brake. As soon as the chainsaw starts, you should let it run for 1 minute without turning the disengage the chain brake with a medium throttle. The engine will have time to warm up and then the handle chain brake should be released. If the engine is hot, you can start immediately after starting.
  6. Check the presence of oil supply. To do this, you need to bring the saw to a sheet of paper and gas, after which traces of oil should appear on it.
  7. After start a chainsaw, you can start working with gas chainsaws on cutting wood.

Make sure, this short guide applies to gas chainsaws and not electric chainsaws. Electric model starts with a touch of the button.

How To Start A Chainsaw: Starting Without A Starter Rope And Pull The Starter

Many do-it-yourselfers often wonder whether a chainsaw can be started without the aid of a starter rope. The answer is very simple: it cannot be done in principle.

None of the manufacturers have provided any other alternative means of starting. Therefore, even if you remove the starter and try to start the machine in some other way, it will still not work, because there will be violations in the cooling system. There is a snail in this system to transfer the flow of cold air from the flywheel impeller to the cylinder side. If it is missing, the engine will overheat and eventually jam.

What To Do If The Gas Chainsaws Won’t Starting

chainsaw Husqvarna

Below are practical tips from professionals that have been tested in practice and have proven to be effective:

  • Do not be nervous, do not try to adjust the carburetor of a chainsaw.
  • Put the tool aside and let it “rest.” The reason may simply be that the spark plugs are primed. Give them a chance to dry out.
  • Make sure, get the instruction manual. Try to start your chainsaw again. Do not release the chain brake when doing this.
  • If this does not help, try removing the cover from the chainsaw body and removing the air filter. This way you can check the cleanliness of the filter and at the same time make it easier to start.
  • Replace the spark plugs. If it is not possible to install new plugs, you can use the old ones by removing and burning them beforehand.
  • If there is a pungent peculiar smell, it means that there is excess fuel in the chainsaw engine. To correct this situation, remove the spark plug and turn the saw upside down to drain the excess fuel. Without returning the saw to its normal position, sharply pull the starter rope several times. This will ensure that the products of combustion leave the chamber. The spark plug should be wiped dry and glow, and then screwed back in and started without installing a filter.
  • You should check the surface of the piston to see if there is fuel in it. If you have unscrewed the spark plug and notice through the hole that the inside is dry, you need to inject some fuel into the chamber with a syringe. The cause of the problem in such a case may be a clog that prevents flow to the engine. If the engine can be started with a small amount of fuel, the traction will allow the clog to be eliminated and the problem will be solved.
  • The last two actions can only be performed if the spark plugs are dry.
  • Check that the starter rope is in good working order. Without the starter, the chainsaw cannot be starting.
  • Check the ignition unit for spark.
  • Try gently removing the tool’s muffler and start your chainsaw without it.

How To Check The Spark On The Chainsaw Plug And Engage The Chain Brake

Although much rarer, but it also happens that it is impossible to use the chainsaw because of the lack of spark on the electrodes of the primer bulb. How to check its presence? Very simply. Again, we take out the spark plug, put the high-voltage wire on it, and make sure the spark plug housing (that is its skirt, where the thread is) is in good contact with the cylinder block. After that, pull the starter arm as in starting.

You should clearly see a spark. If there is fuel flow but no spark, the magneto is probably faulty or there is a wire break somewhere in the system. In this case, check the serviceability of the magneto and the continuity of the electric chainsaws. After all these operations, the engine should start. If it failed, then write in the comments. Let’s try to figure it out.

Thanks to their affordability chainsaws are becoming quite in demand on dacha plots and in private homes. Unfortunately, their illiterate use often leads to malfunction or serious breakdowns.

If malfunctions cannot be eliminated without the intervention of specialists, many problems, including non-starting of the engine or primer bulb, can be overcome by the user himself.

How Do You Start A Cold Chainsaw?

pull the starter of the chainsaw

Cold start:

  1. Place the saw on a level surface so that the guide bar and chain do not touch anything. Never start the saw from the weight.
  2. Then set the brake lever and move the ignition switch to the desired position.
  3. Then you should move the air inlet flap to the closed position and the throttle lever to the “start” position.
  4. After that it is necessary to grasp the front handle of the saw with the left hand and press the tool to the surface, to step on the guard of the right handle.
  5. Then it is necessary to pull the starter handle.
  6. When there will be a flash in the engine, you should open the air damper and start the chainsaw again, set it to idle. This is a cold start.

How To Start Gas Powered Chainsaw With A Decompression Valve

Before starting a chainsaw with a decompression valve it must be press the decompression. After the first burst the valve will be set to normal operation, respectively after the engine control lever is set to the open air damper position and the start-up continues, press the decompression again.

A gas powered chainsaw with a decompression valve, whether the engine is cold or hot, should be started using the valve to relieve engine cranking force. This will greatly increase the life of the starter and reduce the number of broken cords, since it is installed on chainsaws with a larger cylinder volume and corresponding compression.

Care Of The Chainsaw

Another important condition on the starting your chainsaw with the tool is to ensure proper care for it. After completing the work, you should not leave the chainsaw in the workplace until the next time. You should clean it of sawdust and debris, periodically check the chain tension, as well as the gasoline tank and oil tank fullness. It is also important to check that the air filter is clogged.start a chainsaw

It is not recommended to store the chain saw for a long time, so it is better to drain it. Timely replacement of the chain, tire and drive sprocket should be done, as these are elements that wear out quickly.

In conclusion, it is important to note that the chain tends to stretch over time, resulting in the chain not being tensioned. If you observe this property, it is not recommended that you continue to operate the tool until the cutting tool breaks or slips off the bar altogether. If a person is not confident in his abilities, it is better not to take up sawing large diameter trees.

Useful Information: Starting STIHL Chainsaw

In this video you will learn two methods to safely start your chainsaw in both cleared and cluttered conditions, then walks you through the start process.

You can also read our article Starting a STIHL chain saw – a complete step-by-step guide.

Serg Cooper
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