Chainsaw Starting Problems

(Courtesy: Michael Davison at

(Courtesy: Michael Davison at

I know it can get frustrating. You have your chainsaw in hand and you plan to trim a tree on your property. You approach the tree, pull on the starter cord of your chainsaw and nothing happens. You try again and the engine seems to stutter a little bit and then fall silent. You keep pulling on that cord, but the chainsaw just won’t start.

There are a variety of reasons why the chainsaw doesn’t start. They include:

· The choke could be set in the wrong position.
· The carburetor is flooded.
· The spark plug or air filter needs to be cleaned or replaced.
· The spark-arresting screen inside the muffler is clogged with carbon deposits.

To fix the actual problem you need to eliminate problems one at a time. That is you fix a problem and try to start the chainsaw. If it doesn’t start, you go on to the next issue and so on.

So, using this premise, if the chainsaw doesn’t start on the first attempt, then consider the choke. Change the position of the choke and try to start the saw again. If the chainsaw exhibits some hint that it may start, adjust the throttle to the next position. On most chainsaws you will experience a fast idle with the successful start.

If the chainsaw still won’t start, then the culprit could be a flooded carburetor. Adjust the throttle to full on and pull the cord several times. If the gadget still won’t start, then clean the spark plug and air filter. If either of the two or both appears damaged, then replace it or them.

If the chainsaw still doesn’t start after cleaning the filter and spark plug or replacing one or the other, then its time to check out the spark-arresting screen in the muffler. The screen could get clogged with carbon deposits, especially on smaller saws with dirty air filters. The clogged filter causes the saw to run too rich in fuel and that results in unburned fuel and carbon deposits. In addition, if you idle the saw constantly, then there will be carbon build up on the screen. To prevent this from happening give the saw a good hard run regularly. Experts also suggest that you use the appropriate size chainsaw for the job you want it to handle. For example, a giant saw used to cut twigs will never run full out.

If after cleaning the screen you still experience problems with starting the saw, then take it to a qualified technician.

And here’s a tip. Make sure that you put gas and oil into the right reservoir. Lawn care buffs that use a Stihl chainsaw might get confused because the gas and oil caps are identical in size and color.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.