Starting A Chainsaw: Do It Like A Pro!

starting a chainsawIt is time to learn all about how you go about starting a chainsaw. If you are a first-timer, which you must be since you are reading an article about how to start your chainsaw for the first time, then you need to understand a few mechanics before you can get to business.

This will be a step-by-step guide on starting your chainsaw easily and effectively so that you can get to work. Keep in mind that chainsaws are extremely dangerous pieces of equipment, and if you do not know how to properly use the tool, you may find yourself falling victim to an accident.

Before you ever start your chainsaw, make sure you read the owner’s manual. There is a wealth of knowledge inside the owner’s manual that you should know before messing around with one of these incredibly powerful tools. Your life may depend on it!

Chainsaw Preparation

preparing chainsawBefore starting your chainsaw, you need to do a bit of preparation. The first thing you need is to make sure you are safe. This means wearing all your safety gear.

It is important to wear chainsaw chaps in the case of accidental kickback, so you can protect your legs. You also need to wear special gloves that allow you to handle the chainsaw. You need hearing protection for the loud engine, a safety helmet to keep your brain safe, and goggles to protect your eyes from the intense amount of flying sawdust and other debris.

Next, the chainsaw needs to be filled with a gasoline and oil mixture. The chainsaw definitely won’t start if it has no gas in it. For this, you will need to check your owner’s manual for the proper ratio. The ratio of gas to oil will either be 40:1 or 50:1 depending on your particular model.

Now there must be oil in the reservoir to lubricate the guide bar and chain. There is normally a reservoir somewhere near the top of the chainsaw that has a screw cap and a translucent window. You need oil in the reservoir to keep the chain lubricated while it spins around the bar, otherwise, you will shorten the life of your chainsaw and increase the chance of kickback.

The final step is to do a quick inspection of the tool. Check the chain for any stuck dirt or grime, or any wood chippings that have been compacted beneath the teeth. This could cause problems with the chain flying off or with it snapping. And finally, ensure the chain moves properly by moving the chain around the guide bar with your hand (gloves on!).

How to Start a Chainsaw

It’s time to get your chainsaw started! By following these simple instructions, your chainsaw should start on the first or second pull every time. Don’t feel bad if it sounds like an overwhelming amount of information, as you will eventually learn all the phrases and how to properly operate the machine.

Step 1: Keep it Stable

chain brakeThe first step is to have the chainsaw in the proper position. You always want to start the chainsaw with it on level ground. This means either sitting on a stump or sitting flat on the ground.

You never want to start the chainsaw in the air or on a surface that is too high and awkward. This could cause an immediate problem if you lose control of the machine.

Place your strong foot inside the rear handle and keep it pressed strongly to the ground or the level surface. This keeps your chainsaw from running away on you.

Next, you’ll place your other hand on the top handlebar. Also, ensure that there is nothing near you, nothing in immediate contact with the chainsaw bar and chain, and nothing you could accidentally hit the moment the chainsaw starts.

Step 2: Chain Brake

Using the hand on top of the handlebar, push the chain brake forward. This will be a small handle very close to the handlebar. Pushing it will engage the chain brake, which stops the chain from immediately spinning once the engine has been started. This is a safety mechanism.

Step 3: Turn On & Open Up The Choke

Now you must turn the chainsaw on by switching the on/off switch into the “on” position. Then open up the choke by turning the knob into the fully open position. The chainsaw choke works by regulating the mixture of air and fuel that goes into the carburetor. Now all the valves are open so that your combustion engine can start to combust.

Step 4: Prime It!

There is a small fuel primer bulb located on the side of the chainsaw. You will need to push this bulb three or four times, or until you see there’s fuel inside of it. This bulb works by drawing fuel from the tank to the carburetor in preparation for starting.

Step 5: Pull the Cord

Keep your off-hand on the top handlebar and your strong foot on the back handle, and pull the starting cord with your strong hand in a smooth and fast motion. Don’t pull too fast, and don’t pull too hard. Just do it nice and smoothly.

You may need to pull on the cord a few times until the engine sounds like it’s about to come to life, but doesn’t. It won’t start yet because the choke is engaged. When you hear that sound, turn the choke lever back into the half open position.

With the choke reset, pull on the starting cord one more time. The engine should burst into life immediately upon your next pull. If it doesn’t, simply pull a couple more times until the engine roars into existence. Now your chainsaw should be idling.

Step 6: Let it Idle

Wait about 30 seconds. Let your chainsaw idle to get all the good stuff moving. If you don’t let the chainsaw idle, it will probably stall.

After the 30 seconds, you can move the choke lever back into the fully closed position. You are also free to disengage the chain brake. You can do this by pulling the chain brake handle back. If you don’t disengage the brake, the chain won’t spin and you can’t cut anything.

Congratulations, your chainsaw is running! Now you can set off and get to work.

Randy Peterson Cutter Life

Randy Peterson

Randy is a chainsaw enthusiast and an experienced lumberjack. He'll most likely be found cutting, chopping, and trimming trees, usually working with a wide variety of tools. Randy likes the outdoors and socializing with friends.