Chainsaw Is Hard To Start: How To Fix

Chainsaws are great because they let us cut down trees quite quickly – that’s what they’re designed for in the first place. However, sometimes even with proper maintenance, your chainsaw won’t start.

Many people often encounter the problem of their chainsaw being hard to start. More often than not, it can take as long as 20 to 30 minutes to start the chainsaw before it begins to work.

There are different reasons why you are finding it difficult to start your chainsaw. All of these reasons and more will be discussed below. This article will cover reasons why a chainsaw won’t start and how you can fix it.

Reasons Why Your Chainsaw Won’t Start

There are a couple of reasons why your chainsaw might be hard to start. Below is a list of reasons you should consider.

1. Old Fuel or Bad Fuel Filter

This is the most common reason you face challenges starting your chainsaw. If the fuel you are using is old, there is a good chance it will accumulate dirt with time. The dirt, when accumulated, ruins the carburetor of your chainsaw. This is why your chainsaw is difficult to start.

Apart from old fuel, you might find starting your chainsaw challenging if you use a bad fuel filter. Change the fuel and get a good fuel filter. Also, wash or service the carburetor to get the engine working properly again.

2. Engine being Overflooded with Oil

If your engine is overflooded with oil, there is a pretty good chance that you will find it difficult to start your chainsaw. The reason is simple. Too much fuel in the engine leads to overflowing when the engine over floats and the ability to kickstart becomes much more reduced.

Fixing this is pretty easy. Firstly find out why your engine got overflooded with oil. Once you have done that, you can pull the start cord continuously. Ensure you are holding the throttle while doing so. Also, replace the spark and try to start the chainsaw after a couple of minutes.

3. A Broken Rewind Swing

A broken rewind swing is another thing that can make it hard for you to start your chainsaw. Typically, your rewind swing should rewind the starter after each attempt at starting your chainsaw. If it doesn’t rewind the starter, it becomes hard or almost impossible to start your chainsaw.

You can easily fix this problem by replacing or changing the rewind swing. If this doesn’t work, you might have to replace the entire recoil pack. Once you do this, you should be able to start your chainsaw quickly.

How Do I Make My Chainsaw Easier to Start?

You can do different things to make your chainsaw start without hassles. Here are the tips below

1. Change the Old Fuel

This is the first thing you should consider if you want to make your chainsaw easier to start. If your fuel has been in your chainsaw for too long, there is a pretty good chance the fuel would have accumulated dirt.

Drain the fuel from the chainsaw. Ensure you remove as much fuel as possible. When you do this, you can easier pour new fuel into your chainsaw. This should make it easy for you to start your chainsaw.

2. Service your Chainsaw Often

If you service your chainsaw often, the chances of your chainsaw having issues will be much reduced. Service does a lot of things to your chainsaw. It does things such as making your chainsaw easier to start, cleaning or removing the dirt and old fuel in your engine, and much more.

By servicing your chainsaw, you will also be able to ensure your chainsaw lasts for a much longer time.

Why Is My Chainsaw Hard To Start

How Do I Start a Cold Chainsaw?

It is pretty much easy to start a cold chainsaw. All you need to do is know the steps to follow. Below are the steps to perform a cold start on your chainsaw.

Step 1: Move the Hand Guard-Forward

This is the first thing you need to do. You must move the front-hand guard forward to engage the chain brake. This should protect you from the chain rolling accidentally when you start the chainsaw.

Step 2: Pull the Choke Out and Push the Air Pressure

You need to pull the choke out to ensure the blade or chain doesn’t start running when you try to start the chainsaw. Once you have pulled the choke out, you should press the air pressure six times to blow air inside the engine.

Step 3: Pull the Starter Rope Slowly

This is the next thing you should do to cold-start your chainsaw. You need to pull the starter rope slowly till you feel some resistance. Allow the role to rewind. Then pull the starter rope hard and consistently at least four times.

Step 4: Push the Choke into a Half-Choked Position

Once the engine has shown signs of starting, you should push the choke into a half-choked position. Then, allow your engine to start or heat up for a while.

Step 5: Disengage the Chainsaw

This is the last thing you should do when the engine of your chainsaw begins to run. You should take time to disengage the choke and allow the blade or chain to run for around 10 to 15 seconds.

Should I Start My Chainsaw with the Brake On?

The brake is a very important component of your chainsaw. You should know it is very important to always leave your brakes on the moment you try to start your chainsaw. Leaving your brakes on reduces the chances of an accident occurring when you try to start your chainsaw.

While some people prefer to start their chainsaws without brakes, you should know that this is very risky, especially when you are a newbie. Ensure you always keep your brakes on when trying to start your chainsaw.

Do they make electric starters for chainsaws?

Lately, a lot of manufacturers have been finding out means or methods to make their chainsaws more comfortable and easier to use. One such method is the use of electric starters.

Many chainsaws nowadays come with an electric starter button. Some chainsaws start by being connected directly to electricity. These chainsaws include Kohler and Honda. Briggs and Straton is also a manufacturer of chainsaws with electric starters.

Which Brand Chainsaw is the Easiest to Start?

husqvarna 20 inch 455 rancher gas chainsaw

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw is the easiest chainsaw to start. This chainsaw isn’t just ideal for heavy duties, but it is also ideal as it gives very low emissions. This chainsaw has a push button that allows it to start with just one push.

Aside from the push button, you can pull the rope to start the chainsaw. If you are looking for a chainsaw that wouldn’t stress you, you should consider getting Husqvarna 455 rancher gas chainsaw.

How many Pulls Should It Take for a Chainsaw to Start?

It shouldn’t take too many pulls for your chainsaw to start. Ideally, if your engine is working great and your choke is on, it shouldn’t take more than three pulls for your chainsaw to start.

If your chainsaw isn’t starting in 3 pulls, you should check if you turned on the ‘on’ button. If it is on, check other things, such as fuel and oil.

How To Start a Chainsaw on the Ground?

It is pretty easy to start a chainsaw on the ground. Here are the four steps to follow if you want to start your chainsaw.

1. Ensure your Chainsaw is on a Flat Surface

This is the first thing you should do if you are looking to start your chainsaw on the ground. You need to ensure the ground beneath your chainsaw is even. This will allow for proper balance when you want to start the chainsaw.

2. Hold the Chainsaw down

Once the ground is flat and even, the next thing you should do is to hold the chainsaw down on the ground. You can use one leg to hold the held handle to the ground. While you do this, use your hand to hold the front handle.

Step 3. Pull the Starter Rope

Since you have held down the chainsaw, pull the starter rope to try and start the chainsaw. Ensure your chainsaw choke is on to prevent the blade from running when you try to start the chainsaw. Your chainsaw should start when you pull the rope.

Step 4. Remove the Choke

This is the last thing you should do when starting the chainsaw from the ground. You can remove the choke after you have lifted the chainsaw from the ground. This is the prevent the chainsaw from picking dirt on the ground.


If your chainsaw chain will not start, there is a chance it has no tension. This happens when the chain becomes loose or rusty. A pair of pliers should do the trick if you don’t have tools handy to adjust the chain. Once you have tightened your chain, pull on the handle to ensure it does not slip and start cutting.

If you’re inexperienced with chainsaws, the problem could be in a setting or adjustment. You will want to adjust it accordingly to get your chainsaw running. If none of that helps, the problem could be with the carburetor.

In that case, you’ll have to repair or replace it. But the biggest obstacle you may face is the fear of operating one of these dangerous power tools. It’s best to take a chainsaw safety course and brush up on your technique before starting.

There are many possible reasons why your chainsaw might not be starting quickly. All these reasons and more have been discussed in the article. Contact a service professional for further assistance if your chainsaw doesn’t start after trying these steps.

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