Chainsaw Won’t Start: Starting A Gas-Powered Chainsaw In 4 Steps

wearing protective gloves holding chainsaw

Chainsaws are very important tools for homeowners especially when they need to clear their yard of trees and branches. Professional loggers on the other hand, will need one that is built tough and strong enough to deal with hardwood trees. This is basically why chainsaw buyers are very concerned about the product’s quality.

Unfortunately, even if you are going to buy the most expensive chainsaws from the most popular manufacturers, there might be a chance that chainsaws can fail unexpectedly. This is especially true if the chainsaw has gone through heavy use and lacks proper maintenance checks or services.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to hopefully fix the problem. It is very important for chainsaw owners to know these steps simply because they might find themselves in a situation where a technician is not available. Keep in mind that most of the time, chainsaws are used in isolated places.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. A Work Table

A Work Table

You will need a lot of space to properly inspect the chainsaw. If you do not have one, you can use a work bench or any flat table. You can also use other flat surfaces such as the floor as long as you get enough space to go through the different parts of the chainsaw.

2. Tools


Depending on how your chainsaw was made, you might need to use tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches or Allen wrenches in order to open the housing of your chainsaw. There are chainsaw models however, that you can easily open without having to use any tools.

3. Work Gloves

work gloves

You will need to have work gloves in order to protect your hand from sharp surfaces. The gloves can also help create a barrier so that your skin will not come into contact with the gasoline or any chemicals that is contained inside the chainsaw.

4. Rags


You will use this to help control the mess that might happen in case there is a spill. You can also use the rag to clean up the work table or floor after repairing the chainsaw. If you do not have a clean rag, you can use old clothes or newspapers.

5. A Turkey Baster

A Turkey Baster

This will be used to drain the gasoline just in case there are problems with it inside the tank. If you do not have one, you might use a small hose and a large syringe to drain it out. Avoid sucking the gas out with your mouth so you can avoid poisoning.

6. Container


You will need to have a gas-safe container as well as a container that can measure exact amounts of liquid. You can use plastic containers as long as it is safe for containing or measuring gas and other volatile substances.

7. A Spark Plug

a spark plug

You will have to replace this part of the chain saw just in case it is broken.

8. Clean Oil And Clean Gas


This will be used to replace the old oil and gas that has been stored in the unit for a prolonged period of time.

9. A Carburetor Repair Kit

A Carburetor Repair Kit

If the carburetor is the part that is not functioning properly, you might want to have it fixed with the help of a repair kit. If you do not have one, you can try using a carburetor cleaner if you do not have a repair kit.

How To Make The Chainsaw Start Properly

Step 1: Deal With Stubborn Starters

cleaning carburator

Put the chainsaw on a flat surface and with your work gloves on, try to remove the bar cover with the correct tools if necessary. Activate the chain brake and engage the smart start controls or the decompression system. You can also press the fuel pump to start the chainsaw easily.

Hold the top handle properly and make sure that the cutting edges are not in contact with any surface. Pull the starter rope in one quick motion and try to push the throttle a little. Sometimes the engine will not work during cold weather or when you are holding the throttle too long.

Step 2: Using Clean Oil And Clean Gas

pouring oil into chainsaw

Open the fuel tank and remove the old gas and oil mixture inside it with a turkey baster. Put it in a gas-safe storage container. Measure the correct amount of gas and oil using new gas and clean oil. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications. The usual ratio is 2.6 ounces of oil to 1 gallon of gas. Try to start it.

Step 3: Replace The Spark Plug

checking chainsaw

Remove the spark plug and inspect it. Try to see if it still has a spark. If you see any damage, cracks, burns or carbon deposits, you will have to replace it. You should also replace this part if it has been used for several months. After replacement, try to turn the chainsaw again.

Step 4: Dealing With The Carburetor

The carburetor can get clogged by a thick and sticky substance that is left behind by fuel evaporating in the chainsaw. If it is clogged, it will not turn on properly. You can clean it with a carburetor repair kit. Follow the instructions of the kit properly. Replace the carburetor after that and try to turn on the unit.


In some instances, the chainsaw will not turn on properly because of the cold weather or because you need to exert more effort in turning the engine on. You might also be needing a new sparkplug. It is also possible that the fuel in the unit has evaporated and has clogged the carburetor.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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