How To Start a Chainsaw

Echo Brand Chainsaw
Echo Brand Chainsaw (Image:

A good chainsaw is an indispensable tool when felling trees, pruning branches, cutting firewood and many other tasks that would be difficult to complete with a hand saw. High-quality chainsaws are now designed to start easily, run until they are shut off, and to not require idle adjusting on a regular basis. Running the correct mixture of oil and gasoline (displayed as a ratio like 24:1, 40:1, or 50:1) in your chainsaw is imperative to its continued useful life and longevity. If there is not enough oil in the gasoline while running the chainsaw, the fuel will burn the engine up and the tool will be useless.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Correct mix ratio of 2 cycle oil and gasoline
  • Bar and chain oil

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Fill the bar and chain oil reservoir with a high-quality bar and chain oil, and close the reservoir tightly.

Fill the fuel reservoir with the correct mixture of 2 cycle oil and gasoline. Every chainsaw is different and will require a different mix ratio. The chainsaw usually states the required mix ratio either on the fuel reservoir cap, or somewhere on the chainsaw near the fuel reservoir. It is EXTREMELY important to use the correct oil/gasoline mix ratio.

Engage the chain brake by pushing the hand guard forward (may not be a feature of your chainsaw). Turn the ignition switch to "ON," and fully open the engine choke by pulling the choke knob all the way out.

Place the chainsaw on the ground and put your shoed foot into the handguard to hold the throttle open with your big toe. Place one hand on the forward grip and grasp the starter handle with the other hand. Be sure the bar and chain do not create a hazard for anything or anyone while starting the chainsaw.

Pull on the starter handle until you hear the engine "pop" once (usually 2 to 8 pulls). Then, depending on the model, close the choke half way or all of the way. Pull on the starter handle until the engine runs (up to another 10 pulls). If the engine does not start and run at this point, the engine is probably flooded with fuel. Allow the chainsaw to sit for 10-20 minutes and repeat steps 3-5 again until the engine starts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read the safety precautions for your chainsaw before attempting to use the chainsaw.
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