How do I start a Chainsaw?

I was asked last week by a new customer. “How do I start my chainsaw?"

This is not a common question we receive, but worth discussing for new chainsaw operators. This is a general guide and some chainsaw models may vary from this procedure.

*Disclaimer. I recommend you read your chainsaw owners manual before proceeding & follow all safety recommendations within the manual.

I am assuming your chainsaw is full of freshly mixed 2-stroke fuel and bar oil.

Cold start procedure.

  1. If the model is equipped with a chain break activate it.
  2. Most modern chainsaws are equipped with a decompression valve – press this if fitted.
  3. Activate the choke lever.
  4. If the engine is equipped with a manual fuel purge pump, press the clear bulb continually until fuel is visible inside the bulb and fuel flows into the carburetor.
  5. Place the chainsaw on the ground, then place your right foot in the rear handle, and keep a firm grip on the front handle with your left hand.
  6. Pull the starter handle with your right hand and repeat until the engine fires.
  7. Activate the decompression valve again if fitted to your model.
  8. Push the choke in and apply half-throttle then pull cord until the chainsaw starts.
  9. Accelerate so the engine idles, then release the chain brake.


How to start a hot chainsaw engine

  1. Follow the cold starting instructions above, but disregard the points relating to the choke.
  2. If the engine is difficult to start, apply half-throttle.
  3. On some chainsaw models, you access half-throttle function by fully activating the choke, then moving the control back one notch.