Project Guide

How to Start a Chainsaw

Stabilize the Chainsaw
  • The saw should always be placed on level ground with your right foot on the rear handle to keep in stable while starting. 
  • Be sure nothing is in the way of the bar.
Check the Chain Brake

One of the most important chainsaw safety features is the chain brake, which is a bar located on the saw’s upper handle. 

When it is pushed forward by the forces of a kickback, it will stop the chain from rotating around the saw’s guide bar.

Always start your chainsaw with the chain brake engaged.

Open the Choke
  • Turn the on/off switch to the on position and open the choke, which regulates the air fuel mix to the engine. 
  • By opening the choke, a richer mix of fuel will be supplied to the engine during starting. 
  • If your chainsaw has a fuel primer press it several times until fuel can be seen in the bulb. When pressed, the fuel primer creates a vacuum that draws fuel from the tank and into the carburetor.
Pull the Start Cord
Electric Chainsaw
  • With your left hand on the saw’s upper handle and your right foot in the rear handle, pull up on the start cord with your right hand. It should be a smooth, somewhat quick stroke. 
  • When the engine begins to turn over, push the choke back in halfway and pull again. 
  • Once the engine starts, squeeze the throttle once to rev up the engine’s idle. 
  • The throttle can then be revved up a few more times to get more fuel into the engine. 
  • Don’t over-do it or the engine may stop running. 
  • Adjust the choke to the run position and when you’re ready to saw, release the chain brake.
How to Start an Electric Chainsaw
  • Most electric chainsaws require you to press and hold the safety lock button in order to make the switch trigger operational. 
  • Then press and hold the trigger switch to start the chainsaw. 
  • Keep holding onto this trigger switch for continued operation.

Tip: Check you electric chainaw's operation manual for information specific to your model.

Safety: When starting an electric chainsaw, follow the same safety precautions as you would when starting a gas chainsaw.