How to Start a Chainsaw

Start a gas or electric chainsaw in just a few simple steps

How to start a chainsaw

Whether you’re using a gas- or electric-powered chainsaw, getting your chainsaw started is a quick and simple task. This guide will walk you through the steps to ensure you’re comfortable and safe when using your chainsaw.

1
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.

2
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.

3
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.

4
Pull the start cord

• 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.

Electric Chainsaw


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 your electric chainsaw’s operation manual for more specific instructions.

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