Chainsaw Won’t Start – Possible Reasons & Solutions!

If you’ve ever owned a chainsaw, you know how frustrating it can be when it won’t start. For anyone who uses a chainsaw regularly, getting one started can feel like the hardest part of the job. The good news is that there are plenty of reasons your chainsaw won’t start and most of them aren’t as ominous as they sound.

Chainsaw Won't Start

Many different variables can affect your chainsaw performance. Depending on the type of saw you own, these issues will differ slightly from one brand to another but the principles remain the same for any model. It is important to troubleshoot your chainsaw before replacing or calling an expert. Keep reading to find out more about why your chain saw won’t start and what you can do about it!

Reasons Why Chainsaw Won’t Start and Possible Solutions

Chainsaws are extremely helpful tools when it comes to cutting trees and other woody plants. And yet, as useful as chainsaws are, they can be tricky machines if you don’t know how to handle them. Here are the most common reasons why your chainsaw won’t start and the possible solutions.

1. Cold Engine

If your chainsaw won’t start when cold, the engine is likely too cold. To fix this, heat up the engine in a few minutes by running it for about 10 minutes. This will allow it to warm up and you should be able to start using it again.

2. Bad Fuel

The fuel may be bad if it is old or contaminated. If the fuel has been sitting around for a long time and has not been properly stored, this can cause it to become stale. Stale gas won’t start your saw as well as fresh gas will.

If you have an older saw that uses carburetor-type engines, then make sure that you are using the correct type of fuel for these models (gasoline). A lot of people will use gasoline for their chain saws even though they only use diesel in their vehicles because they don’t know any better!

3. Wrong Carburetor Settings

The first thing you should do if your chainsaw won’t start is to check your carburetor settings. You can do this by checking the mixture screw on your carburetor for a proper adjustment. If it’s too loose, or if there are holes in it that allow air to escape when you turn on your machine and make adjustments, then this may be what’s causing an issue with starting or running properly.

Also, you can check your carburetor settings by looking at how close together all of the holes are on each side of the center hole (the one where the fuel goes in). The closer they’re spaced apart from each other, as well as being aligned correctly with each other (wider than 90 degrees) will mean better performance out of your engine while cutting through the wood because less gas will go wasted trying to burn its way through dirt clogging up those gaps between them!

4. Wrong Choke Position

The choke is a valve that controls the amount of air that gets into the engine. When you start your chainsaw, make sure that it’s set to “cold.” This will allow more air to get into your engine and help it start running more smoothly. If you haven’t already done so, set up your chainsaw in its cold position (this means turning off all power sources). Once this is complete, turn on all power sources but leave one thing out—the ignition switch for your ignition system (or starter motor) should be turned off as well.

5. Faulty Spark Plug

If the spark plug is damaged and needs to be replaced, make sure to check for any other problems with your chain saw’s engine. Look out for damage to the spark plug itself. A damaged or worn-out cylinder head can cause a misfire condition in which no power is generated from the combustion of fuel within an engine’s cylinders. This type of problem will require replacing both the cylinder head and its associated components before you can restore the full performance of your chainsaw engine

6. Out of Fuel

To check the fuel system, you’ll need to inspect your fuel tank. If you have a portable saw and/or a small engine, likely, there isn’t much in the way of storage capacity for extra fuel. If this is true, then you’ll need to find an empty container capable of holding enough gas for your engine size (and how often you use it). Be sure not to store too much at once – it could overflow and spill out into your workplace!

Furthermore, inspect the lines connecting the tank and nozzle on top of your chainsaw with an eye dropper or syringe full of water. Make sure all connections are secure by using zip ties or other appropriate means if necessary; otherwise, they may leak or kink over time due to wear from use so keep track of them when changing/cleaning up after each workout session!

7. Flooded Engine

The engine will not start because of a flooded engine. A flooded engine has been pumped with more fuel than the carburetor can handle, or the tank is full and no air is being sucked into it. This causes an overflow of gas into your gas tank, which eventually makes its way out through small holes in your gas cap.  

8. Tricky Fuel Line Issue

If your chainsaw has tricky fuel line issues, it won’t start. What you should do is look out for the fuel line for kinks or cracks. If there’s a leak, it could be the reason why your chainsaw does not start properly. Leaks can cause an engine to run poorly and eventually stop working altogether; this is particularly true when using untreated fuels in an older model of a chain saw (as opposed to using synthetic gasoline).

Another way to check for a tricky fuel line issue is to inspect the clogs on your gas tank’s sternum valve. This is located underneath where you fill up with gas at most stations, so if it’s hard to reach without opening up a lot of other things like cabinets/drawers, etc., then this could be another source of problems down below!

Prevention and Precautions Tips to Avoid Chainsaw Not Starting

Let’s quickly take a look at the precaution tips to avoid the chainsaw not starting.

1. Use the Right Gasoline

Make sure you use the right kind of gasoline for your chainsaw. Do not use gasoline with ethanol. Ethanol is hygroscopic and will absorb water, which can lead to various problems like the engine refusing to start, engine pings, sputters or stalling, or even seizing up the engine entirely. Always check the fuel mixture before you fill up!  Also, make sure to drain the gas can completely before you put it away in storage so that you don’t accidentally use gas with an ethanol mixture in your chainsaw.

2. Fill the Chain Oil Compartment

Use a funnel to fill the chain oil compartment. Keep in mind that you need to use the right type of oil and mix it correctly. Fill it up until you reach the correct level, then check that all parts have been covered in oil before continuing.

3. Clean the Spark Plug Regularly

Remove the spark plug and clean it with a wire brush. Look for dirt, dust, and any other gunk that might be clogging up your spark plug. If you see any of these things on your spark plug, remove them with a wire brush or other suitable tool. Make sure to check the gap between electrodes and insulator; this should be about 1/8 inch (3 mm). If there is excessive wear on either side of the gap, replace it as soon as possible!

4. Clean the Air Filter and Check for Perforations Regularly

If you have an older saw, the air filter is likely dirty. This can cause your chainsaw to run poorly, not start at all or even stop while starting up. To clean the air filter, remove the side panels of your machine and pull out any debris inside (or just wipe them out with a rag). Clean out any dirt or dirt particles by running water through it until it runs clear (if you don’t have access to running water right now, put some in a bucket). Wash with soap and warm water (do not use hot water) then let dry completely before putting back together again!

5. Charge the Battery, Never Use a Damaged One

Use a quality battery charger. A good battery charger will keep your chainsaw working properly, even if you leave it on charge for a long period. Make sure that the charger you use is not damaged in any way before using it with your chainsaw.

Replace the battery if it’s damaged or old. If you notice cracks or other signs of wear and tear inside your chainsaw’s battery compartment, replace it immediately with a new one from the same manufacturer so that they will fit together properly and allow for maximum power output from both sides of each circuit board to prevent any electrical problems from occurring later down line (i.e., after another part gets replaced).

Don’t overcharge batteries! This can result in overheating which may cause permanent damage due to excessive heat exposure during charging cycles which could cause chemical reactions within its composition leading up towards combustion!”

6. Store Properly in Dry Space

Store your chainsaw in a clean and dry space. If you’re storing your chainsaw indoors, make sure that there’s no moisture around it. This can cause rust and corrosion on the machine. Don’t store the saw where it will be exposed to heat sources such as sunlight or fireplaces; these can increase the temperature inside of your garage or shed and cause damage to your chainsaw. Also, keep away from any other equipment that generates excessive heat (such as air conditioners).

In addition, never store a chainsaw near an open flame because this could result in an explosion or fire due to sparks emitted when cutting through wood materials with high carbon content (like pine).


It can be frustratingly difficult to figure out the most common reasons your chainsaw won’t start. Some can be easily fixed while others will require a trip to the shop for professional help! With the help of this guide, you should be able to fix this annoying issue and get back to work as soon as possible!

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