The Only Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Chainsaw You Need

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A chainsaw is an incredibly versatile tool for both residential and commercial work. It’s also a fast-moving cutting tool that can cause severe damage to property or people. With this sobering fact in mind, it’s important to know how to start a chainsaw. Follow these basic steps in order to feel and act like a pro!

1. Prepping the Tool

Push the chain brake forward to lock it into place on your STIHL chainsaw. Make sure the bar cover is also removed. Give each part a thorough examination before starting a chainsaw, suggests OSHA. If anything appears loose or disconnected in any fashion, don’t attempt to activate the tool. Always run a well-maintained chainsaw and repair questionable tools otherwise.

2. Finding the Valve and Primer Bulb

Press the decompression valve and activate the primer bulb if your STIHL chainsaw is equipped with these features. Both of these parts assist you in turning the engine over and reducing strain on the parts. Starting a chainsaw is still a mechanical operation that requires the proper steps.

3. Activating the Master Control Lever

Find the steps for the master control lever in your instruction manual. For STIHL products, most steps include activation of the throttle trigger lockout and then the throttle trigger. At this point, you can move the master control lever into place.

4. Finding a Flat Surface

Learning how to start a STIHL chainsaw involves safe starting positions. Never hold the tool in front of you during the pulling sequence. You need level ground. Locate a flat surface, such as asphalt or concrete, that’s free from any nearby obstacles. Make your final, visual checks of the tool now. Verifying the fuel level and type, for instance, should be a priority.

5. Positioning Yourself

Continue to have the chainsaw on the ground with the cutting edge free from any obstacles. Place your right foot into the rear handle opening. Hold the top handle with your left hand. The right hand remains free to pull the starter cord.

6. Giving it a Good Pull

  • Give the starter cord a steady and slow pull at first.
  • You’ll feel resistance to the action.
  • Continue with several other pulls in a vertical motion.

These pulls are how to start a chainsaw on the first try. Maintain your stance throughout this process until the tool hums beneath you.

7. Setting to Tool to Idle

Activate the throttle trigger with a soft touch. You should notice the master control lever moving into its idle position. Remember with this step-by-step process, the engine will be on with no movement from the chain. You want these steps in their proper order so that safety remains prioritized. A moving chain right now means that someone might be harmed nearby, including the operator.

8. Releasing the Chain

Pick up the tool with both hands. Grab the chain-brake handle and pull it toward your body with your left hand. The chain is now released. Do not place your hands anywhere near the cutting blade at this point. A clicking sound is usually the indicator that you’re ready to move the chainsaw into action.

9. Troubleshooting Faulty Firing and Lubrication

Part of learning how to start a STIHL chainsaw is moving through troubleshooting steps when activation doesn’t occur. If the tool starts up and shuts down, try a half-throttle position on the master control lever. This step effectively opens the choke.

Start the chainsaw again. Activate the throttle to its full position. Look at the ground for any lubricant. A well-maintained tool has ample lubricant that will drip off from the chain, reports the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Our team can walk you through this step by step process so that everyone is safe. Chainsaw use is commonplace, but not every person has the safety skills. Be the pro on any project with these basic tips!