Top 14 Reasons Why Chainsaw Won’t Start

A very helpful tool in the world of tech tools, a chainsaw is a portable powered saw used to cut using a set of teeth mounted over a rotating chain.

But sometimes, your chainsaw won’t start, and there can be plenty of reasons behind it. To get to know ‘why’ and also the solutions for that read through this article.

Why Chainsaw Won’t Start and What is the Remedy

There are many factors that can cause a chainsaw to stop working. Following are 14 common problems that can be faced along with the solutions.

Spark Plug

In fuel-powered chainsaws, a sparkplug is a vital component, that when it gets old, dirty, or wet, can stop working. Thus, ignition can become difficult. So, take it out and look for any crack or dust on it.

This is to clean it properly if it gets dirty, dry it if wet, or replace it if damaged. Don’t worry about replacing it as it won’t cost you a lot of money.

Carburetor Clogging

Fuel remained in the engine for too long can get sticky due to impurities and can get clogged in the carburetor, which is a serious problem. As a result of that, your chainsaw won’t start.

The solution to this problem depends on the condition of the carburetor. Like, if it’s only dirty, then cleaning it would help. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it.

Ignition Coil

This coil helps in sending voltage to the sparkplug, as a result of which the engine starts. But sometimes it can get faulty as well and can cause trouble.

To check it and find the solution, you have to test the coil by connecting it to a tester or multimeter and then trying ignition. If you don’t read any reading on the multimeter, you will have to replace its ignition coil.

Air Filters

The next significant flaw that you may encounter is the bad air filter. The air filter, after a lot of use, can get clogged or dirty, and this may stop your chainsaw from starting.

To deal with this, take out the air filter and check for any problem with it. If dirty, clean it properly; otherwise, if it is incapable, replace it.

Carburetor Repair Kit

If none of the above issues is encountered so far, then look for the carburetor repair kit as it might have gone wrong. The main problem that is faced here is clogging.

The solution for most of the clogging problems is cleaning correctly. So, you have it clean it to make it work.

Recoil Starter Assembly

To turn over the engine, the component that is there is called a recoil starter assembly. This kit involves seven components in it that actuate it. If this assembly malfunctions, it will not let your chainsaw turn on.

The solution to this is removing the starter assembly and examining it properly. On pulling the starter rope, tabs and cam should grab the engine’s hub to turn it. And on release, it should rewind the pulley. If it does not go like that, get it repaired or replace it.

Rewind Spring

When you pull the starter rope and release it, the rewind spring helps recoil the starter rope onto the pulley. If the starter rope doesn’t recoil properly, you will face a problem starting the chainsaw.

To overcome this issue, first, observe this problem in your chainsaw and if it’s there, replace the rewind spring.


It might seem funny to talk about, but sometimes we don’t make sure about fuel and feel like the chainsaw is faulty as it won’t start.

The solution to this is you already know. Check the fuel tank and if empty, fill it.

Quality of Fuel

The quality of fuel is also essential when it comes to engine-based power tools. If used for longer on bad quality fuel, there will come the point when the chainsaw stops working.

If bad fuel was the issue, do the proper cleaning and avoid using this fuel again. 

Also, the fuel, if not fresh, can become sticky and might stop your chainsaw from working.

Piston Rings

The piston rings help in making the combustion proper and keeping the piston tighter in the cylinder and make the movement proper. But the wearing of piston rings might cause tension loosening. 

In that case, the engine may stop working or working badly. Thus, you should replace them and sort this problem out.

Flooded engine

On pressing the primer bulb for more than enough, you may cause the engine to flood. You will know about it by smelling gasoline.

To resolve it, you should drain the fuel completely out of the chainsaw and then push the choke back. After that, pull the starter rope about 6-8 times while holding the throttle. Now dry the spark plug and place it back to start the chainsaw.

Spark Arrestor

A screen that prevents the sparks from flying out is termed the spark arrestor. It also affects the air-fuel mixture. For long usage, it may go bad or blocked.

If your chainsaw isn’t working, you should have a check on the spark arrestor as well. If you feel it is bad, try cleaning it and test again.

Clutch Pad

This happens when your engine starts up but doesn’t turn the chainsaw. Thus, there is a chance that the clutch pads are faulty. And they will not engage the clutch drums to turn the chain on.

In this case, there is a need to replace your clutch pads, and it will start working.

Cold Weather

Cold weather prevents chainsaws and other engine-based machines from starting. Thus, you should give a little choke and try. It will get on after a while.


The aspects that I mentioned above are the most common ones. I hope they help in getting your issue resolved. Moreover, electric chainsaws are there that may go wrong due to a bad electrical breaker or damaged electric cord.

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