How To Start a Poulan Chainsaw

Backyard Mike is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Disclaimer

Did you purchase a Poulan chainsaw to improve your chainsaw game, but you aren’t sure about the right way to start it? If yes, then you are certainly in the right place.

Stating a Poulan chainsaw is easy once you know the right steps. The process involves removing the bar cover, activating the chain brake, moving the choke lever, turning the switch on, pressing the primer bulb, positioning the chainsaw, and pulling the starter rope. Before you start the chainsaw, remember that you utilize the necessary safety equipment like a helmet, gloves, ear protection, and more. This will protect you from any injuries during accidental slip-ups.

In this article, you will get to know all about Poulan chainsaws, safety measures to take before starting the chainsaw, how to start a Poulan chainsaw, troubleshooting the starting problem, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Starting a Poulan chainsaw

Do you own a Poulan Pro chainsaw, but you aren’t sure how to start it? If the answer to this question is yes, then you’ll be glad to know there’s a simple technique that you will get to know about here. If you don’t know how to start your chainsaw, you can do something incorrectly and end up getting into an accident. Starting a Poulan Pro chainsaw will require you to follow the laid down procedure.

Knowing that there are numerous Poulan chainsaws with various grades and different sizes, some people might get confused regarding which Poulan chainsaw requires which starting method. However, the reality is that all the Poulan Pro chainsaws have a common starting procedure with minor differences. You will need to use the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer. However, the instructions below will be the shortcut to starting a Poulan chainsaw.

Before starting the chainsaw

With every process, you will have to make sure that certain things are taken care of before running the chainsaw –  

Read the user manual

Before starting, you need to study the owner’s manual or get advice from an experienced chainsaw user on starting a Poulan chainsaw. The instructions are in the form of a step-by-step procedure, so you must read them carefully.

Moreover, reading the Poulan chainsaw handbook will help you learn more about your new chainsaw and how it operates. Once you have finished reading, you can start.

Check the brake and fluid system

The next thing you need to do before starting the chainsaw would be to check the fluid level. Check the chain brake and the throttle to see whether they are locked. The brake will protect you from any potential collision. Moreover, make sure that no item comes into contact with the bar’s kickback zone.

Other things to check before starting the chainsaw

This is why before starting your Poulan chainsaw, there are a few things that you will need to check. Once you’ve done that, you can head over to the starting procedure. 

  • Make sure that your chainsaw has the right mix of oil and fuel
  • Ensure that the chain and bar have been lubricated properly 
  • Make sure that each part is intact
  • Wear the necessary protective gear and clothing including gloves, goggles, helmet, ear defenders, and more
  • Make sure that the working area is clear of pets and that others aren’t engaged in cutting wood 

How to start a Poulan chainsaw

Step 1: Remove the bar cover

Before you do anything, you will need to remove the bar cover.

Step 2: Activate the chain brake

You’ll then have to activate the chain brake by pressing on it. It will be located at the top handle.

Step 3: Move the choke lever

Once the chain brake is activated, you must move the choke lever to the full position. In most chainsaws, moving the choke lever can lock the throttle to the starting position. In case it does not, you will need to lock the throttle in the required starting position.

Step 4: Turn on the switch

If your Poulan Pro chainsaw has an on/off switch, you will only have to move the switch to the “On” position. It will mostly be indicated by the symbol “I” and not “O”.

Step 5: Press the primer bulb

If your Poulan Pro chainsaw got a primer bulb, you will need to press it 4–5 times for drawing fuel to the carburetor. The air in the carburetor will be removed, and the fuel will get it. Pressing the primer bulb will make it much easier to start the engine with just a few pulls.

Step 6: Position your chainsaw

If your chainsaw has a step-through rear handle, you can set your chainsaw on the ground by placing the toe of your shoe through the handle. You will then need to hold the handlebar using your left hand.

If the step-through rear handle is not available on your chainsaw, you should hold the handlebar and then firmly press the chainsaw on the ground.

Step 7: Pull the starter rope

The last step will involve pulling the starter rope 3–5 times. Once the engine starts and stops after the last pull, you must push the choke to the half position and then pull the rope to start the engine. 

The engine will then fire up. You should give the engine around 30 seconds so that it warms up. You can then go ahead and start using your saw after releasing the chain brake or releasing the trigger to turn off the engine.  

Poulan Pro - Chainsaw Operation

Clean the air filters after using the chainsaw

After every 4–5 hours of usage, your chainsaw’s air filter must be checked and cleaned. Clean the top cover and the area surrounding it before you remove the air filter to prevent any dirt from falling into the carburetor chamber. Your chainsaw’s top cover must be removed too. Remove the air filter and then wash it in hot, soapy water for cleaning it. After that, rinse it under running water.

Before you replace the filter, you should let it dry properly. If the filter is foam, you should lightly grease it with bar and chain oil before you squeeze out any surplus. Lastly, install the top cover and the air filter.

Having problems starting the chainsaw?

So, you took all the necessary steps before starting the chainsaw and followed the right steps to start the chainsaw, but it still won’t start? You’ve tried repeating all the steps, but to no avail. 

Many questions might linger in your mind over what could be the problem. You may even contemplate giving up or initiating a return, as you believe the chainsaw might be faulty.

However, before you give up, there are a few things that you can look at for troubleshooting the problem. Here are some of the common reasons why your chainsaw might not start – 

1. Flooded engine

The distinct indicator of this problem is when you are smelling fuel from your chainsaw. Flooding of the engine can be caused when you press the primer bulb too many times. You can also confirm the flooding of the engine by removing the spark plug and checking if there is moisture.

Removing the excess fuel could be done in a couple of ways. The first method will be to allow the chainsaw to stay around for 15–20 minutes such that the fuel can evaporate from the engine. You can then repeat the starting procedure.

The second method will involve turning off the choke, activating fast idle, turning the On/Off switch, and pulling the starter rope when the chainsaw is firmly on the ground.

In case the engine doesn’t start after 15 pulls, you need to remove the spark plug and replace it with a new one. Drain out the fuel in the engine through the spark plug after you have removed it before placing the new spark plug.

2. Bad fuel

Your Poulan chainsaw might not start due to band fuel in the fuel tank. This can happen if the chainsaw oil mix ratio isn’t correct, or you’re using fuel left in the engine. The correct mixture of oil and fresh fuel must be one gallon of unleaded gas and 3.2 oz. of Poulan 2-cycle oil.

The gas and oil mixture recommended must be used in the chainsaw without any additives. This is because adding any additives might end up damaging the fuel system and the engine.

Moreover, clean the fuel tank and use fresh fuel, as the fuel left after the chainsaw was last used might have been robbed off of some components of the oil and gas mixture.

3. Spark plug

The spark plug should be checked to ensure that the spark is produced. You can do that by holding the rubber boot of your Poulan Pro chainsaw spark plug and grounding the other end on the metal of your saw’s engine. If there is no spark, then the spark plug could be defective. 

The spark plug can also be damaged if you notice any cracks on the porcelain insulator, carbon build-up, or burned electrodes on the spark plug.

You can clean the spark plug by making use of a wire brush and gas for carbon build-up. For other issues, the spark plug needs to be replaced.

Replacement of the spark plug can be easily done by adjusting the gap of your new spark plug to 0.0026. You should spread the spark plug into the cylinder and then use a socket for securing the spark plug.

From there, you can install the spark plug boot, and you’ll be done. You can then try to start your chainsaw using the given steps.

4. Clogged carburetors

If there are any clogs on the carburetor, it will hamper the starting process of any chainsaw. This can result in clogging if you leave the fuel in the chainsaw for too long. When such a thing happens, some components of fuel can evaporate and leave something sticky, causing clogging.

To solve that, you can either undertake a Poulan chainsaw carburetor adjustment or consider replacing the whole carburetor.

5. Spark arrestor

A spark arrestor is a small screen to prevent the sparks coming off the engine from reaching your clothing. It is usually made from fiberglass. This screen could be affected by soot over time, causing the chainsaw engine to stall after starting.

To resolve this issue, you need to remove the spark arrestor and then clean it using a wire brush. If cleaning does not resolve this problem, you will need to purchase a new one as a replacement.

6. Ignition coil

The ignition coil is tasked with sending the required voltage to the spark plug. It is actually the work of the ignition coil to transmit the voltage on the spark plug such that sparks can be produced to ignite the fuel.

When this happens, the engine will automatically fire up. If you’ve looked at your spark plug, and it is in good condition or replaced with a new one and the engine still won’t start, the ignition coil will be the problem.

You can use an ignition coil tester for determining whether the ignition coil is defective or damaged. If this is the case, you’ll have to replace the ignition coil.


When should you use a Poulan chainsaw?

You can use a Poulan chainsaw for tasks like bucking, felling, and lambing. Bucking involves the removal of trunks or logs. Lambing refers to the removal of shrubs and bushes. Felling involves chopping a tree down from the top or constructing wooden projects. The chainsaw can be used in two different ways – between your legs or on level ground.

What safety measures should I take before starting a Poulan chainsaw?

When you’re using a Poulan Pro chainsaw, it is important to follow the safety measures. If you are going to start your Poulan chainsaw, you need to utilize safety equipment like a helmet, safety goggles, hand gloves, ear protection, safety boots, chaps, and more.

What is the best way to combine oil and gas for your chainsaw?

To get the needed 49:1 fuel-to-oil ratio, you need to mix 3.2 ounces of Poulan 2-cycle air-cooled engine oil with a gallon of pure unleaded gasoline. Oil will separate from gasoline after a certain period of time. It is recommended that you should vigorously shake the oil and gas mixture before you refill your chainsaw to ensure correct oil and gas mixing.

What gas grade should you be using?

Poulan Pro chainsaws run on standard unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. You can use gas that has been mixed with no more than 10% alcohol. E85 or diesel fuels shouldn’t be used. Moreover, you should always be using new fuel and combine it with the 2-cycle oil specified by the manufacturer.

Photo of author
Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.