How To Start Stihl Chainsaw

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Are you looking to purchase a new Stihl chainsaw, but first want to know the right way to start it? If yes, then you are certainly in the right place at the right time.

Starting a Stihl chainsaw is quite easy as long as you know the right steps. The method of starting a Stihl chainsaw involves checking the fuel cap of the chainsaw, activating the chain brake, removing the bar cover of the chainsaw, pressing the decompression valve, and then pumping the primer valve of your chainsaw. After that, you need to set the master control, place the chainsaw on the ground, hold it tightly, pull the rope carefully, and then open the choke. Then, you need to move the master control, lift the Stihl chainsaw up, release the chain brake, and check the chain lubrication of your chainsaw.

In this article, you will get to know all about the Stihl chainsaws, key things to consider before you start the chainsaw, how to start Stihl chainsaw, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Starting your New Stihl Chainsaw

To become a master at using Stihl chainsaws, first you’ll need to learn how to start it and practice the right technique of using it. Undoubtedly, it’ll require a lot of time and patience to become perfect at starting chainsaws. If you are eager to find out how to start Stihl chainsaw, then this step-by-step guide will teach you that within no time.

To start your chainsaw, you need to first check the fuel cap, activate the chain brake, take off its bar cover, and press the decompression valve. After that, you should pump the primer bulb, and set the master control for the cold starting, while putting the saw on the ground.

Pull the starter rope and then open the choke by holding the tool with both hands. After you have done that, move the master control of the chainsaw to the idle setting and lift it. Lastly, you must release the chain brake and check the lubrication. That’s it, you are ready to start splitting the wood.

Chainsaw is incredibly popular as they are extremely powerful. This is why felling and cutting trees can be done within a matter of seconds. Simultaneously, you should be cautious and follow the proper technique while starting the chainsaw. 

Key Things to Consider Before Starting the Chainsaw

Before you find out how to start Stihl chainsaw, it’ll be important to learn about a few things that you should pay attention to if you want to avoid any problems.

1. Read the owner’s manual carefully

Before you start the chainsaw, it will be important to read the owner’s manual carefully. Reading the manual will let you know all the necessary safety information and other operating instructions that you might not know about.

2. Wear the protective gear

Before you start operating the chainsaw, wear proper safety gear, including gloves, safety goggles, boots, protective clothing, and more. Aside from that, if you feel the need, wearing a mask and earmuffs could be the best.

3. Never drop start

It is recommended that you shouldn’t start the chainsaw at the drop position. You should keep in mind that throw-starting or drop-starting the bike is a dangerous position. If you try to start your chainsaw from this position, you might not be able to operate your chainsaw safely, as you won’t get proper control over your chainsaw this way.

4. Make sure that you’re starting the saw in safe surroundings

Taking care of not just yourself, but other people and your surroundings will be important when starting the chainsaw. Therefore, when you start the chainsaw, make sure that no one is coming your way. Aside from that, if someone approaches you, you should try engaging the chain brake immediately as it’ll be better for everyone’s safety.

How to Start Stihl Chainsaw

If you have bought your first Stihl chainsaw, and you’re eager to find out how to start Stihl chainsaw, then you’re in the right place. There’s no doubt that Stihl is among the most popular and reputed brands in the market.

It is quite easy to start a Stihl chainsaw. These chainsaws have the same lever, throttle, switches, and recoil starter. You might find a few minor differences here and there due to differences in the model or type of the chainsaw. So without further ado, let’s find out how to start Stihl chainsaw with this step-by-step guide.

1. Check the fuel cap of the chainsaw

If you will be operating a gas-powered chainsaw, it’ll be important to check its fuel level before you try to start it. You should always make sure that the fuel cap is secured tightly. If you find drops of fuel outside your chainsaw, you must carefully wipe them off using a rag.

2. Activate the chain brake

Before you start your Stihl chainsaw, you shouldn’t forget to activate the chainsaw brake. To achieve that, you need to push the brake in the forward direction, otherwise the Stihl chainsaw might not start. You will find the chain brake in front of the chainsaw’s handlebar.

You will have to push the chain brake for activating it. The chain brake activation will keep the lock until you start to operate the chainsaw. This way, you will be able to start the chainsaw.

3. Remove the bar cover

Stihl chainsaws come with a cover for protecting the chainsaw bar and chain. Before you start the chainsaw, you should not forget to take the casing off.  This way, you will be able to make sure that the tool is ready to be started.

4. Press the decompression valve

If you have purchased a professional-grade chainsaw, it’ll come with a compression valve. You will be able to press the decompression valve in a downward direction. You’ll find it located on the top of the chainsaw near the starter rope. However, if your chainsaw doesn’t have this, you should skip this step.

5. Pump the primer valve of your chainsaw

Most Stihl chainsaws come with a primer bulb. If your saw has one, you will find the primer valve on the side of your chainsaw near the handlebar. It will help if you pushed the primer bulb downside around 4–5 times.

You will find a small plastic bubble on one side of your saw, which will be the primer bulb. The primer bulb will remove the air from the fuel pipe while letting the airflow to the carburetor. You will need to press the primer bulb a few times for quickly starting your chainsaw.

6. Set the master control

Now, it is time to set the master control of your chainsaw to the cold setting. You’ll find the throttle trigger lockout towards the side of the chainsaw. You’ll have to press it using your thumbs and then push the master control down. The master control will be placed at the rear left of your chainsaw. Remember to follow this step each time you’re operating the chainsaw.

The master control will set the speed and coke idle. Therefore, it’ll be important to set the control at the choke or cold start position. For this purpose, you must hold the handle and then press it down to the throttle trigger lock. You will be able to find this lock on top of the handle and then press it using your thumb.

Then, you should pull the throttle using your forefinger and then move the master control lever down to the choke position. If you’ve used the chainsaw somewhere before, it’ll be better to turn it off before you try to start it again. Additionally, before you start the chainsaw, you should set the master control warmly.

7. Place your chainsaw on the ground

Now, you need to place your chainsaw on a level surface. The chainsaw chain and bar shouldn’t be making any contact with the surface. As Stihl recommends that you should start your chainsaw from a sitting position, and therefore you need to put the chainsaw at ground level. When you’re placing your chainsaw on the ground, you should make sure that there is no object coming in contact with the chainsaw bar and chain. 

Remember that you shouldn’t start the chainsaw at the “drop” or “throw” position, since both of them are dangerous positions. So if you’re starting the chainsaw from these positions, it might not be possible to control your chainsaw in a better way.

8. Hold your chainsaw tightly

professional logger holding the stihl chainsaw tightly while cutting logs

Hold your chainsaw tightly with your hands and foot when you’re trying to start the chainsaw. For holding the chainsaw, you should slip your right toe into the rear handle of your chainsaw. Then, press down the front handle using your left hand or the less dominant one.

Then, wrap your fingers around the handle and then lock it with your elbow. This will be the safest and most secure way of starting the chainsaw.

9. Carefully pull the starter role

You can try pulling the starter role by holding the chainsaw’s handle. You’ll need to pull this rope until you notice resistance. Then, you should pull the rope quickly and your chainsaw will fire up quickly and easily. You should pull the rope upward and then keep it in the vertical position. Remember, you shouldn’t let the starter rope chafe against the fan housing.

Remember that you should always grab the starter rope handle and not the rope. Moreover, you shouldn’t try wrapping the rope around the handle as it can be quite dangerous.

10. Open the choke

Sometimes, your chainsaw might not start, catch fire, or die down immediately. This usually happens when you do not start your chainsaw correctly. If that occurs, you should move the master control up to the half-throttle or in warm settings. If you have used the chainsaw recently, you must keep the master control in the warm setting.

Then, you need to pull the starter rope for starting the fire. You’ll need to follow the same technique by holding the starter rope handle, pulling the starter rope in a vertical direction, and then trying to fire the engine again.

11. Move the master control

Once your chainsaw has started running, you will have to move the master control to the idle setting. By doing so, the master control level will return to the normal idle settings. Here, you should note that a slight touch of your finger might be enough to get the job done and your chainsaw will continue running.

12. Lift up your Stihl chainsaw

A chainsaw is largely a powerful yet dangerous tool. Therefore, it is important to make sure that there is no one in your surroundings when you are operating the chainsaw. You need to remove the objects present in the working area before you start the chainsaw.

You should carefully stand up by holding your chainsaw at the handlebar and release the chain brakes carefully. For this purpose, you’ll need to pull the brakes at the backside towards you. After you have completed this step, your chainsaw will be ready to be used.

13. Release the chain brake of your chainsaw

Pull the handle toward you with your left hand and then release the brake. When you are doing this, you should try keeping a strong hold on the handlebar. If you get the click sound, your chain has been released, and you’ll be able to turn on the chainsaw bar. Further, it’ll also release the chain brake. Resultantly, the chainsaw chain will start rotating on the sprocket.

14. Check the chain lubrication of the chainsaw

When you’re doing to operate the chainsaw, it’ll be important that you reach its lubrication. Take the chainsaw and then hold it against the light-colored background as a piece of paper on the ground surface before completely opening up the throttle. You can start your work if you see signs of lubricants in the background.

You should always work in a safe environment, and you shouldn’t forget to follow the necessary safety precautions. In case you face any issues or problems while starting or operating the Stihl chainsaw, you should consult the owner’s manual or ask a professional for help.

How to Start a Stihl Chain Saw


Why is my Stihl chainsaw not starting?

Say that you have followed the right strategy for starting your chainsaw and still it isn’t starting, then there are a few reasons. If that happens, there could be an issue with the chainsaw’s spark plug or air circulation in the combustion chamber. However, you can easily fix this issue and get your chainsaw starting with ease.

What is the biggest issue that could prevent you from starting a Stihl chainsaw?

If starting your chainsaw is becoming hard for you, then it could be because of numerous reasons. However, the biggest issue why you might be struggling to start the chainsaw is a dirty carburetor.

How to tell whether your chainsaw has been flooded or not?

There are numerous clear signs that will tell you that your chainsaw has been flooded. The clearest sign of that is the smell of fresh petrol. If your chainsaw has been flooded, you need to remove any excess fuel and then start operating the chainsaw.

How long can a Stihl chainsaw last?

Your Stihl chainsaw can last for as many as 5 years or 2000 working hours. However, this is just an estimation. Depending on your usage and how you’re maintaining your chainsaw, you will be able to operate your chainsaw quickly and efficiently for a long time.

You will be able to double up the lifespan of your chainsaw through factors like proper maintenance, cleaning, proper storage, repair, and more.

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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.