How to Fix a Chainsaw? Troubleshooting Common Problems

A chainsaw is one of the most used power tools which is almost found in every home in the USA. Irrespective of the manufacturing quality and care taken by the owner, even the best machines have bad times – the same is the case with chainsaws. So, if your chainsaw runs poorly, or it wouldn’t start, it is time to ascertain the real cause of the problem. Once you know the cause of the problem, the next step belongs to its solution; for this purpose, you should be well-aware of its fixing mechanism.

Technically, there are several problems that might be associated with your chainsaw – however, I am going to discuss some of the most common problems; these problems are usually responsible when your chainsaw wouldn’t start or runs poorly. Based on two major categories of chainsaws; gas-powered chainsaws, and electric chainsaws, I will discuss possible problems along with their solutions.

So, if your chainsaw wouldn’t start, and you are blank about the problem, do read this article; it will help you find the problem, and you will also learn How to Fix a Chainsaw.

Fixing Your Chainsaw? Problems and Solutions

For beginners and sometimes for experienced users as well, it can be quite a handy task to figure out the real problem associated with your chainsaw. Fixation is a post-step that can only be performed when you are familiar with the problem. Followings are potential problems that can be associated with your chainsaw;

What If Your Gas-Powered Chainsaw Wouldn’t Start? 

If you have a gas-powered chainsaw, and it wouldn’t start even after multiple steps, the followings may be the problems with your chainsaw;

1. Bad Fuel 

Gasoline is mixed with oil, and then it is used as fuel in a gas-powered chainsaw. If the fuel in the chainsaw has become old enough, it will be considered bad fuel. In the period of 30 days, the fuel that contains ethanol absorbed a significant amount of moisture from the environment. And now, the fuel has become inappropriate to start ignition.

On the other hand, the fuel you are using in your chainsaw must be of a high-octane number. If the octane number of fuel is less than 89, it will not be good for the engine.


If you suspect that your chainsaw isn’t starting due to bad fuel, you should replace it with good-quality fuel.

Meanwhile, make sure that you drain the tank and carburetor of your chainsaw every time when you are to store it after use.

2. Inappropriate Oil to Gas Ratio

Sometimes, it happens when your chainsaw starts but gets down immediately with a burp. This is a common problem that occurs due to an inappropriate ratio of oil to gas. Usually, oil to gas ratio is 40:1 or 50:1 – however, in both of these cases, the amount of gasoline remains the same while the ratio of fuel changes. To know the exact ratio of gasoline with oil, you must know mixing a chainsaw gas.

All chainsaws have a 2-cycled engine in which gasoline is mixed with oil before it goes into the gas tank, and starts combustion. So, it is necessary to achieve a recommended ratio of gasoline to oil.


The only solution to this problem is to use an appropriate mixture of gasoline and oil.

It will help you run your chainsaw smoothly and work perfectly.

Make sure that you aren’t adding oil of cheap quality, it must be of a high-octane number.

3. Cold Weather 

It is a common phenomenon that your chainsaw wouldn’t start in cold weather. When the weather is cold, ignition does not start which restricts the chainsaw’s starting. However, this is a minor problem that can be resolved by applying the following solution.


To cope with this problem, you need to close the choke to let the engine have a super-concentrated burst of fuel. After the engine of the chainsaw has started, you can open the choke.

4. Clogged Air Filter 

The gas-powered chainsaw has an air filter which is responsible for providing the carburetor with clean air. Every time you use the chainsaw, the sawdust keeps on accumulating in the air filter which ultimately makes it clogged. When the air filter gets clogged, the supply of clean air gets cut, and the engine doesn’t start.

Every chainsaw has a different type of air filter – however, all filters offer the same service. If your chainsaw is not starting, make sure that you check its filter.


If the air filter of your chainsaw is clogged, you can clean the air filter in easy steps.

Get the air filter out of the chainsaw, and clean it in sudsy water using a toothbrush.

Let the air filter dry after being washed, and then attach it again.

5. Bad Spark Plug 

A spark plug is a fundamental component that is responsible for starting the ignition. With time, there starts appearing sooty deposits on the spark plug, and its capacity of starting ignition in early attempts becomes faded.

This is a common problem that doesn’t let you start your chainsaw. Sometimes, the situation becomes worse when you do not check the spark plug of your chainsaw.


You can reuse the bad spark plug after cleaning sooty deposits from it.

If your chainsaw still doesn’t start, you may need to replace the spark plug.

In most cases, you can use the spark plug again after cleaning it.

Therefore, these might be the common problems associated with your chainsaw if it wouldn’t start.

What If Your Electric Chainsaw Wouldn’t Start? 

Compared to gas-powered chainsaws, the working mechanism of electrical chainsaws is less complex. There are two types of electrical chainsaws; corded chainsaws and battery-powered chainsaws. As their manufacturing structure does not have anything complex in it, the problems associated with them aren’t that technical.

Followings are some common problems that do not let your electrical chainsaw start – do apply solutions to these problems, you will likely resolve the issue, and start using your chainsaw;

1. Tripped Breaker ( Corded Chainsaw ) 

Passage of excessive current might damage your chainsaw – to avoid this problem, electrical chainsaws are equipped with a breaker. The fuse breaks the circuit immediately when it experiences excessive current passing through it. As the circuit breaks, the flow of current halts, and the chainsaw does not start.

This is an uncommon problem that most people neglect, and take their chainsaws to the mechanic. If your electric chainsaw doesn’t start, it is recommended to check the breaker first.


The solution to this problem is very simple; the circuit can be rebuilt by replacing the fuse. Check the requirements of the fuse, and replace it with a new one.

2. Damaged Electrical Cord 

Corded chainsaws are usually more powerful than battery-powered chainsaws – however, they require a continuous supply of power to work. If the supply of power is not available, the chainsaw will not be able to work. So, if your electrical chainsaw is not working, it might be due to a damaged power cord.

I will not recommend anything else other than replacing the damaged power cord – in some cases, it would have been repaired, but it is not a suggested approach.


Once you are sure that the chainsaw is not working due to a disrupted supply of power, change the power cord, and use the power tool.

3. Unchanged or Bad Battery (Battery-Powered Chainsaw) 

Battery-powered chainsaws are famous for small to medium-scaled jobs. The working mechanism of a battery-powered chainsaw is similar to a corded chainsaw, but it gets power from batteries. After prolonged use, batteries get down and become unable to deliver the required power to the chainsaw. This is a common reason which causes malfunctioning in the performance of your battery-powered chainsaw.


If the battery of your battery-powered chainsaw has become too old, it might not be able to deliver full power.

So, the only solution to this problem is to replace the battery, or you can buy a chainsaw that has a rechargeable battery.


Now, you are able to fix your chainsaw; Whether you are new to using this machine, or you have been using this for a long, this question might have hit your mind.

I have explained some of the most common problems that might be associated with your gas-powered and electric chainsaws.

The solution to all problems has also been discussed. Check your chainsaw for the above-mentioned problems, and apply the solution if you find any of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. Why has my chainsaw stopped working? 

There can be many reasons that can stop your chainsaw from working. If you have a gas-powered chainsaw, you must check the spark plug, fuel in the tank, and air filters – these are common problems that can stop your chainsaw from working. In the case of corded or battery-powered chainsaws, do check the source of power.

Q2. Why is my chainsaw not moving? 

Most of the time, the chainsaw does not move due to inappropriate tension in the chain of the chainsaw. If the tension in the chain of the chainsaw is more than required, the chain will not be able to move on the guide bar.

Q3. What are common problems with chainsaw?

There can be number of reasons for your chainsaw to malfunction; however, clogged filter, bad spark plug and inappropriate mixture of oil with gas are the most common reasons that cause problems for your chainsaw.

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