Chainsaws are an extremely important tool but they can be a little tricky sometimes.

When you get a new Stihl chainsaw after a lot of browsing and researching then you must also be aware of the mechanics on how to start a Stihl chainsaw.


Before you head straight into working a chainsaw, you must follow a few precautionary measures. These are meant for your safety and smooth function of the chainsaw.

  • First, before you start a Stihl chainsaw always wear gloves, safety goggles, and hearing aids. These will in covering up the major areas of your face and hands that will come in contact with the chainsaw.
  • Secondly, perform this initiation of the chainsaw in a safe and secure place. Make sure that you do not have any sensitive material, children, or pets near you.
  • Third, it is very important to check the lubrication of the machine. Stihl chainsaws have the feature of auto lubrication but it is safe to check once.
  • Lastly, make sure that the correct amount of oil and fuel has been filled in the chambers for the automatic lubrication to work.

Guide to starting a Stihl Chainsaw:

Chainsaw handling:

  • To start a Stihl chainsaw, start by removing the bar cover on the chainsaw.
  • The second step would be to push the chain brake forward to start a Stihl chainsaw smoothly. This will activate your chain brake.
  • The next step is the working of the decompression valve. This is usually located on top of the engine near the handle. Press the decompression valve if there is one on your Stihl chainsaw. With the help of this step, you will be able to relieve some of the engine compression. It will help when you are pulling the recoil starter as it will be easier.
  • The next button to look for is the primer bulb. Press the primer bulb a few times. This will make it easier for you to start a Stihl chainsaw because you won’t have to pull it as many times.
  • The next step will be operating the trigger. Press the throttle trigger and the lockout at the same time. Once these are both pressed simultaneously, push the master control level downwards. This will set it into a closed throttle position.
  • Now that all the technicalities are almost covered, the next step is to set the chainsaw on the ground. Try to engage the chain for smooth working. Also, make sure that the chain and it does not touch the ground. This will help avoid any sudden incidents.

Recoil Starter Rope Handling:

  • Start by putting the front of your feet into space under the rear handle. Try moving your foot a little and check if it is fine or not. Next, hold the front handle of the chainsaw with one hand. Once you have a firm and stable grip on the chainsaw, then it would be time to reach for the recoil starter rope.
  • Pull-on the starter coil rope a few times. Make sure that you don’t push it sideways and wedge it into the edges of the chainsaw. Pull it towards you in an upward direction. Make the pulls fast and smooth. If you feel like there’s a hindrance then just pull harder. After a few pulls, the chainsaw will fire up. Do not worry if it dies down as soon as it starts. Pull a few times again and you’ll be good to go.
  • When it dies down upon starting, simply move the master control level one notch upwards. This will open the choke. Now, pull a few times again and you will know how to start a Stihl chainsaw.
  • Before you lift the chainsaw from the ground press the throttle trigger. Do it as soon as your machine starts running, you will note that the master control level will go to idle setting. You can lift it from the ground now.
  • Moving on, when you are holding the chainsaw, make sure you have a tight and firm grip on the handle. Then push the chain brake backward, towards yourself. You can stop pulling it towards yourself when you hear a click.

Final Step:

  • Lastly, check the lubrication of the chain. You can do this by simply putting the chainsaw on a clear piece of paper or a white cloth. If you see any light stains on the paper or cloth then you should know that your chainsaw is good to go. You have successfully learned how to start a Stihl chainsaw.

This is a foolproof method to start a Stihl chainsaw and you should be fine if you follow all the instructions carefully. Make sure that you take all the safety precautions beforehand.

If you still have any queries then be sure to keep the Stihl chainsaw manual on hand to look through.

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