You have just bought a brand new Stihl chainsaw but don’t know how to start it. Your wood is just waiting to get cut but you don’t know how to start.

We all know that Stihl is a great manufacturer who manufactures high-quality products. But, if you are new to using the chainsaw, you can find it difficult to start.

That’s why we are going to discuss how to start a Stihl chainsaw in this guide. In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss the process of starting different chainsaws in different situations.

How to Start a Stihl Chainsaw?

You should read the manual of each chainsaw before starting and using it. The manual will tell you the proper instructions for starting it, and how to maintain it. It will also tell you what safety measures you should take before using the chainsaw.

Every Stihl chainsaw has its own manual and instructions. So, you shouldn’t forget to read these.

We know you sometimes need to use this chainsaw for cutting firewood or trees. But, you need to be careful all the time you are using this chainsaw.

By the way, if you want to avoid cutting firewood for your home’s heater, you can shift to a small pellet stove. It will save you a lot of time and resources.

Now, we are going to tell you the general starting process of gas and electric chainsaws. Moreover, we will also tell you how to start a Stihl chainsaw on uneven ground and from a sitting position.

Start a Gas-Powered Stihl Chainsaw

Worker trying to start Stihl Chainsaw
Worker trying to start Stihl Chainsaw

Image by user18526052 on Freepik

You need to follow the step-by-step process along with the tips to know how to start a Stihl chainsaw.

Inspect Fuel Cap

The first thing you need to do is to fill the Stihl chainsaw with fuel. It will not work if there is not enough fuel in it.

After filling it with fuel, you need to make sure that the fuel cap is fastened securely. Also, check the area around the chainsaw to clean it from any type of fuel.

Remember: You should never start a chainsaw near fuel sources. It can be dangerous.

Activate the Chain Brake

There will be a chain brake in front of the handlebar. What you have to do is to push it forward to activate it.

In this way, your chain will be locked in the position. It is a safety precaution that will ensure that your chainsaw tool doesn’t start accidentally when you are not prepared.

Bar Cover

There will be a bar cover on your chainsaw. You need to remove this bar cover if you want to know how to start a Stihl chainsaw.

Decompression Valve

This step is applicable only when you have a professional chainsaw. Only this chainsaw has a decompression valve which you need to press down.

But, if you have a home or consumer-grade chainsaw, you need to skip this step because there is no valve there.

Primer Valve

This step is also not applicable to a lot of Stihl chainsaws because a lot of them don’t have this valve.

The primer valve is located near the handlebar, on the side of the chainsaw. You need to push it down several times so that it circulates the fuel.

Don’t worry about the number of pushes you give to the valve. It will not do any harm.

Set the Master Control

You will see a throttle trigger lockout on the side of the Stihl chainsaw, above the trigger. You need to press and hold it with your thumb.

After that, move to the master control. You will see it on the left of the back of the chainsaw. Move it down as far as it goes. In this way, you should start the chainsaw. This setting is known as the cold start setting.

Now, you are using the chainsaw for a while, and want some rest. So, you turned it off and took a few moments break.

Now, when you want to use it again, you need to set it to a warm setting. This setting is present one notch from the lowest setting.

That is it. These are all the steps you need to start a gas-powered Stihl chainsaw.

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Start an Electric Stihl Chainsaw

The guide will help you to start an electric Stihl chainsaw.

Connect the Power

You need to connect your chainsaw to the power supply. Make sure that it is of the same voltage.

You can ensure the voltage by checking the specifications written on the chainsaw manual.

Find Balanced Footing

You should make sure that you are on stable ground before starting the Stihl chainsaw. There shouldn’t be people or things around you, and your body should be balanced.

Pull the hand guard

The hand guard is the same thing in an electric chainsaw as the chain brake is in a gas-powered chainsaw.

You will find it in front of the handlebar. Pull it toward you until you hear the “click” sound. It will not allow your chainsaw to work until you want it.

Trigger switch

You will find a switch on the side of the handle, just above the trigger. You need to depress the switch fully with your thumb until it is down.

Squeeze the trigger

You will find a trigger on the underside of the handle. You need your index finger to pull it up and grasp it.

That’s it, this is how to start a Stihl chainsaw that is electric. Now, what is the safest method of starting this chainsaw? Below, we will discuss this.

Starting the Stihl Chainsaw while Sitting

The manufacturer recommends that you should put the chainsaw on the ground while starting it. This is the safest method.

Put it on the Ground

The first step in how to start a Stihl chainsaw is to put it on the flat and level ground. You should make sure that nothing is touching or near the chainsaw when you start it. There shouldn’t be anyone around either as it can be dangerous.

Hold it down

You need to hold the chainsaw down so that it remains in your control when you start it. You can hold it down with your hand and foot.

Slip the toe of your right foot into the opening of the rear handle. With it, press the handle with your left hand, wrapping your fingers and thumb around it.

Pull the Starter Rope

You will find the starter rope on your chainsaw. Grasp the handle of it and slowly pull it vertically. Eventually, you will feel some resistance.

When you feel it, you need to pull the starter rope several times in a swift motion. Keep doing this until the chainsaw fires.

Remember: Never put your hands on the starter rope. Only pull it from the handle, and keep your hands away from the rope.

Do Warm Setting

If your chainsaw shows fires and then dies down, you need to do some warm settings. You need to move the throttle on the master control one step above.

Pull the Starter Rope

You need to pull the starter rope again by following the previous whole process. Now, the chainsaw will start and will keep running.

Do Idle Setting

When your chainsaw keeps running, you need to do an idle setting. On the master control, you will see “I”. You need to keep the throttle in front of it.

You can do it with the slight touch of your finger. You just need to pull the throttle a notch above.

Lift it up

Now, you need to slowly get up from the ground while holding the chainsaw by the handlebar. Now pull the chain brake toward you.

This is the method of starting your chainsaw while you are sitting.

Starting the Stihl Chainsaw on Uneven Ground

If the ground is uneven, you need to follow this step-by-step guide to start the Stihl chainsaw.

Ensure the Secure Footing

On uneven ground, you need to make sure that your foot is on the clear ground. You need to clear all the debris from the site to ensure that your foot is supported.

Note: You need to make sure that you don’t put the chainsaw on gravel and masonry because it is unsafe.

Hold the Chainsaw

You need to hold the chainsaw from the rear handle against your body. Brace them just above your knee. This will give a firm hold to your chainsaw.

Start the Chainsaw

This step is similar to the method in which we start the chainsaw when in the sitting position.

You need to keep your left hand on the handlebar and use the right hand to pull the rope. Repeat the whole procedure of the rope which we have discussed in the previous method.

So, this is the whole process of how to start a Stihl chainsaw.

Why is my Stihl Chainsaw not Starting?

worker using Stihl Chainsaw to cut tree
Worker using Stihl Chainsaw to cut tree

Image by wirestock on Freepik

You have been trying to start the chainsaw but it is not starting. After all of your efforts, it is still not igniting. In this situation, what are the possible issues?

  • Your carburetor may be clogged because old fuel has been in it for a long time. You need to clean it or either replace it.
  • Clogged fuel lines can also be an issue. Your lines can have wear and tear over time. In it, you need to replace it.
  • There can be ignition problems too. For it, you need to check the wiring connections. Or, a faulty ignition module can also be an issue.
  • The clogged air filter can also be an issue. For it, you need to take them out and tap them on a hard surface to take off the debris. You can also wash it with mild detergent and water. Keep running water until it is thoroughly cleaned.


Starting a Stihl chainsaw is quite easy. You just need to follow a few steps and start your work.

We have provided you with a detailed guide on this process. But, if you still have any questions, contact us.

For any repairs, installations, builds, or questions; We recommend you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!

Thumbnail by: Image by user18526052 on Freepik