How to Properly Start a Craftsman Chainsaw: Step-by-Step Guide

Ever found yourself staring at your Craftsman chainsaw, unsure of where to begin? Maybe you’ve struggled with getting it started or felt overwhelmed by the process. Starting your chainsaw shouldn’t be a daunting task. What if you could kick off your next project with ease and confidence?

Imagine effortlessly revving up your Craftsman chainsaw, ready to tackle any cutting job that comes your way. No more frustration or wasted time trying to figure out the starting process. With a few simple steps and the right guidance, you’ll be powering through your tasks like a pro in no time.

Understanding Your Craftsman Chainsaw

When it comes to maintenance and care, knowing the ins and outs of your Craftsman chainsaw is crucial. Here’s a breakdown to help you grasp the essentials:

  • Engine Type: Understand whether your chainsaw is gas-powered or electric.
  • Chain Tension: Regularly check and adjust the tension for optimal performance.
  • Bar and Chain: Keep these components well-oiled and sharp for efficient cutting.
  • Safety Features: Familiarize yourself with the chain brake, throttle lock, and other safety mechanisms.

By getting acquainted with these aspects, you’ll be better prepared to operate your chainsaw safely and effectively.

Checking the Chain Tension

To ensure your Craftsman chainsaw runs smoothly and safely, it’s crucial to regularly check the chain tension. Here’s how you can easily do it:

  • Turn off the chainsaw and allow it to cool before proceeding.
  • Locate the tensioning screw on the side of the chainsaw. It’s usually near the bar but can vary depending on the model.
  • Using a screwdriver or the tool provided, adjust the tension so that the chain snugly fits against the bar but can still be easily pulled around it.
  • Test the tension by manually pulling the chain from the bottom. It should rotate smoothly without sagging.
  • Remember: proper tension prevents kickback and enhances cutting performance.
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Tension Type Measurement
New Chains Snug fit; easy rotation
Used Chains Minimal sag; smooth rotation
Important: Over-tightening can cause damage, while loose chains can lead to accidents. Regular checks ensure safe operation.

Adding Fuel and Oil

When starting your Craftsman chainsaw, adding fuel and oil correctly is crucial for optimal performance. Here are some steps to guide you through this process:

  • Use the right fuel: Always use a high-quality gasoline with an octane rating of 89 or higher, and ensure it’s no older than 30 days. Using stale fuel can lead to starting issues.
  • Mix in oil: For a two-cycle engine, it’s essential to mix the gasoline with a two-cycle engine oil at the manufacturer’s recommended ratio. Typically, a ratio of 50:1 or 40:1 is common.
  • Choose the correct oil: Opt for a high-quality two-cycle oil specifically designed for chainsaws. Avoid using automotive oil.
  • Store oil properly: Keep your oil in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its quality.

Other Considerations

  • Check the fuel tank: Make sure it’s filled with the fuel-oil mixture. Running out of fuel can damage the engine.
  • Inspect for leaks: Before starting the chainsaw, check for any fuel or oil leaks that may compromise its performance and safety. Fix any leaks promptly.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines: Always refer to your Craftsman chainsaw’s manual for the most accurate instructions on adding fuel and oil.

Remember, proper maintenance of your chainsaw, including adding the right fuel and oil, can ensure its longevity and efficient operation.

Priming the Engine

To get your Craftsman chainsaw ready for starting, you’ll need to prime the engine.

  • Locate the primer bulb on the chainsaw.
  • Press and release it several times until you see fuel flowing into the bulb.
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Priming helps draw fuel into the carburetor, making starting easier.

Remember, a well-primed engine is the key to smooth starting of your chainsaw.

Pull Starting the Chainsaw

When it’s time to start your Craftsman chainsaw, the pull starting method is commonly used for ignition. Here’s how to execute this properly:

  • Check the Chain Brake: Ensure that the chain brake is engaged by pulling it towards the front handle for safety.
  • Prime the Engine: Press the primer bulb a few times to allow fuel to flow into the carburetor, making starting easier.
  • Positioning: Find a stable surface to place the chainsaw on before starting to avoid accidents.
  • Grasp the Handle: Firmly hold the front handle with one hand and grip the rear handle with the other for control.
  • Choke Control: If your saw has a choke, engage it to provide a richer fuel mixture for initial starting.
  • Pull the Starter Rope: Give a quick, strong pull to start the engine; avoid a slow, hesitant pull.

Getting the technique right ensures a smooth start to your chainsaw that sets the tone for a successful cutting session.


Starting your Craftsman chainsaw doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the proper technique and safety measures outlined in this article, you can confidently ignite your chainsaw and prepare for a successful cutting session. Remember to prime the engine, position the saw correctly, and grasp the handles firmly. Utilize the choke control if available and give the starter rope a quick, strong pull. Mastering the pull starting technique is key to kickstarting your chainsaw smoothly and ensuring safe and efficient operation. Now that you have the knowledge and skills, go ahead and start your Craftsman chainsaw with ease. Happy crafting!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How should I properly pull start a Craftsman chainsaw?

To properly pull start a Craftsman chainsaw, ensure the chain brake is engaged and the saw is on a stable surface. Prime the engine, position the saw correctly, grasp the handles firmly, and use the choke control if available. Give a quick, strong pull on the starter rope for a smooth engine start.

Why is mastering the pull-start technique important?

Mastering the pull-start technique is essential for efficiently igniting the chainsaw. It ensures a smooth engine start, setting the stage for a successful cutting session. Proper technique also contributes to safe operation, as it reduces the chances of accidents and equipment damage.

Jackson Hill is a passionate arborist with years of experience in the field of trees. He developed his fascination with trees at a young age, spending countless hours exploring the forests and climbing trees. Jackson went on to study arboriculture and horticulture at Michigan State University and later earned a degree in forestry from the University of Michigan.

With his extensive knowledge and expertise, Jackson has become a trusted authority on trees and their impact on the environment. His work has helped shape the field of arboriculture and he continues to be a leading voice in the industry.

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