how to start a Makita Chainsaw

Starting a Makita chainsaw can be daunting, especially for those new to using chainsaws. The problem why not starting arises due to the chainsaw’s refusal to start due to the coldness of the engine or several attempts at the pull cord. The engine may not start due to an improperly adjusted carburetor, dirty spark plug, or empty fuel mixture.

The problem to quick solution is first, ensure that the engine is warm by placing the chainsaw in a heated environment for a few minutes. Then, adjust the carburetor settings, clean the spark plug, and ensure the fuel mixture is adequately filled and properly mixed. Finally, draw the pull cord with a steady flow to start the chainsaw.

Now, stick to our article, and we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to start a Makita chainsaw like a professional arborist or chainsaw user.

how to start a Makita chainsaw- Step-by-Step guide

Starting a chainsaw may be intimidating, but we will go through the detailed process of how to start a Makita chainsaw, making it easier for you to start it. Here are a few steps:

Before beginning the procedure, inspect the chainsaw to ensure all components function as expected. The following should

Step 1: Check the fuel mix:

An improper gasoline-to-oil mixture is the most common cause of your Makita chainsaw not starting. This means that you need to check the ratio of oil and gasoline in the chainsaw before attempting to start. The recommended gasoline/oil ratio for Makita chainsaws is 50:1, meaning 50 parts gasoline to 1 part two-cycle oil.

Step 2: Pull the cord:

Once you have confirmed the proper fuel mixture, it is time to initiate the engine by pulling the starter cord. To accomplish this, firmly grip the handle with your fingers on both sides. Then, with your other hand, pull the starter cord out forcefully until it is fully extended. If necessary, repeat this process several times until the engine starts to sputter before releasing the cord. This procedure ensures a smooth and efficient engine start-up.

Step 3: Prime the Carburetor :

If your engine hasn’t started after several attempts at pulling out the starter cord, it may be necessary to prime the carburetor. To do this, locate the primer bulb on your Makita chainsaw and press it several times until fuel is visible in the bulb. This should start a sputter in the engine as it attempts to start up.

Step 4: Open the choke:

If your Makita chainsaw hasn’t started, you may need to open the choke. To do this, locate the choke lever on your chainsaw and move it from a closed or “mid” position to an open one. This should open the air intake, allowing more fuel and air to enter the engine and get it started.

Step 5: Adjust the Carburetor :

Also, you may need to adjust the carburetor. To accomplish this, find the screws on your carburetor and tighten them clockwise until they are firmly tightened. This should cause an increase in fuel flow and get the engine running.

Step 6: Clean the Spark Plug :

If your Makita chainsaw is still not starting, it might be necessary to clean the spark plug. To do this, remove the spark plug from your chainsaw and use a wire brush to remove any dirt or debris hindering proper sparking. After cleaning, insert the spark plug back into your chainsaw and attempt to start it once more. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the spark plug can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your Makita chainsaw.

Step 7: Check the Air Filter:

A clogged air filter can often cause problems when starting your Makita chainsaw. Remove the air filter and inspect it for any debris or dust, cleaning it as necessary. If the filter is too dirty or damaged, consider replacing it with a new one. Once cleaned or replaced, reattach the air filter and attempt to restart your chainsaw.

Step 8: Check for Fuel Leaks:

Also, check for possible fuel leaks. Inspect the fuel lines and tank for any signs of leakage. If you find any, replace the affected parts before starting your chainsaw. Leaks can prevent the chainsaw from maintaining the necessary pressure to operate properly.

Step 9: Check the Ignition System:

Also, check the ignition system to start the tool. Inspect the spark plug wires and cap for any corrosion or damage. If they appear damaged, consider replacing them before restarting your chainsaw.

Step 10: Contact a Professional:

In the end, if no solution is correct, it may be time to contact a professional. A certified technician can diagnose and repair any issues you might not be able to detect on your own. Makita also offers customer support for their products in case of technical difficulties.

Parts of Makita Chainsaws

Makita chainsaws come with several important parts that you should be aware of. The following are most important in repairing the chainsaw of your needs:

Starter Handle:

The starter handle is part of the chainsaw you will pull on to start the engine. It is usually made of plastic and connected to the recoil assembly, which helps draw air into the cylinders during combustion.


The carburetor is an important part of the chainsaw that helps regulate the air-fuel mixture. The carburetor needs to be properly adjusted and maintained for your Makita chainsaw to start and run correctly.

Oil and Fuel Tanks

Makita chainsaws have separate oil and fuel tanks. The fuel tank holds the gasoline-oil mixture needed to power the engine, while the oil tank contains chain lubrication oil. Properly filling and monitoring these tanks are essential for continuous operation and chain longevity.

Recoil Starter:

The recoil starter is a chainsaw part responsible for starting the engine when you pull on the starter handle. It consists of a spring-loaded pulley system that helps draw air into the cylinders during combustion.

Also, other parts, such as the air filter, muffler, ignition system, and spark plug, should be inspected regularly to ensure that your Makita chainsaw is running at peak performance.

Maintenance Tips for Optimal Chainsaw Performance

Makita chainsaws require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Here are some tips for keeping your chainsaw in good working condition:

Change the oil regularly:

Changing the oil in your Makita chainsaw every two to three months is recommended, depending on usage and environmental conditions. This will help keep the engine lubricated and running smoothly.

Clean the air filter:

Clean the air filter regularly to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated over time. This will help ensure your chainsaw gets enough airflow for optimal combustion.

Inspect parts for wear and tear:

Inspecting all parts of your Makita chainsaw for signs of wear and tear is important. This includes checking the spark plug, recoil starter, oil and fuel tanks, carburetor, and other moving parts.

Sharpen the chain:

Regularly sharpen or replace the chain on your chainsaw to ensure it is cutting efficiently. This will help keep your chainsaw running smoothly and reduce the risk of potential accidents.

These tips will allow your chainsaw to run smoothly and efficiently.

Best Practices for Safe and Efficient Chainsaw Operation

When using a Makita chainsaw, it is important to follow best practices for safe and efficient operation. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your chainsaw:

  1. Always Wear Protective Gear: Prioritize your safety by wearing suitable protective gear. This includes safety glasses, cut-resistant gloves, sturdy boots, and hard hats.
  2. Check Chainsaw Parts: Before starting, always inspect your chainsaw for any loose or damaged parts and ensure everything is in good working condition.
  3. Clear Work Area: Make sure the area around you is clear of people, pets, and other potential obstacles or hazards.
  4. Hold Chainsaw Properly: Hold the chainsaw firmly with both hands. The left hand should be on the front handlebar and the right on the rear handle.
  5. Start with a Sharp Chain: A sharp chain cuts more efficiently and is safer.
  6. Proper Stance: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and keep a stable stance while operating the chainsaw.
  7. Keep Fire Extinguisher: You should always have a fire extinguisher nearby when using your Makita chainsaw.
  8. Proper Storage: After use, store your chainsaw in a dry, safe place out of reach of children.
  9. Regular Maintenance: Regular chainsaw maintenance will ensure its longevity and efficiency.
  10. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operation, maintenance, and safety guidelines.

Why is my electric chainsaw not turning on?

There could be several reasons why your Makita electric chainsaw isn’t turning on.

Firstly, check the power source. If you’re using a battery-operated chainsaw, ensure the battery is fully charged. If it’s a corded chainsaw, ensure it’s properly plugged into a functional power outlet.

Secondly, double-check the safety features. Most chainsaws have a safety switch or a chain brake that needs to be disengaged before starting. If these are in the ‘on’ position, the chainsaw won’t start.

Lastly, inspect the chainsaw for any visible damage or debris blocking the chain or motor. These reasons are often overlooked and can easily be fixed.


Follow the safety guidelines and maintenance tips above to make your Makita chainsaw run smoothly. The recommended tip is to check and clean the parts regularly, change the oil regularly and sharpen or replace the chain. You should also always wear protective gear when operating your chainsaw, read the manual carefully and maintain it according to manufacturer instructions. Finally, if something is wrong with your Makita chainsaw or you experience any unexpected issues, it’s best to contact the manufacturer or a professional service center for help.


How Often Should I Sharpen My Makita Chainsaw?

Sharpening the chain on your Makita chainsaw every few months or after a few hours of use is recommended. It also depends on how much you use the tool; if you use it extensively, you should sharpen the chain more often.

How Often Should I Change The Oil In My Makita Chainsaw?

The general recommendation is to change the oil in a Makita chainsaw after every 5-10 hours of use. However, it is always best to check with your manufacturer’s instructions for details on when and how often you should change the oil.

Can A Makita Chainsaw Be Started Without Bar Oil?

While starting a Makita chainsaw without bar oil is possible, it is not recommended because it can lead to serious damage to your chainsaw, such as mechanical faults and safety concerns. Failure of the chain is a common cause.

What Would Cause A Chainsaw Not To Start?

Possible causes of a chainsaw not starting include a lack of fuel, a clogged air filter, a faulty spark plug, or a bad electrical connection. It is important to check all these components first before attempting any repairs. You should consult a professional if you are unsure what to do.

What Type Of Oil Should I Use In My Makita Chainsaw?

You should always check the user manual of your Makita chainsaw to determine what type of oil is recommended. Generally, it is best to use a high-grade lubricant such as SAE 30 or 40-weight engine oil. 

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