How to Start a Chainsaw Without a Pull Cord?

If you own a house with a big garden and a lot of trees surrounding it, owning a chainsaw will always be a good idea.

To start the machine, you need to pull the cord several times with speed. But if you are tired of doing this every day, no need to worry! There are some alternative options for how to start a chainsaw without a pull cord.

You can convert your pullcord chainsaw into an electric one, where you will just need to press the ON button. If your chainsaw can't be converted, you can start the machine with a drill, spring assistance, automatic high idle mechanism, capacitor-discharge ignition, or memory power ignition system.

A chainsaw is an essential power tool for anyone living in the suburbs. Nowadays, chainsaws come with up-to-date technology. Even if you are using the machine for the first time, you won't find it difficult to operate. Now let's get to know the alternative ways of firing up a chainsaw.

Converting a Chainsaw into an Electric Starter

If your chainsaw never had a cord, then it is an electric chainsaw. And even if it has a cord, you can convert that too. The process solely depends on the model you use.

Converting a Chainsaw into an Electric Starter

The chainsaws made by Kohler, Honda, Briggs & Staton, etc., allow in their design to convert a pulling cord chainsaw into an electric start model. They also provide the necessary equipment to perform the conversion.

Equipment Needed to Convert

There are two things that you must need while converting your manual chainsaw into an electric start chainsaw.

Ring Gear on the Flywheel

This is a jagged ring that the starter uses to turn the flywheel. The engines with pull starters do not need this. But it is provided by some companies to run the conversion. If not, you can always replace them with a new flywheel.

Mounting Plates on the Flywheel

These are positioned so that the starter's cranking gear can line up with the flywheel gear's notch. And without these, you cannot convert your chainsaw into an electric starter.

Steps to Convert into an Electric Starter Chainsaw

Depending on the engine, you can convert your old friend into a 12V electric start machine. Here are few easy steps to do so.

Steps to Convert into an Electric Starter Chainsaw

1. Check the Manual

The first job that has to be done is to check the manual that comes with the engine. Whether your chainsaw is convertible or not, the information will be written clearly in the manual.

And if it is, then there will be a section where the detailed instructions to convert are given. Read that part thoroughly.

2. Install a Battery

If your chainsaw is a comparatively newer model, then you do not have to install a battery. Recent models come with a 120V starter that can be plugged into a wall socket. But for an older model, you have to install a battery separately.

Install a Battery

3. Search for the Mounting Boss

A mounting boss must be pre-installed in your chainsaw engine because you can not launch the starter without this.

4. Look for the Ring Gear

There must be pre-installed ring gear on the rim of the flywheel. If not, then you can always exchange the flywheel with a new one that has ring gear.

5. Launch the Starter

After installing ring gear, you can mount the starter with the mounting plates. Then your chainsaw is ready to use the electric starter.

Launch the Starter

How to Start an Electric Starter Chainsaw?

After converting your pulling cord chainsaw into an electric starter, it is ready to start with just a press of the buttons. This will save the mechanical energy that a user needs to pull the cord regularly. But for this, you need to know how to start the new mechanism.

How to Start an Electric Starter Chainsaw

Steps to Start an Electric Starter Chainsaw

Here are some steps that you need to follow to start an electric starter chainsaw.

1. Maintenance Task

An electric starter chainsaw is very easy to start if it is well taken care of. You always have to keep the battery fully charged if it is cordless.

And if it is corded, you always have to use an extension cord of proper length to pass enough power to run the chainsaw.

2. Detach the Chain Brake

The chain of a gas-powered chainsaw can rotate even if the engine is lazy. But the chain of an electric chainsaw will never rotate if you do not detach the chain brake. So you have to remove the chain brake before pressing the trigger.

3. Step 03 - Press the Safety Button

There is a small safety button on one side of the handle called trigger lockout or throttle lockout. You need to press the button using your thumb.

Press The Trigger

4. Press The Trigger

Here you need to do a double job. While pressing the throttle lockout with your thumb, you have to press the start button with your index. Then to start the engine, release the thumb from the safety button slowly. Now your chainsaw is ready to rumble!

Alternative Ways to Start a Chainsaw Without a Pull Cord

There are some models of chainsaw that has Tecumseh engine. They can not be converted into an electric starter.

a Chainsaw Without a Pull Cord

Though your old friend can not be converted, do not worry! Here are some alternative ways explained below, using which you can start a chainsaw without pulling the cord.

Starting a Chainsaw Using an Electric Drill

If you are not lucky with converting your pull-starting chainsaw into an electric starter, you are still not in misery. You can use a cordless drill to start the engine running without spending money on an electric starter.

A standard battery-powered drill may not be enough to start a chainsaw as the bolt may come out while cranking. So you might need an electric drill jacked in the socket.

Steps of Starting a Chainsaw Using an Electric Drill

To start your chainsaw with an electric drill, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps.

Chainsaw Using an Electric Drill

1. Collect the Perfect Socket AND Bolt

First of all, collect a socket that can be perfectly fitted on the nut of the flywheel. And then connect it with the electric drill you are using.

As for the bolt, you should go with the ones that have a bolt head of 4 inches square. The bolt should contain a shank that fits perfectly to the chunk of the drill.

2. Polish the Bolt Head

This job of polishing the bolt head has to be done perfectly to fit the bolt in the socket.

3. Turn the Drill on

Now it is time to start the drill to run the chainsaw. Just press the button of the drill.

4. Priming the Carburator and Fitting the Socket on the Nut of the Flywheel

The following job that you have to do is to prime the carburetor. Then adjust the socket perfectly on the flywheel's nut. You might need to detach the engine shroud to do that job.

5. Run The Drill

Now your drill is ready to run to start the chainsaw. But always make sure that the drill is attached in the opposite direction of your chainsaw before turning it on.

Starting a Chainsaw with Spring Assistance

Some companies such as Stihl, PowerKing, Husqvarna, Tanaka, Poulan, and Makita have used the spring assistance starting system in their chainsaws. Easy2Start is such a model invented by Stihl. These machines require 40% less energy to start than a polling cord chainsaw.

Starting a Chainsaw with Spring Assistance

This system is all about an extra spring in between the rope rotor and crankshaft. These machines provide you with advantages like slow and reliable start, smooth pulling with lower effort.

Steps to Start a Chainsaw with Spring Assistance

In case you are wondering how to use a spring-assisted starting system, here are the simple steps you need to follow.

1. Attach the Spring

First of all, you need to connect a spring housing with two lugs and a spring between the crankshaft and rope rotor of the pulling cord chainsaw.

2. Start the Engine

During contraction, a certain tension works on the spring owing to the applied force. This is required to pull the chain against the opposing force produced by the piston.

The crankshaft continues to move, and the engine tries to fire if the power of the pre-tensioned spring is higher than the resisting force exerted by the piston under compression. The spring transfers the energy stored to the chainsaw's crankshaft, which starts the engine swiftly and smoothly.

Starting a Chainsaw with Automatic High Idle Mechanism

This is another easy way to start a chainsaw. Chainsaws made by Husqvarna and Makita offer you a mechanism of automatic high idle that can lessen the hard work of pulling a cord for God knows how many times.

Starting a Chainsaw with Automatic High Idle Mechanism

A chainsaw with a too high or low fuel level won't have enough energy to start a fire. A high level of fuel will cause flood clogging the engine. The automatic high idle mechanism will allow the chainsaw to set at the high idle situation when there is enough fuel in the tank to start the engine.

Steps to Start with Automatic High Idle Mechanism

Here are a few steps that you need to follow to use the automatic high idle mechanism.

1. Close the Choke Valve and Pull the Starter

First, the choke valve needs to be fully closed to its starting position. Then pull the starter until the fire starts. The closed choke will cause the engine to die soon due to the high fuel level. This is also referred to as a false starting.

2. Open the Choke Valve

Now the choke valve needs to be opened again. This position is known as a fast idle position. Then pull the starter again. The machine will start to run with a deep rumbling sound.

Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI)

This form of automotive electronic ignition is used in turbines, small engines, chainsaws, and other motors.

Capacitor Discharge Ignition

Capacitor discharge ignition can stock electric power and then dispose of the power to the ignition coil to start a spark that can run the chainsaw. The charge from the capacitor provides this ignition.

How Does the Capacitor Discharge Ignition Work?

This system is all about the charging and discharging of the capacitor. The mechanism is described below.

  • This system includes a flywheel, charging coil, stator, hall sensor, and a timing mark.
  • Coil produces 6 volts which are used to recharge the capacitor.
  • Flywheels motion produces singular pulsed energy. Then transports it through the charging coil to the sparking plug.
  • Works by passing the current to the capacitor.
  • A charge is built up to start the chainsaw and then return the charge to the spark plug to ignite the engine after storing some.
  • Power goes through a capacitor to the coil, which plays the role of a transformer.
  • Chainsaw's engine keeps running as long as there is enough charge in the power store.
  • Hall effect is measured by the hall sensor.
  • All these energies are dumped into the chainsaw capacitor through a high voltage transformer which keeps the chainsaw running.

Memory Discharge Ignition (MDI)

This type of ignition provides you with smoother ignition and minimum operator resistance.

Powerking, Blue Max, and Makita use both MDI and CDI mechanisms in their chainsaws. Both give your chainsaw an easy start without pulling a cord.

How Does Memory Discharge Ignition Work?

The mechanism of a memory discharge ignition is given below.

  • Capacitor situated in the ignition coil of a chainsaw gathers and stocks a little charge from the flywheel's rotation. It all occurs while the previous engine starts up.
  • This technique produces very high sparks also at low chainsaw revolutions per minute (RPMs), letting the ignition coil fire with little flywheel revolutions.
  • During the beginning cycle, the collected power is released to provide a forceful spark at a reduced flywheel rotation for a more leisurely start.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to make a chainsaw start better?

A damaged ignition coil or clogged air filters may be the reason for a bad start. Examine the whole machine and identity where the problem is. Then solve the issues to start your chainsaw as quickly as possible.


2. What causes chainsaw kickback?

Almost all types of chainsaws have some kickbacks. Two things can actually cause kickbacks.

One is while the blade is running, the tip of the chainsaw comes into contact with the surface. Another is when the guide bar gets caught in the wood. In both situations, the chainsaw starts to move forward and backward, which is very dangerous.

3. How to maintain a chainsaw?

Sharpen and clean the blade regularly. Make sure to clean the device every time you use it. Follow the cleaning instructions for each component.

After each use, soak the chain in ammonia and water for 30 minutes. Look inside to see if any residue has built up.

You can use a compressed air spray to clean the carburetor. Chains and blades should be lubricated using oils and lubricants.

4. What not to do with a chainsaw?

There are few things that you should never do while using a chainsaw. Do not drop start, never wrap the pulling cord around your hand, never let the starter rope snap back in, and do not start the machine when its tip is stuck in the wood.

5. How to safely use a chainsaw?

First of all, you need to wear clothes that give you full coverage and safety gear such as gloves, goggles, shoes, etc. Find out the angle the tree will fall and the angle you will hold the chainsaw to. Always maintain a balanced position to hold the chainsaw as low as possible and obviously between your legs.

6. What are the beginner tips for using a chainsaw?

Before starting to use a chainsaw practically, gather all the bits of knowledge first. Try to buy a chainsaw that offers lower kickbacks. Learn to hold the machine at the perfect height. Do not put over pressure while the chainsaw is running.

Final Words

A chainsaw is a piece of handy equipment for the people whose lives are all about trees and woods. But you never know how many times you have to pull the cord to start the chainsaw, which is very irritating. And to produce enough speed, it requires a lot of energy too.

If you are not strong enough or do not want to waste your energy on pulling a cord to start a chainsaw, using the alternative ways is so much help that will save both your time and energy.

After reading this article about how to start a chainsaw without a pull cord, we hope you can imply these methods. Now you can use your friend without any worries and without wasting your energy and time on unwanted pulling. Be safe with your chainsaw and learn to handle it right!

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