How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw Without Flooding It?

Continue reading as we discuss other related questions, such as why my chainsaw is flooding, how long it takes for a Stihl chainsaw to unflood, chainsaw maintenance, and many more. Let's dive in!

How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw Without Flooding It

Stihl chainsaw in Kaunas. Stihl is a German manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment

The trick to starting a Stihl chainsaw without flooding it is ensuring you follow the proper steps.

Flooding often happens when you try to start your chainsaw, and the burping sound you are waiting for does not immediately appear.

Sometimes, it could take up to three to six pulls on the start cord, and your chainsaw could still refuse to start. A lot of factors can affect how much power you would need to have it running.

Age, wear and tear, and frequency of usage should all be considered. But generally, if the engine is already warmed up, it can take only one to two pulls for the machine to fire up.

This slow start is the main reason flooding your chainsaw is highly probable. Let's say you are already on your eighth pull, still waiting on that burp sound, and you hear it on your ninth pull.

You might accidentally pull the start cord again without putting the switch on warm. This will cause your Stihl chainsaw to flood.

Typically, when your chainsaw floods, there is too much entering your engine, hence the term flooded chainsaw. When this happens, air does not get into the engine, so the combustion process cannot be achieved to start your chainsaw.

Combustion means to burn something; for that to happen, your engine needs oxygen. When flooding occurs, air cannot get in due to too much fuel hogging the engine, effectively blocking air from entering it.

That is why the proper attention and presence of mind are needed when operating a chainsaw. And for good measure, chainsaws are deadly and can injure and even kill someone if not properly handled.

That is why, when operating chainsaws, ensure that there are no children around you for obvious safety reasons.

Here is a step-by-step video on how to start a Stihl chainsaw properly without flooding it:

Forest and tractor (Skog och traktor) fair. Stihl MSA 200c battery powered electrical chainsaw in a wooden log

Like anything else, chainsaws need to be maintained. It is of utmost importance to have a tool as powerful as a chainsaw working correctly to avoid accidents while using it.

Below are some of the most common things you should practice with a Stihl chainsaw:

Regular cleaning and maintenance

After every use, ensure the machine is wiped down and remove any wood debris. Ensure that no particles are stuck in your chainsaw that could hinder its performance.

Leaving debris and gunk will affect the sharpness of the chains.  You can use soap, water, and a degreaser to clean the blades of your chainsaw.

Sharpening the chains/blade

Constantly checking to see if the chains in your chainsaw are still sharp will help it perform optimally.

Checking that they are still in the proper position will ensure that the chain will not suddenly drop out. Regular lubing of the blade is also necessary to perform efficiently and avoid premature rusting.

Proper storage

Proper storage is essential. Although you can use gas-powered chainsaws in all weather conditions, it doesn't mean that you will be leaving them outside for storage.

Protect them from the elements to prevent rusting.

Choosing the right fuel

Choosing the manufacture recommended fuel for your chainsaw will ensure optimal performance and longevity of parts. For Stihl chainsaws, manufacturers recommend a minimum of 89 octane as a fuel source.

How Long Should A Stihl Chainsaw Last?

Forest and tractor (Skog och traktor) fair. Stihl MS 261c chainsaw on wooden logs

Stihl chainsaws will roughly last you an estimated minimum of five and a half years, equating to about 2,000 hours of usage time. This data was gathered on the rate of professional usage, meaning that the lifespan could be double for personal or private use.

Of course, factors such as regular maintenance, cleaning, proper storage, proper use, and repair history will all have to be considered. Frequency of use should also be considered. Some chainsaws are rated more powerful and for more heavy-duty use than others.

For the chain, sharpening could be done at least 3-5 times in its lifespan.

It should be done every time you see the teeth starting to wear down. Sharpening them is part of maintenance as sharp chains help cut easier and faster, reducing strain on the chainsaw's engine.

These are some signs that will indicate you need to replace your chainsaw:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Chain not sharpening
  • Missing teeth
  • Rusting on the chain even if lubricated
  • Chain smokes during use

Do You Need A Permit To Own A Chainsaw?

Businessman or notary public stamping approved stamp on document in meeting

You do not need a license or permit to operate a chainsaw in the United States. Although, this may vary from state to state as rules and regulations are not the same across the country.

But in most cases, anyone can purchase a chainsaw for private use. For professional capacities, however, rules might be stricter as some states might not permit this type of use for minors.


Stihl chainsaw in Kaunas. Stihl is a German manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment - How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw Without Flooding It

To avoid flooding your Stihl chainsaw, you must follow the proper way of starting them.

Flooding your engine will avoid starting your chainsaw as too much fuel is presently blocking the access of air in your chainsaw, thus failing to ignite combustion.

When handling chainsaws, the utmost caution should be observed as these are hazardous pieces of equipment. Wearing the proper gear is vital to avoid harming yourself.

Ensure no children are near you when operating a chainsaw for obvious safety concerns. And finally, make sure that you have read your owner's manual on how to use a Stihl chainsaw properly.

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