How to Start a Makita Chainsaw: Quick & Easy Guide



Start a Makita Chainsaw

To start a Makita chainsaw, first engage the chain brake and press the primer bulb. Next, set the choke to the “cold start” position and pull the starter cord.

Chainsaws are an essential tool for many outdoor tasks, ranging from tree trimming to firewood preparation. Makita, a trusted brand in power tools, offers chainsaws that are reliable and efficient. Understanding the correct startup procedures can ensure safety and prolong the life of your tool.

Before operating a Makita chainsaw, familiarizing yourself with its components, such as the chain brake, primer bulb, choke, and starter cord is crucial. A chainsaw’s performance hinges on following a precise starting routine, which varies slightly between models but typically includes the steps mentioned. By adhering to these instructions and maintaining regular maintenance, users can enjoy a smooth start-up experience every time, minimizing frustration and maximizing productivity out in the field.

Getting Started With A Makita Chainsaw

For first-time users and seasoned professionals alike, learning the ropes of your Makita chainsaw is essential for effective and safe operation. This guide provides step-by-step instructions to get you started confidently. Whether you’re tending a backyard or preparing for commercial work, following these tips will help you maximize the performance and lifespan of your Makita chainsaw.

Understand Safety Precautions

  • Read the manual: Always start with the manufacturer’s manual, which covers important safety instructions specific to your Makita model.
  • Wear appropriate gear: Equip yourself with safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, non-slip boots, and chainsaw chaps.
  • Prepare your workspace: Ensure the area is clear of bystanders and potential hazards.
  • Operate with caution: Never use the chainsaw while on a ladder, in a tree, or on any unstable surface.

Familiarize Yourself With the Makita Chainsaw Parts and Features

Gaining familiarity with the various parts and features of your Makita chainsaw will help you operate it with greater ease and efficiency. Key components include:

Chain brakeStops the chain in case of kickback
Throttle lockPrevents accidental throttle engagement
ChokeAssists with starting a cold engine
OilerLubricates the chain during use
Guide barThe long bar that guides the chain

Preparing the Makita Chainsaw For Start-up

A reliable and robust tool, the Makita chainsaw requires some preparatory steps before it roars to life. Proper setup is essential for both safety and performance. Let’s ensure your chainsaw is prepared correctly for start-up, so you can operate it with confidence and efficiency.

Check and Fill the Fuel and Oil Levels

  1. Identify the fuel and oil reservoirs, typically marked on your chainsaw.
  2. Remove the caps and check the current levels. If necessary, fill the fuel tank with the recommended fuel mixture. For Makita chainsaws, this is usually a mix of high-quality unleaded gasoline and two-cycle oil in a 50:1 ratio.
  3. For the oil, use the specified bar and chain oil, filling it to just below the top of the tank. Do not overfill.
  4. After filling, securely replace the caps to prevent any spillage.

Examine the Air Filter and Clean If Necessary

  • Locate the air filter cover on the chainsaw and remove it. Typically, this does not require tools and is accessible by hand.
  • Inspect the air filter for debris and buildup. If the filter is dirty, tap it against a hard surface to remove the loose dirt.
  • If the filter is excessively dirty or damaged, replace it with a new one. Never operate the chainsaw without a filter, as this can allow harmful debris to enter the engine.
  • For a reusable filter, wash it with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry completely before reinstallation.
  • Once the filter is clean or replaced, reattach the air filter cover securely.

Steps For Starting the Makita Chainsaw

Powering up a robust tool like a Makita chainsaw demands careful attention to detail to maintain safety and ensure a smooth start. Whether a seasoned lumberjack or a homeowner with a pruning project, the following steps will confidently rev up your Makita chainsaw, leaving no room for guesswork. These instructions aim at simplicity, safety, and efficiency.

Prime the Engine With Fuel

  • Open the fuel tank lid carefully.
  • Use a funnel or a fuel can with a spout to pour the fuel.
  • Securely tighten the fuel tank lid back in place after filling.

Engage the Chain Brake and Push the Choke Lever

1Engage the chain brakePush the chain brake handle forward until you hear a click.
2Position the choke leverPlace the choke lever in the choke or start position.

Engaging the chain brake prevents the chain from moving during the start-up process, adding an essential safety layer. The choke helps in enriching the fuel mixture, making it easier to start the engine in colder conditions or when the chainsaw has been inactive for a while.

Pull Cord Starting Procedure

Embarking on a project that requires a chainsaw means you’ll need to know the ins-and-outs of starting your equipment. For Makita chainsaw users, mastering the Pull Cord Starting Procedure is crucial for a safe and efficient kick-off to any cutting task. This traditional method may seem challenging at first, but with proper guidance, any user can start their chainsaw effortlessly. This section of the blog walks through the necessary steps, with particular focus on holding the chainsaw steadily and pulling the starter cord with a smooth motion.

Hold the Chainsaw Steadily

  • Place the chainsaw on firm, flat ground.
  • Ensure the chain is not in contact with any objects.
  • Apply the chain brake by pushing the chain brake handle forward.
  • Position your right foot in the rear handle to anchor the saw.
  • Grasp the front handle firmly with your left hand.
  • Make sure your body is to the left side of the chainsaw, maintaining a proper balance and distance from the bar and chain.

Pull the Starter Cord With a Smooth Motion

  1. Set the choke to the “START” position if the engine is cold or to “RUN” if the engine is warm.
  2. Pull the starter knob to extend the starter cord gently until you feel some resistance.
  3. Then, pull the cord rapidly and smoothly in a controlled manner.
  4. Repeat this pull action until the engine fires slightly. For a cold start, this means pushing the choke back in once you hear the first burp of the engine starting.
  5. Resume pulling the starter cord until the engine runs.
  6. Allow the engine to warm up before engaging the chain.

Note that multiple attempts may be required for a cold engine, but persistence with a smooth pulling action will yield success. Avoid jerky or erratic pulls on the starter cord as it may lead to damage of the starter mechanism or personal injury.

Warm-up and Ready For Use

The essential guide on warming up your Makita chainsaw and getting it ready for use. A proper warm-up ensures both safety and peak performance, which is why it’s a crucial step not to be overlooked. Before you rev up the engine to tackle those cutting tasks, let’s walk through the process of getting your powerful tool prepped and primed for action.

Troubleshooting Tips For Starting Issues

Struggling with a stubborn Makita chainsaw that won’t start? Propel your troubleshooting efforts forward with practical tips to revive your tool. Discover methods to diagnose starting issues and get your chainsaw roaring to life with minimal downtime.

Dealing With a Flooded Engine

If your chainsaw’s engine is flooded, you’ll typically encounter resistance during the starting process, often accompanied by a petrol smell indicating excess fuel in the engine. But don’t worry, there’s a remedy:

  • Disengage the chainsaw’s choke to halt further fuel flow.
  • Remove the spark plug carefully and inspect it for wetness, indicative of flooding.
  • Clean the spark plug, or replace it if necessary, before reinserting it.
  • Activate the throttle fully and pull the start cord repeatedly to clear out the excess fuel.
  • Once the engine starts purring, let it run for a few moments then adjust the throttle to a standard idling state.

Addressing Spark Plug Or Fuel Line Issues

Spark plug and fuel line hiccups can be silent culprits behind a stubborn chainsaw:

  1. Examine the spark plug for deposits or damage; replace if necessary.
  2. Ensure the spark plug wire is securely connected.
  3. Inspect the fuel lines for cracks or blockages and rectify any issues discovered.
  4. Keep an eye out for a clogged fuel filter, which can also impede starting.
  5. Use only fresh and properly mixed fuel to avoid starting and performance problems.

Learn also: How to Start a Poulan Chainsaw

Maintenance After Using the Makita Chainsaw

Properly maintaining your Makita chainsaw after each use ensures that it remains in peak condition, ready for the next task. Diligent maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your chainsaw but also guarantees safe operation each time you need it. In the following sections, you’ll discover the essential steps to clean and store your Makita chainsaw so that it continues to perform reliably for years to come.

Clean the Chainsaw After Use

  • Wipe the guide bar groove clean, and apply a light coating of oil to prevent rust.
  • Clean the air filter regularly, as a clogged filter can reduce the chainsaw’s efficiency. Consider replacing the air filter if it shows significant wear.
  • Examine the spark plug for carbon build-up and wear. A clean spark plug ensures optimal performance.
  • Ensure the chain is clean, correctly tensioned, and oiled before reattaching it.

By keeping your chainsaw clean, you minimize the risk of unnecessary strain on its motor and other vital components, which could otherwise lead to premature wear.

Properly Store the Chainsaw in a Safe and Secure Location

Follow these steps to ensure optimal storage conditions:

  1. Drain the fuel tank if the chainsaw won’t be used for an extended period, as stale fuel can damage the engine.
  2. Coat metal surfaces with a protective layer of oil to ward off rust.
  3. Use a chainsaw cover or case to protect the chain and guide bar while in storage.
  4. Store the chainsaw horizontally, with the guide bar and chainshield in place to avoid any accidental contact.

With these straightforward maintenance and storage practices, your Makita chainsaw will be prepared and safe for its next usage, offering reliable and effective performance on demand.

FAQs For How To Start A Makita Chainsaw

Why Won’t My Makita Chainsaw Start?

Your Makita chainsaw may not start due to a faulty spark plug, stale fuel, clogged air filter, or a flooded engine. Check these components and replace or clean as needed for proper operation.

How Do You Start A Makita Chainsaw Gas?

To start a Makita gas chainsaw, move the stop switch to “run,” push the primer bulb, set the choke lever, pull the starter cord sharply, then push the choke in once the engine fires. Always read the manual for model-specific instructions.

How Do You Start A Chainsaw Step By Step?

Place the chainsaw on stable ground. Push the chain brake forward to engage it. Activate the choke if the engine is cold. Pull the starter cord until the engine fires. Once started, disengage the choke and press the throttle slightly.

Why Won T Chainsaw Start?

A chainsaw may not start due to a stale fuel mix, a clogged carburetor, a faulty spark plug, or a dirty air filter. Ensure proper maintenance and check these components regularly for trouble-free operation.


Starting your Makita chainsaw involves simple steps that ensure safety and efficiency. Remember, regular maintenance keeps your tool in top shape. Embrace this guide for a smooth operation every time. Fire up your Makita with confidence and tackle those cutting tasks like a pro.

Make Chainsaw Hive your ally in mastering chainsaw skills. Happy sawing!

About the author