Chainsaw Won’t Idle – What’s the Next Step?

Chainsaw Won't Idle - What's the Next Step?

A chainsaw is one of the essential tools in day to day life. Using this regularly can result in clogging of the air filter and fouled spark plug.

These problems can lead the Chainsaw to will not become idle. In this article, we will discuss some of the main reasons why the Chainsaw cannot become idle after prolonged usage.

We will also discuss some best solutions which you can consider while diagnosing the Chainsaw.

Main Reasons Why the Chainsaw Won’t Idle

The main problem is that the air filter is usually blocked, or an idle screw is out of adjustment, and some of the other possible causes include: 

  • Dirty Air Filter
  • Idle Screw-Out of adjustment
  • Bad Gas
  • Bad Spark Plugs
  • Vacuum Leak
  • Faulty Carburetor

Make Sure Choke is Off

Chainsaw Choke

Before making any changes in the Chainsaw, you must make sure that the Choke is off.

During the time of starting the Chainsaw, you can turn the Choke on, and after successfully idle, then you have to turn the Choke back off so that the engine will run smoothly through the gears.

Most of the time, the saw operator forgets to turn off the Choke, which will result in the engine to choke and die.

Air Filter Clogged

Chainsaw Air Filter

It is one of the main reasons why Chainsaw does not become idle. The engines of the Chainsaw depend mainly on the outside air to run correctly. It is usual for the dust to be collected in the air filters. Air filters are straightforward to access and remove so that you can clean them with ease.

Bad Gas

Chainsaw Fuel

Bad quality of gas can cause various issues with the Chainsaw’s fuel line system and air filter. Mostly, it results in clogging up the engine, which results in not idling the engine.

It is recommended to use an octane of 89 or higher, which provides a long-lasting engine usage and cleaner-burning fuel.

Fouled Spark Plug

Chainsaw Spark Plug

Fouled Spark Plug is also one of the main reasons why your Chainsaw will not become idle. Harmful gases are one of the main reasons to foul the spark plug and allow it to gum up. 

The spark plug’s primary function is to create a spark with each turn of the piston, and when the gap between the piston and spark plug is filled with gum, then the Chainsaw is unable to become idle. Then, you must clean it up or replace it.

It is recommended that you must carry an extra spark plug for emergency purposes.

Solutions to Diagnose the Chainsaw

Check the Air Filter

Checking the Air Filter is one of the essential things from which you can start the cleaning process.

As chainsaws throw dust and stones and some of them are run into the carburetor. Nowadays, all the modern chainsaws come with a tool-less air filter, making accessing and cleaning the air filter very easy.

People mostly use compressed air to clean the air filters of chainsaws, but the compressor is not available for everyone, so you can also use a fabric cloth to clean the air filters.

The air filters of these chainsaws are designed in such a manner that they last long. But, if a lot of small stones are stored in the filter, it will create a hole in the filter, and then you must buy a new air filter for your Chainsaw.

Locate the Idle Screw

Generally, all the chainsaws carburetor comprises three main idle screws which can be accessed without removing any covers. These screws can be located on the side cover of the saw, where the adjusting takes place.

These screws cannot be seen openly as these are adjusted inside the ports, and you just need the correct adjusting tool to access them. 

The first Screw or the adjuster is considered the low throttle adjuster, marked on the carburetor as the letter “L.” The second Screw on the carburetor is for the high throttle adjuster and is marked with the letter “H.”

The third Screw is the standard screw adjuster, marked with the letter I or T or LA. It is generally placed above or below the low and high adjusters.

You must make sure that you only adjust the screws while the filter is fitted in the Chainsaw.

Adjust the Idle Screw

Before adjusting any screws in the carburetor, you must make sure that the Chainsaw is warmed up, and the air filter is cleaned as well as the brakes should be off.

When the saw is off, you must turn the Screw in half and then start the saw again. You must repeat the same process until the saw becomes idle.

What to Do When the Chainsaw Doesn’t idle Even After Proper Idle Settings?

  • First, you need to turn the Screw to a half turn until the engine loads up. You must take note of the position where the engine starts. It is recommended to turn the Screw slowly until the engine starts. You must make sure that the engine lies in between rich and lean settings.
  • After hearing the idle saw, you must lean the low-speed adjuster accordingly.
  • Now, you must set the high-speed fuel adjustment and check the RPM with a tachometer’s help. You must take care of that setting the RPM at maximum levels can result in reducing the performance.

Note: You must make sure that you only adjust the carburetors as mentioned above. As wrong arrangements of screws can lead to permanent damage to the carburetors.

Final Words

It is effortless to diagnose these chainsaws as they consist of only two filters, easy to access.

We have discussed some of the main reasons and solutions that you can consider if your chainsaws die while idle.

We have also discussed the simple method to recalibrate the carburetor, but you must keep patience.

I hope you find this tutorial useful, and If you did, then don’t forget to share it once, and if you have any doubts/questions regarding the topic, don’t forget to paste it in the comment section below.

We will try our best to solve all your queries.

Kalista Howell
Kalista Howell is an accomplished writer with over 12 years of experience in journalism. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her career began in 2009 as a reporter for a local newspaper, where her flair for realistic storytelling quickly garnered attention. With an extensive background in educational content creation, her expertise lies in translating complex concepts into accessible, reader-friendly formats. Beyond her professional life, she is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning, often conducting community workshops on digital literacy. In her leisure time, she enjoys gardening.

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