Common Chainsaw Problems: 9 Problems with Solutions

Chainsaws are an incredibly useful and powerful tool that can help with everything from professional logging to keeping your backyard trees looking neat and tidy. But, like any mechanical device, they can run into issues with regular wear and tear. Knowing how to identify and fix common chainsaw problems is essential for keeping your tool in good condition and avoiding costly repairs.

Common Chainsaw Problems

We’ll explore the most common chainsaw problems and provide tips on how to troubleshoot and fix them. From issues with the chain to engine problems, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started with the list of common chainsaw problems!

  1. Chainsaw won’t start
  2. Chainsaw Chain Not Turning
  3. Chainsaw stalls
  4. Chainsaw won’t idle
  5. Chainsaw chain won’t stay sharp
  6. Chainsaw chain comes off
  7. Chainsaw leaks oil
  8. Chainsaw vibrates excessively
  9. Chainsaw overheating

Top Chainsaw Problems

Here we discuss the top 9 chainsaw problems with detailed explanation. If you face one of the problems from this list then check the solution and apply it on your chainsaw. We are sure you will make your chainsaw in top condition.

1. Chainsaw Won’t Start

Is your chainsaw not starting? A clogged air filter can be one of the most common culprits. Over time, sawdust and other debris can accumulate on the air filter, reducing the airflow to the carburetor and preventing the engine from starting.

Chainsaw Won’t Start

To fix this, simply remove the air filter cover and clean the filter with compressed air or soapy water. If the filter is damaged, be sure to replace it with a new one.

Another possible cause of a chainsaw that won’t start is a faulty spark plug. Check the spark plug by removing it and inspecting the tip for wear or damage, and if necessary, replace the spark plug with a new one.

If the air filter and spark plug are not the issue, then it could be a problem with the fuel system. One common issue is stale fuel or a clogged fuel filter. Drain the old fuel and replace it with fresh gasoline mixed with the appropriate oil ratio.

2. Chainsaw Chain Not Turning

When the chainsaw chain is not turning, you may be dealing with a few different issues.

  • Dull chain
  • Damaged clutch
  • Clogged oiler hole
  • Bar groove
  • Malfunctioning oil pump

These are all potential causes for the chain not turning. But we have the solutions of these causes.

Chainsaw Chain Not Turning

Solutions: To troubleshoot, start by

  • Sharpening the chain with a chainsaw file or by taking it to a professional to be sharpened.
  • If the clutch is damaged, it may need to be replaced.
  • If the chain is clogged, you’ll need to remove it and clear out any debris that may be blocking the oiler hole or bar groove.
  • Lastly, make sure the oil reservoir is full and that the oil pump is functioning properly.

In case these solutions don’t work, you may need to take the chainsaw to a professional for further diagnosis and repair.

3. Chainsaw Stalls

There are several potential causes that could be the root of the chainsaw stalls problem. Here is the list of reasons for chainsaw stalling.

  • A clogged fuel filters.
  • Air filter can restrict the flow of fuel or air to the engine.
  • While a dirty carburetor can prevent the engine from receiving the right amount of fuel and air.
  • Faulty spark plugs can also cause stalling.
  • A damaged fuel line or a clogged muffler can also contribute to stalling.

Solution: To fix a stalling chainsaw,

  • First check and clean the air filter and fuel filter. If they are dirty or clogged, replace them with new ones.
  • Next, clean the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner, and check the spark plug to make sure it is in good condition.
  • If the fuel line is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Finally, if the muffler is clogged, remove it and clean out any debris that may be blocking the exhaust flow.

With these simple steps, you can get your chainsaw running smoothly again.

4. Chainsaw Won’t Idle

Having a chainsaw that won’t idle can be frustrating and can lead to time-consuming projects. Fortunately, there are several potential causes of this issue and solutions to get your chainsaw running properly again.

  • Dirty or clogged carburetors
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Damaged fuel lines
  • Clogged mufflers

These can all lead to idling problems in your chainsaw.

Chainsaw Won’t Idle


  • Start by cleaning the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner and making sure the spark plug is in good condition.
  • Check for any damage to the fuel line and replace it if needed.
  • Clean the muffler and remove any debris that may be blocking the exhaust flow.
  • If these solutions don’t work, there may be a vacuum leak which should be diagnosed and repaired by a professional.

5. Chainsaw Chain Won’t Stay Sharp

There are several potential causes of chainsaw chains won’t stay sharp. Improper sharpening technique, using a dull or wrong-sized file, worn or damaged chain components and a dry chain can all lead to a dull blade.

To ensure your chainsaw chain stays sharp, it’s important to use the proper sharpening technique and size file for the chain. File each tooth at the correct angle and depth and length for a consistent edge. Avoid using a dull file, and make sure to properly lubricate the chain with oil.

Chainsaw Chain Won’t Stay Sharp

If the chain is still not staying sharp, it may be time to replace it or have a professional inspect the chain components for damage. By taking the time to properly sharpen your chainsaw chain, you can ensure that it stays sharp and ready for use.

6. Chainsaw Chain Comes Off

If your chainsaw chain keeps coming off, it could be due to a variety of reasons.

  • Loose or damaged guide bar.
  • Damaged or worn chain.
  • Using the wrong chain size for the guide bar can all cause the chain to come off.
Chainsaw Chain Comes Off

To fix a chainsaw chain that keeps coming off, start by examining the guide bar for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure the guide bar is securely tightened and the chain tension is adjusted correctly. If the guide bar is damaged or worn, replace it with a new one.

Inspect the chain for any damage or signs of wear and replace it if necessary. Make sure to use the correct size chain for the guide bar.

Finally, ensure the chain is properly lubricated with oil, as a dry chain can cause derailing. If the problem persists, it is best to take the chainsaw to a professional for further diagnosis.

7. Chainsaw Leaks Oil

There could be a few possible causes of chainsaw oil leaks.

  • A damaged or worn oil tank.
  • Loose or damaged oil line.
  • Damaged oil pump or oil seal.
Chainsaw Leaks Oil


To fix your chainsaw oil leak, start by inspecting the oil tank, oil line, oil pump, and oil seal for any signs of damage or wear. Replace in case of damage. Make sure the oil cap is properly tightened and that the oil reservoir is not overfilled. Finally, use the correct type of oil for your chainsaw, as using the wrong type of oil can cause leaks.

8. Chainsaw Overheating

Is your chainsaw overheating? There could be several causes for this overheating issue, such as

  • Clogged or dirty air filter.
  • Damaged or worn spark plug.
  • The wrong type of fuel or oil.
  • Running the chainsaw for too long without breaks.
Chainsaw Overheating

To fix the problem, start with:

  • Cleaning or replacing the air filter.
  • Check the spark plug, and replace it if necessary.
  • Make sure to use the correct type of fuel and oil for your chainsaw, and take breaks when using the chainsaw to let the engine cool down.

Avoid using the chainsaw for extended periods of time and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for best performance.

9. Chainsaw Vibrates Excessively

The reason of chainsaw vibrates excessively are.

  • Loose or damaged chains.
  • Worn guide bars and damaged clutches can all contribute to excessive vibration.

Solutions of reduce the vibration of your chainsaw.

  • Start by checking the chain tension and tightening the chain if necessary.
  • Inspect the chain and guide bar for any damage or wear and replace them if necessary.
  • Replace the clutch if it is worn or damaged.

To prevent further wear and vibration, make sure to lubricate the chain and guide bar regularly. If you still experience excessive vibration, it may be best to take the chainsaw to a professional for repair.


Chainsaws are a powerful and essential tool for many tasks, but they are not immune to problems. Common issues such as chains that won’t start, chain not turning, chainsaw stalls, won’t idle, won’t stay sharp, chain comes off, leaks oil, vibrates excessively, and overheating can be frustrating and even pose safety risks.

By following the manufacturer’s instructions and properly maintaining, cleaning, and using the correct fuel and oil, chainsaw users can keep their chainsaw running smoothly and safely.


What causes chainsaw problems?

Chainsaw problems can be caused by improper maintenance, incorrect use, or a defective part.

How can I prevent common chainsaw problems?

You should use your chainsaw according to the manufacturer’s instructions and perform regular maintenance such as sharpening, cleaning, and lubricating the chain.