How to Use a Chainsaw

If you have recently purchased an Echo Chainsaw, or are planning to use a chainsaw, take a moment to review our safety procedures. For the most complete instructions, review the manufacturer’s safety manual. Chainsaws have the potential to cause serious damage and injuries and a careless user could end up in a life threatening situation. Even the most experienced chainsaw users can make mistakes with serious consequences. 

To begin, ensure the right oil/gas mixture is in the chainsaw. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the oil/gas ratio. Combine the mixture in a gas tank prior to adding it to the chainsaw. Tip: mark the gas tank specifically for chainsaw use so that it is not confused with other fuel. Check your oil levels before starting the chainsaw. 

Starting a Chainsaw

When starting your chainsaw, there are two options; a cold start and a warm start. A cold start refers to the first time that the chainsaw is started after it hasn’t been used for a while, usually a day or longer. A warm start refers to starting the chainsaw while it is still warm or even hot from previous use on the same day.


In either case, your stance for starting the chainsaw will be the same. Place the chainsaw on the ground. Do not hold the chainsaw, using the weight of the chainsaw to provide leverage to pull start, this could lead to injuries!

Cold Start: When cold starting a chainsaw, put on the chain brake, turn on the ignition switch and pull out the choke; prime the prime pump or purge valve about four times. Place the chainsaw on the ground and make sure there is nothing in the way. Place your foot in the opening between the base and the handle of the chainsaw for stability, place your left hand on the lifting handle and then pull the starter rope. The chainsaw should start easily and quickly.

Warm Start:  Starting position is the same, the difference between a cold start and a warm start is that you don’t have to turn the choke on and you won’t need to prime the purge valve as the engine is already primed. If you prime it again, you could flood the engine and you will have to wait for a while before you can use the chainsaw again. Make sure that the chain brake is engaged prior to beginning your warm start.

Chainsaw Safety 

Chainsaw safety includes wearing the correct safety equipment. There are a number of different options for safety gear.

Protective Headgear: Protecting your head includes protecting your scalp, face and ears. Purchase a combination of equipment, such as a helmet system that includes hearing protectors, face protectors and a helmet all in one. Or purchase safety gear separately, such as safety glasses/masks, hearing protectors and helmets.

Body Protection: Body protection includes hands, feet, legs, arms and torso. Complete kits are available that include all of these items. However, the individual fit varies and may not necessarily be the best option.  Protective gear is also available for the upper body, leg, gloves, as well as work boots. There is also the option of full body suits. When choosing body protection, ensure that the items have a high safety rating. Search for products that have been tested with a chainsaw (one company puts the gloves onto thick branches and runs a chainsaw over them to see their protective quality).

Where to Buy Chainsaws, Chainsaw Equipment & Safety Gear

For additional information about where to purchase chainsaws, chainsaw parts or safety equipment , see We have a wide range of chainsaw brands, equipment and parts that will fit your needs.


For additional support contact Shanks Lawn at Shanks Lawn Customer Support or email us at



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