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Why Is My Chainsaw Hard to Pull? (5 Things to Check)

Why Is My Chainsaw Hard to Pull? (5 Things to Check)

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You might use your chainsaw quite a bit to handle random work out in your yard. Many people need to be able to cut downed tree limbs and other types of debris after heavy storms.

Whether you’re trimming tree limbs or handling some type of big project outside, it’s important to keep your chainsaw in good working condition. This is why it can be so disheartening when you start having issues with starting your chainsaw.

Do you feel as though it’s difficult to pull your chainsaw right now? Do you find yourself wondering, “why is my chainsaw hard to pull?”

There could be quite a few different things going on, and determining what exactly is up is going to take some troubleshooting. Keep reading to learn more about why your chainsaw is hard to pull so that you can get it working properly again.

1 – The Starter Housing Is Damaged in Some Way

The most common thing that people have happen is that the starter housing becomes damaged in some way. When the starter housing on your chainsaw gets damaged, it’s going to cause things to get snagged when you pull to start it up.

The rope might get stuck and then it won’t retract properly, and this can make it virtually impossible to start the chainsaw sometimes. This is super common, but that doesn’t make it any less of an annoyance.

Fixing this issue is actually not all that complicated, but you are going to have to replace the starter housing system. You’ll need to buy a new starter housing system and put it in place so that the chainsaw can start without encountering any issues.

If you have trouble with this, then you could choose to take your chainsaw to a professional to have the starting housing replaced. It’s even possible that your chainsaw might have a warranty that will cover such a repair job.

Take the time to check if your chainsaw is under warranty so that you can determine how to move forward. Even if your chainsaw isn’t under warranty, you will be able to find local businesses that can help you with such replacements.

Getting the right parts will allow you to do this yourself so long as you’re comfortable with everything. Just decide how best to move forward based on your capabilities.

2 – The Pulley System Is Damaged

Potentially Damage Pulley System On Chainsaw

Of course, another problem that can pop up with chainsaws involves the pulley system. Your pulley system on your chainsaw can get damaged due to wear and tear or having something unusual happen.

You could examine the pulley system on the chainsaw and find that it isn’t working as it normally should. This could be because the tension isn’t right or you might even have a weak contact between the pawl and the spring.

In this case, you might need to replace parts to get the pulley system working as it should. Sometimes it’s possible to fix things by just tightening the pulley system up and ensuring that the attachment is as firm as it should be, though.

You’re just going to have to examine the pulley system to try to determine what is wrong. If a part appears to be damaged, then the best solution is going to be to go ahead and replace that part.

This is another thing that you might be able to get taken care of if your chainsaw is under warranty. If it isn’t, then it still shouldn’t be too hard to get the necessary parts and put the pulley system back together yourself.

3 – You Might Just Need to Change the Rope

Bad Chainsaw Rope

Sometimes the only thing that’s really wrong with the chainsaw is that the rope isn’t working as it should. It could be that the rope is frayed and it gets stuck when you’re pulling it.

If this is the case, then you’re going to be able to fix the issue without it being too big of a deal. You can just buy a replacement rope and then put it on as instructed.

You’re generally going to need to put on a new starter assembly system when you’re doing this, though. It isn’t necessarily hard to do, but it will involve a bit more than just replacing the rope with the new one.

Try to thoroughly examine the rope to see if anything is amiss. If you go to pull the rope and see that it’s getting stuck in some way, then there’s a good chance that there is a problem with the rope itself.

4 – Broken Starter Spring

Potentially Broken Start Spring On Chainsaw

Broken starter springs are actually a lot more common than you might think, too. Try to examine the spring to see if it shows signs of damage or if it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do.

You aren’t going to be able to get things working right if your starter spring is broken. This is a key component, and it’s worth taking the time to see what’s going on since it might be the cause of your problems.

You can get a replacement starter spring and install it alongside a new starter assembly. It’s a bit of a pain to have to go to such lengths just to get the starter spring replaced, but it might solve all of your problems.

5 – The Chainsaw Is Old

Old Chainsaw

Have you thought about how old your chainsaw is? Now it’s not necessarily going to be necessary to give up on an old chainsaw, but sometimes chainsaws will have more problems when they’re old and well worn.

Chainsaws that you have been using for ten years are going to be more likely to encounter problems due to wear and tear. If you’ve been using your chainsaw for a long time, then it might not come as a surprise for it to start having issues with starting properly.

It’s even possible for chainsaws to have trouble pulling to start when they start to get a bit rusty. You can and should try to prevent issues such as this as much as possible, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

Exposure to moisture could cause a chainsaw to rust, and this could make it hard to start the chainsaw. There might even be situations where a chainsaw has a bad blade that just isn’t going to be usable any longer.

You can examine your chainsaw to try to determine if age and damage are the issues that you’re dealing with. If how old your chainsaw is comes into play, then you might wish to consider buying a new chainsaw instead of paying money for replacement parts.

Wear Gloves and Be Careful While Handling Repairs

Always Wear Gloves When Repairing A Chainsaw

Do your best to wear gloves and be careful while handling chainsaw repairs. You don’t want to run the risk of hurting yourself, and this means that you need to take the right precautions.

Even doing something such as fixing the starter rope could be a bit dangerous without gloves. Gloves make it less likely that you will cut yourself or injure your hands while trying to repair things.

Always take things slowly and try to make good decisions when repairing a chainsaw yourself. Rushing through things will lead to mistakes, and you’ll be that much more likely to get injured.

There are many different aspects of repairing a chainsaw that can be especially dangerous. For example, the edges of the rewind spring are more than sharp enough to injure you, and they’re always going to be under tension.

When you’re going to replace the pulley system, you’re going to need to be very careful when detaching the pulley. If you go too fast or don’t detach the pulley carefully, then you could get injured and wind up taking a trip to the emergency room.

Respect how dangerous repairing a chainsaw can be by giving it your full attention. If you don’t feel safe doing these repairs, then you can always look for a professional who can handle things for you.

Always Store Your Chainsaw Properly

Chainsaw With Cover

Improper chainsaw storage is one of the things that are most likely to lead to significant issues. If you store your chainsaw in a place that isn’t good for it, then you’ll be more likely to have the chainsaw rust over time and parts of the chainsaw might get gummed up.

Chainsaws should be stored in a dry environment where they won’t be exposed to random moisture. This means that if you’re keeping your chainsaw in a garage or shed, it’s going to be imperative to ensure that things aren’t damp in there.

Moisture is going to make your chainsaw rust, and this is something that you don’t want to have happen. A chainsaw is going to be exposed to oxidation over time, but you can at least limit the process by storing your chainsaw well.

It’s also going to be wise to try to put the chainsaw somewhere that isn’t exposed to constant sunlight since that can be a contributing factor to the oxidation. A dark, dry place such as a standard shed or garage will work nicely for the most part, and you should never store your chainsaw on a concrete floor.

Hanging your chainsaw somewhere out of the way where it won’t be exposed to moisture or sunlight is the right move to make. You might have shelving in your garage or shed that will work nicely already, but you can also build some if you really want to.

Many people even go ahead and put their chainsaws in some type of cabinet where they can hang safely. If you have room for something such as that, then that should work very nicely for what you’re trying to accomplish here.

Keeping the chainsaw from getting caked with dust is a good thing as well. You could check your tools in your shed and garage and dust them off every so often to prevent any issues from popping up.

Remember that you’re also supposed to empty the fuel tank on your chainsaw before putting it into storage. If you have a gas chainsaw, then this means pouring out excess fuel and allowing the chainsaw to run until the tank is truly empty.

Once that is done, you’re going to want to dismantle the chainsaw so that you can clean and spray the chain and guide bar. This is done to protect the chainsaw so that it will last longer, and spraying these parts with a protective oil is a must if you hope for your chainsaw to stand the test of time.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about chainsaws, it should be easier to determine what is wrong with yours. There are many reasons why a chainsaw might become hard to pull, but you should be able to get things fixed over time.

Yes, sometimes chainsaws can get hard to pull due to getting older, and it might not always be the best decision to make to keep trying to fix the chainsaw. When a chainsaw has been in use for 10 years or longer, there’s going to be a good chance that it will be rusty and have other problems.

Even so, it’s possible to keep fixing a chainsaw for a good amount of time. Many people keep replacing and repairing chainsaws when they have minor issues, and you can do the same if you want to.

Troubleshooting what is wrong with your chainsaw will involve examining the chainsaw and observing what is happening when you attempt to use the pulley system. It might become obvious what is going wrong after you look at things; other times, it can be a bit trickier to suss out.

If you go ahead and store your chainsaw in the safest way that you can, then you’ll be less likely to encounter issues. Chainsaws that are kept away from moisture, sunlight, and dust will have a better chance of being useful to you for a very long time.

Hopefully, you feel as though you have all of the information that you need to succeed now. It might be a bit annoying to have to replace things on your chainsaw when something goes awry, but you can get the job done so long as you’re careful not to hurt yourself.


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