Do You Start A Chainsaw With The Brakes On?

The chain brake is located on the top handle of the chainsaw, the chain brake is used to stop the chainsaw chain from rotating around the bar. Basically, there are two ways to engage the chain brake; first, by pushing the handle forward and second, by the force of inertia that occurs when the saw kicks back.

A good-running chainsaw will start with the chain brake on or off; this means if your chainsaw is in perfect condition, it will start with or without the brake on. You can throttle it up a little, but the chain won’t move if the brake is engaged.

A chain brake will naturally stick in the brake on position – you should try moving the chain brake bar back and forth a couple of times, before doing this make sure you have read the guide as control differs via model.

In the engine, is a set responsible for the disengaging of chain brake, this is known as the chain brake set.

What Is Chainsaw Brake Set?

If the engine of your chainsaw is running, but the chain brake is set, the chain will not rotate to disengage the chain brake. You will have to push back on the chain brake handle to disengage, and if it still doesn’t rotate, it means the brake may be stuck.

Before starting your chainsaw, make sure to observe regulations in your area.

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Do You Start A Chainsaw With The Brakes On?

The chain brake must be activated when you start your chainsaw – this technique is called “the half throttle pose.” Below are two safe positions to start your chainsaw;

Starting Position

  1. On The Ground
  • Stand erect with your right foot in the rear handle and keep a firm grip on the front handle with your left hand.
  • Pull the starter of the chainsaw handle with your right hand, repeat this until your engine fires up.
  1. In Between Your Legs
  • Place the rear handle of the chainsaw in between your left thigh and behind your right knee.
  • Hold the front handle firmly with your left handle, make sure to keep your left arm straight.

As a chainsaw owner, there are certain inspections you must carry out to maintain a better condition for your chainsaw, some of these includes:

  • Inertia function inspection
  • Chain brake inspection
  • Chain lubrication inspection (see the previous post)

Here, we are concerned with the chain brake inspection. You need to inspect breaks before kicking your chainsaw to life.

Chain brake inspection

  • Start the chainsaw; hold the chainsaw firmly by the front and rear handle.
  • Accelerate and then release the throttle.
  • Turn on the chain brake by turning your left wrist towards the guard. Do not let go of the front handle.
  • The chain should now stop immediately.
  • If your chainsaw is fitted with trio brake, repeat but now activate the rear brake guard by moving your right wrist upward until it can reach and activate the brake.

After all necessary inspection has been done, you can now start your chainsaw, but there are precautions that.

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Precautionary Tips Before Starting Your Chainsaw

  • Ensure you put on a chainsaw chaps’ leather or Cut resistant gloves, a hearing protector, and finally helmet and giggles.
  • Fill the chainsaw up with gasoline and oil mix if necessary.
  • Fill the guide bar and chain oil reservoir.
  • Inspect the guide bar and chain for any grits, dirt, or existing wood chips that would hinder the chain from rotating.
  • Use your hand to move the chain around the guide bar to ensure that it is moving freely.

After applying the precautionary measures listed above, you can now start your chainsaw, which leads us to the steps below;

Do You Start A Chainsaw With The Brakes On?

How To Start Your Chainsaw

  • Step One: You stabilize your chainsaw in the process of starting it. It should always be toward ground level, never up in the air or high surface, ensure that nothing is touching or close to the chainsaw guide bar or chain.
  • Step Two: Engage the chain brake of your chainsaw, do this with your left hand on the top handlebar, move your wrist forward to push the chain brake handle forward.
  • Step Three: Turn the chainsaw on and open up the choke. This means turn the chainsaw on/off switch, open up the choke by moving the knob to the cord to start.
  • Step Four: Prime the fuel, press the fuel primer bulb three to five times until the bulb stiffens, and you can see fuel in it.
  • Step Five: Pull the starting cord a few times with your left hand on the top of the handlebar, the chain brake engaged, and your right foot in the rear handle, pull up on the starting cord.
  • Step Six: Close the choke, when you hear the engine of your chainsaw falling to turn over, move the choke lever in a halfway position.
  • Step Seven: Allow your chainsaw to Idle for at least 30 seconds at most. If you don’t, the chainsaw will stall out.
  • Step Eight: After the 30 seconds of Idling time, move the choke lever to the closed position.
  • Step Nine: Disengage the chain brake, you would have to pull back on the chain brake handle with your right hand to disengage it.
  • Step Ten: Lift up your chainsaw, to start sawing, pull the throttle with the index and middle finger of your right hand.
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Saw Note: Always start your chainsaw with the chain brake engaged, so the chain doesn’t move.


Conclusion – Brakes Don’t Really Matter!

It is quite clear that you can start a chainsaw with the brake on as long as it is in perfect condition, starting it with the brake on or off is not a big deal. What is most important is the engagement of your chain brake. You must engage your chain brake to prevent it from stalling and disengage it so it will spin after starting the chainsaw.