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Hedgerowe 08-17-2009 11:06 AM

Chainsaw advice sought
I have a Makita electric chainsaw which has served me well (especially after Hurricane Isabel). But with a larger property an electric model is no longer a reasonable option.

However, I evidently lack the chromosome that allows some people to use pull start cords (although I have tried and tried--I have knocked myself over more than once :D). Is there such a thing as a gas powered chainsaw with an electronic ignition? After briefly looking into it on the internet, it looks as though there are some with a sort of electronic boost to the pull cord. I have my doubts as to whether it would make a difference in my case.

What I would like is a simple button to push or key to turn. I guess if there were such a beast every chainsaw would have it--who would do the pull cord thing willingly? Any thoughts or advice?

joepyeweed 08-17-2009 11:17 AM

I get frustrated with pull cords also. Chain saws are particularly difficult to start.

There are a couple things you can do to make gas powered equipment start better... make sure the spark plug is in good condition and the air filter is nice and clean.

I've heard it helps to pull the cord several times with everything being off... a false start if you will, to clear the engine, get parts moving without an actual start.

And then there is the choke thing... when you turn everything on for starting, put the choke in the on position, pull cord several times until it pops, then turn the choke off and pull again... it should take a few pulls after the choke off to start.

If it still doesn't start, then I curse it, grab a beer and find something else to do... after I've calmed down I will call my brother and ask him when he can stop by to start the chainsaw...

Hedgerowe 08-17-2009 11:22 AM

Your last resort sounds very much like a system I've used in the past, joepyeweed. Chokes are usually managable, but I may have to grow a new chromosome for the pull cord. ;)

Porterbrook 08-17-2009 12:33 PM

Many of the problems associated with gasoline powered chainsaws is the failure to keep up with regular maintenance. I would suggest purchasing either a Stihl or Husquvarna model with a fourteen inch blade. Kept in good working order, they should start on the second or third pull. Of course, it might be cheaper to purchase a six-pack of cold beer and invite a good friend over who has the "right" chromosones and sit back and watch the sawdust fly.

Cirsium 08-17-2009 12:40 PM

Chainsaw starting has improved a lot in the last few years. Both of the brands that Porterbrook mentioned now have easy to start models. Here's just one example:
STIHL MS 192 T C-E Now Available with Easy2Start™ - STIHL Incorporated USA - Press Office - Manufacturing the World's Number One Selling Brand of Chain Saws

Head down to your nearest dealer and ask to try one. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

erictjohnson 08-17-2009 01:38 PM

The reason why you will not find a "electric start" chainsaw is that the starting mechanism and the battery would add too much weight. People like lightweight chainsaws, after all, you have to carry the thing around, and hold it up while working. I have used a small Husquvarna chain saw that reliably started on the first or second pull.

hazelnut 08-17-2009 02:14 PM

I have a stihl. And no Y chromosome.

One thing Ive found as that gas with ethanol in it doesn't help the chain saw much. You might want to make sure you have some fuel stabilizer on hand and always use fresh gasoline.

As for the pull chain I think these are individual and something you just have to work out. The loggers around here actually "throw" the saw. You may need a bench of some kind to get it at the right level to start. Practice and good gas --- makes perfect.

joepyeweed 08-17-2009 02:17 PM

That's a good point about the gas, Hazelnut. Ethanol that has set around for a long time tends to gung things up. So when you do get your chainsaw started, make sure you run it out of gas, before you put it away. Don't leave old gas sitting in the tank...

hazelnut 08-17-2009 02:30 PM

Amazon.com: Xantrex Technologies 851-0400 XPower Plus 400-Watt Inverter: Home Improvement

Or, you could use a power converter like this one and run your electric chain saw off your car battery -- assuming you can get your vehicle to the area where you want to use the chain saw.

And don't drop a tree on your car!

joepyeweed 08-17-2009 03:02 PM

I have seen seperate electric start units for other gas powered equipment. You would plug them into an outdoor outlet... never seen one for a chainsaw though. Something we should patent and market, maybe... :-)

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