How to Start a Poulan Chainsaw: Complete Starting Guide

Jake Hill Avatar

By Jake Hill


Published on

Poulan chainsaws are among the good brands with a solid reputation and fantastic performance. These are a top choice for mid-size felling or chopping projects. Also, their affordability compared to Stihl or Husqvarna saws made them popular among DIYers and professionals.

Despite being easy to use, some Poulan chainsaw owners have questions about proper starting. If this is your first time as a Poulan owner, you are in the right place. We will help you start this saw correctly. So read on!

Preparing to Start a Poulan saw.

It would be best to not jump into pulling the starting rope once you hold your Poulan saw. You need to check a few things first. You should get the necessary safety equipment and inspect the saws.

1. Safety Clothes and Equipment 

Dealing with any saw requires properly covering exposed body areas such as the head, face, hands, and legs. For this purpose, you must invest in a helmet, face shield, gloves, goggles, heavy boots, and ear protection.

2. Inspect the Chainsaw’s Fluids

For your Poulan saw to run efficiently, you must check its fluids. This typically refers to the fuel and engine oil levels. To do this properly, you should use fresh fuel and the correct chainsaw oil mix ratio.

Fresh gas is mandatory for maintaining the engine. Older fuel stored for over 3 months can significantly damage the engineGas can lose its freshness and turn stale within a month of poor storage. Stale fuel won’t do any good in combusting the engine. Moreover, it will lead to carbon buildup in the fuel lines.

As for the correct fuel mixture, it is necessary for proper oil viscosity. This mix lubricates the pistons and creates sufficient power for the engine to run for as long as you want. An incorrect mixture makes the engine run lean or rich.

The engine will become inefficient in either case. You will also notice black smoke coming from the engine. Generally, the right mix for this type of 2-cycle gas chainsaw is 40:1. This means 3.2 ounces of oil are added to a gallon of the right gasoline type.

3. Proper Storing of a Poulan chainsaw

If you plan to store your Poulan chain, saw, you can’t just throw it anywhere. There are required steps for winter storage or long-term storage. The first and foremost step in the procedure is to drain the fuel tank.

Storing the engine with gas in the tank makes the fluid sticky and builds up inside engine parts, including the carburetor.

Also, you must disassemble the chain and bar and ensure they are rust-free. Keep them lubricated with chain and bar special oil. More importantly, storing the saw in a clean, dry, and shady area would be best. You can also use a cover to protect it from dust accumulation.

Starting Techniques of a Poulan Chainsaw

Many first-time users think that pulling the starter rope is all it takes to start a Poulan saw. However, a chainsaw’s starting process is more complex. For an experienced user, it is a routine task, but a sawing beginner should pay a lot of attention to each step for safety and optimum performance.

Here is what you should do to start your Poulan saw:

  1. Inspect the fluid levels quickly and ensure you have taken all safety measurements.
  2. Only touch any part once you activate the chain brake. Typically, you would find this control near the top handle.
  3. Adjust the choke lever. You are supposed to change the choke position to the full settings. Most Poulan saws will automatically adjust the throttle position once the choke setting is changed. If this is not the situation in your model, you can manually adjust the choke knob until it is locked into the starting setting.
  4.  You might have a Poulan model with an on/off switch. If so, you should look for it on one of the sides. It is marked with an “I” symbol. Once you find it, you should hit it.
  5. Newer models of Poulan saws have a primer bulb. This bulb helps ensure the fuel flows correctly to the carburetor. You must press it nearly five times before you spot the fuel.
  6. You can now position the saw on even ground. For some experienced users, placing the saw between the legs is easier. However, setting it on the ground is safer and recommended for beginners.
  7. You can use your right foot to hold the rear handle while your left hand holds the front one.
  8. It is time to pull the starter cord. It is not just a one-time thing. You might repeat this action up to five times. By then, the engine should have started. If the engine doesn’t start by the fifth time, you must readjust the throttle trigger. This time you should adjust it to the half position instead of the full position.

Following these steps should give you a smooth and quick starting procedure every time you try to use your Poulan chainsaw. These instructions work for starting your Poulan when the engine is cold. The same applies when the weather is cold too.

Safety Precautions 

A chainsaw is a powerful cutting tool that needs caution. If you are new to using gas or electric chainsaws, you will always want to learn how to hold and use the machine properly. Otherwise, you risk having severe cuts or injuries in the arm, legs, or face. It can also cause hearing loss as well as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Most of these hazards can be avoided by wearing personal protective equipment. This includes wearing a face shield, ear muffs, protective gloves, and chaps. To increase safety procedures, you should work when the weather is clear.

Also, the working area should be clear of obstacles and bystanders. However, you should have some company to step in, in emergencies. Your company should stay at a safe distance, though.

As for CO2 poisoning, it happens due to the use of improper fuel mix. It can also indicate poor cleanliness of the fuel filter. So, using the recommended fuel mix and filling the tank with unleaded gasoline is essential for maintaining the saw. Proper maintenance is a critical element in a safe starting procedure.

If supplying all of these factors is not practicable, you should refrain from working near dangers. It is always better to seek professional help instead of exposing yourself to physical dangers.

Troubleshooting Starting Issues 

Despite the apparent simplicity of these steps, a Poulan chainsaw might not respond. Experiencing starting failure is common in various saw brands. In a few cases, you must bring the machine to a professional to fix the issue.

However, in many cases, you can troubleshoot starting difficulties on your own. Here is an overview of how to troubleshoot starting difficulties

1. Replace the spark plug

The spark plug is a small yet vital component of the saw’s engine. It is responsible for initiating the spark that is necessary for engine start. A spark plug can need a routine cleaning or in need of a replacement. You can take the plug out and inspect it to determine how you would go.

2. Maintain the air filter

An air filter is vital in purifying the air that enters the engine. If the filter allows debris to pass along with the air, then the carburetor will get clogged. Such a thing is harmful to the engine’s performance and longevity.

Luckily, it is easy to avoid all these scenarios by keeping this filter clean. All you have to do is take the filter out and clean it with water and soap. If the filter is in bad shape, it is easy to get a replacement too.

3. Check the fuel

Fuel is what makes the engine run. So, check whether there is enough fluid in the tank. Also, double-check if the fuel is fresh and is alright. Moreover, look for a proper fuel-oil mixture. You need to use the right oil or correct mixture ratio.

4. Change the fuel filter

The fuel filter is essential for purifying the fuel and preventing dust or debris from entering the tank. This component should be replaced with the early signs of clogginess. If there are no such signs, you should regularly change them each 6 months.


Starting a Poulan chainsaw is easy when done according to proper starting steps. It would be preferable if you did not believe that a few tugs on the rope would suffice. You will need to ensure the condition of the saw and the safety precautions in your clothes and your operating area.

Remember that your saw needs regular maintenance to keep it running as much as you want. This includes replacing the filters, cleaning the spark plug and carburetor, and using the right fuel and oil mix.

You need to maintain the saw and secure the work area with the help of a professional technician. They can check everything on your behalf and ensure the efficiency of your saw.

5/5 - (5 votes)