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Craftsman Chainsaw Won't Start

The chainsawsmall engine often has a separate model number. Use the small engine model number for a complete list of symptoms and parts. Watch our model # lookup video for help finding the model number.


The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Chainsaw won't start are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Chainsaw won't start

Cause 1Carburetor

The carburetor might be clogged. A clogged carburetor is often caused by leaving fuel in the chainsaw for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel will evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting. If the carburetor is clogged, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. If cleaning the carburetor isn’t effective, rebuild or replace the entire carburetor.

Carburetor for your CraftsmanChainsaw
Carburetor - Part # 1995890 Mfg Part # 545081885

Chainsaw carburetor kit. If the carburetor is clogged, the engine won't get enough fuel. As a result, the engine may not start or may run rough. The carburetor can often be cleaned or rebuilt, but sometimes it may need to be replaced.

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Cause 2Ignition Coil

The ignition coil sends voltage to the spark plug while the engine is running. If the ignition coil is defective, the engine may not start. Before you replace the ignition coil, make sure that the spark plug is in working condition. If you have confirmed that the spark plug is not defective, test the ignition coil using an ignition coil tester. If the ignition coil is defective, replace it.

Ignition Coil for your CraftsmanChainsaw
Ignition Coil - Part # 1985328 Mfg Part # 530039198

Ignition coil module

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Cause 3Rewind Spring

When the starter rope is pulled and released, the rewind spring recoils the starter rope onto a pulley. If the rewind spring is broken, the rope won't be able to recoil onto the chainsaw pulley. As a result, the engine may be difficult or impossible to start. If the rewind spring is broken, replace it. Many rewind springs can be replaced individually, but it may be easier to replace the whole recoil starter assembly.

Rewind Spring for your CraftsmanChainsaw
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Cause 4Recoil Starter Pulley

The recoil starter pulley retracts the starter rope when the rope is not in use. If the recoil pulley is broken or stuck, it won’t retract the starter rope. As a result, the engine will not start. If the recoil starter pulley is broken, replace it.

Recoil Starter Pulley for your CraftsmanChainsaw