How to Start and Stop a Makita Chainsaw

If you are a newbie or recently bought a Makita chainsaw, you should learn how to start a Makita chainsaw. A chainsaw is a great source of power cutting and helps us with that power but can be detrimental if we don’t know how to use it effectively.

So, it is necessary to learn the standard operating procedure (SOP) of any chainsaw before you use them. In this article, we will be discussing the recommended procedure of starting a Makita chainsaw.

We urge you to read the safety precautions first before we discuss the starting procedure. Safety should get the utmost priority while we operate any power tools and a chainsaw is of no exception.

how to start a makita chainsaw


Mandatory Safety Precautions for Starting Makita Chainsaw:

To ensure safe operation of the Makita chainsaw, please follow the rules below:

  1. You need to avoid contacting the saw bar nose with any object.
  2. Be careful about the tip contact of the guide bar which causes the guide bar to move suddenly upward and backward. This can cause serious or fatal injury to the users.

Additional Safety Precautions:

  1. The chainsaw is manufactured for two-handed use. So, you shouldn’t operate the saw with one hand! When you operate the saw one-handedly, it may result in serious injury to the operator, helpers, and bystanders.
  2. During the operation of your Makita chainsaw, you should keep a fire extinguisher available.
  3. Always keep a firm grip on both handles of the saw when it is in operation. Moreover, you need to keep both the handles dry, clean, and free of oil or fuel mixture.
  4. Operating a chainsaw takes energy and requires being watchful. So, don’t dare to operate the chainsaw when you are fatigued or absentminded for any reason.
  5. You need to wear personal protective clothing such as hand gloves, sunglasses, full sleeve shirts, earmuffs, boots, etc. They will save you from unwanted incidents. To give you perfect protection, your protective clothing should comply with CSA and BNQ Standards.
  6. We all know that fuel is the most common flammable substance. So, your chainsaw fueling and refueling should be done maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from the point of operation.
  7. While you operate the saw, keep a proper footing on solid, fixed, and secured ground to avoid an accident. Don’t operate the saw keeping animals or kids in your cutting area.
  8. Keep your body away from the chainsaw chain while your saw is running. Never operate the saw with damaged or improper adjustment. This will cause a fatal accident. So, make sure that your chainsaw is properly assembled.

CAUTION: Always shut off the chainsaw engine before setting the chainsaw down.

cutting small branches with a makita chainsaw
Fig: Cutting Small Branches with a Makita Chainsaw

Starting the Makita Chainsaw Engine:

  • Before you start your Makita chainsaw, make sure that it is perfectly assembled and checked! You need to ensure a gap of at least 10 feet between the place of fuelling and starting the engine. This will prevent any fire-related hazard.
  • Make a secure footing. Place the chainsaw on the ground and make sure that the guide bar and chain are clear from nearing anything.
  • At first, actuate the chain brake (block it), and then hold the front handle firmly with one hand and press the saw against the ground.
  • Hold the down rear handguard with your right foot.

Note: Makita has the Featherlight Starting system. The system ensures the effort-free start-up! All you need is to follow the procedure evenly.

Cold Starting of Makita Chainsaw:

  • As it is cold, you need to prime the fuel pump. To do so, press the fuel pump several times until you see the fuel in the fuel pump.
  • Move the combination switch to up position which is called the choke position. This will actuate the half-throttle lock.
  • Now, you are ready to give the final shot. Well, pull the starter handle smoothly and evenly

CAUTION: Do not pull the starter cable more than 50 cm out so that you can avoid tearing off the cable. Make sure you let it back in slowly by hand.

  • Repeat the starting procedure twice.
  • Now, move the combination switch to the central or ‘ON ‘position.
  • Pull again the starter handle smoothly and evenly.
  • As soon as the engine is running, you need to grasp the rear handle by the palm and press the throttle trigger.

CAUTION: The engine must be put in idle position just after starting to avoid the damage of the clutch.

  • Disengage the chain brake so that it can run it smoothly.

Warm Starting of Makita Chainsaw:

  • Warm starting is the same as described above for cold starting. But before starting, push the combination switch to the Choke position and then right away back to the middle “ON” position. This will engage the half-throttle lock.
  • The engine should start within 2 to 3 pulls. If it doesn’t, repeat the entire procedure described for cold starting.
  • Note: If you stop your chainsaw engine for a short time, you can start the saw without using the combination switch. If the engine stopped due to a lack of fuel in the pump, you need to prime the pump many times until you see fuel in the pump.
cutiing bush with a makita chainsaw
Fig: Cutting Shrubs with a Makita Chainsaw

Stopping the Makita Chainsaw Engine:

To stop the Makita chainsaw engine, just depress the combination switch.

IMPORTANT: After being pressed down, the combination switch will revert to the ON position again. As a result, though the engine is switched off, it can be turned on again without moving the combination switch.

IMPORTANT: To cut off the engine ignition current, you need to push the combination switch down to the safety position.

***You need to check the chain brake every time before you use your chainsaw irrespective of gas or electric saw!


Any power tools can be your friend or enemy depending on your way of dealing. Ignorance is bad and it is very bad when you head up to use a chainsaw with this ignorance! Before you use a Makita chainsaw, make sure that you know how to start a Makita chainsaw properly, smoothly, evenly, and safely. We hope that our article was helpful to give you adequate knowledge of Makita chainsaw startup.

2 thoughts on “How to Start and Stop a Makita Chainsaw”

  1. I have a EA7900P that won’t start and the decompression button is struck in and I can’t get the spark plug to turn out is that because the button is stuck in???

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