How to Replace Pull Cord on a Chainsaw in 13 EASY Steps?

replacing pull cord on a chainsaw in 13 easy stepsThe motion of the cord against the housing of the chainsaw gradually wears the cord. It is certain that if you use your chainsaw frequently, you will ultimately need to replace it. If the pull cord is stuck, you may have to replace its recoil spring as well.

This process is less complex on Stihl saws compared to others as Stihl efficiently places the starter recoil assembly on that side of the saw where it is smoothly accessible. While replacing the cord, the cord you use should be made of quality materials that can resist any kind of terrain or weather.

Remember that you need a new cord of around 36 inches to replace the previous one, and it does not hurt to utilize a longer one. Of course, you always have the option to cut off what you do not need. So, why would you take a risk on the chainsaw pull cord size when you have the choice to snip the extra piece?

Have you selected your easy-to-install cord that ensures you’ll get the most out of it? Just fold your sleeves now and dig into how you can perform chainsaw pull cord replacement at home in simple steps;

How to Replace Pull Cord on Chainsaw | A Step-by-Step Guide

Although replacing the damaged chainsaw pull cord is not as difficult as cracking a hard nut, it still needs proper attention to get the task done perfectly. Every step needs to be followed appropriately to avoid any problems with the chainsaw in the future.

Here are some simple and quick steps for replacing damaged chainsaw pull cord on the chainsaw:

Steps to Follow to Replace the Pull Cord

Step 1: 

Place your gas chainsaw on the workbench or table.

Step 2: 

Remove the screws that are placed on the side of the chainsaw and pull out the starter.

Step 3: 

Now turn the socket wrench counter in the clockwise direction to loosen the bolt that’s right in the middle of the driver pulley.

Step 4: 

Simply remove the drive disc, drive pulley, and drive disc chainsaw pull cord spring.

Step 5: 

Then, you need to remove the previous old starter cord from the starter housing and drive pulley.

Step 6: 

Wrap your new pull cord carefully around the drive pulley three times.

Step 7: 

In the next step, you have to connect its starter pulley to the chainsaw pull cord spring end and then place the drive disc and drive disc spring into the chainsaw again.

Step 8: 

Re-insert the pulley bolt and tighten it with the help of a wrench. 

Step 9: 

Just thread the new pull cord through a specific hole that’s in the starting housing & tie this cord into the knot.

Step 10:

The starter pull cord needs to be placed into the driver pulley notch now.

Step 11: 

Turn the pulley clockwise at least twice and remove the cord easily from the notch.

Step 12: 

Then, pull the chainsaw handle in order to stretch the cord.

Step 13: 

Last but not least, place the starter onto the saw & secure it by using screws.

That’s all, folks!

Now that you have explored how to replace the pull cord on the chainsaw, just move on to the factors you need to consider before buying a pull cord (in case you have not purchased one);

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pull Cord for a Chainsaw

There are many crucial factors that go into finding the ideal chainsaw pull cord. Here, we’ll discuss some most important aspects to look for while selecting the pull cord. So, no more delay, let’s have a look!

  • Thickness

If the pull cord is too thick, it’ll not wind around the chainsaw recoil pulley enough times. This will eventually hinder proper resistance. Therefore, you need to determine the thickness of the cord carefully. Try using the cord numbered 5, 5½, or 6, whose thickness is 5/32 inches, 11/64 inches, and 3/16 inches, respectively. 

  • Quality Materials

The cord you buy should be made of top-notch materials that can tolerate every weather and condition. There are a variety of styles and colors in the market to choose from, which assures that you find the ideal one to match the chainsaw. Go with the Stihl materials as they are more reliable and last longer than other cheap materials.

  • Durability

Consider the type of chainsaw you have & the type of operator. Then, you need to think about how often you will use it. This way, you can determine whether or not you require a durable and reliable pull cord that can effectively withstand constant use without any fear of damage.

  • Ease of use and installation

The cord you pick must be easy to install and should ensure that it offers maximum function. Plus, you have to consider the convenience factor if you are going to replace it yourself. And it would be a great plus point if it is backed by 100% satisfaction assurance. This will help you make a wise investment on the go.

Still, have any queries or confusion in your head? No worries! Find your answers in the below section for more know-how about your major concern;

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What Is the Most Appropriate Way to Clean the Chainsaw Pull Cord?

Well, the ideal way to clean the pull cord on a chainsaw is to use a nice brush to remove stains and debris that you notice in it. Plus, you can use the vacuum for this task as it’s more effective and less time-consuming.

2) How Do I Tension the Chainsaw Pull Cord?

You can do a few effective things to tension the chainsaw pull cord properly. Just ensure that the cord is the appropriate length for your chainsaw. Second, examine that the cord isn’t damaged or frayed. Third, make sure that it is perfectly routed through your chainsaw. Lastly, use a reliable chainsaw tensioner to tension the cord.

3) Will Ice Dull Your Chainsaw?

It depends on which type of ice it is. Pure ice is not abrasive, so it will not dull the chainsaw easily. Even softwoods can make the chain dull after a while. This is because of the natural silicates present in the wood, which acts as an abrasive. But remember that it only applies to specific tropical hardwood species.

4) Is it Tough to Replace Pull Cord on the lawn Mower?

Replacing the starter rope is convenient, even if you have a tinge of mechanical aptitude. But if it’s spring breaks due to some reasons, the fix is very much complex, and the experts recommend taking the mower to a professional repair center. Examine what to do if the lawn mower does not start.

5) How Does the Assembly of the Pull Cord Work?

There is a very long spring inside the starter that unwinds when you pull the cord. Then, the spring recoils itself and pulls the cord onto the pulley and into the starter back. A simple pawls/lever or clutch lets the pulley grab the crankshaft in just one direction, so its pulley is entirely free as the engine starts.

Final Takeaways

DIY chainsaw pull cord replacement is one of the most technical tasks, especially if you do not know the process. Yes, you heard that right! And sometimes, it can even be harder to pull due to any reasons or conditions. For instance, there can be a problem with the recoil starter itself. 

In many cases, it might be possible for you to replace it in a single attempt. Whatever the case is, if you feel that the process is taking longer than expected, there must be a problem where you need to take help from an expert. 

Hope you found the best possible answer to “how to replace pull cord on chainsaw” in this enlightening guide!


Richard McMann

Richard lives out in the wild with his other half, Diana Richard. He tests chainsaws based on his personal experience and loves to share their nitty gritty details with his audience. Although Richard does focus on other home improvement tools, his focus remains on cutting fallen trees or maintaining his backyard via chainsaw tools. He pledges to come up with new knowledge about chainsaws every once in a while.