How To Troubleshoot And Test A Chainsaw Coil

A faulty chainsaw can be a frustrating pain when it sputters and doesn't perform its elementary tasks. When a chainsaw refuses to pipe up, it's more than likely the coil needs attention in order to get the chainsaw's steady growl back on track. If your handy chainsaw has lost its spark, there are a few quick ways to find what is causing a crimp in its consistent roar.

Old chainsaw stands in timber
credit: wathanyu/iStock/GettyImages
How To Troubleshoot And Test A Chainsaw Coil

First, a Precaution

Put on protective eye gear and work gloves to protect your face and hands when disassembling this machine. Grab your tools and have them within easy reach to cut down on difficulties as you dismantle this heavy machine. A screwdriver, socket wrench and small-nosed pliers will get the job done. Always make sure the machine is unplugged with the ignition in the off position before you monkey around with the casings and metal screws. Once you begin removing parts from the spark plug, remember that it can shock you if you touch it directly. Check the manual to ensure you are using the correct tools. Many chainsaws come with a wrench for its screws, nuts and bolts or you can find one online for your particular brand of saw.

Unravel the Problem

A chainsaw is a rather simple machine to fix when it functions poorly. Check the coil before you pull out the Allen wrench and take apart the casing in search of the issue. The ignition coil holds the electrical currents to transmit all that juice to the spark plug. Unthread the screws and pop the cover off the top of the saw. Pull the rubber boot from the spark plug and use a socket wrench to remove the blunt plug. Carefully pull it from its housing and push it against a metal surface, such as the cylinder. Turn the chainsaw on and pull the starter cord. If you have no sparks, you need to replace your defective or worn coil.

Many chainsaw parts are made of hard plastic that can wear down due to the vibrations of the machine when in use and age, particularly if it is stored in a garage or shed where temperatures go from freezing to blazing throughout the year. Check the parts before firing up your saw and you will cut back on safety issues that can flare up, such as a faulty startup or a stall in the middle of a big project that could lead to a dangerous situation.

You can get your chainsaw to roar again with new stamina after troubleshooting the issue.

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at