How to Adjust a Chainsaw Carburetor With a Screwdriver

Updated February 21, 2017

When properly adjusted, a chainsaw’s engine will operate at a specific idle setting to keep the engine running even when the blade of the saw is inactive. You can adjust the idle speed of a chainsaw’s engine by accessing the carburettor and adjusting the idling mechanism, which also allows you to increase the high speed of the engine as well as the low speed.

Prepare the chainsaw for maintenance. Ensure that the gas tank for the chainsaw is at least halfway full. Remove any bolts or screws that are covering the carburettor to access the idler screw.

Start the engine of the chainsaw and allow it to run for several minutes to prime the engine for the adjustment phase.

Adjust the low speed and the high speed of the blade. Inspect the carburettor and turn the appropriate screw for the low speed, or the opposite screw for the high speed. At its lowest speed the motor should run without skipping when you run it all-out, and the blade should run smoothly over the tracks. You can adjust the speed more manually, depending on the type of material you are cutting and whether the blade is bogging down.


A decrease in idling speed will slow the engine down, while an increase will speed it up. Avoid increasing the idling speed too much, as it will disengage the clutch for the chain and the blade will begin turning on its track.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket set or wrenches
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About the Author

Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.