How to test a Chainsaw Coil with a Multimeter- A Safe Guide

Ever found yourself in the middle of a lumbering project when suddenly your trusted chainsaw lets you out in the cold?

One common culprit could be a faulty chainsaw coil. If you’ve been scratching your head and wondering how to test a Chainsaw Coil with a Multimeter, then you’re about to embark on an enlightening journey.

This article is designed to be your ultimate guide, turning this seemingly daunting task into an easy DIY.

We will be delving into the world of multimeters and chainsaws – two tools that may seem worlds apart but are actually tied together by the common thread of practical ingenuity.

Understanding how to test a Chainsaw Coil with a Multimeter might just save your day, keeping you from unwanted delays and expensive repair costs.

So strap in, as we demystify this process step-by-step.

Understanding Chainsaw Coil Testing

Diving deep into the world of chainsaw maintenance, coil testing is inevitably a concept one would eventually encounter.

It may sound technical and intimidating, but with the right knowledge and methodology, anyone can master it.

Proficiency in coil testing is instrumental in ensuring your chainsaw runs smoothly and powerfully over its lifespan— ultimately contributing to more efficient lumber work.

Engage yourself with this fascinating aspect of chainsaw upkeep by unraveling the use of a multimeter for coil testing.

These clever devices measure resistance, which shows whether electrical current flows uninterruptedly through your chainsaw’s ignition coil.

A disruption likely signifies that your ignition coil needs attention or perhaps complete replacement.

So dare to venture beyond the routine maintenance tasks!

Chainsaw coil testing not only upgrades safety measures but also provides insights into maximizing tool performance—a win-win scenario from every angle.

Identifying Chainsaw Coil Problems

When a chainsaw loses its zip and zest, and refuses to start or function optimally, don’t be quick to blame the spark plug or the carburetor.

Sometimes, the culprit of your chainsaw troubles lies unseen, quietly hiding out as the ignition coil – an essential component that sends voltage to your spark plug initiating combustion. This unassuming part can often spell disaster when it falters.

Identifying chainsaw coil problems might seem like finding a needle in a haystack for some, but with keen attention and practical knowledge you can pinpoint core issues easily.

Surprisingly, many symptoms of a malfunctioning ignition coil are glaringly obvious – from staring perplexedly at an inert chainsaw that just won’t start regardless of how enthusiastically you yank at its pull cord, to feeling frustrated by interrupted power supply messing up your tree chopping spree!

In some other cases however, faulty coils tend to play coy presenting intermittent issues making their diagnosis tricky even for seasoned woodworkers.

Being able to decipher these signs is fundamental not only ensuring proper functioning of your equipment but also guaranteeing personal safety during operations.

Tool Required: Introduction to Multimeter

Unveil the complex world of your chainsaw by acquiring an essential, yet highly overlooked tool: the multimeter.

Forget the guesswork; this indispensable instrument is designed to empower you in diagnosing and addressing potential issues with your chainsaw coil.

The multimeter morphs into your personal diagnostician, wielding its precise readings to help identify coils that are fully functional from those that need replacement.

With a bevy of functionalities and modes, using a multimeter might seem intimidating at first.

However, simplicity lays veiled behind its complexity as it essentially represents an amalgamation of several single-task meters into one versatile unit.

By mastering how to use this compact gadget for testing resistance (ohm) values of your chainsaw coil, being caught off guard by coil failure will become a narrative of yesteryears!

Step-by-step Guide to Test Chainsaw Coil

The first step to testing a chainsaw coil with a multimeter involves preparing and ensuring safety.

  • Always disconnect the chainsaw from any power source before proceeding, as it can pose an electric shock risk.
  • Wear insulated gloves if possible; your safety should always be a priority.
  • Getting into the inspection process, you’ll decide between using an analog or digital multimeter; either serves the purpose perfectly fine but consider what’s more accessible for you.
  • Identify the two wires connected to your chainsaw’s coil- these wires connect directly to your spark plug and will serve as connection points for your multimeter probes.
  • Once connections are secure, note down the resistance reading on your multimeter – this is crucial in determining whether your chainsaw’s ignition coil is bad or not.
  • Grabbing hold of a much-needed understanding of coils on Chainsaws and testing them isn’t just essential knowledge for DIY enthusiasts; it helps you avoid unnecessary spending on replacements when all that could be required is just some minor repairs!
  • Even if replacement proves necessary, recognizing fault signs will help diagnose issues faster in future encounters making maintaining machines easier than ever!

Interpreting Results of chainsaw coil from the Multimeter

Having finally been able to test your chainsaw coil with a multimeter, the fun part begins – interpreting the results.

It may seem daunting at first but fear not; once you understand what those readings mean, you’ll become a pro in no time.

A sound chainsaw ignition coil should typically indicate a reading of around 2.5 to 5 k ohms if it’s in good shape.

However, if your digital screen serves up figures significantly varying from this range or reads ‘infinite‘ or ‘zero,’ sadly, your coil might be begging for retirement.

If you get an unusually high reading (infinity), that spells trouble because it indicates an open or broken circuit within the coil itself.

A low reading (near zero) isn’t good news either; it could imply a short circuit within the coil windings which hampers its effectiveness.

This interpretation – while simple – sets you on course towards becoming adept in managing and maintaining your chainsaw’s health and longevity all by yourself!


In conclusion, it’s important to note that the proficiency of your chainsaw performance is largely linked to the health of its coil.

Regular testing with a multimeter provides valuable data, which can be used to anticipate potential issues and prevent inconvenient breakdowns or reduced soundness in operation.

You’re not merely ensuring optimal cutting power; you’re also prolonging the lifespan of your tool, promoting safety during use, and saving money on premature replacements or continuous repairing.

Additionally, understanding how to test a chainsaw coil adds a commendable skill set for every chainsaw user.

It empowers you to take charge of your equipment’s maintenance without always relying on professionals.

Just like most engines require an oil change for smooth running, the regular evaluation and possible replacement of the chainsaw coil contribute greatly towards achieving impressive efficiency in all cutting tasks.

Remember: the key lies not only in owning quality tools but also knowing how to maintain them properly.


Q: How do I prepare the chainsaw before testing the coil?

Ensure the chainsaw is switched off and cooled down. Disconnect the spark plug before proceeding with testing.

Q: Which setting should my multimeter be on for testing a chainsaw coil?

Your multimeter should be set to measure resistance in ohms (Ω).

Q: Where do I place the probes of my multimeter when testing the chainsaw coil?

One probe should be connected to the ignition circuit, typically marked as +, while the other should be attached to where the ignition circuit ends, usually marked as -.

Q: How do I know if my chainsaw coil is functioning properly based on multimeter readings?

If your multimeter reads between 2.5k Ω – 5k Ω, your chainsaw coil is working properly.

Q: What does it mean if there’s no reading on my multimeter during testing?

If there’s no reading or infinite resistance, it indicates that your chainsaw’s ignition coil might be defective or broken.

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