Craftsman Chainsaw Carburetor Adjustment (2023)

Carburetor adjustment can be difficult for new chainsaw users. It takes some time to get used to the adjustment process. Craftsman offers a detailed guideline on Craftsman chainsaw carburetor adjustment

You can adjust the carburetor by adjusting the H, L, and T screws. The process will require a carburetor adjustment tool. By observing the alteration in performance, you can bring the screws back to their optimal position. 

I’ve explained a step-by-step tutorial on the process. But first, let’s get familiarized with the basics. 

Craftsman Chainsaw Carburetor Adjustment Screws

Craftsman chainsaw carburetor

The adjustment screws that you use for adjusting the carburetor are labeled as H, L, and T. H stands for high-speed adjustment screw, L stands for low-speed adjustment screw, and T stands for idle speed adjustment screw. 

These settings are responsible for different functions. The idle screw controls the chainsaw when it’s in idle mode. The L screw makes sure that your chainsaw gets quickly from idle to low speed. It’s also responsible for taking the chainsaw from low to high speed. 

On the other hand, the high-speed screw of your carburetor determines the chainsaw’s performance when running at high speed. 

How To Do Craftsman Chainsaw Carburetor Adjustment?

Your Craftsman saw will come with an adjusted carburetor. However, these preset settings can slip after using the chainsaw for some time. When you notice your chainsaw lagging or not performing the way it’s supposed to, it’s time to tweak the craftsman chainsaw factory carb settings:

Step 1: Initial Settings

Locate the adjustment screws. Use a flat-headed screwdriver to turn the H and L screws counterclockwise. You should turn the screws until they reach a stop. Now, turn the idle screw clockwise until it reaches a stop. 

Turn the idle screw 4 ½ turns clockwise. Now, turn on your chainsaw and allow the chain to run for about three minutes. If your engine is performing according to expectation with this setting, there’s no need to further adjust the carburetor. 

Step 2: Adjust the Idle Screw

Keep your chainsaw idle and see how it behaves. If the chain is moving, the idle setting is too fast. On the contrary, if the engine is stalling, the idle setting is too slow.

Turning the T screw clockwise will improve power, and turning it anticlockwise will decrease power. Keep the setting at a place where the chain doesn’t move, but the engine doesn’t stall either. 

Step 3: Adjust the Low-Speed Screw

Keep your chainsaw idle. Now, accelerate it and see how the chainsaw performs. If you are noticing stalling or lags, it means that the low-speed screw isn’t set right.

Use the tool to turn the screw clockwise. Use 1/16-turn each time and see the performance. Stop turning when the engine can accelerate without bogging. 

Check the chain movement again at idle. Set it right if the previous adjustment has moved. 

Step 4: Adjust the High-Speed

When adjusting the high-speed screw, you need to notice the change in performance. Turn the screw clockwise until the chainsaw is cutting without any hesitation. 

Many people use the sound of the engine to track whether the high-speed screw is at the optimal position or not. However, Craftsman suggests not to do that. Instead, check the acceleration and how the chain is cutting after adjusting the H screw.

Once the H screw is at the optimum position, check the engine at idle. Adjust the screw again if necessary.  

Why Proper Carburetor Adjustment Is Important?

The carburetor is responsible for ensuring proper power to the chainsaw. It’s a pathway for the fuel that keeps the engine efficient. If the carburetor is not set properly, your chainsaw will suffer from inefficiency. 

You may notice that the carburetor is experiencing a lack of power. It’s struggling to operate continuously at a steady pace. Moreover, it may also lag when shifting from idle to low speed and from low speed to high speed. 

To ensure smooth acceleration, it’s required that you adjust the carburetor properly. Also, you may have to replace the carburetor when it gets damaged with buildup. You can check my article on Craftsman chainsaw carburetor diagram for more information. 

Craftsman Chainsaw Carburetor Adjustment Tool

As I have mentioned before, you need the right tool to adjust your carburetor screws. SFGATE also recommends that you keep a tachometer on your tool collection to check the RPM level of your chainsaw.

Let’s take a look at what you can get online if you don’t have a flat-headed screwdriver already:

Product Features
HIPA Hex Screw Driver Suitable for various machines.

Reasonable price and ergonomic design.

Topemai Carburetor Adjustment Tool Kit Set of 10 & Comfortable grip.

Marking on the handle.

Some Things To Remember

  • When adjusting the carburetor, you will be running the chainsaw for quite some time. So, make sure that you are using all your safety equipment when doing so. 
  • Always pick a well-ventilated area to work on. 
  • Avoid running the chainsaw at high speed for a long time when adjusting the carburetor.
  • Do not use the sound or the speed of the engine when determining the suitable positioning for the high-speed screw. 
  • If the carburetor adjustment did not solve the issue you were having, look for other sources. 
  • Never remove the limiter caps from your carburetor screws. 
  • Try to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for that particular chainsaw as much as possible to prevent damage to the engine. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my chainsaw bog down when cutting?

The most likely reason why this happens is when the carburetor adjustments slip. However, it can also be caused by a dirty air filter or a faulty spark plug. 

Why does my chainsaw go blunt so quickly?

Using the correct measurement for chains is the key to retaining sharpness in a chainsaw. So, check your chainsaw’s user manual to make sure that you are using the right-sized chain. In addition, avoid putting too much pressure when you are cutting. 

How do you adjust the idle screw on a chainsaw?

You will need a flat-headed screwdriver to adjust the idle screw. The screw opens clockwise and closes anticlockwise. If the engine stalls, that means the screw needs to be more open. On the contrary, if the chain moves at idle, you need to turn the screw towards the close. 

Wrap Up

Craftsman chainsaw carburetor may not be identical to other carburetor adjustment instructions. All brands have their preferred method of doing this because that’s what works best with their products.

So, make sure to stick to specific instructions rather than using a standardized method for all tools.

Jim Boslice

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