Actually a dirty filter should only choke the engine more by restricting air flow. My Homelite is new and acts like it is starving for fuel. It will run fine once started and warmed up. If it dies then it mus tbe choced again. Its always acts hungry for fuel.
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Adjust the choke or carburetor. In case your chainsaw stalls when the engine is idling, ensure that the choke is set properly. To do so, first try releasing it to adjust it, and then move the plate and tighten all screws once again. To loosen any grit, spray carburetor cleaner spray on the choke's shaft. The carburetor may also need to be adjusted; consult your owner's manual which will guide you on resetting the idle mix screw.
You probably need a slight carburetor adjustment. Try to turn the L mixture screw (the one near the bottom of the carburetor on the air filter side, closest to the engine) 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn counterclockwise. These mixture adjustment screws ( L and H) have odd heads on them and conventional tools won't turn them. I use an automotive type plastic wire connector (around 22 gauge) with a ring terminal end which I can hold. Tap the plastic end of the wire terminal connector onto the head of the screw with a small hammer and this will enable you to adjust the L screw. This adjustment will increase you high speed side and possibly allow it to run off choke in a regular manner.
You have a few possibilities. Make sure you have good fresh gas in the tank. You're not getting enough gas, so choking helps get more gas than air, making it run better. Could be the carb diaphram (not very expensive if you replace yourself), when they get old they don't perform like they should. Could be the filter in the gas tank is bad, plugged. Also might be just an easy adjustment on the carb Low, and High speed screws. The choke has three positions, full choke, partial choke, and no choke, which means run position.
Are you laying off the choke at any point? Full choke should only be used when starting a cold engine, it should run with no choke on full throttle. If there is not enough throttle i'd first try adjusting the tiny black screw on the carb beneath your air filter while you have it idling, letting the throttle have a little bit more room. If this doesn't work and you're running it properly than you may need to make some adjustments to the H L settings for your gas/air mix. This is also done while idling mind you and only with a clean air filter.
This sounds like a problem with fuel settings or dirt in the jet.
If you can find the carb adjustment screws, with it runing on full choke - screw it in fully untill it stalls, then back out to original position, then restart.
Take off choke and adjust setting untill it runs well when warm with choke fully out.
You can then try and make it run leaner without stalling.
I have the same problem with my MightyLite 26cc Blower/Vac. If it does start it runs rough on full choke and stalls on 1/2 choke or run. I've tried everything, fresh fuel, Seafoam, etc. Nothing works. First time I used it the exhaust burned a hole in my brand new Carhartt hooded sweatshirt. Best solution, throw it away, never buy another Homelite product and tell anyone who will listen what a piece of junk Homelite products are.
Does it operate well with the choke full off or do you have to have it partially choked to get it to run? Also, how old is the gas and have you tried to run any cleaner through it b/4 messing around with the carb? Your local auto parts store sells a product called Sea Foam Cleaner. You can add that accordingly with your oil and gas mixture to help clean out any dirt in the carbs.
The carburator needs to be adjusted a little, thin our your mixture screw when the trimmer is warmed up and idling. Well how do you get it to idle? I usually have to play with the choke lever with the throttle wide open going from choke to partial choke as needed to keep it running. Adjusting can be tricky, you need a small screwdriver. Screw all the way in then back out 3 to 3.5 turns. this should get you close. Adjust idle as needed.