I had the plug in but of course I wasn't turning it fast enough for the carb pump to be working so I wasn't really putting the fuel in the cylinder. Maybe a rebuild of the carb is in order. The saw was gifted to me and I have no idea about previous service. I have had the saw about six years. It could be that at times; but not every time, that too much fuel does enter the cylinder.Wait, I thought you had the plug out when you were turning it over with the recoil off?