I always use a shot of starting fluid for the stubborn yard equipment. I love that stuff and have never had a problem. I think that when those tools sit outside in a shed and are subject to condensation, they're just not going to start easily. On the other hand, my (fairly new) lawn mower and chain saw start easily every time. Who knows?!
On my old lawn mower I had a similar problem, but that good ol' starting fluid bailed me out every time (I used it for 10 years like that). A can of starting fluid is about 2 bucks and will last over a year!
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.