The growth kinetics play key roles in determining the chirality distribution of the grown single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). However, the lack of comprehensive understandings on the SWCNT’s growth mechanism at the atomic scale greatly hinders SWCNT chirality-selective synthesis. Here, we establish a general model, where the dislocation theory is a specific case, to describe the etching agent–dependent growth kinetics of SWCNTs on solid catalyst particles. In particular, the growth kinetics of SWCNTs in the absence of etching agent is validated by both in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy and ex situ chemical vapor deposition growth of SWCNTs. On the basis of the new theory of SWCNT’s growth kinetics, we successfully explained the selective growth of (2n, n) SWCNTs. This study provides another degree of freedom for SWCNT controlled synthesis and opens a new strategy to achieve chirality-selective synthesis of (2n, n) SWCNTs using solid catalysts.