How to Use a Chainsaw

Before Operating Your Chainsaw

Buy safety gear and wear it. Chainsaws are extremely dangerous and loud machines. If you do not have the proper safety gear you’re seriously gambling with your life, the possibility of gravely injuring yourself and losing your ability to hear. A responsible chainsaw operator will wear the following items:

  1. Long jeans and chaps to cover and protect a person’s legs.
  2. Ear protection to dampen the loud noise of the chainsaw that comes from the motor.
  3. Steel-toed, cut-resistant boots to protect your feet.
  4. A long sleeve shirt to protect the arms from cuts and scratches.
  5. Gloves to protect your hand and to improve your grip on the chainsaw.
  6. A helmet and face screen to protect your head.

Know How to Use Your Chainsaw

You must know how to use your chainsaw before you operate it. Read your owner’s manual because it will show you the best way to operate your particular unit. You should use a chainsaw that is practical for completing the type of job that you want to do.

You can rent a chainsaw from a tool shop if you need a unit on a temporary basis. Renting a motorized ax from a tool shop will also help you to find the right type of saw that is comfortable and practical to use. Once you find the blade that is best suited for the types of jobs that you do; you can then purchase that kind of blade. Here are some other pointers about selecting the right type of saw:

  • Use a bar blade instead of a bow blade. Bar blades are the standard type that is used on a chainsaw. These blades are long. A bow blade has a shape similar to a circle. Bow blades are best suited for advanced cutter since they are harder to operate.
  • Keep in mind that a bar blade must be 1/3 longer than the diameter of the tree or log that you plan on cutting. This is a guaranteed way that you know your blade is working.
  • Keep in mind that there are two types of chainsaws. The electric models are best suited for trimming jobs and the gasoline models are best suited for heavy duty work.

Check your Area before you Start

You should always check your work area before you start to use your saw. Look for power lines, make sure you have enough room to maneuver your blade, look for any obstacles and obstructions and make sure that a tree or limbs are not going to fall on another person’s property, on top of your home or directly on you. If you are not sure about where cut tree branches and limbs are going to fall; then hire a professional to do the job.

Chainsaw Cutting Techniques

There are many different types of cuts that can be made with a chainsaw. These cuts include:

  1. Undercutting. This process requires a person to cut from the bottom of the blade upward through a branch. The cut should only be made halfway through the branch. This way you can finish slicing the branch by coming from the top part of it. Undercutting is necessary for branches that are at least 1-inch thick in diameter.
  2. Limbing is the process of removing limbs from a tree before you cut it completely down. Limbing can also be used on a tree after it has been felled. This process just makes it easier to cut up a tree.
  3. Trimming (pruning) is a process that is used to cut back limbs and to take off minor branches. Trimming a tree with a chainsaw might be overkill for smaller or medium trees. However, a chainsaw unit can be used for this purpose.
  4. Back cutting is the process of cutting down a tree. This type of cut is made near the base of a tree in a linear direction. On the other side of the base of a tree an undercut will be made. These types of cuts are necessary for felling a tree. Never make the back cut lower than the undercut. The undercut should be lower so a tree will fall in a particular direction.
  5. Buck cutting is the process of turning a tree into usable parts such as wood for fireplaces or wooden planks to be sold for profit.

Other Important Points for Using your Chainsaw

  • You should always cut branches from the lower end of a trunk and work your way to the top.
  • Start all off your cuts with a full throttle blade. This will help you to cut more efficiently.
  • Make sure your blades are sharpened before you start. A dull blade is dangerous and requires you to work harder.
  • Never touch the ground with your blade. This type of contact will dull the teeth.
  • Avoid the kickback zone when you cut. The kickback zone is located at the top edge of a chainsaw blade. This part of the blade usually “kicks back” when a chainsaw operator uses it. The best way to avoid this problem is by using the top or bottom parts of a blade.
  • Never cut anything above your shoulders.
  • When your chainsaw unit is running idle; disengage the blades. If you cannot stop the blades while the unit is idle then turn off the machine.
  • If your saw gets stuck in a tree and you can’t get it out; have an ax, maul or sledge hammer on hand to free the blade.
  • You should never cut alone and keep your cellphone nearby for emergencies.

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