How to Use a Chainsaw [4 Things Everyone Should Know]

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Chainsaws are handy tools for those who own homes and property. Most people who have never used a chainsaw and only relate these tools to logging, but those of us who own property find the chainsaw an indispensable tool in our arsenal of maintenance equipment. Learning how to use a chainsaw in a safe, efficient manner is not difficult but does take practice. With this in mind let’s take a look at a few tips for proper use of the versatile chainsaw.

How to Use a Chainsaw

There are electric and gasoline powered chainsaws available for homeowners to choose from. I have used both and for those who are learning how to use a chainsaw and don’t need to do much cutting, the electric chainsaw will cover most light use.

Electric VS Gas Powered Chainsaw

The positive features of the electric saws are they are very quiet, lightweight, and very affordable. Drawbacks are the need to use an extension cord limiting the users range and the small size of the cutting bar. For more robust cutting you need a gasoline-powered chainsaw, this will be the best selection for many reasons, with versatility being chief among these. Gas chainsaws can be taken anywhere to handle everything from cutting up fallen branches, topping and trimming trees in the yard, to cutting firewood.

Chainsaw Safety

Things to keep in mind when using a chainsaw are, always wearing the proper safety equipment. Learning how to use a chainsaw in a safe manner requires the use of protective gloves, eye protection, hearing protection, and protective boots, preferably those with steel toes.

If you are new to operating a chainsaw it’s a very good idea to have someone with experience show you the proper ways of using a chainsaw. This will reduce your learning curve and increase your confidence. Plus if an accident happens, you’ll have someone to call for help.

Using a Chainsaw

When first using a chainsaw, do not jump right in and try to cut logs or tree branches of a large diameter. Begin your learning with a process with small trees or branches that have fallen to the ground.

One of the more common mistakes is not assuming the proper cutting position. Always stand to the side with the saw out of a direct line to your body. This is vital in the event the saw kicks back. All modern chainsaws have a device just for this problem that will immediately stop the chains rotation but these can fail, so start out on the right foot and practice safe procedures until they become second nature.

Always keep a firm grip on the saw and let the chain dictate how fast you cut through the wood. Greenhorns have a tendency to force the saw into the wood for faster cutting. This leads to poor cutting performance and possible kickbacks. While cutting, remember to let the saw do the work as it was designed to do.

One last tip always keeps the chain sharp. This will reduce the wear on the engine, and cutting bar. Use the recommended bar oil and engine oil, keep the chain sharp and properly tightened, follow safety procedures, and you will quickly see how much fun operating a chainsaw can be.

Best Way To Sharpen A Chainsaw

A chainsaw is probably one of the greatest tools available on the market. Not only are these tools necessary for cutting down trees and firewood, but they can be used to accomplish a variety of other wood cutting tasks as well. However, if you have ever used a chainsaw, you already know that the chain can dull extremely quick, depending on the types of materials that you are cutting. And, trying to cut down a tree or a piece of wood with a dull chain is never a fun task. Buying new chains can become extremely expensive over time. Fortunately, you can save yourself some money if you learn how to properly sharpen your chain.

Utilizing A File Guide

If you really want an easy and affordable approach to sharpening your chainsaw chain, you should consider investing in a file guide. This is basically just a chainsaw file with a guide installed on it. The guide includes the different angles that saws have their teeth pre-set at. The guide not only easily helps you get the right angles of each tooth of the blade, but it prevents you from sticking the file too far below the actual part of the tooth that needs to be sharpened.

To begin the sharpening process you will need to discover which teeth you are going to sharpen first. If you notice on the blade every other tooth is facing an opposite direction. One will be angled toward you, while the next one after that will be facing the opposite direction. So, essentially you want to start with the ones that are facing you. Take a marker and mark the tooth you are starting on because you do not want to file it more than once, as the whole point is to get each tooth at an equal sharpness level. Now that you know where you are going to start, you just simply place the tip file in the tooth groove. Slowly run the file up the entire length of the tooth until you reach the base of a file. You want to do this four times, move on to the next tooth, and do it four times as well.

Once you have completed this side of the saw, you are going to turn the saw around, so that the other teeth on the blade are now facing you. You are going to mark your starting point, file it four times, and complete the process until you reach your starting point again.

Bar-Mount Chain Sharpener

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to sharpen your chainsaw blade you will not find anything better than the bar-mount chain sharpener. This next little attachment is fairly new to the market and it can literally sharpen your blade in as little as three to five seconds. In addition to this, the attachment is fairly affordable. The attachment just simply clamps on the bar of your blade and it contains a crescent-shaped sharpening stone that will perfectly fit the tip of your blade. Once you have the attachment securely clamped on to the end of your chainsaw all you have to do it start up the chainsaw, simply hit the trigger for three to five seconds, and your blade will be as sharp as a knifeā€™s edge.

Keep in mind that there is an engagement lever located at the end of the bar-mount attachment. This lever engages and disengages the sharpening stone. You will have to press the lever against the ground or a sturdy surface to engage the sharpening stone, while you are holding down the trigger of the chainsaw, but this really is easy enough.

How to Clean a Chainsaw Chain

There are 2 ways to go about cleaning your chain.

  1. You’re going to need to find some “chain floss” The best kind of “chain floss” is oak. All you have to do is, cut the oak and it’ll clean your chain. Before you cut the oak to clean your chain, make sure your chain is sharp. It’ll clean itself a lot better with a sharpened chain.
  2. Save your money and do the method above!

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