chainsaw sharpening

How to use a chainsaw – complete guide

Chainsaw  is a power tool to assist the user for bucking, limbing , and felling a tree. Chainsaws are usually battery, gas or electricity operated tools, and saws have a chain running on a blade which is used to cut the wood into the desired shapes. 

It is important to first understand the complete process of using a chainsaw, as an accidental event may also lead to serious injuries. You should follow the below mentioned steps before you use any chainsaw:

1.Wearing the personal protective equipment -

The first step before you start using your chainsaw is to ensure that you are wearing all the necessary protective equipment, including gloves, helmet, eyes and ears protectors, and long pants. Some chainsaws are provided as ready to use by the providers, while some require installation of the saw prior to the first use . You can install the chainsaw after going through the users’ manual. 

2.Initial starting of the saw

Next step is to start the saw to get the desired outcome. It will depend on the type of saw, as usually there are 3 types of saws, including gas-powered, corded, and cord-less/battery operated chainsaws. If you are using a corded chainsaw, you should keep the wire away from the body of saw. You should keep the saw on the flat surface and switch on the saw, after activating the chain brake. You should also press the decompression valve  and primer bulb, because they assist in smooth starting of the saw. For more information read this guide 

3.Useful instructions to hold and cut with a saw

The saw’s usage is completely dependent on the way you stand and hold your saw. For a safer standing position, you must stand on a fixed and level surface, as a slippery surface may not allow to firmly holding the saw. Also, never use a ladder while using a chainsaw, as you may fall if there is any backward pressure arises during the wood cutting process. 

An accurate holding also provides a protection from kickback, which happens at the time of during wood cutting, the chain brake, which is located near to the front handle, gets activated and reducing the risk of injury. The ideal position to keep the saw is at your waist level, as it helps to control during any unwanted accident and also keeps the saw away from your face. Generally, it is advised not to use the saw above the operator’s shoulders’ level. 


4.Bucking, limbing, and felling a tree

The primary purpose of a saw is to cut wood, however, there are different types of wood cutting work which can be divided into three different types, such as bucking, limbing, and felling. 

Bucking is related to cutting a tree, lying on the flat ground and cutting it into long lengths. Usually bucking is started from the top of the wood (by standing uphill side of the wood) with downward pressure through the saw, ensuring that saw’s chain does not get damaged after touch the earth. 

Further, limbing refers to cutting the limbs or branches to clear the trunk of the tree. You should keep your saw to the closest possible area of the branches to quickly get rid of tree’s limbs. You should also take care of your standing position and keep your feet steady, as this simple task of cutting limbs may also turn into an accident. 

Lastly, chainsaw’s most common use is to fell a tree or simply cutting down a tree. Usually, small trees are cut in a single cut, but, for larger trees a notch is removed from the tree to provide a direction for felling of the tree. This technique, known as “notched undercut”, is also the safest way to cut older trees, as it prevents the fall on the houses, power lines, and fences. Most of the times, the diameter of the tree is greater than the chainsaw’s bar, which increases the chances of bar getting stuck during the felling process. In this case, you should simply turn the power off of saw, and use a wedge to try to open the trunk to take the saw out of the chainsaw.

The moment you complete the cutting process, you should keep the chainsaw at the surface so that it cools down. As it will ensure the long life of the motor, if you take some intervals at the time of using your saw. 

5.Maintenance of the saw

The most important part is the sharpening of the saw, and the best part is that it is not difficult to sharpen it. You can sharpen your saw either manually or with a specific sharpening device. You can easily get the maintenance kit from the market as per the specification of your saw, and can use the sharpening device from the kit. The motor should be turned off and kept on the even ground or table to sharpen or clean the chainsaw. 

For a smooth operation of the saw, oiling also plays a crucial role. Some chainsaws have an automatic oiling system, ensuring the adequate flow of oil from the oil reservoir to the bar and chain. However, if your saw does not have automatic oiling capability, you can oil the saw yourself  and go through the user’s manual to understand the oiling process. 

If you are done with the cutting process, you should keep the chainsaw bar in the protective cover, as it will ensure the long life of the bar. The protective cover also helps if you to take the saw to any far place and have kept it in your car with other luggage.

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