When used correctly, chainsaws can be pretty fun tools. What’s more, they are versatile as they can handle various jobs in and around the home, from pruning trees to cutting them and splitting firewood. If you are starting with chainsaws, here we provide a few tips for your safety and ensure you get the best from your tool while also saving a lot of time and energy.
1. Know Your Chainsaw’s Capabilities
Before you start cutting things with a chainsaw, it is vital first to understand its capabilities, meaning you need to know what it can do and what it cannot do. The engine size and bar length are two excellent indicators of a chainsaw’s capability. For example, a smaller 16-inch chainsaw with a 30cc engine can prune and cut small branches well but cannot handle large trees.
A smaller model gives you an easy time as it is easy to handle for an inexperienced person, but it is very restrictive on what you can cut as it does not have enough power. Forcing a chainsaw to go beyond its capabilities can damage things like the clutch and motor and puts you at more safety risk.
Read More: What Size Chainsaw do I Need?
2. Wear the Right Protective Gear
Your safety risk should always come first when using a chainsaw. Hence, before you go out to cut trees, it is vital to make sure you wear proper protective gear.
Given how loud these power tools can get, ear protection is perhaps the most important thing. However, eye goggles are vital as there will be wood chips flying all over as you cut. Additionally, you need protective gloves and footwear and some chainsaw chaps.
Read More: Chainsaw Safety Gears You Should Know
3. Preliminary Check
A preliminary check is crucial before you start cutting with the chain saw, as it helps ensure everything is in order. The assessment will entail checking different parts of the tool, such as the chain, as you need to make sure the blades are sharp and that the chain has proper tension.
Also, check things like the handle, bar, and even the controls to ensure they are in good working condition before you start cutting. While it might seem obvious, you need to make sure the fuel and bar oil reservoirs are full.
4. Do Not Drop-Start
Drop starting a chainsaw entails holding the tool with one hand and then pulling the starter rope with the other to fire it up. While many professionals tend to drop-start their chainsaws, as a beginner, you should not do it.
Instead, novices should always start the chainsaw when it is on the ground or a flat surface. When drop-starting, the chainsaw is not stable and can easily swing in an arc and cause injuries.
5. Be Prepared for the Kickback
Kickbacks are one of the main risks that come from using a chainsaw. Therefore, when using one, you should anticipate and prepare for them. Kickbacks occur when the tip of the saw runs into a hard surface, so avoiding cutting with the tip is a great way to prevent them.
Practicing good chainsaw operating techniques is the best way to prepare for kickbacks. These techniques include maintaining a balanced stance, proper chain tensioning, keeping a firm, two-handed grip, and being alert to situations when cutting.
6. Hold the Saw Correctly
It is vital to hold the saw correctly when cutting as this ensures user safety and makes the job faster and more straightforward. The golden rule here is always to hold the chainsaw with both hands. Additionally, make sure one hand is wrapped firmly around the handle.
When you cut, ensure you hold the saw close to your body and that the tool’s body is close to the tree you are cutting. What’s more, you have to plant your feet to the ground firmly and slightly apart to maintain proper footing or balance.
7. Chainsaw Maintenance
For your chainsaw to last long and keep cutting well and fast enough, you have to keep it in good shape through regular maintenance.
Some of the things you need to do for regular maintenance include making sure all the parts are securely in place by tightening the bolts and screws often. Additionally, remember to top up the bar oil and clean both the chain and bar frequently. Cleaning the air filter to remove wood dust is also vital.
While it is true chainsaws are among the most intimidating and dangerous power tools, they are still safe enough even for beginners when correctly handled. Understanding the limitation of your chainsaws, checking it before use, giving it regular maintenance, and also always wearing protective gear before making the cuts are a few tips beginners can use for the best experience.