Advice for using a chainsaw is mainly concerned with safety. The chainsaw is one of the most dangerous tools to work with, and it is vital to take a few wise precautions.
What type of tasks can you use a chainsaw for?
A chainsaw is the tool of choice for all kinds of garden work, such as cutting trees, branches and firewood. If you mainly use it for cutting firewood to size, experts recommend an electric chain saw. It has advantages such as a lower purchase price, less maintenance and less noise. If you also saw trees and branches, a petrol chainsaw offers more freedom of movement. This type also generally has a more powerful engine. A versatile alternative, especially for smaller jobs, is a cordless chainsaw.
If you regularly work with a chainsaw, it is especially wise to purchase safety clothing, such as specifically-constructed chainsaw pants and boots. However, if you don’t own safety clothing, you should still wear the following when sawing:
- Safety glasses
- Hearing protection
- Work gloves
- Safety shoes with steel toe
Keep your saw in top condition
As with all tools, it is highly essential to keep your chainsaw clean and sharp. Check the sharpness of the teeth and the chain tension frequently. A chain is well-tensioned when it is not hanging, but makes contact with the bottom of the bar and you can easily turn it by hand.
- Always cut at full power to avoid kickback.
- Hold the chainsaw with both hands at a sufficient distance from your body.
- Keep people and animals away.
- Do not use an electric chain saw when it is raining.
Pruning and sawing trees
- If you want to cut a tree, first make a horizontal notch on the side to which the tree must fall. Next, saw an oblique notch above it, so that you can create a wedge-shaped opening. Now, cut the trunk from the other side, slightly above the bottom cut of the notch. Make sure that the saw does not twist or get stuck. When the cut threatens to close, you can use a wedge.
- Do not cut thick branches in one go. First make a cut in the underside of the branch some distance from the trunk, then cut it from the top, and saw off the remaining piece.
- Never work overhead with a chainsaw. There are special telescopic chainsaws for cutting at height.
- Use a sawhorse to cut logs to length.
- Make sure that the piece to be cut off can fall freely so that the saw doesn’t get jammed.