Beginner Tips to Get the Most out of your Chainsaw

Chainsaws are handy working tools. In fact, if you’re a serious DIY enthusiast, you should have one. Still, you have to know how to use your chainsaw to maximize its potential. These tips will help get you started.

Be Mindful About Safety

You should never attempt to use a chainsaw without wearing a helmet with a visor. You can opt for safety goggles as well. On top of that, put on safety shoes (preferably steel toe boots) and a canvas-made trouser. Don’t forget to carry a cellphone or a whistle in case of an emergency. Whenever possible, use gel-filled gloves for a better grip and excellent absorption of vibration.

Learn How to Use the Extras

Of course, your chainsaw will work better with accessories attached to it. And, it’s unbelievable how many possibilities there are regarding the extras you can use to increase your machine’s potential. The idea is to make operating your unit simple while allowing you to complete tasks quickly.

Avoid the Kickback Zone

Cutting with your chainsaw on the bottom of the bar is the easiest way to get a natural cut. Even then, there’s a specific spot on the bar that you should try to avoid known as the kickback zone.  For starters, this is the top half of the bar’s tip.

Why is this critical? Well, if the bar gets into contact with anything while in motion, the saw will kick up and back to your direction. In fact, this is the primary reason newer chainsaws come with a function that allows you to stop the machine in case of a kickback.

Know When It’s Time to Sharpen

A sharp chainsaw cuts smoothly, with less force on the bar. A dull chain, on the other hand, tends to ride in the cut and doesn’t deepen it.  So, if you’re forcing your saw or “persuading” it to cut, it implies that the chain is dull and requires some sharpening. Further, when the chain is spitting out dust (instead of fine chips), it is time to sharpen it.

It is important to note here that you should mark each tooth with a brightly colored marker after sharpening to avoid confusion.

Know How to Handle the Machine

You can reduce the risk of injury significantly if you know how to handle your chainsaw. Start by wrapping your left-hand thumb around the front handle when cutting. That way, you can manage to control the unit better during a kickback.

Also, be sure to remove your right hand off the back handle when moving from point A to B with the saw running. You want to reduce the chances that the engine can accelerate and get the chain spinning if you stumble or trip.

Treat Gasoline

Do you want the maintenance costs of your chainsaw to be as low as possible? Well, you should make sure that you treat gasoline when you buy it. See, you can never be sure about the quality of the gas you intend to use for your machine. So, add stabilizer before refilling. Keep in mind that when gasoline starts to breakdown, it makes the engine hard to start. More than that, it can gunk the entire system with varnish and gum.

Install a Gas Tank Leak Stopper

Be cautious when tiling your chainsaw to make repairs. The last thing that you want to happen to your machine is gas running out of the vent cap holes of the engine. Be sure to place a small piece of plastic wrapper over the tank’s opening and screw the cap back on.

Protect your Ears

Chainsaws can be loud – with some generating sound levels of over 120 decibels. Invest in high-quality earmuffs, reusable plugs or disposable foam earplugs to keep the noise below 90 decibels. You only need to make sure that the protective gear feels comfortable around your ears.

Keep a Safe Distance

Make sure that you maintain a reasonable distance between the chain saw and whatever it is that you are cutting (at least five meters). Also, clear the area. Get rid of animals and people especially if you are felling trees.  Learn about environmental regulations in your area before felling trees.

The Bottom Line

It doesn’t take much to get you chainsaw to work the way you want it to. However, it makes perfect sense to get well aquatinted with the basics before you can start to use it for large tasks. Start with small activities such as splitting logs. You can even ask a seasoned operator to help with the first few steps.

Also, make sure that you take your machine for checkups once in a while.  One more thing – never use a faulty chainsaw because doing so increases your risk of getting hurt.