How do you choose and use a chainsaw?
There is a vast range of saws available in a range of sizes and powers, from small, electric chainsaws that are only designed for light pruning work, up to massive petrol powered machines that can be used all day to fell trees.
All chainsaws are powerful and can cause fatal injury unless used according to the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
Even men, who never read the instruction books provided for women, should consult the safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
It is not possible to fumble your way through a chainsaw safely without consulting this safety guide.
The chain has a series of teeth that have sharp edges that bite into the wood to be cut. Sometimes the teeth alternate, one cutting to the right and the next tooth cutting to the left. The chain is supported by a bar and move around a track around this bar.
Chainsaw maintenance is vital. There are two sets of components that require constant lubrication. The two-stroke engine gets its lubrication from the petrol/oil fuel mixture. The chain is lubricated by a separate oil source.
The chain lubricant may be depleted quickly because oil tends to fly off the chain. Care needs to be taken to only use oil of the viscosity recommended by the manufacturer.
Kickbacks can cause fatal injury. A kickback is the sudden jerking of the chainsaw when it strikes a harder object, like a nail, embedded in the timber.
A kickback can also happen if the chain jams in the cut, fairly common in very soft timber. You can buy quick stop chains and chainsaws that reduce the risk of kickback.
It is important to use appropriate protective equipment, including ear defenders, goggles, and cut resistant trousers to reduce the risk of injury.