Always remember: Rule No 1. Unless a professional, trained with the appropriate user certificates, never buy a chainsaw in a box from a non specialist or by post/carrier.
Why? Although a necessity if a user has trees to fell or lop, or logs are needed to feed the now popular log burning stove a chainsaw is a lethal weapon that must be treated with the utmost respect.
It is important to make sure professional advice is adhered to and specialist dealers are normally fully versed in the use of a chainsaw for domestic use and some are trained to forestry standard.
A qualified appointed dealer will show an inexperienced user how to carry out simple maintenance such as sharpening the cutter chain, making sure the cutter bar and chain are set up properly, how to make sure the saw continues in top working order by cleaning the vital components plus making sure the safety brake is fully operational.
IMPORTANT: the safety brake should never be tampered with or permanently disengaged; never use a chainsaw with an inoperable chain brake.
If a user does not want the responsibility of keeping the chainsaw in good working order then the dealer is fully set up to do the necessary servicing. Another reason for buying from the dealer closest to you.
This may sound more trouble than its worth but in reality it is common sense and doing it right will save time and money and most importantly lives!
Mains Electric Chainsaw
The basics of any type of chainsaw is they all have a cutter bar and cutter chain. There are many choices of bar sizes and cutter tooth size and shape. Mains electric saws are normally fitted with short bars and small profile chain as the motors are fairly low power and so the machines are really designed for cutting logs up to approximately 6” diameter. Ideal mainly for logging up soft wood for the home fire.
Cordless Battery Chainsaw
Many people fear using a chainsaw, that fear comes mainly from the noise that comes from the high revving powerful petrol engines. Of course other emissions such as fumes and vibration can be off-putting.
Some cordless chainsaws can be amply powerful with their chain speed matching their petrol counterparts but they feel safer to use as the noise levels are much lower and although the battery has to be charged it is possible to produce a substantial pile of logs on one charge plus it is much less inconvenient as there is no need to store fuel or keep going to the garage for re-fills.
Providing the correct instructions are adhered to the cordless chainsaw is a suitable alternative to a petrol version for those with little experience and don't like the idea of dangerous electric cables or noisy petrol engines.
Without doubt today's petrol chainsaws are by far the most powerful, lightweight and emission adherent ever. Even the smallest, least powerful models will cut through substantial timber whether it be soft wood or hard wood such as oak.
The bigger the engine, the bigger the cutter bar that can be used; bar and chain lengths start at 30cm (12”) up to a whopping 122cm (48”). Most petrol chainsaws have automatic chain lubricators, there are a variety of chain tensioning devices, chain tooth type is dependent on the length of bar and power of engine; these features should be considered with the work that is to be carried out in mind.
For general domestic work petrol chainsaws with 30cm up to 45cm would normally be sufficient, anything bigger would normally be classed as a felling saw which is normally the domain of professional users.
Using a Chainsaw
Felling timber is a skill that can only be taught. Knowing which way the tree is going to fall is very important, especially when working in an enclosed space or around property that could be damaged.
If cutting timber for logs or fence posts it is always advisable to use a saw horse, if not make sure the timber is lifted off the ground and secured safely as cutting into wood on the ground will undoubtedly mean the saw chain will penetrate the ground and that contact with earth and /or stones will damage the chain and probably the bar.
Never use a chainsaw if there are children or animals in the vicinity and make sure any other people are a safe distance from the operating area.
It is always recommended whilst using any type of chainsaw to wear a safety helmet with fitted ear muffs, eye and face protection visor, gloves plus protective trousers and jacket, if you are concerned about your safety using chainsaw, check out this article. These items can be purchased in kit form at very reasonable prices for domestic users.