How many horror movies can you name where a chainsaw-wielding maniac chases the characters? The chainsaw has achieved widespread popularity in films because of the gory events that unfold if not used for the right reasons. Does this mean you should avoid using this tool? Well, not really.
The thing is a chainsaw is a must-have tool for any woodworker. Chopping down timber is a breeze thanks to this device, and this tiring job becomes relatively effortless. If you are an aspiring DIY enthusiast, you need to know how to use a chainsaw properly.
Apart from simply collecting logs, a chainsaw is also efficient at sizing up your timbers. You should always be cautious when using a device that could lead to fatal accidents. So, to keep your safety in check, this beginner’s guide will show you how to use a chainsaw safely.
Basic Safety Tips
Before proceeding to work with any tools, you should have some preliminary safeties in check. If you are going to be spending a lot of time with power tools, you should make a habit of abiding by these rules.
1. Safety Goggles
Anytime you are working with wood, whether you are cutting or trimming them, a lot of debris fly out in all directions. Safety goggles make sure that your eyes are protected from any rouge splinters accidentally getting in your eyes.
2. Safety Helmet
This is another vital part of ensuring your safety. Your head is a critical part of your body and should always be well-protected. If you are using a tool like a chainsaw, kickback is a natural thing. Wearing a helmet can make all the difference between a fatal accident or a close save.
3. Ear Protection
These tools can get very noisy when turned on. So loud that prolonged exposure to it can cause hearing problems. A noise-canceling headphone comes in handy to protect you against such problems.
4. Safety Gloves
A must-have accessory for any DIY worker. Safety gloves come with grips to make sure that you have a good hold on the chainsaw. It prevents you from dropping the device accidentally and causing a huge mess.
5. Long Shirts
There is a reason you see woodworkers wear long sleeves when working even in a warm environment. It covers your hands and protects against splinters.
6. Chainsaw Chaps
These protective trousers guard the lower part of your body against any accidents. You should find a thick one that is still comfortable enough and make a habit of wearing it before whipping out your chainsaw.
Finally, you have the boots. If you are going to go cutting woods, make sure to wear a heavy-duty boot with good grips. The shoes make sure that you are adequately grounded when operating a high kickback machine like a chainsaw.
Chainsaw Tips for Beginner’s
With the basic safety in check, now comes the part where you actually operate the machine. Remember that a chainsaw is not a plaything, and it deserves your full concentration and respect. Give yourself some time to get in the right mindset. When you are ready, let us dive in.
- Know Your Capabilities
When choosing a chainsaw, pick one that is realistic to your body size and weight. If you get a model that is too heavy for you to operate, there is no point in getting it.
While the smaller models do suffer when cutting bigger trees, they are also easier to use. They also have a lower kickback and are more suited to catering to the beginners.
Also, look at the bar length of the device. The saw that has a long bar is meant for felling or bringing down the tree, and the short one is for trimming branches.
- Preliminary Check
Before activating the chainsaw, you always need to check for some important factors.
- If the chain in the device has the correct tension
- If all the parts are set correctly
- The different parts of the machines are lubricated properly
- The edges are sharpened well
- A clean work area
You also need to make sure that the area of your work is free from any tripping hazards like cables or branches. The last thing you want is to fall over while holding a running chainsaw. That would be a page straight out of your nightmare.
- Do Not Drop-Start
There are a couple of ways to start the chainsaw. Drop-start is the one way that you should avoid, especially as a beginner. When using this mode, it may cause the device to swing in an arc towards you if you are not prepared, causing severe injuries.
- Be Prepared for The Kickback
When you are cutting a tree, if the bar nose gets pinched or contacts a solid object, the guide bar can swing in your direction uncontrollably. This is known as a kickback. A kickback is a common occurrence when operating a chainsaw and can cause serious damage if you are not ready.
Thankfully the newer modern models usually feature a protective mitt connected to the front handle of the saw to prevent this issue. You can further reduce the problem using the following steps.
- Always have a firm grip on the handle
- When in action, use both hands to hold the machine steady
- Be careful when cutting light objects
- Do not use the tip portion of the blade to cut anything
- Test the chain brake beforehand
- Proceed with caution when reinserting the edge on a cut
- Hold the Saw Correctly
Whenever in use, you need to hold the machine close to your body using both of your hands. Make sure you have a firm footing on the ground. Your legs should be parted slightly for additional balance.
Take things slow and cut one log at a time. Also, try not to cut anything above your shoulder height as the weight of the machine may tilt your angle.
You can never be too cautious when using a machine such as a chainsaw. Without proper technique, all sorts of unfortunate events may occur. Make sure that you keep your device well-maintained to prevent any accidents
The above guidelines should serve you well the next time you take your chainsaw out in the woods. We hope that you found this article on chainsaw tips for beginners informative and helpful in all your DIY activities.