If you are here because you are looking for chainsaw tips for beginners, then you’ve come to the right place.
There are certain things a new chainsaw owner should now, and most of them involve safety—for you and for everyone in the near vicinity.
First off, chainsaws are machines that have to be well respected in order to be used without incident. They are efficient and dangerous at the same time.
Chainsaws have to be handled with proper care to prolong its life, and yours too. You must never fool around when it comes to a chainsaw because one small slip and a trip to the emergency room is next.
This article is going to give you beginners a few tips when it comes to handling your new chainsaw.
Which chainsaw should I choose?
For most beginners, it is recommended that you use a chainsaw that is light and appropriate for small jobs around your house.
It can be used to cut firewood and trim a few trees. You shouldn’t be opting to use something big and fancy unless you are a professional lumberjack—and even that takes some time and experience before you hold a chainsaw with that power.
You should also consider what you are planning to do with the chainsaw. If you are planning to use a chainsaw to create your own firewood, then make sure your chainsaw’s guide bar is at least two inches longer than the firewood you are aiming to cut.
Chainsaw tips for beginners
And here is what you originally came here for. Below are tips about using your chainsaw that should help you.
These are the most basic of tips to get you started. If there’s anything that is unclear to you, do not hesitate to do more research before you start using your chainsaw.
1. Know what your chainsaw is capable of
Yes, you are aware what a powerful piece of machinery a chainsaw can be. But do you know that its different parts are?
Before you even think of turning your chainsaw on, familiarize yourself with its parts so that you use it the way it’s meant to be used.
This will also allow you to learn the dos and don’ts of using your chainsaw. Once you’ve done that, you have to assess your chainsaw:
Does the chain have just the right amount of tension?
The tension between the chain and the guide bar should be enough for the chain to lift a few centimeters away from it, but not enough to completely detach itself and its links from the guide bar.
Tighten it by following the instructions found in your chainsaw’s manual.
Are there any loose parts?
Give the important parts a wiggle to make sure everything is firmly in place. Doublecheck and triple check. Especially since this is your first time using a chainsaw.
You never know what you might miss.
Is the chain lubricated?
Every chain is different, and most of them have to be well-lubricated before you can start using the chainsaw. Check out the instructions left behind by your manufacturer, so you know how to lubricate the chain correctly.
Are the teeth sharp?
Chances are, if you have a brand-new chainsaw, then the teeth should still be sharp. You can give rough estimates of your next sharpening depending on how long you used a chainsaw for.
2. Know what you are capable of
It may be exciting when you’re preparing yourself to use your chainsaw for the first time. But you should not push through with it if you don’t feel confident with a chainsaw in your hands.
It may be safer for you and everyone involved if you don’t use a chainsaw anyway. Nevertheless, if you decide to push through with using a chainsaw, make sure you know your limits.
Understand how long you can withstand holding a live chainsaw, and when you get tired, stop everything and slowly put it down.
Take a break, because a chainsaw user who is tired can and will get into accidents.
3. Wear the right protective gear
Even if you’re just doing work outside your own backyard, you still have to wear the right gear to keep your protected.
The following are examples of basic gear that you should always wear when handling a chainsaw:
Safety goggles protect your eyes from any debris that may start to fly around as you start cutting into wood. Dirt and debris that comes from a chainsaw can get so small that they will easily irritate your eyes.
You need to be able to clearly see what is happening as your cutting down wood, and water eyes are not going to help you do that.
Using a chainsaw is LOUD. Even the most silent of electric chainsaws are still loud to some degree.
If you don’t wear the appropriate kind of ear protection, then you may permanently damage your eardrums.
Chainsaw gloves/Protective gloves
These gloves allow you to get a good grip on the chainsaw and serve as an extra later or protection in case a chainsaw ever kicks back.
They prevent your hands from blistering and keep them firm on the chainsaw as you direct it to cut wood.
Your regular sneakers may not be enough when you’re using your chainsaw. You need footwear that helps you gain traction against the ground so that you can firmly stand and balance as you maneuver your chainsaw.
Steel-toed boots are recommended because they prevent your toes from accidentally getting cut off should an accident happen.
They also include the ankles in their protection and provide a thick layer between your feet and the ground, which could be littered with sharp wood pieces.
Chainsaw chaps are a sort of clothing that you wear over your regular clothing which serve as an extra barrier between you and the dust and debris that comes flying during a chainsaw’s usage.
4. Observe and get to know your working environment
You should know important details about your workspace before you start working. Examples of details you should take note of are:
Is the ground uneven?
When you are attempting to fell a tree, you need to control which direction it falls. If the ground is sloping downwards, then you should be positioned on higher ground so that you don’t get crushed by the tree.
Uneven ground makes your balance unstable, making you a possible victim for chainsaw kickbacks. As much as possible, move the work to flat, solid ground.
How far away is the nearest hospital?
In case of an emergency, you should know where the nearest hospital is so that you can either drive the injured there yourself or ask for help if there is no cellphone service.
Is there cell service in the area?
Again, in case of emergency, you need to be able to call 911 as soon as possible. You can’t do that if your phone does not have a signal.
Is it a remote area?
It is most likely that you are only using your chainsaw in your backyard but consider how the EMTs can enter the establishment. How quickly can they get to you from your location?
Is it legal to use a chainsaw?
Some subdivisions may require you to have a permit that allows you to use your chainsaw. Or even permits that give you permission to trim a tree to your liking.
Be aware of your state, city, or town’s laws regarding the use of chainsaws.
Are there any children nearby?
Children are unpredictable. You never know when they will be hit with curiosity to check out what you’re doing up close.
The don’t immediately understand what is dangerous or what is not, so it is better to do your work in an area where there are no children nearby so that you can concentrate on your work.
Who else is nearby to assist or keep an eye on you?
In case of a deadly accident, someone has to be at the ready to call 911 so that you can get treatment as fast as possible and survive.
You won’t be able to do it alone in major accidents, so it is important you are at least working with someone as a pair while you’re trying out your new chainsaw.
5. Start your chainsaw
Now that you’ve done a check on everything, you should be able to start your chainsaw. Before you do this, place your chainsaw on flat, solids ground.
Do not drop-start your chainsaw because it could move abruptly in a way that harms people.
If you are using an electric chainsaw, you should only have to flip a switch. Gas-powered chainsaws require more handling and are generally not recommended for beginners because of the number of parts that have to be used.
Do not try to start up your chainsaw if the chain and guide bar isn’t free. It has to be out in the clear before you try to start it.
6. Handle your chainsaw appropriately
The proper way to hold a chainsaw is with both hands. If you are right-handed, the most common position is by placing your left hand in front and wrap your thumb around the front handle.
Your left hand should be straight, and your elbow locked tight to counter the force of the chainsaw cutting into wood. Your right hand should be on the rear handle, with your arm bent slightly.
Maintain this stable position by keeping your feet apart. You may find it easier to place one foot in front of the other so that you can maintain balance.
Stay on the left side of the chainsaw in case there is kickback.
7. Start making your first cut
When you feel like you’re ready to make the first cut, slowly approach the wood and let the bottom part of the chainsaw touch it.
You should never push down, because the momentum between the chain and the wood makes the chainsaw cut straight down.
Keep the chainsaw level. Do not let the nose touch the wood or the ground because this can give you a violent kickback.
8. Don’t be an idiot
Do not use your chainsaw when the weather conditions are poor. This includes rain, snow, and heavy winds.
On top of that, you should never try to saw anything that is above your shoulder because it affects your balance and makes your stance unstable.
It will give you less control over your chainsaw in case kickbacks happen. This also puts you in danger of getting conked over the head with the branch that you’re trying to chop down.
And of course, do not use your chainsaw while you are on a ladder. If you use a chainsaw while on a ladder, you are not in full control of your position.
In the case of a kickback, you would have no way of stabilizing your ground, and the most likely scenario ends with the ladder tilting away, and you falling along with it.
9. Beware chainsaw kickbacks
Kickbacks are sort of a knee-jerk reaction that happen when something interferes with the chain’s tension, or if the chain gets snagged on something.
Kickbacks are very common and are more likely to happen if you let the nose of your chainsaw touch anything because that part of the chainsaw is not designed to do the cutting.
Always aim to let the bottom do the cutting and keep the nose away from the ground and from the wood.
Chainsaws are powerful machines that have to be well taken care of. Even though you own one and know how to use one, you are still in charge of its maintenance.
Take good care of your chainsaw to extend its longevity and remember that it is better to be safe than sorry when you are handling it.
Always exercise extra caution if you have to use the chainsaw to prevent any untoward accidents. Read the user’s manual and familiarize yourself with its parts.