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Use A Chain Saw Correctly

2017-02-18

Chainsaw operations are basically divided into three tasks: limbing, bucking, and felling. Limbing is the removal of branches from a downed tree. Bucking is cutting the trunk of the downed tree to length. And felling is cutting an upright tree in a controlled manner so that it falls where expected, and hopefully that’s in a good place! Remember the lingo for conversations around the office water cooler, and you’ll impress your co-workers: Unless you are like a young George Washington with your trusty ax, a tree is never “chopped down,” but “felled,” just as firewood is not chopped, but split.

Fill the saw with fuel and oil while the saw is on the ground, not on the ungrounded tailgate of a truck. And be sure that the saw is not hot when fueling. Of course, don’t smoke while fueling, just don’t smoke, period.

To make a cut, hold the front handle with your left hand — thumb wrapped underneath — and grab the rear handle with your right hand. Get in position — legs apart for stability — and pull back the chain brake to disengage it. Then squeeze the throttle. The saw cuts best when the engine is at full throttle.

Make your cuts away from the bar tip. Cutting with the upper portion of the tip could cause kickback, which can be dangerous and may engage the chain brake. If it does engage, just pull back to unlock.

It's good practice to cut at waist level — never above shoulder height.

Avoid cutting too close to the ground where the blade could dig in and kick back.

Try to cut from the side of the saw — never while hovering over the work area. A kickback in this position could be especially dangerous.

You can cut downward with the bottom of the bar — known as cutting with a pop up garden sack since the chain pulls the saw out from you — or upward with the top of the bar — known as cutting with a pushing chain, since the chain pushes the saw toward you.