How To Operate A Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a powerful tool, and in the wrong hands can cause major damage, and potentially debilitating injuries to others who are around you when using it. For this reason, not only do you have to know how to operate a chainsaw, but also how to operate it safely, in the different situations that you are going to be using it in.

Since there are many ways, places, and jobs you are going to use a chainsaw and other tools for, you also have to understand the power settings, design, features, and other attributes of the particular chainsaw that you are using, in order to ensure the safest possible use with this heavy duty power tool.How to operate a chainsaw - Northside Tool Rental Blog

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Type of chainsaw

The first factor to consider when learning how to operate a chainsaw is whether you will use a light or medium weight chainsaw. Lightweight is 8 to 14 in and ideal for trimming or working around the lawn, while a mid-weight one is about 14 to 18 in, and best for cutting larger trees, logs, or heavier duty jobs. Once you have selected the chainsaw of choice, it is of utmost importance that you read the instruction manual, that you take heed to the safety warnings and precautions, and that you fully understand all buttons and power settings, prior to taking it outdoors to work on any job, or outdoor lawn work you are going to do with it.


Each time that you use the chainsaw, it is also imperative that you check it for tension settings, to ensure the saw mechanism isn’t too tight or too loose, which can cause injuries, or can lead to issues with the work you are doing. You should also check for adequate lubrication before use; this will not only ensure smooth transitions, and ensure the chainsaw is moving at full pace, but will also prevent damage, or something getting caught in the chains, when you are using the power tool at the highest, and most powerful settings when working outside, or on any other job with the chainsaw.

Grip & dexterity

Before cutting in to the tree limbs or branches, you also need to ensure proper grip is attained with the chainsaw. You want to place your primary hand at the back, giving you more stability and control when cutting, and giving you more power to follow through the items that you are cutting through. Your front hand should hold on to the grip handle lightly, so that you have optimal dexterity, and have a comfortable grip on the handle when working with this power tool. Before starting it, you also want to ensure you have a powerful grip on the chainsaw, and that you have full support of it, so that it does not get loose from your hand when working; you also want to keep your hands away from the blade when starting it, as this will avoid any major accidents or possible injuries, for the work that you are doing with the chainsaw you are working with.

Starting the saw

Once you have the proper grip, you are going to start the saw; you want to accelerate the engine to full throttle prior to beginning to cut through any materials. Not only will this give you more power, it is also going to eliminate the possibility that you get the chainsaw jammed, or possibly cut through the wrong area when working with this power tool. It is important that you only run the saw at full throttle, in order to prevent a weak cut, or prevent the chainsaw from getting jammed midway through the limbs, or thicker items that you are cutting through with the saw.

When the saw is running, you also want to make sure you keep it running at full throttle, until the entire cut is complete; you do not want to stop midway through, as this is going to cause a poor cut or improper directions when working with the chainsaw. This will also guarantee the saw won’t get caught in the wood you are cutting, or cut at a slight angle, if you are trying to cut straight through the wood or other materials that you are working on.

Power off

When the chainsaw is no longer in use, or when you completely cut through the item that you are cutting through, you want to power the chainsaw off. Upon doing this, it is important to ensure the chains have completely stopped, before you lay the chainsaw down. Not only will this prevent any injuries or cutting through something you did not want to cut through, it is also going to help the saw retain its sharpness, rather than getting dull in a short period of time.

Fueling the saw

When the fuel tank is empty, you shouldn’t add fuel to the tank during, or right after use. It is best to fuel up your chainsaw after use, but it is important to ensure the engine has completely cooled off prior to adding fuel. Not only does this prevent burns or other injuries, it is also the only way to ensure some of the fuel you add will not evaporate once in the tank, due to the extreme heat or other elements that come in to play, when you are finished using the chainsaw to work on any task or job.

There are hundreds of chainsaws, different name brands, models, sizes, and variations for you to choose from, when you are shopping for this power tool. And, no two models are going to be the same; for this reason, before doing anything, it is important that you fully understand and have read through the directions, before attempting to use the chainsaw. These steps will give you a basis for most of the top name brand models, and will allow you to work on any outdoor task, cutting job, or other heavy duty tasks that you are going to be working on, when you are using the chainsaw for different projects.

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