A chainsaw is a useful and versatile tool to have when it comes to cutting fallen trees. While skills can be perfected over time, it is more important to first understand the safety tips for using a chainsaw. The tool is, in itself, a safety hazard and would require a lot more care in handling.

Safety gear

The very first thing to do after you have got your chainsaw is to purchase safety gear. Basic protection gear would include safety goggles, helmet, ear protection, timber chaps or chainsaw pants, leather gloves as well as hard-toed shoes. You may ask your chainsaw dealer for more information on where to get them and how to go about putting them on. Ear protection is a fundamental safety requirement as the chainsaw can be quite loud. Timber chaps or chainsaw pants must be worn instead of baggy pants, as the latter will make it more likely for the chainsaw to get caught in your pants and lead to injuries.

Preparing your machine

Fill the oil tank with bar and chain oil. Make sure you move to a clean and clear space after you have done so. You may attempt to start running the machine by applying chain brake, turning on the ignition, pulling out the choke and engaging fast idle mode. Place your right foot on the back handle and stable the machine with your left hand on the front handle. Next, pull the starter handle, push the choke, remove fast idle and pull the chain brake towards the front handle.

Proper positioning

You have to be in a safe and proper position when wielding a chainsaw. Ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and that you are of a stable and balanced stance. When dealing with fallen trees, stand on the uphill side so that the trees will roll away from you. Keep your chainsaw at your side instead of standing directly behind it. When carrying out undercutting, brace your arm or the rear handle against your thigh for better composure.

Chain tension

Monitor your chain tension as loose chains may end up flying and hurting you. Check them hourly and do so more frequently if your chains are new. You may adjust it by loosening the bar nuts, lifting the bar and adjusting the screws until the chain is snug on the bar grooves. Make sure it is tight but still able to be dragged along the bar. All this has to be done with your gloves on!

Cutting branches

Start from the bottom of the trunk and work your way upwards. Cut your chainsaw downwards on the branch until it is a third through. Then, use the undercutting technique to cut upwards from the bottom of the trunk. Be sure to prepare for any dropping or rolling away of branches by making some space for it beforehand.

When chopping them into smaller pieces, cut through three-quarter of the branch before rolling it over and completing your cut from the other way. If your chainsaw gets stuck, lift the trunk by use of a thick branch and carefully open the cut enough for your chainsaw to come free.

Most importantly, keep a first aid kit and a mobile phone with you at all times in case of emergency. If possible, have someone accompany you but stay at a safe distance while you work. The chainsaw may seem dangerous at first, but is a machine that can be mastered safely with experience and carefulness.