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How to Use a Chainsaw

Abhijit Naik Nov 23, 2018
The hazards of operating a chainsaw start from the moment you turn it on, so it's important that you get well-versed on how to use it before you get to the business.
A chainsaw is a handheld mechanical saw used in logging and forestry, most often to fell trees or cut branches and foliage. It is powered by a two-stroke engine, which rotates a chain of blades. The chain is made up of several teeth, which effectively cut through the material when used at a proper speed.
Chainsaws are also used in creating firebreaks, i.e., an area cleared of combustible vegetation to stop or slow a wildfire.

Perils of a Chainsaw

Though it is of immense help when it comes to wood cutting, chainsaw has some hazards associated with it. A machine that can cut through a tree trunk, can easily rip apart human body. (Initially, a device known as Osteotome, which was similar to the chainsaw, was used by surgeons to cut bones in surgery.)
The threat is amplified when you are using the machine to cut wood above your shoulder height. It has to be operated with proper care. The person who operates it shouldn't just have proper knowledge of how to use it, but should also be well-versed with its perils.

Tips to Use a Chainsaw

Always wear safety gear, like gloves, hard hat, safety glasses, and earplugs, when you are working with a chainsaw. It is important to wear gloves as it facilitates a proper grip on the machine.
Make sure that the shoes you wear allow you to have a proper foothold. Never wear loose clothing while using a chainsaw. And never work with a chainsaw, when you are not in your best health.
When starting the chainsaw, make sure that you are at least 30 feet away from any kind of fuel. There are chances of a fire breakout due to the sparks created when starting the motor. 
Once you are ready with necessary precautions and safety gear, you can start it by pulling the starter cord. While doing this, place the machine on the ground and place your foot on it to hold it in place.
In order to trigger the ignition process the cord should rub against the starter housing and break, so the cord should be pulled straight up. Make sure that the cord doesn't touch anything while you pull it.
During the cutting process, you should hold the saw close to your body. When you use the chainsaw to cut trees or branches, make sure that you cut at a point below your shoulder height. This will allow you to keep your elbows locked and restrict the wayward movement of the machine. 
When cutting a trunk at a point higher than your reach, you can climb the tree and suspend yourself against it using a harness.
As a mechanical reaction, the chain can pull you into the work, when you use the bottom of the blade, or push you outwards, when you use the tip of the blade.
Therefore, make sure that you use the perfect stance and have a proper grip of the machine as well as your foothold. More of such jolts are expected when the machine abruptly comes to a halt, or when you are cutting a hard piece of wood using a blunt blade. 
You should hold the chainsaw with both the hands to get a proper grip. Never walk with the chainsaw on; turn it off when you are not cutting a wood, even if it's for a few minutes. The chain of the saw should be sharpened regularly.
Technology comes at a price, but safety is definitely not the price you pay for it, even if it helps you work faster. A chainsaw is no doubt one of the most useful wood-cutting equipment, but that's only when you use it properly.