It is morning, and you see a big tree in your front yard. Your driveway is under the tree. There are bushes around your house. You think, “Hey, I am a handyman! Let’s cut some of those branches.”
You can use a chainsaw to cut down trees in your yard. You don’t need to hire someone else to do this for you. This is not easy work, but it’s worth doing yourself.
If you use a chainsaw, there are safety rules that you should follow. There is equipment that you need and then things like how to start it and maintain the chain and gas. We spoke with a STIHL representative who taught us about these things so we could learn the basics of using a left handed chainsaw.
The first objective is safety. You must dress appropriately for this job, just as you would for any other. STIHL recommends the following equipment:
- A hard hat You can even go one step further by purchasing a helmet system that includes a hard hat, a face shield, and earplugs.
- Gloves that are both slip-resistant and cut-resistant
- Goggles that protect your eyes
- Steel-toed or cut-resistant boots
- Chaps with 6 to 9 layers of cut-resistant material
Next, survey the area. Make sure no one is around and avoid things like electricity lines, cars, etc. If you have help, it is good because something can happen.
A chainsaw is a tool you can use to cut down trees. It would be beneficial if you did not use the chainsaw over your shoulder or on a ladder. If you need to do that, call a tree-cutting specialist.
Prepping the Chainsaw
We are about to use the chainsaw, so check to make sure everything is in place. If anything is missing or the chain is loose, fix it before starting. The chainsaw needs two-stroke fuel, which means you’ll need to mix it with oil when you fill-up the fuel tank.
You can also buy an ethanol-free fuel with a long shelf life that costs $30 for a can of oil (you will need both). This mixture will keep your chain lubricated and your bar oil full.
If you have leftover fuel in the machine for too long or don’t mix the oil and fuel properly, there are more problems. You’ll need to fix them later. So have everything ready from the start.
Starting a Chainsaw
Now it is time to start the unit. Taylor gave us two ways to start a chainsaw.
This first method is a good one for beginners. Put the saw on a level surface and make sure it is steady. Put your right foot through the handle of the saw to keep it from moving too much. Then you can put your left hand on the handle to hold it steady while you take off your right hand and use it to engage the brake (to stop anything from moving). Then use your left hand again, this time pushing down on the starter button.
The second method is for more experienced users or on a surface without good footing. First, place the handle between your legs behind your knees. Grab the handlebar with one hand and pull up on the starter.
Using a Chainsaw
When using a chainsaw, you want to stand on the left side. This is because the cutting attachment is on the right side, and it should be used there.
A chainsaw is good for three tasks – cut branches, cut logs, and make trees fall.
Branches and limbs from a downed tree are being removed.
Cutting a downed tree’s trunk to length.
Cutting down an upright tree in a safe, measured, and controlled manner.
When you are learning to skate, it is important to know some things. You should find a good place to stand and make sure that your footing is good.
Always make sure you know where the bar and chain are, and keep your eyes on them. This way, you can make sure to cut everything.
When you cut a log, you should see where the log starts to pinch. This is so your guide bar does not get pinched. If this happens, it will fling back at the operator, and it is called a kickback. There are ways to avoid this:
- Never use the top corner of your bar.
- Always be aware of where the tip is.
- Practice good operating techniques, like using two hands and keeping a sharp chain that is tensioned.
Some people cut logs. Remember:
- Do not use your chainsaw as a knife or hand saw.
- When cutting a tree from the ground, put the guide bar in a hole near where it is plugged in and pull with your arms.
A spike in front of it will help you push the saw through.
Watch the wood when you cut it and see how it reacts to your cuts. You might accidentally let go of something you didn’t know was there and experience a force in return.
First-time users often use the end of the guide bar when limbing, which can cause problems. Use the back end with your bumper spike as much as possible instead.
Felling and plunge-cutting techniques are hard to do. You need to watch videos of people who know how to do them.