You want to learn to use a chainsaw? These are powerful machines that take many hours of use to master, and one mistake can be disastrous. The best way to learn is to find an experienced chainsaw user, and have them go over the tool, how to service it, and how to cut with it. Even the act of cranking a gasoline chainsaw has potential for trouble, and getting hurt isn’t a good way to begin using a new tool.
If you are completely unfamiliar with chainsaw use, you need to know some things about your saw before ever cranking it. This article will be helpful Chain Saw Safety: No Tricks for someone just starting out.
Now, if you don’t have anyone at all to give you the basics, and you want to learn anyway, this is what I would suggest. Start light and small to get the hang of the tool. You might rent a saw from a tool rental, or buy one, but at least make sure it has been checked out and is good operating condition. You might consider buying or renting an electric saw to begin with, since cranking and running a gasoline saw takes some getting used to.
Start by cutting smaller limbs or logs in a safe position and location. Standing on a ladder isn’t the place to learn about saws. Place some limbs or small logs on a support (you don’t want to cut on the bare ground if you can help it, dirt is hard on a chainsaw chain), and try cutting a few pieces. Remember, the piece of wood has the chain pulling it towards you, so be ready to let go of the throttle if the piece you are cutting begins to move.
You should get the feel of the cutting action and power of the saw fairly easily, and you can begin to work your way up to larger more difficult pieces. Before felling a tree, however, you will need to learn the right way to do it. Cut from the wrong side, or cut too deeply into the tree trunk without an escape route and a felling notch, and you may either hand up your saw, or find yourself needing to get out of the way of a falling tree. Practice on simple cuts, have a helper handy in the event of an accident, and take your time.