Now it’s time to start the unit. Taylor gave us two STIHL-approved methods for starting a chainsaw:
This first method is recommended for new users. First, place saw on the ground, with a level surface and strong footing. Place your right foot through the rear handle to keep the machine steady. Once you’re ready, take the left hand and reach over to hold the handlebar securely. Then, with your right hand, engage the chain brake to make sure the chain doesn’t move until you’re ready to start cutting. Lastly, pull straight up on the starter.
The second method is for more experienced users or if you’re on a surface without good footing or if there is lots of underbrush beneath you. First, place the rear handle between your legs, behind the knee area. Then, grab the handlebar with your left hand, with your arm straight out. When you have support on left knee, and the handle is behind your right knee, pull up on the starter.
Limbing: Removing branches and limbs from a downed tree.
Bucking: Cutting the trunk of a downed tree to length.
Felling: Cutting an upright tree in a controlled, safe, and calculated manner.
Always know where the bar and chain are, and keep your eyes fixated on them to make sure you see everything you’re cutting.
When cutting through a log, you’ll want to see where the log starts to pinch so you don’t allow the guide bar to get pinched. If this happens, you can experience what is known as a kickback, or when the guide bar flings back at the operator. The first line of defense against kickback is never to engage the saw with the upper corner of the bar — be aware of the position of the tip at all times. You should also practice good operating techniques, including using a firm, two-handed grip on the saw and keeping a sharp, tensioned chain.
Some folks have a tendency to cut all the way through a log that is sitting above the ground. Remember: Never let the chain hit the ground.
Another common mistake is when someone uses the machine like a knife or hand saw. This is not how a chainsaw operates. When bucking, or cutting a tree on the ground, put the guide bar into the cut closest to the powerhead. There is a bumper spike in front of the powerhead that is used as a leverage point so you can let the saw work through the log, rather than you try to saw through it.
It’s important to recognize that the wood you’re cutting could be under a lot of tension. Watch the fibers of the wood and see how it reacts to your cuts. It’s easy than you might think to accidentally release a limb you didn’t see and experience a reactive force.
Many first-time users have a tendency to use the tip of the guide bar when limbing. Use the rear of the bar with your bumper spike as much as possible.
Felling and plunge-cutting techniques should be watched and researched beforehand — or left up to professionals. They’re simply too intricate to tackle after reading a manual