- Jul 16, 2018 -
Use a Chainsaw Without Losing a Finger (Or Worse)
For starters, knowing how to operate a chainsaw isn’t your everyday task, but it is a dangerous one. Simply grabbing a chainsaw from Lowe’s and hacking everything in your yard down is going to be much harder than it looks, and you’ll need to be prepared for the task at hand.
There are rules for operating a chainsaw safely and, today, we’re going to give you the rundown, including appropriate equipment, starting methods, and proper chain and gas maintenance. We spoke to our representative to gather everything a beginner needs to know when learning how to use a chainsaw.
Saftey is priority No. 1. Like any job you do, you need to be properly dressed. We recommends the following gear:
Hard hat — or you can even take it a step further with a helmet system that includes a hard hat, face screen, and ear plugs.
Slip-resistant and cut-protection gloves
Cut-retardant or steel toe boots
Chaps with 6 to 9 layers of cut-retardant material
Next, you’ll want to survey the area you’ll be working in. Make sure there are no bystanders around and keep clear of telephone lines, cars, or anything else that might get damaged. With that being said, it’s a good idea to have someone else there in case of emergency.
Another rule of thumb for using the chainsaw safely and correctly is to never operate the unit over shoulder height or on a ladder. It’s easy to think you can just climb a ladder and start laying waste on the foliage in the yard. However, if it requires over-the-shoulder utility or you need a ladder to reach certain limbs, STIHL recommends turning to your local tree-hacking specialists. The risk of injury is not worth it.
PREPPING THE CHAINSAW
We’re almost ready to start operating the chainsaw, but first, take a quick inspection of the unit to assure everything is in place, there is nothing missing, and the chain is not loose.
Chainsaws use two-stroke fuel, meaning you’ll need a mix blend (2.6 ounces of oil per 1 gallon of gas) and not just a can of regular gas. You could also opt for a can of Motomix, a premixed ethanol-free fuel blend that has a 2-year-plus shelf life. You also need to make sure you keep your bar oil full so your chain stays lubricated.
A lot of maintenance issues come from leftover fuel in the machine for too long or someone not mixing the oil and fuel properly. You’ll make it easier on yourself in the long run if you just have everything ready to go from the start.