Electric chainsaws can make quick work of cutting through trees and logs. However, they can also be a particularly dangerous tool if not used properly. Chainsaw injuries are quite horrific and to be avoided at all costs. That’s why knowing how to use an electric chainsaw safely and effectively is so important.
Before starting the electric chainsaw
Before using an electric chainsaw you should inspect it and your surroundings as well as take some safety precautions. Here are some steps you should follow before starting the electric chainsaw:
- Check the battery and safety features: Make sure the battery is charged and the saw’s safety features are in working order. Some saws have built-in safety measures, including an automatic shutoff, which can prevent accidents.
- Keep the blade sharp: Keeping the blade sharp is essential for safety and performance. A dull blade can make the saw harder to control and increase the risk of accidents. Sharpening the blade is easy and can be done with a handheld or electric chainsaw file. You should also replace the blade if it becomes damaged or worn. A damaged blade can break, which is extremely dangerous.
- Wear protective gear: Always wear appropriate protective gear, including a helmet with a face shield or safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy work boots.
- Position the saw: Always position the saw away from your body, keeping it at a safe distance. Be aware of anyone around you and never swing the saw behind you after cutting. Continuously check your surroundings!
- Check the wood: Before cutting, inspect the wood to make sure it is free of any foreign objects, such as rocks or nails, that can damage the blade or cause the chainsaw to kick back.
Using the electric chainsaw
Now that you have prepared the electric chainsaw, it’s time to start cutting. Here are some steps you should follow when using an electric chainsaw:
- Lubricate the chain: Before you start cutting, make sure to lubricate the chainsaw blade. You should check the lubricant is topped up in the saw’s reservoir. When running the chainsaw observe that the chain is being lubricated, and if not, stop and clean your electric chainsaw. This is important to prevent the chain from overheating and getting damaged.
- Secure the guide bar: Before the saw has been turned on, make sure that the blade and the guide bar are securely held in the guide bar. The chain should be firm, but you shouldn’t hold it tight. Always clean the electric chainsaw’s guide bar before putting the chain back on.
- Position the chainsaw properly: When you’re using an electric chainsaw, it’s important to position it properly. Place your left hand on the front handle, and your right hand on the back handle (and visa versa if you’re left-handed). Never operate it with one hand. This position will give you greater control over the saw, which is essential for safety. Make sure that you stand firmly and that your feet are shoulder width apart and check there’s nothing on the ground that you could trip on. This will give you a stable base to work from, and it will help to prevent accidents.
- Cut carefully: When cutting, make sure to cut in a slow, steady motion. Do not force the blade or try to cut too quickly, as this can cause the blade to heat up and kick back. If you notice it’s not cutting properly don’t simply continue on. Stop and work out why so you can fix it.
- Prevent kickback: Electric chainsaws can produce a lot of kickback, which can be dangerous if you’re not careful. To avoid kickback, keep the chain sharp and the saw properly lubricated. Also, make sure to keep the saw’s blade away from anything you’re not cutting, and of course, keep your hands and feet away from the chain.
- Turn off the saw: Once you’re finished cutting, turn off the electric chainsaw and let the blade come to a complete stop before setting it down. This will help prevent accidents and ensure that the blade doesn’t get damaged.
By following these tips for using an electric chainsaw properly, you can get the job done quickly and safely. Whether you’re trimming branches or cutting firewood, an electric chainsaw can be a valuable tool in your arsenal. Remember, using an electric chainsaw can be dangerous, and accidents can happen. Always be aware of your surroundings, and never use the saw on a ladder or in a tree. If you’re not comfortable using an electric chainsaw, consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Jake is a tool guy – think Tim Allen from Home Improvement but with a much drier sense of humor. He lives in the great state of Ohio and plays the guitar on his downtime. He also spends his time writing on all things tools and DIY-related as this is his passion.