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Any tips or tricks to working with a chainsaw?

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posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:24 AM
Yesterday, I spent only about an hour working on a fallen tree (downed by lightning), and my arms are still vibrating (it feels like). Is it something you eventually get used to? Didn't help it was in the heat I suppose. I put it in the survival forum because the tool is often used to clear up after natural disasters, figured some here will have more experience with it.

Some things I did figure out myself...

1) A sweatband is pretty much a necessity.
2) Cutting at an angle helps, especially if a branch will eventually fall, this way, it doesn't get stuck.
3) Cutting in a wedge is good for large branches (cut in at one angle, then the opposite angle, to cut out a wedge, making the final cut easier)
4) They can get flooded easy, and the process for starting one that is flooded is a bit different and likely hidden deeply in the operator's manual.

Is there anything that helps with the vibration though? Or other tips? I figure I've probably got about another 12 manhours or so before I've fully cut up this tree into firewood...or longer, since I'm just guessing.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

Don't push the chainsaw, let it work for you. If your arms are still shaking maybe need a new chain blade~

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:33 AM
Step one: Watch Axmen
Step two: Email the History channel and bitch at them for putting such garbage on a once good channel.

Seriously though, it was interesting and insightful during the first season but then it went the way of jersey shore type crap.
Every other word was "beep" this and "beep" that.

edit on 12-8-2013 by Sharingan because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:38 AM
reply to post by sulaw

It's a brand new chainsaw. I think it's more that I'm simply new at it. I do let it do the work, that's a good point though (wasn't doing as much of that at first). I wonder if thick gloves would help absorb some of it....

In case any wonder, the reason I ask so many questions here, is that I'm still pretty new to the whole country life. We've had the ranch for a year, but we're constantly learning new things and how things really work. Heck, just a week ago, we finally figured out what we were doing wrong in hooking up the tractor's mowing accessory.....(who would have guessed that threaded screw was really a spring catch that allowed the driveshaft to go on more?).

Some things I've learned well, and feel more expert on...but I'm still learning a lot each day about life out here.
One thing I do know. If the SHTF, country folks won't feel it nearly as bad as those in the city. I've had to learn a lot of skills in a short amount of time, and I'm constantly learning more. So, the ones who've been out here for years have done likewise, and nearly everyone is pretty diverse in their skillsets.
edit on 12-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:41 AM
For a flooded saw, open choke fully. Remove spark plug and pull 20-30 times to dry it out.

Also a clean spark plug is a must. If its black clean the electrodes with emery cloth.

If the weight of a log is supported on both ends do an under cut, it relieves the pinching stress on the chain.

A sharp sharp chain is a must.

If you have a saw with metal teeth behind the bar, use it to grab into the wood and pivot at the point fully rearward.

I work on and off for a tree service.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM
Eye protection. Wood chips can fly out at all angles at relatively high velocities. Sunglasses, plastic chemistry goggles, etc, are all fine. Just make sure that if you are using something that has uncovered areas (sunglasses) that they are facing the blade.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

I find that with larger diameter branches and such it's best to "rock" the saw like a teeter totter.

THAT and a GOOD Sharp blade is A MUST.

Oregon brand blades are among the best , imho.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:46 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

A thick pair of Leather Gloves would help damper the vibration. If it was cutting easier at first but then started becoming "chopy" they have places you can oil the saw. Might have been in a box for a while and like a car starting in the winter, the same rules would apply. Give her a good grease if you haven't already.

I would presume that this is a gas? Saw? Make sure (I'm sure you already know this Gaz) when you start making way into whatever your cutting, don't let the throtle go and don't let the blade get stuck. This can cause small pieces of the blade to warp or chip pending how fast it became stuck and how hard the wood is. Which can cause a saw to vibrate more than it should.

If it's a electric chainsaw... Take it back...

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:47 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

Be as flippen careful as possible.
Even with chainbrakes, you can mess up a large portion of your flesh and bone with 'em.
Two-cycle engines ain't what they used to was - (today's versions suck)
Keep the chain oiled... if your saw has a oil reservoir, maker sure it is attended.

Chainsaws are excellent tools but have the safety of most things invented in the 19th century.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:48 AM
If you have a friend this method is always fun...

One thing to be very aware of is kickback while using a chainsaw...

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:49 AM
Buy some gel gloves to protect your hands from vibration and wrist braces for carpal tunnel protection are not a bad idea either.

These things, by the way, are nearly always missing from one's bug-out list, are small and light enough to pack in there, and keep your hands protected.

I wouldn't bother with a chainsaw in a survival situation anyway, too noisy and you have to feed it.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:51 AM

Buy one of these first before any chainsawing commences,

Sorry thats all I got. one more

don't take off an arm or a leg

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:51 AM
Let the saw pull itself up to the dogs (sharp pointy grippers near the base of the blade) until they grip the log. Then lift the handle so the blade tip cuts downward into the wood some amount. Then pull the saw backward a little (off the dogs) while letting the tip pivot back upward, and once again let the saw pull into the dogs again and pivot the blade downward, kind of a rocking horse or see-saw motion with the blade.

This lets the saw and gravity do most of the work, if you find yourself manhandling the saw, chances are there's a better technique.

Also, keep the blade out of the dirt, it only takes a second for mother earth do dull a fresh blade.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:52 AM
Sound is one of the biggest things, dont bog the motor down too much. and if you feel it start to pinch get the bar out of the wood. If it starts to pinch there is a chance the chain will pinch and then walk right out of the wood at the wrong time.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:53 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

Heck, just a week ago, we finally figured out what we were doing wrong in hooking up the tractor's mowing accessory.....(who would have guessed that threaded screw was really a spring catch that allowed the driveshaft to go on more?).

Isn't it fun when you figure out something new....

Farming is fun, but it does require some hard work at times but it will get easier as time goes by..

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:55 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

G,day mate. re the vibration prob. con a mate into doing the job for you. LOL. As an aussie i find beer is a jolly good enticement/bribe. cheaper still if you have one of those mates that always like to be in charge.
Have to admit i have owned several chain saws over the years. love cutting things down. Every time i start the chainsaw up the wench comes running. Worried i might commit murder and mahem against her BLOODY roses lol
Dont let anyone stand in front of you.
watch the chain tension.
dont twist the thing
let it do the work for you
But, i would rather use a chain saw 6 hours a day every day than an angle grinder 6 minutes a year. just me. anyway enjoy.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:01 AM
Brief story on the subject of safety...

We bought a little 18' McCullough from a garage sale. We needed to cut down some heavy foliage but needed more than a lawn mower.

Well, about a week ago, my old lady goes out, gases/oils up the saw and I hear it running outside. I freaked... because the chainbreak on these things are made for large, male hands and arms. She is 5'3" and weighs in at 116. Even with the break, the saw would have kicked out almost as far as her head before it engaged.

Of course, trying to tell her this led to the 'Why don't you do it then?'

Women are sinister demons when it comes to messing up a Saturday...

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:01 AM
Also if your ever in or near a Sharknado a chainsaw is helpful....

Sorry I couldn't resist...

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

Uhhhh . . . borrowing from Captain Obviouis . . .

I have 3 suggestions . . .


I took down a huge chestnut tree that was shading the whole back yard so that little else would grow. Didn't get hurt. But it was likely a miracle--though I was super careful as it was during the midst of a divorce and my mind and emotions were more than a little preoccupied.

There was a Reader's Digest human interest article years ago . . . my paraphrase from memory . . .

The family was returning from an extended weekend or week at the lake. The house had a side drive to the back yard where the boat was parked. The mailbox was beside the entrance to the side drive.

Dad is starting to back the boat into the side drive to the back yard.

Wife is helpfully exhorting.

Watch out for the mailbox!

Honey watch out for the mail box.

Be careful about the mailbox!

Which, of course, most hubby's would respond similarly.

I AM watching for the mail box! I got the mail box watched already yet! Calm down! I CAN SEE THE MAIL BOX!

Of course, suddenly


goes the mail box.

The wife had the sanity to jump out of the car and run into the bathroom to guffaw.

Another weekend, they are cutting down a big tree. The wife is fairly high up in the tree reaching even further with the saw on a pole thing--or an electric chain saw. I forget . . . They've been at it for hours and they are tired. Light is fading.

Hubby very caringly says,


The wife wisely immediately gets down out of the tree to leave the rest for another day.

The phrase: I CAN SEE THE MAIL BOX became a signal, a code that they or someone or the relationship had reached a danger point where they needed to back off and cool off and wait to go further.

That's a good habit.


edit on 12/8/2013 by BO XIAN because: addition

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:04 AM
If you try cutting with the tip sometimes, the antikickback chain will cause it to vibrate and the little dogs will keep it from grabbing and kicking back. All saws vibrate. Keeping the throttle at the right speed for the cut is something you need to learn, it cannot be taught. It is a variable speed trigger, it does not have to be wide open either to cut but at the right speed so it doesn't vibrate.

Check the chain tightness, they stretch when new. If it is flooding, it may need some carb adjustment, there are usually two jets that need to be adjusted after a couple of hours of use.

I have been using a chainsaw for about thirty five years or more, but only part time. I have one electric, two Poulan small saws, a Husky 61, and a Jonsered 111s that I use. I also have half a dozen other antique chainsaws I need to work on a little to get them running right.

It's like anything, once you get used to the saw, it becomes part of you. Be careful though, they can bite pretty hard.

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