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Mark J

Chainsaw Safety Lessons

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I am looking for safety training on the use of chainsaws for beginners.  Preferably a class or something in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Failing that written articles or videos.  Anyone have some resources or insight?


I'd like to understand the risks better before I even contemplate purchasing a chainsaw. I saw one thread on the AAW forum just discussing the various chain types to choose from, so clearly there is a lot to be aware of.  And I don't want to just go to U-Tube and tune in to any fool with a video camera.  

Suggestions?

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Good tips above. Chainsaws are not tools you want to just pick up and figure out as you go, so good for you for doing the research first. 

Stihl put out a series of videos regarding safety and use. I haven’t watched these specific videos but have seen other training clips they have produced in the past and they were decent. I used to work for a Stihl dealer and did their mechanic training courses, part of which was on saw safety and operations to teach new buyers. 

https://m.stihlusa.com/information/videos/chainsaw-safety-operations-maintenance-videos/

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We need a reaction icon for "yikes"!

But you see what I mean.  There's a lot to be aware of before you even go to the dealer.   (...and I was hoping the tree would actually already be down).  

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If the tree is down, things are a lot better. Falling trees injure many more folks than the saws do. 

I didn't mean to sound so alarmist. The big take-away is to take your time, and think about the reactions that might occur at each step. Take a buddy for insurance.

.... and stock your first aid kit with something bigger than Band-aids.

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31 minutes ago, Tom King said:

You mean this is dangerous? 

That looks to be a little electric job your using there Tom, correct?

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I did a long time ago heated only with wood. All the suggestions above are very good. A non safety thought. What about a battery operated chainsaw. I know it is being offered. I'm guessing that there are logical applications. It might be your best choice.

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14 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

What about a battery operated chainsaw

I started out by looking at those, and they appear to have a roll, but it's still a chainsaw.

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I've only used a chainsaw once, when I was 17 years old, cutting the branches off a fallen tree. I still have the scar on my left knee to remind me. I'll not pick up one of those things again without some education first.

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2 hours ago, Chet said:

That looks to be a little electric job your using there Tom, correct?

Yes.  A Craftsman that I bought new in 1975.  I run that chain dry, so it doesn't throw oil in the old houses I carve bad parts out of with it.  It has about the same amount of power as a 180.

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I have a couple Stihl chain saws one with a 42 bar and I will work on downed trees all day long but when it comes to dropping them I call my son in law that boy is an artist lol. wtnhighlander #6 is one that usually gets me if I'm not paying attn

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For small jobs, one of the new battery powered saws with a brushless motor has the advantage of near-instant stop when the "flesh-sensing technology" known as 'pain' tells you to let go of the switch!

Seriously, the kevlar padded chaps almost eliminate the left knee scars mentioned earlier. Those typically happen while carrying a saw at idle. The kevlar jams the chain if you bump into it, avoiding injury most of the time. And regarding kickback, 'carving' saws use a different bar with a very small radius tip. That reduces the torque avalable at the end of the bar, and allows the carver to overcome the kickback. But they still use smaller saws for that.

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That's good to know, hadn't thought about carvers, but don't mimic everything you see someone else doing.

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I bought a little cheap electric one that has a metal guard at the tip to help prevent kickback. I only use it to help cut up logs for turning. 

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Get one of the little ones first.  Maybe use the second one after you've completely worn out the little one.  Don't think about running the big one, for a long time.  The little one is almost a toy, but a few weeks ago, I outcut a pro with it, who was using a Pro saw in between these two big ones, only because he couldn't sharpen a chain.  That little one can do a lot of work with a sharp chain.

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I wandered by the chainsaws at the BORG yesterday and a lot of their saws have the tip guard.  Seems like a "riving knife" good idea. 

Been watching the videos y'all recommended.  Very helpful, thanks.

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Ah Tom, but you're good!  For the first timer I think these may be a good idea in a "traing wheels" sort of way.  They appear to be held on with a few screws and easily removed.  

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Stihl, and Husky have general tutorial videos.  I didn't watch this video, but I'm sure there is good advice in there.

 

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