Chainsaws have become a common tool for woodworking and large garden owners alike. Technically, they are a multi-link chain that moves at high speeds which causes them to saw through material such as wood.
Chainsaws have to be portable to be classed in this category, and although many people believe there isn’t much to this tool, we beg to differ. Our information is sourced by CrossSawMill.com and compacted for easy reading.
Common Uses For A Chainsaw
The most common uses for a chainsaw are felling, limbing, bucking, pruning, and cutting wood.
Felling is when you cut down a tree from the base, allowing gravity to pull it to the ground (or allowing it to simply fall). This task used to be completed by two people pulling a hacksaw backward and forwards until enough of the trunk had been cut to push the tree over. Chainsaws turn this job from a joint effort to a single-person job.
Limbing is when you take off branches or limbs of a tree while keeping the trunk intact. This method requires precision to ensure the trunk is healthy enough to survive the process. Without a chainsaw, you would need a handsaw which is more dangerous and takes longer.
Bucking is when you cut up a felled tree into logs. The process seems simple, but you need a high-powered engine to cut through the material. This means either using a hacksaw which takes longer and requires two people, or your handy chainsaw.
Pruning is when you remove parts of a tree. Pruning and limbing are similar concepts, but pruning could contain anything, such as an aesthetic cut rather than a medical one. Again precision is needed to keep the tree healthy, which is why chainsaws are used.
Lastly, many of us don’t cut down trees but still need a chainsaw. This is because we want to cut wood for personal reasons such as creating kindling for a fire or making a plank moveable.
Chainsaws aren’t precise with small pieces of wood but can keep your edges straight when cutting large pieces.
The Mechanics Of A Chainsaw
On your chainsaw, the most important mechanics are the engine, the drive mechanism, the guide bar, and the chain.
The engine will either get its power through gas, electricity, or a battery. If you plan on using a chainsaw for your yard, you should look for a low-wattage chainsaw. This will make your equipment cheaper, as there will not be a lot of power behind the engine. You don’t need a lot of power for simply gardening. However, if you need to fell a tree, look for a high-wattage chainsaw to ensure you have the power you need.
The drive mechanism is designed to stop breakages or debris from getting stuck in the chain. It determines if the chain should be turning or cutting as designed. This is a safety mechanism and should be understood before you start your task. Play around with the drive mechanism to learn when it will stop and what is too much for your model.
The guide bar is a long and round bit of metal that comes out of the engine. It holds the chain together and guides the chain into its conveyor belt path. It will have a guide slot, a grease hole, and a gauge. If your chainsaw begins to jitter or starts to scratch, this area might need greasing.
The chain is the sharp metal that wraps around the guide bar. Its teeth are what cuts into the wood as it rotates at speed around the bar. Once you have used the chain, you should clean it to ensure it stays sharp and avoids erosion.
Types Of Chains
There are 4 types of chains, full chisel, semi-chisel, low profile, and chipper.
Full chisels are designed for softwoods.
Semi-chisels can be used on soft and hardwoods making it a versatile tool. It will not produce a clean cut in comparison to the specialized chains.
Low-profile chains have a weaker cutting power due to lower teeth placement and lower guide bar. They are the cheapest chainsaws and are intended for new users.
Chipper chains are designed for hardwoods.
Chainsaws can be dangerous objects, but once you know what they can be used for, how they work, and the type of chain you should be using, then you will have no problem working the tool.
Always use a chainsaw outside, and under the guidance of an experienced hand until you feel comfortable.