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Chainsaw Tips For Newbies

Aug 17, 2007
Chainsaws have been described as the most dangerous tool on the planet. This is a fact bourne out by the number of injuries reported every year through chainsaw use. However, I'd suggest a chainsaw is only as dangerous as the operator using it and it's imperative users, particularly inexperienced woodcutters, understand some basic safety 101.

Did You Know?

In the US alone, up to 40,000 injuries a year are attributed to chainsaws however, it is a fact that the majority of accidents can be prevented.

New Users

A common scenario among users looking for their first chainsaw is a lack of knowledge on what is required. What size saw do they need? How powerful a machine should they buy? How much do they need to spend? These are common questions and in I'll answer them in this article.

A new user has decided to clear some pine trees in his backyard. These trees have a diameter of around 20 inches and there are also a few stumps he wants to cut up for firewood. Where does he start?

Having a specialised chainsaw dealer in your area is a big advantage. Even if you need to travel an hour or two, do it. The big advantage is you can go into the store and literally try before you buy. Be humble and ask the dealer lots of questions including giving you some demonstrations. But of the utmost importance, try the saw yourself. When the saw requires specialist maintenance work, you can drop it into your dealer safe in the knowledge that you have struck up a good relationship with him and his staff.

As far as cutting down the trees is concerned, you need to consider the area around them. Are they close to your home? With a 20 inch diameter, these trees could be anywhere from 40 to 50 feet in height so you need to consider whether other objects or even the neighbors property might be in any danger. Your chainsaw dealer will be able to give you some good advice in this instance. The last thing you want to do is launch into a tree without doing some pre-surveillance work and have the tree falling across your roof or landing on your car. Ouch!

Don't be surprised if Stihl and Husqvarna come with strong recommendations. They are the leaders in the world of chainsaws and you generally can't go wrong with them. As far as chainsaw power is concerned, for home use, sticking to the 50 to 70cc range should be sufficient but again, be guided by what your dealer suggests. A lot will depend on how often you will use it and if it's very sparingly, then the smaller machine may be all you need. If it's for more regular use, then consider chainsaws in the mid size range. You don't want to be buying the most expensive and powerful machine on the market, yet, for safety reasons, you don't want a saw that isn't capable of performing the task you have in mind.

Some of the best advice I've heard relating to new chainsaw users is the simple process of going online. Information over the internet today is amazing. Try this; go to your favorite search tool and type in chainsaw forums. These are an excellent place to learn: join if you need to, and spend a bit of time going through some of the posts.

By arming yourself with the right information, your first chainsaw experience has an excellent chance of being both accident and injury-free.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Read the latest reviews and news on chainsaws as well as tips for newbies at: http://www.chainsawlife.com
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