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Chainsaw Sharpening- How To Avoid Serious Injury

Aug 18, 2007
It's common knowledge thousands of people are injured each year through chainsaw related accidents but the question needs to be asked...how many of these injuries could have been prevented?

Chainsaw sharpening is a process regular operators would be very familiar with but for part time users the term might be a little foreign.

For users who operate their saws on an occasional basis you need to watch complacency. A saw doesn't need to be used everyday before it needs maintenance. A chainsaw is a powerful piece of machinery and is either giving you excellent service or is feeling a little off and struggling.

It is difficult coming up with another piece of machinery to compare with a chainsaw and in one sentence... a chainsaw only knows one speed and that is flat out!

Keep this in mind if you have neglected chainsaw sharpening. It doesn't matter whether you are using a Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo or Poulan or whether you are using a small or large chainsaw, basically, each chain works the same and needs the same kind of maintenance and attention.

There are several warning signs which can alert you to just how effectively a saw is operating. Accidents happen when these warnings are ignored. An operator may be a few minutes away from finishing a job but despite the chain giving off signs of distress they are tempted to press on.

This is the danger phase in the use of a chainsaw for some of the reasons listed.

1. Applying pressure to a machine is not a good sign. It's like hitting a fatigued work horse with a whip which I wouldn't recommend because it isn't going to do any one any good.

2. The saw should needs to cut effortlessly. Working with a dull chain is not only going to be a costly exercise financially but also can harm you physically.

3. Pushing down on a bar when the chain is in dull condition can lead to unnecessary wear on your machine which will not only cut roughly but it can lead to fatigue which in turn can lead to accidents.

4. If your machine is spitting out saw dust instead of wood chips turn it off immediately because the chain is crying out to be sharpened.

A sharp chain and correctly set depth guage will usually equal a good performing saw. Chainsaw sharpening is not a difficult task to learn however it's not recommended you try it if you have never attempted it before.

Take it to a professional and ask if you can either watch the chain being sharpened or tips on doing the job yourself.

The art of chainsaw sharpening is not difficult to learn however, if you are inexperienced then take it to a professional. A sharp chain, correctly set depth guages and you will generally have yourself a happy chainsaw.
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