Chainsaws: Having A Sharp Chain Is Vital

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by Frank, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Chainsaws: Having A Sharp Chain Is Vital by Kathryn Whittaker

    Chainsaw, the popular weapon of choice for many screen villains, still remains a nightmare for humble home users. Powerful and helpful tools, chainsaws are used around the house for a number of purposes, including pruning trees and scrubs, cutting firewood and even woodwork. For proper maintenance, chainsaws require a number of accessories, including carving bars, suitable stands and a reliable chainsaw sharpener.

    With time, depending on the project, your chainsaw may become dull, and the chain will not produce the same precise cut. You will notice that it's time to reach for your chainsaw sharpener when the cut from the saw is not straight anymore or the edges are uneven. Dull chains also produce fine sawdust when cutting, while a sharp saw produces thicker chips of wood.

    If you need to push your chainsaw harder to make a cut, it also means that the saw needs sharpening. The chain either is too dull or has been damaged. Newly sharpened chain will enter a cut easily even if you apply only slight pressure.

    When you fail to sharpen the chain properly, you will loose power and momentum. As a result, you will consume more fuel. Your chainsaw will age faster and the engine will wear more, too.

    Many people refrain from using chainsaws because of the potential dangers. Indeed, injuries caused by chainsaws are severe. The number of chainsaw accidents that required medical attention is getting higher every year, increasing two-fold in five years. 85 percent of injuries to chainsaw users resulted from a contact with a moving or improperly maintained chain.

    To survive through many of your home improvement projects and to protect you against possible accident, your chainsaw must be kept in good condition. Keeping your chainsaw sharp will save you fuel, effort and may even prevent you from injury.

    Today chainsaw sharpeners are powerful yet safe tools suitable for sharpening virtually all kinds of chains. To prevent injuries the chain is safely locked and grinding wheels are designed to adapt to all your sharpening needs. In many cases, a chainsaw sharpener includes a tool that allows checking the sharpness of the chain finding pitches and changes in gauge depth.

    The chainsaw sharpener should be mounted in a well-lit area with plenty of room to work safely, away from any flammable substances. Always wear eye protection when operating a chainsaw sharpener and wear gloves when removing or installing the cutting chain.

    Make sure the wheel guard is in place before starting the chainsaw sharpener. Replace the guard if it is damaged or cracked. Use only the correct file size and gauges recommended for specific types of chain.

    Make sure your chain is tense if you sharpen it directly on the saw. You may not do a good job when you try to file a loose chain, and besides, you can even damage a chain. Before sharpening the chainsaw, always cleanse the chain properly to prevent soiling the sharpener.

    Even if you are a handy do-it-yourselfer, return your chainsaw for re-sharpening to a qualified dealer after sharpening it for a few times yourself. Even with the correct tools, you run the risk of filing at an incorrect depth. A dealer has the equipment to precisely file the chain, and a professional sharpening will make the chain last longer.

    Keep your saw clean and energy-efficient by sharpening the chain often and checking the catcher for damages. Clean the chain of your chainsaw with mineral spirits and a soft dense cloth when you finish working. Following these simple tips will keep your chainsaw in top working order.

    About the Author

    Kathryn writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information Chainsaws please visit // moderator note: website now offline and for additional chainsaw based articles please visit // moderator note: website now offline
     
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  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Seedling

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    Sounds like a article writen by a city slicker. Why do you need a carving bar??? "chainsaws require a number of accessories, including carving bars"
    And why is the chain tence when you are going to sharpen it? Is it afraid????
    There are much better sites for chain saw safty tips than written here. Try Oregon chain saw chains site for one with handy do it your self with out fear sharpeing tips, also guides to the types of chains and their uses. Even the chain saw MFG's do a better job explaining safty.
    :D Al
     
  4. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Seedling

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    One cord of wood is 8ft x 8ft x 4ft.
    One face cord is 8ft x 16inches x 4ft.

    Sharpen your chainsaw properly every time
    Nothing improves chainsaw performance more than a sharp chain. Our easy-to-use sharpening tool features a filing angle indicator and flat guide edge that positions the file at just the right angle and depth. Cost about $5.00 US funds.

    Most chain saw accidents are preventable. The only answer to reducing these accidents is proper training and knowledge with a lot of time using a saw - which is experience. You can gain experience the hard way and have the scars to prove it or you can do a little preventative reading.



    Seems that chain saws are very dangerous if not used properly. That may carry over to the type saw you purchase. What type of saw would you choose if you were safety aware and wanted to make your first purchase?

    Carl Smith: The chain saw that you purchase should be of the correct size for the jobs that you intend to do. To use a chain saw with a 36" bar for cutting 10" diameter trees is not appropriate. Conversely, a 10" bar is not appropriate for cutting 36" diameter trees. Many options must be considered before the purchase of a chain saw: horsepower, chain speed, bar length, weight, type of handle bar, type of bar, type of chain, etc...

    Unfortunately, all chain saws are made for right-handed people. By using a "full wrap" handle bar, this will help out the left-handed operators to some extent. Your local chain saw dealer should have the ability to let you know what is right for your needs. Explain to them what you will be using the chain saw for. Chain saws can be purchased at your local hardware stores, large discount stores, or a chain saw dealer.

    The best place to purchase this piece of equipment is a chain saw dealer, due to warranty work. Hardware stores and discount chains will not uphold a warranty while the chain saw dealers will if purchased from them. If you decide to use the classifieds, friends, or swap meets to purchase a chain saw, get the same information from your dealer beforehand. Also, purchase a book on proper chain saw use and techniques for cutting trees. This will help save your life or someone who will be with you.
    There are many brands of chain saws available on the open market and as with everything else, some are better than others. Keep in mind that some retail stores such as Sears have various manufacturers build their saws for them and then put their own name on them, like Craftsman. If you want cheap and inexpensive saws, go to Wal-mart or K-mart and purchase a Homelite, McCullogh or Poulan but remember the warning about warranty work.

    I will not mention all of the brands available as I have not used them all. My personal recommendations go to Stihl, Husqvarna and Johnsonred. They are excellent chain saws and will last a long time, given proper maintenance. They are excellently engineered pieces of equipment for their weight to power/chain speed ratio.
    The Stihls require metric tools and the Husqvarnas and Jonsonreds do not. The Husqvarnas and Jonsonreds are also easier to work on, if you ever have to.
    Students are constantly drilled that the following items be used while operating a chain saw: A hard hat, protective leg chaps, gloves, eye protection, hearing protection and "above the ankle" leather boots. Other necessary tools and supplies should include wedges, ax, large hatchet or maul, properly mixed fuel, bar oil, bar wrench, chain file with protective handle, small screwdriver with magnetic head, minor maintenance tools and a first aid kit.

    Suggested Reading


    How to Fell a Tree

    Beginner Chainsaw eCourse

    Chainsaw/Timber Feller Glossary

    Visit this site.
    http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore ... g01959.htm

    :D Al
     

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