The Chainsaw: A Powerful Tool to be Respected

The Chainsaw: A Powerful Tool to be Respected

Even if you do not have any direct experience dealing with lumber, there is a very good chance that you know what a chainsaw is. Chainsaws have a glorified reputation of sorts, due to their overuse in different forms of media, but they are not typically depicted as “tools”. In movies, television shows and videogames chainsaws are often portrayed as weapons, and when you think about it deeply, there is a reason for this. While the loud buzzing and the spinning teeth make for a tool that has a “scary” aura, a chainsaw is an inherently dangerous tool to use if someone does not know how to operate it. It is this element of danger that many people tend to focus on and that has earned the chainsaw its place in pop culture. However, this danger can be mitigated substantially if someone practices chainsaw safety awareness.

How can I learn about chainsaw safety?

Chainsaw safety training is not uncommon, as many professions make use of chainsaws. A chainsaw safety course is a great way to support hands-on training, as you can learn about how a chainsaw works and how to safely use it. Through a chainsaw certification course someone can earn a chainsaw certification (valid for 3 years) that demonstrates to potential employers that they know how to safely use one. A chainsaw training course or a chainsaw operator course does not necessarily have to be done in person either. An online chainsaw safety course is also another means of obtaining a chainsaw operator certificate. Taking a chainsaw safety training course is also useful to yourself, as you will have the knowledge from the chainsaw safety certification to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself whenever you use a chainsaw.

What exactly is a chainsaw?

Many of the tools that first resembled the modern chainsaw were often used for cutting bone in surgical settings. It was not until 1905 that these tools started to be used to cut wood, and it was not until 1918 that they started to become truly portable. Wood-cutting chainsaws, which were typically made in Germany during the early 20th century, were imported to North America. However, with the occurrence of Word War ll, chainsaw exports dwindled, and North American manufacturers started popping up. After the war, chainsaws became light enough for a single person to carry, and they became the tool of choice in the forestry industry.

The inner workings of a chainsaw consist of multiple parts:

  • The engine (two-stroke internal combustion/electric)
  • The drive mechanism (centrifugal clutch and sprocket)
  • The guide bar (laminated/solid/safety)
    • gauge
    • oil holes
    • grease holes
    • guide slot
  • The cutting chain (teeth, full complement/full skip)
  • The tensioning mechanism (screw/manual wheel)

Modern safety features and chainsaw safety equipment include:

  • Brake
  • Catcher
  • Handle guard
  • Safety links
  • Protective clothing/Chainsaw safety gear

What professions make use of chainsaws?

chainsaw awareness

While most chainsaw applications are focused on wood cutting (chainsaws embedded with diamond grit to cut brick, concrete and stone would be outliers, for example), chainsaws are no longer just used for forestry purposes. There are many professions that can make use of the chainsaw. These include:

  • Loggers
  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Landscapers
  • Military engineer units
  • Hydro line workers
  • Police SWAT teams
  • Ski hill groomers
  • Wood carvers

Due to the large range of professions, chainsaws can come in many sizes. While chainsaws that are used in forestry will tend to be on the larger size, there are also smaller chainsaws that are meant for residential purposes.

What are some chainsaw safety tips and concerns?

chainsaw safety equipment

The safe and proper use of a chainsaw is important because it will protect not only you but also those around you. As mentioned previously, modern chainsaws tend to come with safety features, but there are still techniques and bits of information that are important to know.

Firstly, remember to become acquainted with a chainsaw by seeking proper training and education in its use. Once you have done that, be aware that danger can still arise from several places. Chainsaw operators tend to have the highest fatality rate in Canada for any occupation. Loggers are fourth on the list. This is for two major reasons: kickback and falling timber.

Kickback occurs when a tooth on the tip of the guide bar get stuck in porous wood. This prevents the chainsaw from cutting through and throws the tool back towards the operator. Kickback is unfortunately a risk that comes with cutting any porous material, like wood, so maintaining a strong, proper grip is very important.

Falling timber is typically an issue when a tree is being felled, or a large piece of wood is being cut. If it so happens to fall too early or the wrong way, then any nearby worker can become stuck or crushed. Problems can also arise for workers operating at a height, where falling timber can catch them unawares, or they could simply fall.

Some other sources of danger include loud vibrations and carbon monoxide. While modern chainsaws come well equipped with material for damping, older ones can still cause issues like deafness, tinnitus or HAVS. Exposure to carbon monoxide is a concern with gasoline powered chainsaws, especially in enclosed areas. The existence of these risks makes training and education even more valuable, so silly mistakes like drop starting are completely avoided.

How do I take care of my chainsaw?

Chainsaw safety and maintenance go together. Two-stroke chainsaws need about 2% oil in the fuel to keep the engine lubricated, while electrical chainsaws should remain lubricated for the entire duration of their lifetime. The bar and chain must also be lubricated with oil, but this will deplete much faster, requiring frequent application. Chains must also always be kept sharp so that sawdust does not become powdery and the operator does not need to press on the saw or be exposed to excessive vibration. To prevent a chain from becoming blunt, try to avoid touching metal, soil, or stones, unless the chainsaw is made specifically for those. Chainsaws can be sharpened by using one of three chainsaw sharpeners:

  • Handheld file
  • Electric
  • Bar mount

Finally, do not forget to occasionally empty the air intake filter of sawdust.

What are some reputable chainsaws?

chainsaw safety and maintenance

If you are using a chainsaw, then it makes sense to want to use one that is as safe and reliable as possible. Chainsaws will either take gasoline or be electric. If they are electric, they can come corded, or cordless with a battery. Each type has its own cons and pros:

  • Corded Electric
    • Pros
      • Does not take fuel
      • Does not need battery
      • Quiet
      • Easy start
      • Small and light
      • Affordable
      • Minimal maintenance
    • Cons
      • Corded
      • Weaker
  • Battery-Powered Electric
    • Pros
      • Portable
      • Light, easy to move
      • Very quiet
      • Minimal maintenance
      • Easy start
    • Cons
      • Battery
      • Weaker
  • Gas-Powered
    • Pros
      • Powerful
      • Portable
    • Cons
      • Fuel
      • High maintenance
      • Noisy
      • Carbon monoxide
      • Difficult start

Below are some brands to watch out for when deciding on what tool to choose:

  • Stihl
  • Husqvarna
  • Echo
  • Jonsered
  • Efco
  • DEWALT
  • Greenworks
  • Poulan Pro
  • Makita/Dolmar
  • Remington
  • WORX
  • Oregon
  • Kobalt

When selecting a chainsaw, be aware of where the tool is manufactured and its availability in your country of residence.

Here are some chainsaw features to look for that will make your experience easier and more enjoyable:

  • Tool-free tensioning
  • Combined choke + on/off switch
  • Easy-start
  • Narrow body width
  • Carbide teeth

Ultimately, try to choose a chainsaw that is appropriate for what you need it to do. A large “lumberjack” chainsaw might not be needed for garden work, and something smaller and corded could be more affordable and be more valuable to you. Just remember that when using a chainsaw, you should not feel afraid, but you should respect it for what it is. It is a power tool, and power tools come with risks.

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Just did First Aid BLS course with Patty. Great Instructor, Great course delivery - to the point, doesn't drag or make you fall asleep. Really liked Patty's style of teaching. Awesome personality!!FYI - No refunds if under 48 hrs notice.I enjoyed both days of the course.
arsh
arsh
Had a knowledgeable session with Tyson. He is amazing!! great examples.!!! Thank you so much Tyson!
nikivelastgui
nikivelastgui
Completed the Standard First Aid/CPR C course for the first time and the instructor Tyson was great!!
Ana Arrieta
Ana Arrieta
It was very fun class and I had learned a lots from my trainer Tyson. Thank you very much.
Wan Nilprasert
Wan Nilprasert
Tyson is awesome and a great instructor! Appreciated his experience and knowledge with first aid! Would recommend this course to anyone.
Denzel Pinto
Denzel Pinto
Had a knowledgeable and engaging session with Tyson. He is an amazing instructor who knows his content well and delivers it phenomenally with great examples. The hands-on experience made the CPR more fun and engaging. Overall, it was an informative session and I would recommend others to take it as well. Thank you Tyson!
Rameesha Rehmani
Rameesha Rehmani
I participated in a CPR-C/AED recertification course today and the price was very reasonable. My instructor “Tyson” was very knowledge explaining the various topics and his hands-on abilities while performing CPR and the different choking maneuvers was excellent.
Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen
Completed the Emergency First Aid and BLS training for the first time and the Instructor (Patty) was amazing! Super cool and funny and explained everything in a simple yet understandable manner. Covid-19 protocols and social distancing was handled well with spaced out seating, mandatory masks, everything being sanitized. personal training manikin, and modified training lessons that reduced passing items around.
Justin Huynh
Justin Huynh
Had a great experience there!! Well structured and organized information, been a while since I’d been to “class”. The instructor Patty, was phenomenal, makes everyone feel welcomed and ensures you have a thorough understanding of the information being presented. Would highly recommend SOS for any and all of your first aid training requirements. Thanks for everything Patty, you inspired this momma:)
Lydia Zeman
Lydia Zeman
Great program. Took Standard Firat Aid C, and Patty and Marita were fantastic!! Learned a lot in short time and shown the proper way to conduct CPR. Would suggest anyone capable of doing CPR/standard first aid should attend this course, especially if you are worried about doing CPR/first aid wrong. They show how it's done properly and give you the confidence to do it. Also very accommodating.
Michelle Sone
Michelle Sone
Fun class made easy to learn and retain information with instructors Patty & Marita highly recommend for first aid , CPR Level C & AED
Lori Corkin
Lori Corkin
I just took the course at SOS in Mississauga for emergency first aid. My instructor Patty was amazing she is very engaging and made sure that everyone's questions were answered and clarified anything that was confusing. I have already recommended this course to my fellow classmates. I also had trouble on the website to register as a student in order to get the discount. However, the staff was really amazing when I called and refunded me the amount in order for me to receive the student discount. I would definitely recommend SOS to anyone who is looking either to get emergency first aid or standard first aid done. I would also do my re-certification at SOS!
Mary Best
Mary Best
Just finished my standard first aid cpr-c course , it was amazing ... patty was a great instructor , she was informative, fun and very organized ... the two days went by so smoothly and so fast ... didnt even feel the time go by because it was great :) i would definitely come back for a recert :)
shaza selim
shaza selim
I participated in an Emergency First Aid Course with SOS in Mississauga. Their location in Square one at 4141 Living Arts Drive was excellent. Patty as a course Instructor also was full of knowledge and experience. Attending a class with her was really enjoyable and fun filled. I appreciate SOS for choosing such an excellent location and hiring some of the best instructors in the field.
Jhumki Laksar
Jhumki Laksar
Yesterday I had the privilege to take the CPR level C course at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga . It was my very first time taking this course and I didn't know what to expect. However, I need to let you know that the course was very informative and I had an amazing experience and all because of my instructor, Patty. She is very knowledgeable and has so much experience, and knows how to deliver information in a fun way which keeps the class very engaged. She is also very accommodating and makes sure to personally clean all the tools you use to ensure they are sanitary. I am very thankful for everything she taught me and I highly recommend everyone to take this course.
Hedviga Zareczky
Hedviga Zareczky
Excellent course that provided the training I needed. Thoroughly enjoyed instructor Sam! His wealth of knowledge was impressive. Would definitely recommend this course to anybody.
Lloyd Dyson
Lloyd Dyson
Such a great course! Patty was so helpful and super easy to understand. So accommodating to everyone and worked hard to ensure success for everyone. A Course I will definitely be recommending!
cara castillo
cara castillo
The training was great! Our instructor, Patty, was amazing! She kept the class engaging and positive. Would recommend it to everyone! Thank you!
Manu A.Rajah
Manu A.Rajah
Amazing instructor! Really learned to save lives and I feel confident to do it in my feel of work. Thank you Patty!
Endy s
Endy s
Patty did an excellent job teaching our first aid training.She made the course fun and very informative.She is very passionate about what she does based on her own life experiences that she graciously shared with us.Thanks Patty for the training and confidence I would need if ever put in a life threatening situation.
Donna Greeley
Donna Greeley
Patty was absolutely an amazing teacher.. Very friendly and down to earth.. She knows what she is talking about... I would recommend Patty to teach any class.
Austin Gosse
Austin Gosse
A great way to get your First Aid Cert. Minimum two day for standard which yes seems long and a waste of a weekend, but it goes by fast and lots of fun practice.
villagemayor
villagemayor
Excellent First Aid CPR-C/BLS courses, easy to understand and detailed explanations, instructor made the course very interesting and fun so we don't lose our focus, our instructor Patty, Jessica was excellent with the scientific proof, and answered all the question passionately, situational and interesting activities. I was able to fully understand the importance of First aid, new information about the first aid. completed the course with excellent score and understanding.Thank you Patty and Jessica!
정한석
정한석
Patty was a great instructor,knowledgable and her paramedic work experience taught us alot I would recommend everybody to do first aid CPR course from Patty Thank-you.
Soulat Ali
Soulat Ali
Took this course 2 weeks back. Patty is very knowledgeable and she knows what she's doing. she goes above & beyond to make sure that we understand everything being taught. I highly recommend Instructor Patty. Thank you
Aim Harry
Aim Harry
I took the wilderness first aid course with SOS First Aid and I loved it, I have also taken the standard first aid courses with this company, I've had a great experience everytime
Patrick Sacco
Patrick Sacco
I just completed my standard first aid with CPR - C and it was fantastic. The instructor Patty was so informative and sweet; I enjoyed the course so much, it went by so quickly. It was a great experience, I am so glad I took this course. I really do feel so much more confident knowing that I have the knowledge of how to deal with first aid situations that I could encounter in the future. Actually after finishing it, I want to register for more informative courses to get my training level higher. It made me want to register as a first responder in my college.
Alisa Boyarkin
Alisa Boyarkin
Took the 2 day standard first aid combo course and it was great. Class size was nice and small, and more importantly, Kathryn was a great instructor. Thanks again Kathryn.
Ali Amin
Ali Amin
It was a great class for me because I learn a lot. Patty is great teacher she made everything easy to understand. There were lots of example and experience for titles. The more important thing was that the class wasn't boring at all. Thanks for all of that patty.
Nasrin Bina
Nasrin Bina
Our instructor(Patty Turnbull) T was very nice. I felt totally comfortable in her class. She seemed very experienced and had many examples to visualize a situation and circumstances for us. I liked her approach to instruction. It was my second time that I participated in CPR and First Aid course but I learned a lot in Patty's course. The room was appropriate and comfortable from different aspects like heat, chairs, noise and etc.
Maryam Molkabadin
Maryam Molkabadin
Great course this weekend wilderness first aid basic. Lots of information and very good instructors thank you Heather and Michelle
David Scarr
David Scarr
Patty is a phenomenal instructor! Engaging and hilarious, I would take another course with her in a heartbeat.
Marci Nash
Marci Nash
SOS First Aid is one of the best training companies I've worked with. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are a great partner to work with!
Dan MacDonald
Dan MacDonald
Zhike Zhang
Zhike Zhang
I had a great experience with my recertification! Amit was an incredible instructor - very knowledgeable, clear and concise. He clearly demonstrated the use of the AED, first aid practises as well as CPR. I highly recommend his class!
lauren rowbottom
lauren rowbottom
The course is very informative and I recommend for anyone who needs to receive any sort of cpr or first aid certification to do it at SOS first aid. My instructor Amit was great, funny and informative, when I recertify I hope I get him again!
Cy w
Cy w
Amit is a great hands on trainer. Would recommend if looking for CPR and AED training
ahmed chakib
ahmed chakib
Nathalie Garratt
Nathalie Garratt
Tyson a real one Amazing experience and class taught by tyson
Saleh Chaudhry
Saleh Chaudhry
Tyson is my dawgs he tought me how to save babies.
Aaliyah Isaac
Aaliyah Isaac
The class was amazing, they didn't rush with us . We were all engaged and Tyson was one of the best mentors ever
Thekillaah Show
Thekillaah Show
Heba B
Heba B
Great class and great instructors (Kathryn and tyson)
Meena Kirupakaran
Meena Kirupakaran
great instructors very active and left the course knowing what to do in emergency cases
Aous Salih
Aous Salih
Justin Lu
Justin Lu
I was given the opportunity to take the SOS First Aid and Safety Training at the Living arts center in Mississauga. Patty is an amazing and informative instructor. She made sure that we understood everything clearly. I enjoyed the last two days in her class!!!
Erica Baluyot
Erica Baluyot
Had Amit as an instructor, he was very engaging and kept the 8 hour course interesting despite the large class size. A much better experience than I've had before with first aid courses and I definitely feel that I learned a lot more.
Benjamin Korol
Benjamin Korol
This weekend I took my first aid course. My instructor Amit was phenomenal! He made the class fun, very informative. I really enjoyed the experience and knowledge learned and the hands on methodology. I would definitely recommend others to take the class.
Denisha Gilliam
Denisha Gilliam
Awesome experience with Amit ...nice and informative
Yogita Sarda
Yogita Sarda

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