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

DrMarinor Blanco
DrMarinor Blanco
Prakash was an amazing instructor who took his time to show us the theory and the connection to the practical. I learned that removing the inpaled object is beneficial to save someone's life.
MsBeeYouTilFull Love
MsBeeYouTilFull Love
I learned that if it is impaled but interfere with CPR you can take the impaled object out . Our instructor was very informative and helpful throughout the coarse
Vieve Blanco
Vieve Blanco
Teacher was nice I learned alot from him
Renee Rudder
Renee Rudder
Teacher was great and engaging. He had lots of facts and great at teaching key points!
Ashley Saunders
Ashley Saunders
TheonlyTT٭
TheonlyTT٭
Prakash Nagar is doing great. He is very informative and nice.
pikaboo 10
pikaboo 10
This is the First Aid course to be on board with.Ally led today’s instruction! What an amazing instructor who uses her teaching to cater to various learning styles and effectively gets the training done. So appreciative. Very grateful. Thank you!
Primrose Lewis
Primrose Lewis
I really enjoyed the class. The lectures were understandable. It was a pleasure to be here today. I have a say personally, our instructor was very nice person.
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Kaif Khan
Kaif Khan
Prakash was an amazing instructor! I have taken this course twice before, but felt like I learnt the most this time around. I was a lot more comfortable doing the sling wrappings.
Harini Rajaratnam
Harini Rajaratnam
Great teacher and comfortable place
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Marwah alshabeeb
Andriecha
Andriecha
i can say i have the knowledge and confidence to give primary care whenever wherever needed if possible. Recognize and prioritize.i appreciate the way Mr. Prakash Nagar provided knowledge in a cool and stress free environment to the students.
Annu Agrawal
Annu Agrawal
It was very educational and I learnt how to save lifes which is very important
Sana Khan
Sana Khan
Prakash Nagar is a great teacher.Breifly teach each nd every concept
Pooja Bhattarai
Pooja Bhattarai
It was very informative session…well structured and conveyed. Thank you
S T
S T
Like this place as they explain everything very well.
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marlen flores
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Alshaima Sharafaddin
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shivani sharma
Pleasant
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Red Kakarot
Very informative and full of knowledge. Knows exactly how to deliver an information and to make you remember it. Thank Mr. pakash.
Noor Taha
Noor Taha
The class was very smooth and you learn alot on basic life support.
Charmaine Ruiz
Charmaine Ruiz
IG T
IG T
Niya xoxo
Niya xoxo
Very good instructor, explains everything in detail with explanations.
Priyanka Manjunath
Priyanka Manjunath
Had a training session with Patty for Standard First Aid and BLS. She was amazing, made the class fun and entertaining definitely hope i get her again.
Crystal
Crystal
cincinnati808
cincinnati808
Patty was an excellent instructor! Very thorough and good knowledge of the material :)
David Vaz
David Vaz
tish doyle
tish doyle
The best class I ever had , Patty is super cool teacher
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Manish Khurana
Excellent instructor with amazing methodology, knowledge and experience.
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NPS LAW
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Adam Khan
Aleyna D.
Aleyna D.
This instructor is very knowledgeable and made the course fun to learn. He answered all of our questions in ways that was very easy to understand. I feel like I've learned and retained alot of the information based on his teaching style. Thank you so much😊
eshanti singh
eshanti singh
KC B
KC B
The experience was amazing and I really learned a lot from it.
Marianne Rose Guelos
Marianne Rose Guelos
Prakash Nagar sir is amazing! Cleared all the concepts and reduces anxiety and helps build a confidence of saving lives in you!
Sushil Katti
Sushil Katti
Very good demonstration of cpr technique. Instructor very good
Kenna Fay
Kenna Fay
Supportive,knowledgeable and very kind instructor.
Kerstine Banares
Kerstine Banares
The CPR/First aid training was very informative and the day went by smoothly. Instructor Prakash explained everything well and tested our knowledge along the way to make sure we felt comfortable. Thanks to SOS first aid and safety training for the great experience.
Par B
Par B
My Facilitator for the course was Mr. Prakash Nagar, and he made the whole session so interesting that the whole 8hrs passed in a blink of an eye!!It was a wonderful interaction and I’m really glad that I got to learn so much today from him. Thank you!
Parshwati Bhaumik
Parshwati Bhaumik
Filip Pejic
Filip Pejic
Prakash is a very enthusiastic but patient teacher. Excellent hands on assistance with practical portions of class when needed. I now feel more confident in providing CPR as well as applying tourniquets and slings!
Elizabeth M
Elizabeth M
Made the practical learning easy to understand and follow
Alayah E
Alayah E
It’s a great experience to study with today’s instructor. He’s knowledgeable and encouraging. He helped us understanding and remembering the knowledge better.
Grace Cheung
Grace Cheung
10/10 experience teacher was amazing
Zoeceh
Zoeceh
N Malinay
N Malinay
I want to say a big thank you to Ms VIOLA, she was so professional and she made the course understandable and fun.
bee babs
bee babs
nandita sarin
nandita sarin
Very interesting and engaging training. Thank you!
Amy Chen
Amy Chen
Great teacher who explained the whys behind all the procedures and encouraged class participation. Wanted the class to be longer as they seemed to have a lot of knowledge to share.
Shani K.
Shani K.
Interactive , interesting and fun. Great experience
Belinda Shemilt
Belinda Shemilt
Marina Douglas
Marina Douglas
Prakesh was a really great instructor, he’s very entertaining and easy to learn from.
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Nikababy TV
Vickie Ng
Vickie Ng
Very helpful and knowledgeable teacherGot excellent trainingThank you
Rania Beshay
Rania Beshay
I did my training at the Kingsbridge Garden location and Prakash was the First Aid and CPR instructor for our group.He was so fantastic , friendly and provides knowledge in a fun way. The day breezed by and I learned so much. I highly recommend this location for any first aid/cpr classes or recertification.
CKas 7
CKas 7
I loved my experience with the Red Cross for my First Aid CPR certification! Prakash Nagar was amazing and so knowledgeable. He made things make sense. Thank you!
Melanie Gagnon
Melanie Gagnon
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Valeriia Voronina
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Sarah Emnace
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Khushi Walia
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kiran saini
Rupinder Kaur
Rupinder Kaur
Great instructor. Good pacing for the course, it didn’t feel like it was dragging. The instructor keep everyone interested.
Raquel Heayn
Raquel Heayn
Kelly Reid
Kelly Reid
Denis was great… great energy
Emma Frattaroli
Emma Frattaroli
Mina Hanna
Mina Hanna
Instructor made it comprehensive and easy to understand.
Andrew McLean
Andrew McLean
Very informative, and enjoyed the direction from the instructor helped where technique needed to be improved
jonathan posella
jonathan posella
Instructor provided useful real life context to information and skills. Very engaging and easy to listen to.
Dalton Pears
Dalton Pears
Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine
Tazeen Siddiqui
Tazeen Siddiqui
Alina Zahid
Alina Zahid
It was a great course with a ver pleasant and knowledgeable teacher. If I could have one complaint, it would be the need for a scheduled break in the morning session.
Nicole Stockill
Nicole Stockill
Great and convenient place to take the course. Instructor was amazing and great mix of learning with fun and laughter . Ready to give first aid and CPR .Highly recommend 😊
Pooja Ghori
Pooja Ghori
Prakash Nagar is the best first aid instructor I have had the pleasure of learning from. His knowledge and intelligence is obvious, his passion to teach is inspiring. I'll be coming back every year for my recertification, and I'm sure I'll learn something new every time
Timothy Votruba
Timothy Votruba
Completed my CPR/BLS blended course with Prakash. He is an amazing instructor. Enjoyed every aspect of the class!
Hafsa Haneef
Hafsa Haneef
The course (BLS / SFA Blended) was well taught and the instructor was charismatic and knowledgeable. Still learned a few things although this is my second recertification of standard first aid!
Alfred Mikhael
Alfred Mikhael
M
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Vera Akatugba Ikanone
Vera Akatugba Ikanone
The instructor is patient and knowledgeable.
Pearl Lin
Pearl Lin
Rachelle Ho
Rachelle Ho
Lena Skibicki
Lena Skibicki
Ray Chang
Ray Chang
it’s good the course
Eunice Kwon
Eunice Kwon
Great experience and presentation skills that allow for in-depth understanding.
Saifallah Ayyad
Saifallah Ayyad
Before coming to my training, I was very anxious but Michelle & Jessica made the training very personal & interesting! They talk about real life situations with their real life experiences! They also care for your experience during your training and make sure that you are comfortable! Definitely will come back here again and recommend them to my friends who needs First Aid Trainings.
Macy S
Macy S
digna George Antoine
digna George Antoine
Chehal Bangotra
Chehal Bangotra
Von Immanuel Yagong
Von Immanuel Yagong
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
Janai Menzies
Janai Menzies
Had a great time learning my standard first Aid with CFR-C and AED. The instructor,A.T Summer was very great with her teachings and practicals.
olumide bezi
olumide bezi
Loubna
Loubna
Very knowledgeable and informative instructor!
Nor Farion
Nor Farion
Rhiannon Dawe
Rhiannon Dawe
Vishwa Bhatt
Vishwa Bhatt
Arizo Hasanzadah
Arizo Hasanzadah
Amandeep Kaur
Amandeep Kaur

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