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.

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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

It’s been an awesome training course delivered by Karen! The class was interactive and fun while she also shares some her amazing experiences. Thnx SOS and Karen!
Henry Limanto
Henry Limanto
Karen was a great trainer and kept the class fun
Keegan Brown
Keegan Brown
I had finished my training with Prakash.He is very knowledgeable person.He has cleared all my concepts about CPR and first aid.He is a great instructor.He really has done an amazing job in teaching this 2 day first aid and CPR course .Thanks.
Jaspreet Kaur
Jaspreet Kaur
Prakash is a great instructor! Knowledgable, passionate, engaging, and he made the class fun. He also discussed a lot of different scenarios that were challenging and made me think, and that caused me to really dig into what I learned online to provide the best answer. His teaching reminded me what the priority/most important thing in each scenario was, and that you have to assess each situation with careful consideration. Thank you, Prakash! I feel confident that I'll be able to help someone in any situation, minor or emergency. 😊
Melissa Gunther
Melissa Gunther
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
Melissa
Melissa
Ms Ally, our instructor is so helpful, she lets us participate in the activity, she makes us feel relaxed, can be easily understood and can be easily approached. The place is clean and in order!! Thank you SOS!
Cristina Montefalcon
Cristina Montefalcon
Navreet was amazing! She explained everything in good detail and made the first Aid and CPR training a breeze!
Logic Is a Race
Logic Is a Race
Ally was awesome!!!
alex ibazeta
alex ibazeta
My two instructors today at 10 Kingsbridge Garden Circle reawaken the extreme importance of not just getting certified as a Firstaider but ensuring we left more confident and knowledgeable to help as needed. #nolongerabystander
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
This was an amazing course with some excellent teachers. Both Ally and Lydia were so incredibly patient and caring and incredible at giving well thought out answers. Long day but it was so nice to have such nice people teaching you. The test at the end was short but intensive aswell. So pay attention!
Anne marie P
Anne marie P
It was great…Thanks Mr Dennis 🤗
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
Great session with Dennis
Sonia A
Sonia A
Training with Daniel was very interactive and fun. I learnt alot.
Kristina Smith
Kristina Smith
Karen Guevarra
Karen Guevarra
Melvyn was awesome!!! Very entertaining, very informative, and had the ability to keep it all very simple to remember.
Adam Ahmed
Adam Ahmed
Maysaa Mueen
Maysaa Mueen
Mario is an excellent instructor.
Veronica Inaibagha
Veronica Inaibagha
I am happy being lucky to have this course with a great instructor Patty Turnbull. She is very knowledgeable and efficient, her accent is very clear , she is talented to educate in a way to keep us attentive without feeling board although it is a long day. Thank you Patty. Thank you SOS
Louris Girgues
Louris Girgues
Patty was a great instructor, very easy to follow and just as easy to talk to about any questions to clarify.
Avocado Ception
Avocado Ception
Benson Amihere
Benson Amihere
Prakash was our trainer who made this training fun and dispensed a lot of information with examples. Prakash converted complex information into easy digestible information without overwhelming us. There was not a single dull moment in the entire training and Prakash covered every aspect of first-aid/CPR in timely manner. He's passionate, well organized, very engaging and humorous. Thank you, Prakash.
Kulwant Singh
Kulwant Singh
Peggy was excellent.
Tristan Wiggins
Tristan Wiggins
Training is good and more hands on with real life examples.
Viralkumar Rathod
Viralkumar Rathod
Peggy was an excellent instructor for the First Aid and CPR training. Her knowledge and teaching style made the course informative and engaging.
Zee Shan
Zee Shan
I completed my BLS and standard first aid training with Julie, and it was an amazing experience. Julie's professionalism, knowledge, and helpfulness created a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Her contagious laughter made the entire experience even more enjoyable. It was a pleasure having her as my instructor.
Soleil Smith
Soleil Smith
Patty Turnbull was a wonderful teacher and took time to help us, and go through the material thank you Patty!
Omar Khan
Omar Khan
Patty was amazing
David Kerrigan
David Kerrigan
Prachir Pasricha
Prachir Pasricha
Sakshi
Sakshi
Had a wonderful great session on First aid with Patty Turnbull. The class was very insightful and blended with great sense of humour to keep the audience active and attentive. Absolutely loved the experience.
Surya Ram
Surya Ram
Patty was very funny and the information provided was clear. She demonstrated every method and gave us tips on how to improve.
Charlin Osei
Charlin Osei
Patty Turnbull did a fantastic job with the course. Thank you
Jesse Dwyer
Jesse Dwyer
Has a great training session. Our instructor Patty was great at explaining the material, what to look out for and how best to help the person. She equipped us well in providing CPR and using AED.Thank you for a great session!!
Smit Chotai
Smit Chotai
Great experience. Instructor Mario Sacco was interactive and made it an enjoyable experience.
Amr Abdalla
Amr Abdalla
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Excellent experience. Instructor Mario is funny and very good Instructor.
Asima Sultana
Asima Sultana
Easy to understand and great humour. Will be back in 2 years!
Mayou Stoddart
Mayou Stoddart
Such a sweet man, funny guy.
Dania
Dania
Prabh Gill
Prabh Gill
I am very happy to be here and study with Mario. He is very nice person and he helped us mask fit very seriously and he was very dedicated. I learned a lot of knowledge about mask knowledge and skills. Thanks Mario, thanks the Red Cross.
Enqi Huang
Enqi Huang
Kamani Sirisena
Kamani Sirisena
Session was delivered professionally.
M Y
M Y
Thank you Prakash for an awesome class. I didnt think I wouldnt learn so much more from the class today, my class was able to get lots of misconceptions clarified. You challenged us with critical scenarios and made us think. From my past experience , I think first aid class would be boring but for the first time at the SOS first aid centre, I’m very happy with the instructor. Highly recommend!
Natalie Le
Natalie Le
I just wanted to say thank you very much to Patty for being a great and wonderful instructor. For making us understand the material thoroughly and clearly. And most of all for being patient with us. If I need to do another course that they offer, I would definitely do it here and highly recommend it for everyone. Thanks again Patty and SOS First Aid and Safety Training
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Patty was great! Very informative and patient
Faisa S
Faisa S
i did bls and first aid training here with patty. she was such a good teacher/instructor. she was very helpful, funny, and engaging she gives a lot of stories which help us remember important details. it was a really fun and informative class. i wish the best for mrs patty!!!
tierra cab
tierra cab
khadija gaouzi
khadija gaouzi
Patty was great!
Leanne
Leanne
Solomon Cusi
Solomon Cusi
I had patty for my instructor and she was so good!! She explained everything in a clear and concise manner. It was overall a fun two days in class with her!!😄
Shakali Martin
Shakali Martin
I am really impressed by the teaching method of Mr. Prakash nagar.
Himanshu
Himanshu
It was an amazing experience! Prakash Nagar is having great knowledge with First Aid & CPR. He clarified clearly when to administer CPR, AED which was a bit confusing for me when I did the reading online.
Dharmesh Patel
Dharmesh Patel
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Thao Nguyen
Thao Nguyen
Every aspect was taken and explains properly
Olga Ezcurra
Olga Ezcurra
The instructors were very nice and informative. They gave great feedback throughout the whole process
Naomi McDonald
Naomi McDonald
Instruction was clear and the instructor ensured that all questions and concerns were addressed appropriately. Highly recommend!
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
It was good and entertaining as well.☺️
Nisha 120991
Nisha 120991
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explain all the materials in a very effective manner. I liked her teaching skills.
Raman Kamboj
Raman Kamboj
Patty is a very nice woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a nice experience.Thanks 😊
Sadaf Raza
Sadaf Raza
Seriously...Patty is such a gem of a woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a lovely experience! Hopefully I get her for my RE-certification again next time!
Raven Feldman
Raven Feldman
Great instruction and easily accessible location with ample parking.
Sasha M
Sasha M
Katey Hamilton
Katey Hamilton
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Had a great class with Dr. Prakash. He is super knowledgable! I will recert with SOS next year.
Beonca Luk
Beonca Luk
Patty is an amazing instructor. I had a fun & educational experience.
h w
h w
Fantastic lecturer and is very precise about the whole training.
Ray Arnold
Ray Arnold
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explains all the materials thoroughly.
Keerthana Neethirasa
Keerthana Neethirasa
Patty is one of the best instructors I've had, she's super nice and fun and always ensuring everybody is on track and performing well. She made the class fun and go by quick
dema alnakeeb
dema alnakeeb
Ranya Salih
Ranya Salih
It was a great experience
Jemimah Robin
Jemimah Robin
Mario was awesome! Detailed, quick, and friendly instructor.
Julian Salvador
Julian Salvador
Mario is Very knowledgeable!Highly recommend!
Nida Javaid
Nida Javaid
Mario was a pleasant teacher that was patient and humorous.
A_Stumble
A_Stumble
Mario was very knowledgeable, humorous and efficient with the process. Highly recommend him for anyone!
S T
S T
Miranda Ko
Miranda Ko
Instructor Ally, was absolutely phenomenal. The classroom environment was excellent, and Ally made sure everyone understood what was being taught. Thank you for your teachings
Ashley Amaral
Ashley Amaral
Very great teaching by Ally
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Amazing instructor, made the day seamless and interesting with great examples and information. Thank you Ally Sommer
Suzie Catarino
Suzie Catarino
Very nice and interacting session with Prakash, I really dont know about Israel been the only country using the Red Crystal symbol, but today I know.
segun joseph
segun joseph
I was really pleased with learning about the the priority in the impalement and CPR. It was something I didn’t know before and I feel that’s extremely important. Also the instructor was fantastic.
James Proulx
James Proulx
i didn’t know that peeing on a jellyfish sting was actually the right thing to do
Niall Harris
Niall Harris
Absolutely loved both instructorsDr.Prakash and Patty Turnbull.Both instructors showed their passion and dedication through their lectures and teaching. Everyone participated and had fun while learning. I would recommend them both.
Tisha s
Tisha s
The Instructors were very thorough with the course. Really learned a lot.
Ehsan Ahmad
Ehsan Ahmad
Vanessa Tran
Vanessa Tran
Very good information and very helpful
david luu
david luu
Patty was engaging, good at explaining things and open to feedback
amber elley
amber elley
Patty was a great instructor. Pace of the course and hands on instruction were very good.
Jim Koitsopoulos
Jim Koitsopoulos
This is an awesome experience different mask fitting I had before.
PVM PVM
PVM PVM
Alyssa Viozzi
Alyssa Viozzi
Great session!
Latifa Latifa
Latifa Latifa
The teacher was friendly and taught me well, teaching me things from misconceptions about First Aid to vital practices.
Maxwell Thornton
Maxwell Thornton
Really fun and I learned a lot. It was very interactive.Something I would have preferred, as we are learning the ABC’s is give us time to make sure we are doing it properly before asking us to do it quickly. I felt a lot of pressure trying to do it quickly that I was missing proper steps.
Jennifer Lam
Jennifer Lam
I had a great experience. My instructor (Prakash) made sure that we understood all the concepts and we did a lot of hands-on training as well. This session cleared up a lot of confusions in my mind, and left me feeling more confident about how to respond in an emergency.
Mehroo Siddiqui
Mehroo Siddiqui
Debbie was an excellent instructor! She taught the course in a systematic way and made it easy to get through.
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Ajay Ramoutar
Ajay Ramoutar
I have been using SOS First aid and Safety Training for my first aid qualifications. This year, I renewed my BLS. Patty and the team have been professional and knowledgeable, with an emphasis on practical application. I refer all coworkers to SOS and would recommend anyone looking for first aid to come here.
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
sharnjeet sandhu
sharnjeet sandhu
Things I learned that I didn't know before- You can get anaphylaxis from a bee sting.- How to apply slings (because previously I got certification during covid there was social distancing, and we only watched on a video).- A lot of things that you see on television may be false or misconceptions. For example, amputated limbs do not go inside ice but it has to be wrapped up in a gauze. It is labeled and then put inside an ice bag.
Teresa Mai
Teresa Mai

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