Dealing with chores in the garden isn’t exactly the manliest way to spend your time. That is, until you get to use a chainsaw! The last time I had to prune a tree of its dead branches roots, I reached up in surprise to find I’d grown a full beard! Again, operating a chainsaw is just one of those things every guy should know how to do. If you still don’t, then here’s a basic run-through.
Image from Flickr
You knew there was going to be some health and safety here, so we’ll get that out of the way first. I’m sure you can imagine that chainsaw injuries aren’t too pretty. At the very least you need eye and ear protection, along with some sturdy work boots. You should also wear long trousers, a long sleeved shirt and chainsaw chaps. A hardhat may be a good idea as well, especially if you’re felling trees. This may sound like a lot if you’re only trimming off a few branches, but better safe than sorry! When felling trees, make sure that you can run in several different directions in order to get out of the way of a falling tree.
Obviously, it pays to know the kind of chainsaw you need for the work you’re going to be doing. The main things you’re going to have to decide are whether to get a petrol or electric chainsaw. Petrol models are certainly the most common, mainly because they’re the most versatile. Ask any professional tree surgeon, and they’ll tell you they would take a petrol chainsaw any day. The Poulan Pro 20 inch chainsaw does perform well, for example. On the downside, they’re a lot more expensive. Electric chainsaws are almost always cheaper and more lightweight than petrol models. They’re generally a lot quieter, and more convenient seen as they run on electricity rather than fuel. On the downside, there are certain tasks which they won’t be able to handle. However, if you’re only taking a few rotten branches off, a good electric model should be more than sufficient.
Image from Wikimedia
Now onto the fun part. There are two ways of starting a chainsaw; on the ground and… um… between your legs. Whether you like to gamble or not, you need to make sure the chain brake is engaged, the choke is closed and the start switch is on. Then, tug the starter rope until you hear a pop, let go of the choke, then do it one more time. It should roar into life right away. While you’re operating the saw, make sure to keep good footing and your hand firmly wrapped around the handle. From there, it’s pretty straightforward. Just make sure you never saw into a tree by jabbing the bar tip straight in. If the bar tip hits something hard enough, then the whole thing could come flying out towards you with tremendous speed. This “kickback” is one of the biggest causes of chainsaw related injuries. When you first start out, you may have a few jump scares, but stay focused and you should be fine!