How To Use a Chainsaw?

how to use a chainsaw

So that pine tree is shading your garden, and you want to take it down? The best option is to hire a tree service, but this also comes at a cost.

An alternative is to cut down this tree yourself. And this is actually a very easy and simple task. All you need to do is buy a chainsaw down the road.

But how exactly do you use this cutting equipment? Here is a complete guide on how to use a chainsaw to get you started.

Materials Required for This Task

  • Tools needed for this task
  • Chainsaw
  • Chainsaw sharpening kit (read more: How To Sharpen A Chainsaw?)
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Socket wrenches and sockets
  • Materials needed for this task
  • Chainsaw bar and chain oil

Safety Measures and other Important Considerations

using chainsaw safely

Even before starting with the task, it is always important to go through the user manual. This will help you understand all the control and safety features.  You will require protective clothing, which includes:

  • Ear protection
  • Eye protection
  • Hard hat
  • Long pants
  • Steel toed boots
  • Work gloves

Here are some important chainsaw safety tips that you should be familiar with:

  1. Beware of the effects of gravity on the wood. Gravity causes the log to bend, which leads to tension and compression.
  2. Ensure that the cutting area is free of children and pets
  3. Find a helper if possible
  4. Ensure that the chain is sharp, clean and lubricated
  5. Avoid overhead hazards like hanging limbs
  6. Ensure that the chain air supply is full
  7. Ensure that the saw is up to speed when cutting
  8. Ensure that you firmly hold the chainsaw with both hands
  9. Avoid wearing loose clothes
  10. Do not make your cut above shoulder heights
  11. Do not refuel a hot chainsaw
  12. Always be sober when operating a chainsaw
  13. Never use a ladder when operating a chainsaw

How To Use a Chainsaw – Step-by-step Guide

using chainsaw step by step

  • Step 1: Get familiar with the work areaThe most important thing is to know where the ‘escape routes’ are. These are the place where you can move for safety when the tree begins to fall. Remember that the tree can fall in any direction, so you must be prepared for the situation.
  • Step 2: Inspect the sawCheck the chainsaw and make sure that the chain has good tension. It shouldn’t be too loose, and if it is, use the manufacturer’s manual to guide you on how to tighten the chain and avoid injuries.
  • Step 3: Check the tankIf you are using a gas machine, ensure that the tank is full before commencement of the task.
  • Step 4: Prepare the chainsawPut the chainsaw on a flat surface with the bottom down. Then push forward the chain brake until it locks. The chain brake prevents the chain from spinning until the brake is released.
  • Step 5: Turn on the chainsawIf the saw has a choke, turn it on. If there is a primer button, you can push it multiple times until the gas is pulled into the carburetor, and then turn on the power switch.An electric chainsaw is easier to need start-you just to turn the power switch on.
  • Step 6: Set the engine to work(For an electric chain saw, you don’t need to follow this step)Place any of your feet through the back handle of the chainsaw. Put your weight down to secure the saw. Firmly hold the front handle using one hand, and use the other hand to pull the starter rope until it reaches full length. You may have to pull up to five times to start the engine.
  • Step 7: Press the triggerPress the trigger or throttle for the chain to move.
  • Step 8: Cut your materialRelease the chain brake and engage the throttle fully. Place the saw in the position where you need to cut. Make sure that you don’t apply too much pressure.
  • Step 9: Conclude your taskKeep the throttle fully engaged until the cut is over.
  • Step 10: Switch off the chainsawFor an electric saw, switch it to offFor a gas saw, you might want to check the fuel level remaining in the tank. If you plan to use the saw again in a few days, you may leave the fuel in the tank. But this should only be for up to 4 weeks. By leaving the oil for a longer period, ethanol in the fuel might clog and this means that you will have to clean the carburetor thoroughly before using the chainsaw again.


Now you already know what to do when that large tree in your yard is causing trouble. Regardless of whether you are using a gas-driven or electric chainsaw, keep it safe by storing it in a case.

This will prevent dust and debris that can settle on the chain and damage it. Lastly, never cut a tree with the tip of the saw. This is the part that can cause the chainsaw to kick up and injury you.

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