How To Use And Operate A Chainsaw Safely

You may be getting fed up of having to pay for getting your trees felled and your woods chopped. Especially if you’re paying some guy that is not as buff as you are. You may think it’s time you get a chainsaw and hack all the trees yourself. How hard can it be anyway? Well, it can be hard considering you do not know so much about how to operate a chainsaw.

First thing you should know is that every tool is potentially harmful. If little mistake from using a screwdriver could cause an injury, then think about how much damage a chainsaw could do. Chainsaws are pretty powerful tools that have, sadly, led some people to an early grave and caused some to lose limbs.

When it comes to operating a chainsaw, you must not throw safety to the winds even though you’re not a novice at it. There are safety measures you can take that are bound to keep you from having avoidable accidents.



Whatever task you wish to perform with a chainsaw, I’d advise you to go through the steps explained below for safe and easy use of a chainsaw.

How To Safely Operate A Chainsaw

  1. Use Personal Protective Equipment

The first thing you should think about doing when trying to use a chainsaw is protecting yourself. Whenever you operate a chainsaw, you really must use ear protection, eye protection, long pants, good strongg boots, gloves, long sleeve shirt, and chainsaw chaps. If you plan to fell a tree, a hard hat is a necessary protective gear.

  1. Carefully Read The Users Manual

Do not try to buy a chainsaw and begin using it without knowing how the manufacturer has designed it to be used. Every chainsaw comes with a user manual and you should read it.

The manual will show you exactly how to use your new chainsaw and how to properly operate it. Take to heart all the instructions and safety precautions so you can know how to proceed in case your chainsaw begins to act up.

  1. Select A Chainsaw That Suits Your Job Requirements

There are different types of chainsaws that are available in the market. You might come across the best chainsaws but you should choose the “right” chainsaw.

Beginners should never try to go for heavy-duty chainsaws as they are still practising and learning how to use a one. An average-sized chainsaw is the best for easy handling and safe operations.

If you’re an old-timer, avoid using small chainsaws for heavy-duty jobs. It is highly important that you have enough power supply and the right bar length.

There are lots of buyer guides available and they will help you decide what chainsaws best suit your requirements and needs.

  1. Create A Safe Environment

Before you start cutting or chopping anything, check how safe the environment you are going to use is. Especially when it comes to felling, look down, look up, and look all around. Is there a clear path or area where the tree will fall? If not, then you should clear all the surrounding area.

Remove cars, people, and take note of buildings before you proceed with chainsaw usage.

You must realize that any obstacle is a potential danger and someone could get hurt. If you feel like there is no way you can make it work, you should probably call a service guy to come and get it done.

How To Use And Operate A Chainsaw Safely 1

  1. Decide What Job You Need A Chainsaw For

There are several jobs you can do with a chainsaw and each of these jobs come with diverse ways of using a chainsaw. Using and operating your chainsaw the wrong way for a specific job can lead to harm.

For this reason, you must have thought about what task you wish to perform with the chainsaw before you use it. There are basically three jobs you can use a chainsaw for and they are:

  • Limbing: This is the process of removing or pruning branches from a tree trunk. This process can be done on either a standing tree or a tree that has already been cut.
  • Felling: This is cutting a standing tree or a hanging one.
  • Bucking: This is the process of cutting logs of wood into pieces of your desired sizes.

If your motive is bucking and you plan on using your chainsaw for that, you need to know how to buck wood safely in order to avoid any danger.

  1. Double-Check The Chainsaw Before Use

As soon as you have decided what task you want to use a chainsaw for, the next thing to do is to double-check the chainsaw. You should check if the chain is positioned properly. You should properly adjust the tension too and the chain brake should be disengaged.

You should also check to make sure the chainsaw’s power supply is good to go. If it is operated by gas, make sure you fill the gas tank in the right proportion. If the chainsaw is battery operated, make sure it is fully charged to power enough cuts. And finally, if the chainsaw is one of the corded electric types, ensure the power supply matches the voltage required by the chainsaw.

  1. Safely Turn On The Chainsaw

Depending on the kind of starter your chainsaw has, you should take absolute care when you want to start your chainsaw. Chainsaws with electric starts are easy enough, but the ones with starter ropes will require caution.

If you’re operating a chainsaw with a starter rope, you will need to pull it continuously until you can get the engine to fire. Sometimes, the engine does not start even when it fires. When this happens, push the choke halfway in and try starting it again.

At times it will take about 4 to 5 pulls to get it running (assuming the chainsaw is well-tuned).

If it doesn’t start after a couple of tries, you have to check the air filter and the carburettor for fuel and oil. In case of an electric chainsaw, you should have a look at its power source.

  1. First Work On A Practicing Piece Of Wood

Before you begin your chore proper, first practice on a small piece of wood. Either bring a piece of wood with you or find one around. This will help you know if the chain cutters are well aligned and that the saw is functioning just fine.

When you decide which place you want to cut, the saw blade should be in line with the place you marked. After that, disengage the brake of the chain. Open the throttle fully, lay the blade on the wood and allow it cut through. Do not force the blade into the wood as that doesn’t make a difference.

You should only apply pressure moderately and let them know chainsaw do its job. When you’re done with one cut, ease the throttle off and move on to the other side of the wood/log.

  1. Bring Additional Tools Along

There are some times when the bar of your saw might get stuck in a block of wood. The way to get out of that is by being prepared. Whenever you’re going to use your chainsaw for whatever task, bring tools like an axe, a hammer, or a wedge with you. You can use them to free your chainsaw if it gets caught in a limb.

  1. Allow The Chainsaw Cool Before You Store It.

You should allow the chainsaw cool off before storing it. It is recommended you empty the chainsaw of fuel if you won’t be using it for a long time. This will keep your chainsaw in great condition which means you will not have to do much maintenance.


A chainsaw can be safe if you operate it the right way. You shouldn’t be afraid to use it especially if you practice safety. Use the techniques and precautions I’ve mentioned above and you will never come to harm when using your chainsaw.


Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API