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DIY Basics: Essential Guide To Chainsaws

This powerful tool has a scary reputation but is safe if operated correctly.

DIY Basics: Essential Guide To Chainsaws

A chainsaw is potentially one of the most dangerous power tools.

Before using one to remove dead or diseased trees, or to cut up firewood, take adequate precautions, wear correct safety gear and concentrate on the task.

SIZE isn’t everything, as for most DIYers a 400mm bar is plenty. Longer bars can get in the way with dangerous kickback possible. Check the maximum cut diameter for a good indication of what the saw can handle.

COST tends to indicate quality. More expensive saws generally have better components and will last longer.

SAFETY GEAR is a must. You need a helmet with face shield, hearing protection, leather gloves and special chainsaw chaps to shield your legs.

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Estimate the felling zone
Estimate the felling zone
Handyman Magazine

Trees are taller than they seem and reach farther on the ground than you’d expect, but you can use an axe to estimate how far the tree will fall.

Hold the axe upside down at arm’s length, with the head about shoulder height.

Walk towards or away from the tree until you can sight the treetop just over the handle end, and the base under the blade.

The treetop will land roughly where your feet are.

This is just an estimate, so allow extra room if there’s something it might fall on.

 
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