How to Use an Electric Chainsaw (Step by Step Guide) – Toolscell

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Have you bought an electric chainsaw recently or maybe you are planning to buy a new one? Either way, this article can help you in understanding how to use an electric chainsaw.

how to use an electric chainsaw

Electric chainsaws are powerful wood cutting machines that are either powered by batteries or by direct electricity. They provide zero-emission and noiseless smooth operation. They also have the same power as gasoline-powered chainsaws. The economical operation, zero maintenance and some automatic features have made the electric chainsaw preferable than gas-powered chainsaws.

How to use an electric chainsaw?

An electric chainsaw is very useful and as well as very dangerous. It can easily cut severely cut and damage the limbs of humans. Therefore, care should be taken while using this tool. Electric chainsaw safety should be your priority. Therefore, we have some safety tips before you jump into learning about how to use chainsaw.

Safety Tips

Safety Goggles

The most important and sensitive area of the human body is the eye. Any shrapnel or sharp object leaving from the hard woodcut can severely damage the human eye. Therefore, you must wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Protective Work Helmet

You should also consider wearing a safety helmet to protect your scalp from a falling tree limb and branches. You can never be sure about how and where a limb will fall. Therefore, protecting the head should be on your safety list.

Hearing Protection Device

Hearing protection is also necessary. Although electric chainsaws don’t have that much noise as gas-powered chainsaws have, however, the cutting of wood can cause disturbing noise. That much noise might not be damaging for some instances, however regular exposure to the noise can damage the hearing. If you are a professional and works daily with a chainsaw, you must use a hearing protection device.

Cut-Resistant Gloves

Cut Resistant gloves are great for protecting your hands from cuts and sharp objects. Chain of chainsaw can severely damage the fingers if touched on running chain accidentally. Cut-resistant gloves can protect the hands and fingers.

Steel-toed Shoes

Steel-toed shoes have a steel cap on the toe which covers the fingers of the feet. If a heavy object falls on the toe, the steep cap protects the fingers from damages. An electric chainsaw or a limb can fall on the feet accidentally. Steel-toed shoes can protect the toes from such incidents.

>> Step by Step Guide: How to use an electric chainsaw

After following the electric chainsaw safety tips, you can now follow this step-by-step guide on how to use an electric chainsaw. This how to article guides you about how to cut a tree trunk with a chainsaw.

1 – Tool Inspection

Just like any other electric or mechanical tool, an electric start chainsaw must undergo a pre-check to verify the components, chain tensioning, oil reserve and power/battery of the chainsaw.

2.    Chain Tension Inspection

The chain is the most important part of an electric chainsaw. This chain has a saw built into it. That’s the reason Chainsaw is named so. The chain must be tight before its use. You can check the chain tension by grabbing the chain from the below side of the bar and pulling it download, if the chain does not retract to the original position or any link of the chain is not touching the bar, that’s mean the chain is loose. A loose chain can fell off the bar during the cutting. Loose chains require re-tensioning of the chain.

3.    How to Tension an Electric chainsaw chain

Most electric chainsaws have a tool-less tension system where you can rotate the knob to adjust the tension of the chain. The knob system can be clockwise rotated to tighten the chain and it is anti-clockwise rotated to lose the chain.

You can further consult with the manual of your electric chainsaw to know more about the tensioning mechanism.

4.    Oil Reservoir Checking

Bar oil is necessary for the smooth operation of the electric chainsaw. This oil resides between the moving chain and the bar of the chainsaw. This oil minimizes the friction between the chain and bar. An automatic oiler is responsible for oiling the bar. The oil is stored in an oil reservoir. Electric chainsaw consumes the oil during the cutting. So, it must be made sure that enough oil is present for the cutting.

If no oil is present, you can add a general oil SAE 30. However, your electric chainsaw manufacturer may have a different recommendation. Kindly go through it and find the exact oil recommended by the manufacturer and fill the oil tank.

5.   Checking the Battery or Power Cord

If you are using an electric chainsaw, there are two possibilities, either you are using a corded chainsaw or a cordless.

For a cordless electric chainsaw, you must check the remaining battery of the electric chainsaw. Some electric chainsaws show a vertical bar to represent the level of the remaining battery and some just show the numbers or percentages on a small digital display. You can always follow the instruction manual of your electric chainsaw to learn more about full battery and low battery indicators.

If you are using a corded electric chainsaw, you must be aware of the voltages and ampere of the electric chainsaw. Some countries have 120v in domestic supply and others have 220v. Therefore, you must be aware of the voltage so that proper voltages can be provided to the electric chainsaw. Moreover, your supply should be enough to handle a load of nearly 3000wh and it should be infused with circuit breakers and fuses.

6.    Starting the Chainsaw

Almost all the electric chainsaws come with a push start trigger. You just need to press a push button and keep it pushed to continue the running of the chain. As soon as you release the start button, the electric chainsaw will apply the brake and instantly stop the chain. Some electric chainsaws have a safety lock that must be disengaged to allow the chain to spin around the bar.

7.   Cutting the Wood

Starting a cut is the most important part of the cutting operation. To make the first cut, hold the electric chainsaw steady and firmly in your hand gently place the running chain of the chainsaw against the wood where you want to cut. Guide the bar of the chainsaw in the cut. Don’t put force or pressure on the chainsaw. This will overburden the chainsaw and make you tired. Chainsaw will make its way all you need is to keep it straight and balanced. If your chainsaw requires pressure and does not cut the wood as expected, it might need sharpening of chain or the chain tension is loose.

An automatic oiler will automatically oil the chain after regular intervals; hence you don’t need to do anything about it. Almost all electric chainsaws have automatic oilers. You may feel a force on your body implied by the chainsaw as soon as you start cutting the wood. This force is called kickback force. There are also pull and push forces that are happening all the time.

Pull occurs when you use the lower portion of the chainsaw to cut tree. In this condition, the log pulls you toward itself. You have to keep applying sufficient anti-pull force to remain at the position.

Push force occurs when you use the upper portion of the electric chainsaw to cut tree. In this condition, the electric chainsaw pushes you in the opposite direction and need to apply counterforce to keep yourself in the same place.

8.   Stopping and Storing                 

After you are done with the cutting, release the trigger button and the electric chainsaw will come to a stop immediately. Turn on the safety lock and remove the cord from the main electricity socket. If it is cordless, just switch it off or plug the battery in the charger to charge it.

But before charging, make sure the electric start chainsaw has cool down and it is not even warm. Charging the battery when it is already hot can severely damage the battery life. You should also wait for the chainsaw to cool down even if it is corded and does not require charging.

After the electric chainsaw is cooled down. Remove the chain from the bar and store it separately at a proper place inside a protective case. If you plan to use the chainsaw in near future, you can leave the chain on and put a protective cover over it to protect anyone from accidentally getting injured and to protect the chain itself.

How to avoid Kickbacks in electrical chainsaw

Kickback force is the reaction of force being used by the chain of electric chainsaws against the wood. There are also different types of Kickbacks that you must counter for a stable cutting experience.

Rotational Kickback

This is the most common and dangerous kickback. This occurs when you intentionally or unintentionally try to cut the wood with the tip of the bar. The bar tip vertically pushes the electric chainsaw toward the ground. To avoid this, you should avoid contacting the tip of the electric chainsaw with the hardwood. This is completely preventable and controllable.

Linear Kickback

This kickback occurs when the chain of the chainsaw gets pinched down in the cut. This is unpredictable but can be mitigated by remaining attention all the time. Always keep the chain balanced and inside the cut.

Wrap Up

Electric chainsaws are very power full tools to cut wood. They are also very dangerous. Care should be taken while operating and handling electric chainsaws. Safety goggles, cut resistant gloves, protective helmets, tight clothes, and steel-toed shoes must be worn before using chainsaws. Before using the electric chainsaw, the chain tension and reservoir oil must be checked. You should also check the sharpening of the chain.

To start the first cut, you should firmly hold the running chainsaw and place it over the wood in a way that the part of the chain which is closer to the user must start the cut. If you touch the tip of the bar with the wood, it will severely cause rotational kickback. The chain must remain balanced inside the cut to avoid linear kickback.

After done with the cutting, you should let the chainsaw cool for 15-20 minutes before storing it. Electric chainsaws must be stored with a protective cover over the chain.

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