As many people around Indiana know, D & D Enterprises was started in 1977 by my Dad, Victor Dufour. By 1986 we had become one of largest chainsaw shops in the state. We currently sell five brands of chainsaws, eight brands of guide bars, three brands of saw chain, as well as a huge assortment of parts and supplies.
Useful safety features include a kickback brake (the black plastic guard in front of the carrying handle in the picture). This is a bar in front of the hand that, when hit, turns the power off and stops the saw.
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This is activated if the chainsaw suddenly ‘kicks back". Kickback typically happens when the saw cutter blades encounter an obstruction during cutting (for example a nail) or the user cuts with the wrong part of the saw chain.
When buying, a useful tip is to look out for new, reconditioned models on the Internet. These are excellent value as you save around 30% on the regular price. They are normally returns that go back to the manufacturer to be checked out and reconditioned before resale so they are as good as new.
This provides a solid support for the timber you are cutting and raises it to a comfortable working height. Pictured here is one like mine made of steel that is inexpensive and folds flat when not in use.
It is worth making sure you are wearing some safety gear before you start cutting wood. The most obvious things to wear are tough leather gloves and eye protection. I’ve also found ear defenders useful, particularly if you use the chainsaw inside a building (I sometimes use mine in my garage when the weather is bad.
You might also consider a safety helmet to guard against flying timber and chainsaw proof trousers (arguably not essential if you are using the chainsaw in a static position with the wood placed on a sawhorse).
Check you have the chain installed in the right direction. When I fixed the chain to my saw for the first time and tried to do a trial cut, the result was disappointing. It failed to cut. The reason? You’ve guessed it, I had fitted the chain in the wrong direction.
If your saw is sharp and properly tensioned then it should cut just using the weight of the saw. If you find you need to press the saw down to improve cutting then it is probably time to sharpen it. Hopefully your chainsaw will now slice through tree branches like butter and before you know it you’ll have a sizable pile of logs.
You may also find the chain feeling hot and notice that those big flakes of wood that used to be left on the floor have been replaced by fine sawdust. These are all signs that your saw chain needs sharpening.