ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Working with Chain Saws

Updated on July 20, 2013

Chainsaws are handy tools to have if you own property with lots of trees and bushes as you can use them to fell trees, do pruning or even cut up fire wood for your fireplace or wood stove. They come in different sizes and you can get large commercial gas chainsaws for heavy work to light electric ones designed more for the homeowner.

Chainsaws have been used in the forest industry since the 1920’s. Andreas Stihl patented and developed the electric chainsaw in 1926 and a gas powered one in 1929. His company is still producing chainsaws to this day.

These early chainsaws were very heavy and required two men to use them. After the Second World War, aluminum made the chainsaws lighter so it was possible for only one man to handle them.

Chain saws have a series of "teeth" along a chain. The chain is supported by a bar and moves around the track at speeds that help the saw to easily cut through wood. There are even chain saws that can cut through rock and concrete.

This is the one tool that you should read the safety manual before you start using a chain saw or have someone who is skilled in their use show you how to use them safely. You don't want to end up cutting off a finger or two instead of a branch!

These are machines that need to be handled with care and protective clothing should be worn when using them. If you don't know how to use a chain saw, get some instruction from someone who does so you don't have any nasty accidents.

Making Light Work of Pruning

The Makita UC120DWD Cordless Electric Chain Saw has to be one of the best tools for yard work. It will cut down trees, small ones, and it trims, de-limbs, cuts firewood and clears brush. Although not your heavy duty chainsaw, the Makita UC120DWD is very tough. If you have a lot of work to do you may want to get an extra battery as it will last for an hour before needing to be recharged.

This chainsaw got a total of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon!

Makita Electric Chain Saw

For more information check out Chainsaw Reviews Blog

Chainsaw Definition

Definition of Chainsaw: it is a portable mechanical saw and uses electricity, compressed air or hydraulic power to work. They are used for felling trees as well as pruning. Often used in the forest industry they are used there to not only remove trees but for assisting in cutting trees for firebreaks or for wild fire suppression. There are artists who use chainsaws to make everything from chairs to animals. Check out Chainsaw Art for more information.

Better Quality Than Expected

This Poulan gas chainsaw features a super clean air filter system that helps to extend the life of the air filter. As well it has an automatic chain oiler, chain brake, and quick adjust chain tensioning system.

The anti-vibe loop handle makes for an effortless pull starting system, important if you don't have a lot of upper body strength! The Poulan chainsaw comes fully assembled with a carrying case.

Poulan #PP4620AV Gas Chain Saw

Electric Chain Saws

Electric chainsaws are a great tool for the homeowner who wants to do some pruning or clearing away over grown bushes and shrubs. They are a lot cheaper and easier to use than a gas powered chainsaw.

Some electric chainsaws are just as powerful as gas powered but are more eco-friendly and easier to use. There aren't any fumes and no gas to buy so they can be cheaper to run as well.

The only downside of using an electric chainsaw is they have a cord attached. However, there are some battery powered chainsaws on the market that are just as powerful. This type of chainsaw is also eco-friendly and much more portable.

Whether it is an electric chainsaw with a cord or a battery powered chainsaw, they will make light work of yard work. For general yard work, pruning trees or clearing fallen branches, these chainsaws will be a great addition to your tool box.

Makita UC3530A Commercial Grade Electric Chain Saw

The Makita UC3530A electric chainsaw offers easy operation and maintenance. The handles are ergonomically designed for ease of handling. It has a large trigger switch that will make it start every time you use it.

As well the Makita UC3530A has a built-in current limiter. This means that the motor is protected from burn-out as the power to the motor is reduced should the machine get overloaded. There is even a window on the oil reservoir so you can check the level of the oil.

This is a well-constructed chain saw and reviews on Amazon gave it 4.8 out of 5 stars!

Makita UC3530A Commercial Grade Electric Chain Saw

A Little History of Chainsaws

The first chainsaw was produced in the late 18th century by John Aitken and James Jeffray who were Scottish doctors. They used them for the removal of diseased joints particularly knees and elbows. It seems that Dr. Jeffray thought that this machine would make a smaller wound and would help protect adjacent muscles and nerves. It was accepted more and more by doctors once anesthetics were developed. It wasn't until the 19th century when the chainsaw was replaced by the Gigli twisted wire saw as a surgical instrument.

In 1926 Andreas Stihl patented and developed an electric chainsaw. He also developed a gasoline powered chainsaw in 1929 although it was Emil Lerp who developed the first gas powered chainsaw in 1927.

The early models were very heavy and required two men to use them. However, after World War II, due to improvements in aluminum and engine design, chainsaws became lighter and could be used by one person. Today chainsaws come in many sizes an there are many brands available in the market place.

Oregon PowerNow CS250E Chain Saw

Battery powered saws are not for everyone. However, if you do occasional cutting or pruning and you need a grab-and-go chainsaw for maintenance tasks, and you don't want to store gasoline then the Oregon PowerNow CS250E is the one you should definitely look at getting.

The chainsaw is much quieter than a gasoline chainsaw or about as loud as an electrical reciprocating saw. The noise stops when you are not actually cutting and the good news is, there are no gas fumes. There is also no need to pull a starter rope or the frustration of a hard-to-start chainsaw.

Reviews on Amazon give this chainsaw a 4.8 of 5 rating!

Oregon PowerNow CS250E Chain Saw

Chain Saw Dictionary

Here are some definitions of some words you might come across in the world of chainsaws:

  • Felling: when removing a tree it is referred to as "felling" and includes taking care of how the tree will fall once it is cut. Consideration needs to be given to the lean and bend of the tree as well as wind conditions and obstacles such as snow load or other trees in close proximity.
  • Limbing: refers to cutting the branches after the tree has been felled.
  • Bucking: is when the log or felled tree is cut up in sections.
  • Binds: refers to the chainsaw getting stuck in the tree or log. This is when the chainsaw is not very safe to use and care must be taken to remove the saw from the log/tree to prevent equipment damage and injury to the user.
  • Slashing: is when small branches or trees of five inches or less in diameter are removed. This is often used to remove foliage from around the base of a tree that is going to be removed.

Gas Powered Chainsaws

The gas powered chainsaw is considered to be the most powerful and fast of the different types of chainsaws you can buy. They are designed for the harder jobs such as cutting down trees and cutting harder woods such as oak, cherry and apple trees. These are the chainsaws that loggers use because they need a machine that will work all day long in tough conditions.

They are great for doing large jobs but they do have some drawbacks. First they are very noisy and can be a lot heavier than small, electric powered chainsaws. They are also not eco-friendly as they use both gas and oil to run which means gas powered chainsaws emit fumes

The Big Boy Chainsaw!

The Husqvarna 450 chainsaw offers a 3.2 horsepower engine making it well-suited for medium-duty jobs, such as pruning and domestic cutting. The engine features Husqvarna's special X-Torq technology, which reduces emission levels by up to 60% and fuel consumption by up to 30%. You will be able to harness the power of a gas-powered chainsaw without having to worry about heavy pollutant output.

You may not be a lumberjack, but the Husqvarna 450 is powerful enough for people who value a professional quality in a chainsaw.

Husqvarna 450 Gas PoweredChain Saw

WORX WG308 6-Inch 5-Amp Electric JawSaw with Extension Handle

This one may not look like a regular chain saw but it works like one! The WORX JawSaw WG308 has a set of solid steel teeth that hold the wood securely while you cut, providing extra stability while the chain does the work.

Even a first-time JawSaw user will feel confident while pruning and chopping through tough branches. Worx also added an enclosed jaw guard around the chain, keeping your fingers safe during tough cuts. The jaw guard doubles as a cut guide, so you won't accidentally cut away healthy branches that you had no intention of cutting.

WORX WG308 6-Inch 5-Amp Electric JawSaw

The Care and Attention of Chain Saws

First and foremost when you get your first chainsaw or even one you haven't used before reading the manual for safety instructions is a good idea. Modern chainsaws are certainly easier to use and have many safety features but they can still cause serious damage if not used correctly.

Chainsaws have a series of teeth with very sharp edges that are used to cut into the wood. The chain is supported by a bar which moves on a track when the machine is in operation.

Maintaining your chainsaw is very important. There are parts of the chainsaw that need lubrication: the gas engine needs lubrication and as well so does the chain itself. Always use the products that are recommended by the manufacture.

One problem that can occur especially with the heavier chainsaws is what is called a kickback and this can cause serious or fatal injuries. A kickback is a sudden jerking of the chainsaw and can occur if the blade hits a hard object such as a nail that is embedded in the log or branch. The chain jams in the cut and a kickback occurs. There are what is called "quick stop chains" available that reduce the risk of kickbacks occurring.

When using a chainsaw make sure to wear protective gear. This includes ear plugs, goggles and steel toe boots and cut resistant pants. Using the right gear can reduce or even prevent injury!

Something a Little Different: Alligator Lopper

The Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper 4.5 Amp Electric Chain Saw is an ideal tool for pruning tree branches up to four inches in diameter, cutting branches into manageable pieces, and cutting fallen branches after storms.

This is a really popular tool for cutting branches and small trees. It is a popular purchase on Amazon with over 400 reviews! Here are some of the positive comments people had to say about the Black & Decker Alligator Lopper:

  • A traditional chainsaw is still best for felling trees and cutting large trees, but this lopper is my new favorite companion to my traditional saw.
  • This tool works really great! It's not super heavy and you don't have to mess with gas since it's electric powered.
  • This is a great little product, its very strong and light weight. Both myself and my wife have used it in the last couple of weeks.

Considering all the great compliments on the Lopper, this one is the right tool for making it much faster and easier to cut up branches and trees.

Black Decker Alligator Lopper Electric Chain Saw

Chain Saws Go to the Movies

Chainsaws can be found in all sorts of movies, mostly horror! Who hasn't seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a movie that was loosely based on a famous murderer and is probably the most famous of all the chainsaw horror films.

The Last House on the Left is often referred to as the original chainsaw massacre. Other movies include the remake of this film as well as Evil Dead II and Brian DePalma's gangster film, Scarface.

Chainsaws have been used as both weapons and as torture devices in many movies. In most people's mind they are seen as gruesome terror but none of the movies actually show chainsaw to flesh contact.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • handymanbill profile image


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Great hub Great job Well done


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)