Here you will find tips and tricks that I think you might like from the Chainsaw Strategies archives.
I will also post helpful information about products that I find to be helpful or ones that I would recommend.
I also welcome your comments and will answer questions. Just send me an email with your question or comment. I'll respond and, with your permission, publish the one's I think are informative or "interesting."
Proper maintenance is critical
This past weekend I got the pleasure to operate a chainsaw that belonged to my Grandfather. The saw is a Johnsered 535 Classic. That in it's self is not a big deal. But this saw has special meaning to me. It was given to me at the time of my Grandfathers passing and had not been run in years. My Grandfather told me before he died that the saw would not run and that the repair shop told him it was ...not worth fixing. I brought this saw home and with very little effort I got the saw running. My Grandfather passed away in 2001 and he had cut an unknown amount of wood with this saw, lets just say a lot. Now I use this saw on occasion to cut wood for my family. With a little maintenance and repair I was able to bring this saw back to life. Proper maintenance is a critical part of chainsaw safety. What's the first thing you do when a saw get's dull...(for those of you who have attended one of my classes you know the answer) nope it's not stop and sharpen it. Not usually, most often it is push harder. The second thing you do is sharpen. A sharp saw is a safe saw, if yours is not cutting well, take time to sharpen it, while you doing that take time to remember a loved one who has gone home to be with God. Every time I pick up my Grandfathers 535 I take time to remember this great man. Then I get the warmest feeling possible when I place my hands where his once were while I cut wood. This saw is not the fastest cutting saw I own but when I use it I'm not in a hurry.
How do you know when a saw is sharp? It is not by the size of the chip trust me. A sharp saw should cut at a rate of about one inch per second. Knowing the 5 parts of the saw tooth and their design characteristics is critical. Sometimes people file down the depth gauge or "raker" to improve cutting speed. This actually slows the speed of the chain and makes the saw overly aggressive. Having the depth gauge at 25-35 thousands of an inch below the cutting tooth is the correct height. Then, sharpen the tooth properly and your saw will preform at it's best and keep you more safe while cutting.
Notch and hinge
If you're cutting trees you should know the proper size notch and hinge. The hinge is the last friend you have when the tree starts to fall and it controls the tree all the way to the ground if it is set properly. If you do not know how to do this please take the time to learn. The notch allows the hinge to function and also must be learned before cutting.
Many times saw operators will form a 45 degree notch. This type of notch will likely close before the tree reaches the ground and either hang the tree or break the hinge prematurely allowing the tree to fall unpredictably. Try using an open face notch of 70-90 degrees.
A properly sized hinge should be 10% of the trees DBH (Diamiter at breast height). So a 15 inch tree would have a hinge of 1.5 inches. The widest part of the notch should be 80% of the trees DBH
so on a 15 inch tree it would be 13 inches. To form an open face notch place your saw against the tree trunk with the bar in an upright position. Pointing at your target make the first cut, a
downward cut until you obtain a 13 inch wide (15"dbh tree) cut. Then remove the saw from the kerf, roll the saw to a horizontal position and while looking down the first saw kerf trim out the bottom
of the notch. This will allow the hinge to work properly.
Power Sharp is as fast as lightning
For all of you who prefer not to sharpen your own chain. Check out Oregon PowerSharp. I have used this chain system and it is fantastic!! This chain system is an Oregon chain, the initial purchase includes a new bar and sharpening device.
After that each time you buy a new chain you get new stones to go in the sharpener. You could literally saw into concrete and then use this device to sharpen your chain to like new condition in a few seconds.
I wouldn’t say this if I had not seen it with my own eyeballs!