3 Essential Chainsaw Cutting Techniques

Chainsaw Cutting Techniques

Properly using a chainsaw requires a lot more than metaphorically diving in headfirst at the object you want to cut. You have to learn the proper cutting techniques so that you can perform an efficient, safe job. But how do you learn these techniques without becoming a professional forester? This article will show you. If you need to purchase a chainsaw, you can check Amazon for the best prices and deals.

Continue reading to learn how to properly make cuts with a chainsaw so that you can use this tool properly, safely, and effectively.

What Happens if I Don’t Learn How to Properly Cut with a Chainsaw?

Many people working on projects at home – whether they are cleaning up their property after a storm or trying to clear out dead trees – simply purchase a chainsaw and begin cutting. Even though chainsaw use may seem like it is very straightforward, just a little bit of instruction can prevent the following:.

  • Broken chains
  • Dulled chain teeth
  • Worn out motors
  • Stuck chainsaw blades
  • Hours of time spent trying to cut something down ineffectively
Of course, the list above doesn’t even mention the numerous injuries that have been the result of improper chainsaw use. If you want to get the job done quickly, and you want to get it done right, learn how to cut.

Cutting techniques

In order to properly cut with a chainsaw, learn the following three cutting techniques and use them in your work.

1. Open Face Directional Notch

The first and possibly most important chainsaw cutting technique to learn is how to fell a tree. This may seem difficult, but it is actually simple when you understand the process.

After making sure you have both an area for the tree to fall and an escape route you can safely go to if something goes awry, Make the first cut in the tree on the face side – that’s the side facing the direction the tree will fall. Cut about halfway through the tree on a horizontal line. (This cut should also be about level with your hip.)

Once you have made this hip cut, you will need to make that cut into a wedge. This is done by cutting either above the horizontal line or below it and then cutting into the center of the tree so that you have created a wedge-shaped hole. Your wedge should be about 70 degrees wide with about 10 degrees being below the horizontal line and 60 degrees being above.

Finally, once your wedge cut is complete, go to the back of the tree and start cutting on the same horizontal line. Ideally, your cuts will meet in the middle of the tree.

(If you’re having a hard time visualizing this, Husqvarna’s site has a great tutorial on it.)

2. Humboldt Notch

If you need to fell a tree but want to do so in a way that maximizes the amount of potential lumber you can use from it, simply follow the steps above for the open-face direction notch. However, when you’ve made your horizontal cut, you’re going to create a slightly different wedge. Instead of making a 70 degree wedge (with 60 degrees of the wedge above the horizontal line and 10 degrees below), you’re only going to make a 30 degree wedge. The entire 30 degrees of this wedge are going to be below the horizontal line, essentially making the horizontal cut (after the tree is felled) a straight line.

3. Cutting Branches

The technique to cut branches with a chainsaw is very simple. All you have to do is slowly cut in an upward motion.

Why cut upward? That’s because cutting upward gives you more control over the chainsaw. When you’re pushing down on the saw, there is a potential risk that the cut could suddenly push all the way through and you could fall forward onto your saw.

Easy to Learn, Essential to Master

Learning these chainsaw techniques shouldn’t be hard, but they’ll make your job much easier. Practice these techniques often and master them to maximize your use of a chainsaw.

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