Chainsaw Training?

10 Feb 2006
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United Kingdom
Hi Guys,
I've got a couple of trees that I want to take down, one is a Pear Tree, very small @ 6ft and I guess 4" Diameter, I could take this down wit a Bow saw I guess, but the other tree is bigger, say 7 - 8 Ft tall and I'd guess 10 - 12 Inch Diameter.
I recently tried to hire a Chainsaw and as I've not used one before, I asked if you need training to use one, they said that if you haven't been trained you can't hire one, you have to sign a document to say that you've been trained.
It doesn't concern me to lie and sign it, I've looked and courses are varied and vary in price, minimum @ £80 that bumps up the price. I was going to get an electric Chainsaw, less Powerfull than a petrol one, so shouldn't be so bad to use, so the question is, do I really need training?
I'm not stupid, I wouldn't try and sharpen it whilst it's going around and I'd stand with legs out of the way and plan where tree's will fall.

What do people think?

I'm sure that I could just go and buy one without training and if I hadn't have asked, I would have just signed what they stuck in front of me. The chainsaw hire comes complete with Protective, hat, visor and gloves.

Many Thanks

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Probably the most dangerous machine in the can go and buy one anywhere and take your chances - even Aldi or whatever sell them for £50 quid or so.
No one can stop you using one, but at the very least you should spend some time in the company of an experienced operator, and try simple logging first. Maybe I'm being a bit over cautious here but any injury will be serious.
For just a couple of trees, get a line up the trunk and someone to pull it away from you, whilst you attack it with a bowsaw, maybe?
John :)
do I really need training?
I'm not stupid, I wouldn't try and sharpen it whilst it's going around and I'd stand with legs out of the way and plan where tree's will fall.

What do people think?

There's a bit more to using one, but it's not rocket science. For example an inexperienced operator might use the tip of the blade while cutting a log, where an experienced guy would make sure the log was up tight against the spikey guard so that it can't be flung into his groin when it takes hold.
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If you don't feel confident with a chainsaw then I'd have at it with a bow saw first and see what happens. Good exercise too.

Those petrol multi tools that come with a pruning attachment on the end of a long pole are useful for DIY use around the garden. Not sure about a 12 inch trunk though, doable but messy.
What is the larger tree? Leylandii or similar have a small, shallow root ball and they can be pulled over easily with a 4 X 4 and a chain about 6 feet up the trunk.
Have you watched 'Building Alaska', they use chain saws where most people would you a hammer & chisel.
I was concerned when I first used a chain saw. Treat them with respect, concentrate, ensure the chain is at the correct tension, make sure you have a solid stance.
What you have to cut I would be using a bow saw without hesitation (if I didn't have a chain saw that is).
Thanks all, maybe I'll try my bow saw first and see how I get on.

The guy who showed me the ropes delighted in telling the class that the majority of chainsaw accidents were to the neck :eek: ...... A nice raggy cut was the expression he used :(
John :)
I used to know a chap who had a spectacular scar on his forehead. Chainsaw kickback. Experienced operator, no helmet (some years ago this) and a very nasty injury for a moment's carelessness.
I'd assume that cuts to the neck are from the same type of accident?
Mind you, I knew another chap who had a relative who was a lumberjack, and he'd apparently cut part of his leg off with a felling axe.
To the OP, do be aware that even quite small trees are heavier than they look, and can cause injury or worse when they fall. Unless you are experienced they don't always fall where it looks as if they will either. Be careful!
Ive never had an accident using one, but as said above they really do feel like the most dangerous tool in the world. Although Im able to handle one, I dont really enjoy it. I'd rather take ten times longer with an axe and reward myself with a chip butty or something else unhealthy for the effort.
I use an electric chainsaw for logging. I always use gloves and chainsaw trousers. I haven't been on a course, though I have had some tips from a neighbour who has. I certainly wouldn't use a full-power petrol chainsaw without training. Not that I'm minimising the danger from an electric one, which would remove your leg only marginally less rapidly.


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