Stihl chainsaw FAQ and wet weather guide
Chainsaws have revolutionised the forestry realm and their invention has enabled hundreds of thousands of homeowners, landscapers and tree fellers to effortlessly saw through any wood, saving them time, effort and money. When it comes to chainsaws, you need to ensure that you are purchasing a product from a reputable brand that has experience in the industry, such as a Stihl chainsaw, which you can find at BS Power. This quick guide will give you some extra information about a Stihl chainsaw, and will answer some of the burning questions that you may have!
Before you embark on purchasing a chainsaw, you need to know what type of chainsaw will be best suited to your felling needs and which type of operation suits you best. Thankfully, you can purchase a Stihl chainsaw in a variety of options, including cordless chainsaws, petrol chainsaws for property maintenance, petrol chainsaws for forestry, petrol chainsaws for agricultural landscaping, electric chainsaws, and arborist chainsaws. A Stihl chainsaw can also be fitted with numerous different accessories and attachments, adjusting to fit your needs at all times.
Chainsaw DO’S and DON’TS
When it comes to using a Stihl chainsaw, or any chainsaw for that matter, there are a few important things to keep in mind, both in general and while using the machine. Take note of the following important do’s and don’ts:
DO: When transporting the chainsaw, carry it in a case to prevent accidents, and ensure that there is a guard on both the chain and the bar of the chainsaw.
DO: Wear the correct protective gear, which will usually include eye protection, ear protection, a hard hat, sturdy steel-toe boots, and thick long pants as well as thick gloves with a grip strip.
DO: Make sure that when you are cutting a branch or log, that you are standing or are positioned to one side of the log.
DO: Make sure that you are never in line with the chain of the chainsaw, because if there is ever an issue with the chain and it breaks, it could whip back up towards you and cause some serious damage, which is why you should always be standing to the side of the log.
DO: When cutting larger, denser logs, use a sawhorse to ensure that the logs stay in position and that you can saw without having to manually keep them in position.
DO: When using the chainsaw, and standing to the side of the log, try to hold and use the chainsaw lower than the height of your shoulder, which will protect your face and neck in the event that the blade does kick back.
DO: When operating the Stihl chainsaw, ensure that the wood you are cutting is in a secure position and that it will not fall back on you once you have sawed it. You can prevent this by ensuring that you are never cutting uphill and that you follow the safety guidelines.
DO: Although you should ideally not be cutting in unsafe conditions, you should still always have an escape route mapped out in your head about how you are going to move or where you are going to roll/run if the wood does fall in your direction.
DO: Saw the wood with the correct segment of blade, and do not use the tip of the blade to saw as this will blunt it and potentially cause kickback.
DO: Speaking of the tip of the blade, you should always have a tip guard on the saw, which will also assist in preventing any kickback.
DO: When you’re done using the Stihl chainsaw, ensure that you power down and switch the machine off immediately.
DON’T: It may sound like common sense, but please don’t ever run while holding or using a chainsaw.
DON’T: If you are done sawing in one area, and are needing to move on to the next piece of wood, turn the chainsaw off of cutting mode while moving in between these areas.
DON’T: Don’t ever saw the log while you are standing on it, this can result in serious injury, and is again why you should always use the chainsaw positioned to the side of you, out of line with your legs.
DON’T: Don’t ever start using a chainsaw before you have checked the area and ensured that you are working in a clear space, where should the wood collapse or roll, no one will be injured in the process.
Why does my chainsaw blade get dull fast?
One of the most common questions asked when it comes to chainsaws, is why the blades get dull so fast. While blades will definitely dull over time and use, it should not be at an excessive rate and if you are noticing that you are having to sharpen or replace your chainsaw blade quite regularly, then you may need to look at a few other factors. These other factors, however, aren’t really applicable to you if you are using the chainsaw relentlessly and are cutting down large quantities of wood daily, which will unavoidably result in the bade getting dull at a rapid pace.
If you are using your chainsaw at a regular frequency and you’re noticing that your blades are still getting dull in a short amount of time, then there may be a few reasons behind this. The primary and popular cause of dull blades is due to cutting dirty wood with the chainsaw, and the fragments or particles are causing more resistance to the blades than the wood is, which causes it to dull. You can avoid this by always ensuring that you are sawing clean wood without any debris, nails or grit.
If you are putting too steep of an angle on the cutters, your rakers are too far down or if you are cutting using the tip of the blade, of if the tip is touching the ground, then your chainsaw blades are likely to dull at a much faster pace. Another thing to bear in mind is that although one can replace chainsaw blades, you should always stick within the same brand when fitting blades and will need to get specific Stihl blades for your Stihl chainsaw. The final reason why your blade may be dulling, could be happening in the sharpening process if you are using a dull file or the wrong size file, which will not effectively sharpen the blades for you.
Why is my chainsaw cutting wood at an angle?
Another common question asked is why the chainsaw is cutting at an angle or why is it pulling to one side. When this occurs, it is quite easy to notice, much like when you’re driving and you can feel that your wheel alignment is off, and there are a few reasons that your chainsaw could be doing this. Your chainsaw could be cutting out of alignment if the top plates of the chainsaw are uneven, which is why it necessary to keep all top plates an equal length, which will prevent crooked sawing.
Another reason that the chainsaw could be sawing skew is if the blade is dull, in that case try and sharpen the blade to see if it makes a difference, and replace the blade if it is still skew. Your depth gauge settings on the chainsaw should be equal from left to right, if they are different this could also cause your chainsaw to cut at an angle. The chainsaw will also saw at an angle if your top-plate angles are different from left to right, and the chain should be sharpened at the same angle each time.
The final reason that your chainsaw could be sawing at an angle is if you have a worn guide bar, which unfortunately can’t always be repaired. Warn guide bars are quite obvious and occur after owning and using the chainsaw for a long period of time, whereby the guide bar has been worn down and the rails are damaged. If your Stihl chainsaw is cutting at an angle and you can’t quite figure out what the culprit is, then take the chainsaw to your nearest Stihl dealer, BS Power, where they will be able to assist and advise.
Can you use a chainsaw on wet wood?
When it comes to using a Stihl chainsaw, many people ask if you can actually use a chainsaw on wet wood, and if there’s any factors they need to be aware of when it comes to sawing wet wood with a chainsaw. The answer is that it depends on the chainsaw and the wood, while some chainsaws will have no issues sawing through wet wood, others may be risky to use in wet weather. Aside from safety concerns, users also want to know if sawing wet wood has the potential to damage the actual chainsaw.
In most cases, wet wood will not damage the chainsaw, and could actually in some instances assist the sawing process. This is because unlike dirt and the natural fibres of the wood, water will have no additional resistance and makes cutting wet wood easier than cutting dry wood. Cutting dry wood produces significant friction and will slow down the blade of the chainsaw, so an added moisture content to the wood will act as lubricant and will stop the chain from getting caught on dry and hard clumps of wood.
The only potential negative of using a chainsaw to cut wet wood is that because of the high moisture content and therefore wet blade, the sawdust kicked up from the sawing process will not fly around as usual, and will stick to the chainsaw occasionally, but can be easily wiped off intermittently. Aside from the power of a Stihl chainsaw, the effort and time used to cut through wood still depends on the wood itself, bearing in mind that dense wood will take longer and that older trees with dying wood will be significantly easier to cut through than new and younger trees.
Wet wood safety
When using a Stihl chainsaw to saw through wet wood there are a few safety guidelines and precautions to keep in mind. If you are using an electric chainsaw that uses a cable to provide power, be cautious of using the tool in severely wet weather. If there is heavy wet weather, then avoid using any extension cables and opt to use a battery chainsaw, which will work seamlessly in wet conditions.
Like battery chainsaws, petrol chainsaws can also be used in wet weather, as well as in normal dry conditions, and should have no issues slicing through damp logs. The main thing that you should be concerned about when using a Stihl chainsaw in wet weather is not the chainsaw itself, but rather your personal protection. Working in wet weather means working on a slippery, muddy and wet floor, which requires you to wear sturdy boots and the correct personal protective equipment, including water resistant and anti-cut attire.