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How easy is it to use a chainsaw?

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by 7ofnine, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. 7ofnine

    7ofnine Active Member

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    I've got a few trees close to my house that need taking down. After repeatedly contacting the council for over 5 months, getting agreement for the removal and being assured that it will be taken care of, nothing has been done. They don't even seem to have any record of my previous enquiry, so each time I call they have to open a new 'job'. We've seen the same assessor twice, and on both occasions he completely agreed that it needs doing.

    I want the trees gone before they start to grow again. So I was planning to hire a chainsaw and do the job myself. Anyone used one of these before? How did you get on?
  2. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Doddle to use, absolute doddle.
    I bought one from a supplier not so long ago, did a tree and sold it again for the same money.
    No doubt someone will come along and tell a horror story about amateur use, or point out the potential for injury.
    Goes without saying, really.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Apsilon

    Apsilon Moderator

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    They are a doodle and will make short work of your trees. Just make sure the teeth are sharp or have been sharpened before collecting.

    Also ask for (though they probably won't you the chainsaw without it) a safety pack. Goggles, ear muffs and leg protectors (a must). I fell on my backside about 10 years back and dropped a chainsaw where i had just released the trigger but still in full pelt on my thigh. It went through the leg protectors, my trousers and my old Nokia brick and slived my leg an inch deep before it stopped. Lucky and brown pants doesn't begin to describe it. That phone probably saved my leg, so be very careful.

    You need to watch the chain if you are going through a largish bole as it can get trapped once you are over halfway as the tree can settle back onto the cut groove trapping the chain. Ideally get someone to help you with a rope around the trunk pulling it in the direction you are cutting so it stops the tree from settling back :)
  4. IL Cattivo

    IL Cattivo Active Member

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    Chainsaws are like any other machine. Used correctly and how they were designed/intended and they will do no harm. Just make sure that you wear the correct attire and eye protection and there shouldn't be a problem. :)
  5. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat Active Member

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    If you are going to fell the trees, learn about the wedge cut to ensure it falls in the right direction. Then make sure there are no power lines or anything else that may get tangled up. I would advise using a rope, so do the cut but not enough to fell the tree and use the rope to pull it over in a controlled fashion.

    Pictures of the trees would help.
  6. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I wore a motorbike helmet.
    It was all I had.
    :D
  7. Dave Bagpuss

    Dave Bagpuss Member

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    Using a saw is easy enough, felling a tree is something else. Dependent on size, proximity to buildings etc I'd say get a pro in. Too many things can go wrong and I'm guessing they must be of a reasonable size if you've had the council involved?

    I've got 10+ years experience and the amount of botched (and very costly) jobs I've had to clear up is quite ridiculous. They don't make professionals train for an age for no reason ;)
  8. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat Active Member

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    Fixed that for you! :laugh:
  9. Apsilon

    Apsilon Moderator

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    As we’re all not as perfect as FZR, I think it’s worth highlighting the risks, especially when it can be caused by something as simple as tripping up or tripping backwards as you will have branches galore around you.
  10. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat Active Member

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    If the chainsaw is hired, I believe they are obliged to supply all the safety kit necessary?
  11. Dave Bagpuss

    Dave Bagpuss Member

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    Ha! Won't disagree ;)
  12. russ123

    russ123 Member

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    Also aside from the risk of it going wrong coming down, it is amazing how much stuff there is to dispose off. When you look at the tree they may not seem that big, but once you start cutting all the branches to dispose of I've always been surprised. Good Luck.
  13. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I didn't claim to be perfect.
    I just assumed the OP was mature enough to know the obvious risks and not be patronised.
  14. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    Close to your house as in where exactly? In your garden or in the street?

    If you're thinking of taking a chainsaw to what is essentially council property then expect them to become suddenly very efficient when it comes to prosecuting you. ;)
  15. 7ofnine

    7ofnine Active Member

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    They are not really massive trees. About as tall as the house with fairly thin trunks. Having taken a bigger tree down last year I know there's a lot of wood to cut up after you fell the tree.
    Given the size of trunk there won't be a problem, the saw will easily slice through.
    But having not used a chainsaw before I was just interested to know if there is anything from an operational and safety point of view I need to be aware of.
    Thanks for the advice so far.
  16. 7ofnine

    7ofnine Active Member

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    Thing is, these trees are actually damaging my property. The inspector has seen the evidence twice, agreed they have to come down, but here we are 5 months later and nothing has been done.
  17. Stinja

    Stinja Active Member

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    Chainsaws are easy if well maintained. Just make sure they're sharp and oiled, chain correct tightness, stop switch works etc.
    Main problems i find are when they hit a bone and get stuck or send shards flying out - but then you should always be wearing a mask anyway :smashin:
  18. W0LFIE

    W0LFIE Active Member

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    I agree with this chap, you could trip over and chop your own head off so I'd make sure you're wearing goggles and maybe a hard hat.:smashin:

    this won't protect you but, for the person who finds your head, the fact it has goggles and a hard hat on would be quite ironic and make them chuckle - thus reducing the risk of them going into shock.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  19. unique

    unique Moderator

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    i was at a course with a guy once, and somehow he mentioned that a chainsaw course was 3 days in length. i thought that was really long, as you just need it on or off. he showed me his hand missing 2 fingers, and said one day he climbed up a ladder to chop off some overhanging branches, but lost his balance and fell, and ended up in hospital for 2 weeks. he said he was lucky he didn't die. he explained the course teaches you all sorts of things and how to do them safely and how not to do them, as you can easily lose a limb or kill yourself by doing something simple, but doing it wrong

    the guy was a health and safety officer btw

    EDIT - actually in fact i remember now, he said he was trying to chop down a tree, but it fell on him, and the chainsaw chopped his fingers off. the course showed you the right way to fell a tree, as there is a particular way to do it so the tree falls the right way
  20. Berties

    Berties New Member

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    I cut down about 10 trees myself, as long as you take your time, do it in good weather, have some common sense should be fine. Couldn't fell them in one big cut (fence, garage and houses in path of falling tree) so I pruned the branches down bit by bit then cut main stump. Took much longer, but did no damage to myself or the properties.

    Recommend a chainsaw with long enough cutting rail, chain in good condition. Also couple of different saws, bow saw and one of those crescent type saws. If you're unsure about using a chainsaw up a tree you could use one of those B&D alliagator.

    Trees were about the height of 1 story house. Didn't cut any limbs off. Although one 3" branch hit my shoulder and I went ow.

    I wonder who is going to reply and mock me, presuming I didn't do any of that, and I cut my own arms and legs off because I don't know what I'm doing. lol
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  21. danmc_82

    danmc_82 Active Member

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    Do you have proof of these events?
  22. Berties

    Berties New Member

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    I'm still able to type. :rotfl: Cut down 1 silver birch, and the rest were conifers. Was raising up council path and also damaging our side path.

    Cutting branches off in 6-8' segments meant can control it, and not too heavy ie if it started to go the wrong way can push it a little, and get a idea when branch would snap off. Certainly wouldn't cut off a 30' main branch in one go don't have skill to determine how a larger branch fall, and if it fell the wrong way would hit the house. 8' section would fall short.

    #

    Bicycle chains don't have cutting teeth. derp.
  23. Epicurus

    Epicurus Active Member

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    As someone already said absolutely make sure you were leg protectors they are life savers when using a chain saw. Injuries to legs are the most common due to the height you tend to use the saw.

    The other thing crucial thing to bear in mind is your escape route. If you notch the tree properly it shouldn't be a problem, but if the tree starts falling towards you make sure your escape route isnt blocked. I saw a classic case of this when some idiot stood in the middle of a copse of trees chopping them down one by one. Finally he got to the last tree, all routes around him blocked by felled trees he didnt move and of course it fell on top of him and crushed his legs. Needless to say he wasn't a certified chainsaw user and wasn't experienced, just stupid.

    Just in case this doesn't satisfy FZR I have another horror story. A local and experienced tree surgeon near me managed to kill himself while suspended in a tree lopping branches. His chain snagged and in the process of trying to shake it free (silly) he managed to cut his own jugular and died shortly after.

    So bottom line is don't be scared to use one, just respect it for the killing machine it is and take proper precautions. You don't need certification for personal use.
  24. Sonic67

    Sonic67 Active Member

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    Try and get the fuel oil mix correct. Cut away the branches etc first to give you a clear area. Bear in mind that even if you plan it to fall one way and have cut appropiately if most of the tree's weight is the other, it may fall in the direction where the weight is. I've also had trees 'fall' onto the chainsaw while cutting and grip it.

    The chainsaw is also designed to pull in and bite. Let it do the work.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  25. Sonic67

    Sonic67 Active Member

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    Further to this, it may seem obvious but run to the side. The inclination for some is to turn and try to outrun the falling tree.
  26. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I assumed the OP was adult enough not to need horror stories, why would I want another one..?
  27. Doug the D

    Doug the D Active Member

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    Not sure why a couple of you have been busting FZR's balls! I'd just like to mention that chainsaw proof boots are probably a good idea.
  28. baldrick

    baldrick Active Member

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    I was under the impression you couldn't hire chainsaws in the UK unless you were certified?
  29. figoagogo

    figoagogo Active Member

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    ...ignoring all the chain saw near death experiences... are you a actually able to cut down these trees yourself? Are they not protected, will some council do-gooders not have your balls for doing such I thing without them involved etc?

    I have cut down bits of a tree before, using a £50 Argos chain saw, its was fine, but not keen on the electrical cable, and sometimes difficult to predict how the branches will break/fall, but all this was on my own land.

    May be worth checking with the council that you can go ahead with it?
  30. W0LFIE

    W0LFIE Active Member

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    I wear a top hat and a cloak whenever I use a chainsaw.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012

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