How to Use a Chainsaw

Selina Cummerata Avatar


Using a chainsaw can be a powerful and efficient way to cut through trees, branches, and other wood materials. However, operating a chainsaw requires proper knowledge, skills, and safety precautions. In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to use a chainsaw effectively and safely.

How to use a chainsaw

  • Step 1: Safety First

Before operating a chainsaw, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Follow these safety precautions:

Wear protective gear: Put on a safety helmet, face shield or safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves, and steel-toed boots.

Check the chainsaw: Ensure the chainsaw is in good working condition, the chain is properly tensioned, and the chain oil reservoir is filled.

Choose a suitable working area: Clear the work area of obstacles, ensure good footing, and create a safe distance from other people or objects.


Familiarize yourself with the chainsaw: Read the manufacturer’s manual to understand the specific features, controls, and safety mechanisms of your chainsaw.

  • Step 2: Starting the Chainsaw

Follow these steps to start the chainsaw:

Engage the chain brake: Set the chain brake to prevent accidental movement.

Prime the engine: Press the primer bulb several times to pump fuel into the carburetor and prepare the chainsaw for starting.

Set the controls: Set the choke to the starting position and switch the ignition to the “on” position.

Pull the starter rope: Grasp the chainsaw firmly and steadily pull the starter rope until the engine fires. Then, push the choke to the “run” position.

  • Step 3: Handling Techniques

When using a chainsaw, proper handling techniques are essential:

Grip the chainsaw correctly: Hold the rear handle with your right hand and the front handle with your left hand, maintaining a firm grip at all times.

Maintain a stable stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a balanced and stable position.

Position the chainsaw properly: Keep the chainsaw close to your body, with the guide bar away from you and the chain brake engaged when not in use.

Maintain control: Maintain control over the chainsaw by using a controlled, steady cutting motion and avoiding excessive force or pressure.

  • Step 4: Cutting Techniques

Follow these guidelines for effective cutting with a chainsaw:

Plan your cuts: Assess the wood material, determine the direction of the fall if cutting a tree, and plan the cutting sequence accordingly.

Make a starting notch: For tree felling, make a horizontal top cut and then a downward-angled bottom cut to create a starting notch.

Cut through the wood: Use a smooth, controlled motion to guide the chainsaw through the wood material, following the intended cutting line.

Avoid the kickback zone: The kickback zone is the area around the guide bar’s nose. Be cautious and avoid placing the guide bar tip in contact with the wood during cutting to prevent kickback.

  • Step 5: Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity and performance of your chainsaw:

Regularly clean the chainsaw: After each use, remove debris and sawdust from the chainsaw’s body, guide bar, and chain.

Keep the chain sharp: Regularly sharpen the chain or replace it if necessary to ensure efficient cutting performance.

Check the chain tension: Maintain the correct tension of the chain by adjusting it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Refuel and lubricate: Keep the fuel tank filled with the appropriate fuel mixture, and regularly check and refill the chain oil reservoir to ensure proper lubrication.


Using a chainsaw can be a practical and efficient way to tackle woodcutting tasks. By following these step-by-step instructions, prioritizing safety precautions, and practicing proper handling and cutting techniques, you can use a chainsaw effectively and safely. Remember to always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and seek professional assistance or training if needed. With practice and care, you’ll be able to handle your chainsaw confidently and accomplish your woodcutting projects with ease.

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