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Although all garden power tools should be used with respect, chainsaws in particular need to be used correctly and with the correct safety gear. The following guide gives a few pointers to assist in choosing the correct tool for your job. Please also remember that some trees may be covered by preservation orders, please check with your local authorities prior to starting work. A qualifi ed professional should carry out any advanced tree surgery.

Chainsaw size

What is it that you are planning to cut? For branches of up to 75 or 100mm (3 or 4 in) a pruner may be most suitable for the job. For heavier duty cutting, or if a number of cuts need to be made a chainsaw is the tool for the job. For the safest cutting, ensure that your chainsaw bar length is longer than the diameter of the wood that you are cutting.

Chainsaw power type

For small, light duty cutting, a cordless pruner or chainsaw will do. If more power is required, and a mains socket is located nearby use an electric chainsaw. If portability and grunt are required then the petrol 2-stroke chainsaws will make light work of most jobs.


Not only should safety equipment be worn, in the form of chainsaw trousers or chaps, hard hat, ear defenders, goggles, gloves and heavy duty foot wear, but the use of a chainsaw horse to cut logs can be convenient. It is absolutely essential, whatever saw you are using to keep topping up the chainsaw oil, to avoid seizing up.

Safety tips

Pay attention to the kick back guard. Although this piece of plastic is there for safety a common error is to have it in the forward position when trying to cut, pull towards the handle, and your chain should rotate freely.

Allow the saw to do the cutting, applying excessive force can result in damaging the tool. Allow the chain to stop rotating before putting the tool down. Don’t cut above your or anyone else’s head, as gravity will effect your control of the tool.

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