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Practice Using a Chainsaw for the Beginner

Once you are familiar with the basic parts of your chainsaw and know about safety features and precautions, it is time to practice using your chainsaw. It is best to begin by practicing on a nice round log that isn't too big. 7 or 8 inches in diameter would be the perfect size on which to practice.


Do not be afraid of chainsaws. Understanding how the saw works and how to safely use it will help you through the practice phase and will hopefully help you gain a healthy respect for this power tool. Having a proper stance will help you control the saw.

  • Hold the chainsaw firmly from both the top and back handles. Make sure your left thumb is positioned under the top handle. This will reduce the force of a possible kick back and help you better control the chainsaw.
  • Hold the saw close to your body. This makes the chainsaw feel less heavy and will offer more control when cutting.
  • Stand with your feet apart to maintain balance while using the chainsaw.
  • Do not bend your back while working. If you cannot adjust the level of the materials you are sawing, try to bend your knees if you are working at a level near the ground.

Pulling and Pushing Chain

Ready to cut some wood? You can saw the log from either the top using a pushing chain or the bottom using a pulling chain.

  • Pushing Chain: In a pushing chain motion, bring the lower edge of the chain down onto the top of the log. This causes the chainsaw to be pushed towards you as it cuts the wood.
  • Pulling Chain: In a pulling chain motion, bring the upper edge of the chain up from the bottom of the log. This causes the chainsaw to be pulled away from you as it cuts.
  • As you move around your work-site, use the chain brake or turn off the engine when you are not actually cutting. If you will be changing work-sites, consider using the bar guard to protect yourself and the chain.

Practice cutting using a pulling and pushing chain to get used to the way the chainsaw feels as it cuts. Once you feel comfortable cutting wood on the ground, it's time to learn how to fell a tree.