Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Power Chainsaw Safety Tips

When operating any power tool, it's crucial to always take proper safety precautions. This doesn't only pertain to proper use of the tool, but also to maintenance and preparation as well. Chainsaws are among the more dangerous power tools, but with proper operation and precautions, there's a limited chance of something going wrong. Read on to learn how to properly operate your chainsaw.

Safety Gear When Operating A Chainsaw

Safety gear is a must when operating a chainsaw. This includes proper hand, foot, leg, eye, face, and ear protection. If anything were to go wrong, this gear would be your last defense in protection against an injury. Your clothing should also fit properly—baggy clothing increases the chance of getting caught in the chain or on a branch, which could obviously lead to injury.

Chainsaw Preparation Before Using

Before you even start your chainsaw you should inspect it carefully to be sure that nothing is broken or looks out of the ordinary. If it's your first time using a new saw, read through the owner's manual and be sure to take note of any features that are unique to your saw. One important feature to note is the chain brake. Some saws have a hand guard that doubles as a chain break, which is a useful safety feature that protects against kickback.

Be sure to check the lubrication reservoir and fill it if it's low. When it's time to fuel, make sure that any spilled fuel is cleaned up before starting the saw. You should wipe down your saw if any excess fuel or oil has spilled on it and wait for it to evaporate before starting. Finally, move at least 10 feet from where you fueled the saw before you start your chainsaw up.

Starting Your Chainsaw

Again, this is a good time to refer to your owner's manual for any unique features of your saw, but there are also a few general things to keep in mind. Make sure the chain break is engaged so the chain doesn't start moving when you start your saw. Also, make sure to never attempt to "drop start" your saw. The saw needs to be secure when you are starting it so you have time to react in case anything goes wrong. This is a great video on how to properly start a chainsaw.

Chainsaw Operation

Again, chainsaw operation is going to be specific to your saw, what you're using it for and your particular skill level, so be sure to take each of these into consideration. It's important to never attempt something that is beyond your capabilities, but there are a few general guidelines to follow.

  • Always look for any debris, particularly metal, that needs to be removed from the path of your chainsaw.
  • Make sure to engage the chain break or turn off your saw when moving between different areas.
  • Be aware of kickback and always use a saw that has kickback prevention devices. To avoid kickback, never saw with the tip of the chain.
  • Always keep your hands properly on the handles of saw and keep secure footing when cutting.

HL Supply provides small engine parts for chainsaw, cut-off saws, trimmers, and more from the leading manufacturers including Stihl, Husqvarna, and Makita. Visit their store today to see the full selection of small engine replacement parts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Preparing Your Power Tools for Summer

Now that the warmer months are rolling around, it’s time to get your power tools primed and ready for work. Taking them straight out of storage and immediately using them probably isn’t the best way to go, especially if you used your tools extensively the year before. It’s always good to do some preemptive inspections and maintenance of your power tools before using them, so we put together a list of the things you should check before pulling the starter on your chainsaw. As always, be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for anything specific to your equipment. This is the best place to find out how to properly care for your specific tool.


The first thing you should do is carefully inspect your equipment. Check for any rusting that resulted from improper winter storage and make a note of parts that need replacement. It’s also important for safety reasons to check for loose nuts and bolts and be sure to tighten them, particularly any safety guards on saws and the deflectors on your hedge trimmers.


For chainsaws and cut off saws, keeping the chain and blade sharp will ensure a properly operating tool and improve its safety. If you haven’t been properly maintaining your chainsaw’s chain, it may be time for a new chain. Broken cutting teeth and worn down teeth and cutters are all signs that you need a new chain. This will also prolong the life of your saw, as the engine won’t have to work as hard when cutting. The same goes for replacement cut off saw blades.

Checking Engine Parts

Making sure the engine is operating properly is the most important part of maintaining your gasoline powered tools. Routine maintenance that should be completed before the summer season includes checking air filters and either cleaning filter debris with filter oil, or replacing any filter that is damaged.

Check other engine parts, including the spark plug, carburetor, fuel filters, and clutch to be sure they are all in working order. If something looks worn, replace it by either checking your owner’s manual or consulting a trusted repair shop. Also be sure to only use parts that are intended to fit your make and model of chainsaw. One of the most important things to do before using your saw is check that the stop button is in working order—you don’t want to be put in a situation that you need to stop the blade from running and find out that you have a busted stop button. Finally, lubricate any moving parts that will be subject to friction.

By properly maintaining your equipment, you will maintain its value and have a long-lasting and well-operating machine.