Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cutting Wet Wood with a Chainsaw

Winter is rapidly approaching, and with it, wet conditions. Between autumn rain and eventually winter snow, working with a chainsaw in wet weather is inevitable. Here are a few tips for cutting wet wood with a chainsaw:

  • Cutting wood in rain or snow is okay for your saw: If you're nervous about your saw getting wet, don't worry. Gas powered chainsaws are perfectly okay to use in wet weather; the same is true for the log itself. Cutting through wet wood is fine for your chain and bar, though there might be some extra build up from wet saw dust. It's nothing you can't clean off with a rag, though.
  • Check your air filter: Speaking of wet build up, your engine's air filter could potentially be subject to wet debris getting caught in it. If the engine feels like it's not running correctly or it's struggling, check the air filter for any debris.
  • Be wary of slippery conditions: Obviously when surfaces are wet (or icy), things can get slippery. It's important to make sure you have solid footing when you're working in the rain or snow and make sure you have a solid grip on the saw at all times.
  • Use weather appropriate clothing & protective equipment: Wet weather boots and gloves with extra grip will go a long way in avoiding any mishaps. Wearing warm and water resistant clothing will also ensure that you're comfortable and can stay focused on the job.
  • Use the correct type of chain for frozen wood: Not all chains serve the same purpose, and for frozen logs you will need one with semi-chisel teeth. These rounded teeth cut at a slightly slower pace, but you won't have to stop and sharpen your chain in the middle of a job because your chain is dull. Check out our blog post on chainsaw teeth for more information on chain types.
  • Be wary of debris frozen to the bark: Cutting through dirt and rocks won't go well for your chainsaw chain. Make sure the logs you're cutting don't have a lot of debris frozen to them, particularly on the bottom of the log where you wouldn't see it.

Here are some things to consider before sharpening a chainsaw with a round file.

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