Small Woodland Owners' Group

Stuck Chainsaw

A place to discuss or review of tools and equipment, how to look after them, handy hints for using them.

Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby SimonFisher » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:24 am

Stevieb0y wrote:Assuming Pat and Sam are genuine and have got themselves into this mess can we please try to help them?
The best advice given here is to get a tree surgeon in to fell the tree for you and of course to go on a course on using a chainsaw.

I think on that point many of us here agree that is the best advice to give. The problem is that Pat and Sam keep ignoring best advice. It's been suggested many times that they ought to get some professional training. They choose to ignore to ignore it and now we see the consequences of doing so. Treating chainsaws like DIY tools and assuming big trees are just like little ones in the garden isn't the right approach. It's one thing drilling a hole through a pipe and having to call a plumber. Taking the same slapdash approach with a chainsaw might mean it's the undertaker being called.

I'm new to owning my wood and learning about it all the time so use this forum to learn and if I need to, to ask for advice. Let's not put people off asking for help because they've read some replies to such requests and worry about how some may respond.

We're generally a very helpful bunch on this forum and there's been lots of very good advice given on many subjects. If anyone thinks Pat and Sam are being harshly treated I'd suggest taking a look back at some of their statements and comments and you'll see why people respond as they do.
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby SimonFisher » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:25 am

Patandsam wrote:... we found a handaxe and drove it into the offending tree. The saw came out quite easily. Now, any suggestions how to remove a stuck handaxe from a tree?

Assuming you're being serious, that was SO predictable...
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby greyman » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:18 pm

While I think the comments may well have required removing as offensive I wonder as to whether giving the posters pat and sam carte blanche to come on here and continue the rather infuriating posts and comments is fair to other forum users. It may be said that we don't have to read them or participate in the forum discussions but none the less I think their behaviour is not condusive to a happy forum. I would like to think this post will not be moderated off this topic as I beleive it as fair comment.
P.S. pat and sam if you really are that much older than me perhaps you should be showing a bit more sense.
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby smojo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:26 am

I started feeling sorry for Pat and Sam then read the link to their previous posts. Ha ha - gave me a laugh and right now that's just what I need.

One point I'd like to comment on is the mention of correct training for chainsaw use. Being a novice forester and chainsaw user and valuing my life, I was going to book myself into one. Then I discovered how much they cost. Not much change out of £700 on the whole. So I haven't. Now some will argue that £700 is nothing if it saves you from a serious accident but nevertheless it's a hefty chunk of pension when you've already laid out thousands to buy your wood and equipment so far and at the end of the day - it's not rocket science - mostly common sense. Combine that with a little time spent on Youtube and I reckon you can teach yourself most of what they will show you for that £700. So far my own research and common sense has taught me this about chainsaw use

Wear some protective clothing and PPE gear
Avoid contacting the end of the chain/bar with anything to avoid kickback
Stand to one side of it if possible so if kickback occurs it won't hit you
Assess the direction of fall and make your cuts in the appropriate places using the hinge method for felling
Know where the nearest A&E is and if possible don't work alone
Use plastic wedges to support the cut and control the fell
Make sure your line of exit is clear before felling

How am I doing? That's probably at least £200 worth of training for nowt.

I would like some "proper" training because I know there's more to it than that but why do they charge so much for it?
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby Stevieb0y » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:38 am

How about arranging a group of people off here to meet up and have some chainsaw lessons from an expert? Split the cost between those attending and it could work out affordable as well as meeting each other. If only we knew someone with a wood to use.
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby Binz » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:56 pm

I'd add to Smojo's list; have location (grid ref and postcode of somewhere near entrance) of wood written down just in case someone has to tell emergency services where you are.
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Re: chainsaw training

Postby SimonFisher » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:40 pm

smojo wrote:One point I'd like to comment on is the mention of correct training for chainsaw use. Being a novice forester and chainsaw user and valuing my life, I was going to book myself into one. Then I discovered how much they cost ... it's not rocket science - mostly common sense.

That other great web research tool Wikipedia says about Common sense, "a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by ("common to") nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate."

Do you still think it's common sense?

I would like some "proper" training because I know there's more to it than that but why do they charge so much for it?


Because there's more to it than that, they charge so much for it.

I assume they charge what the market will stand. They have valuable knowledge and skill, the ability to convey that that to others, to observe a trainee and to point out (sometimes very small) errors. And I guess they have hefty insurance premiums.
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:19 pm

Now that Pat and Sam are revealed as members of the allegedly gentler gender, their lack of knowledge of mechanical devices makes more sense. Back in good old days when I were a nipper, there was a distinct divide between male and female roles, ladies would do the cooking, household tasks and shopping, chaps tinkered with the lawnmower, drilled into the electric cable in the wall while putting up shelves, and tried to put back the bits they'd removed from the car, always managing to have one left. Life was simpler and if anything needed doing involving hard physical effort or tools, that usually fell to the gentleman of the house.

Mrs Paws and I have that division of roles; she has never used an electric drill, picked up an angle grinder, and keeps asking me to show her how you inflate a car tyre- she's never done it and has to ask me to check the pressures. She'd never dream of going near a chainsaw and also would have no clue what sort of oil goes in it, that's what I'm for. Fair play to Pat and Sam for wanting to try these exciting traditionally male skills and I can see their desire to not want a heavy or noisy petrol chainsaw- they are expensive, a bit scary and if you're very busy working 7 days a week you won't have the time to go on some male-dominated petrol head chaps playing-with-their-toys-in-the-woods session to be told that you're doing it all wrong.

The trouble with electric chainsaws is they aren't really designed to cut one foot trees out in the field, they are for cutting modest sized firewood at home. We've probably all had a saw stuck as you did, but when a petrol saw starts to stick it has the power to keep going while you pull it out. Also, there's more chance of a saw sticking if its not sharp- I respectfully suggest you've yet to master the art of sharpening (?). A more blunt saw will be more likely to get stuck. I'd suggest an electric saw isn't suitable for what you tried to do, so either take the plunge and get a 'proper' petrol saw, learn how to sharpen it, get the right protection and guidance, or leave it to someone who does have the right kit and experience. Chainsawing is very physical, you need to be quite strong and fit to handle a chainsaw properly- without wanting to be patronising, ask yourself if you're not a bit out of your league and better off hiring in a professional or asking your gardener to do it. The forum is dominated by hairy blokes and I hope the leg-pulling or criticism doesn't drive you off, always nice to hear from the other sex.
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby Wendelspanswick » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:18 pm

I gained all my chainsaw certificates, apart from aerial work, while working in a different department at the local agricultural college and even though I got all the training for free if I had to I would have paid for it.
The knowledge you gain from an experienced instructor out in the woods is enormous. Having someone critique your actions points out problems you may have not noticed yourself.
Even if you just do the basic crosscutting and maintenance course it will give you valuable information on servicing your chainsaw which will save you money if you have to keep taking it back to the dealer for servicing.
I have 3 saws, 2 that I have owned for over 25 years and they have never been back to a dealers, they start and run as beautifully as the day they were first bought.
If you are serious about felling your own timber I would advise you to get training on dealing with hung up tree's as well as that is not something that is intuitive.

As an aside if you are retired it may well be possible to get free or subsidised chainsaw training as I know when I did mine I trained alongside a retired chap who was taking advantage of the free training.

I have a retired friend who did all his fork lift certificates last year through a Goverment scheme, he doesn't have a forklift but he said he was bored and it was a fun thing to learn!
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Re: Stuck Chainsaw

Postby adam » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:47 pm

It took me about 5 years of using a chainsaw before I got myself on a course. I can understand cost being an issue but for me another issue was time ... most are run during the week and holidays off work are a very rare asset. Eventually I got myself on a course organised by SmallWoods ( It was very cheap, ran over 3 days to include a weekend and so I only used 1 day of holiday from work. I really wish I had done this sooner, although a lot was familiar to me, I still learnt loads and had a great time.

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