Chainsaws are self-driven saws which are powered by electricity or by a petrol two-stroke engine - some chainsaw used by professionals are hydraulic powered.
Chainsaws make cutting wood so much easier than manual saws which are much slow and require a considerable amount of physical effort. There are used for cutting down trees, branch and shrubbery removal and are widely used in saw mills. Some people also use them in the practice of chainsaw art to cut wood into intricate shapes. Some chainsaws are fitted with exceptionally sharp, titanium chains to enable them to be used to cut concrete.
The chainsaw chain is the most important part of this popular cutting power tool and it is made up of several small and sharp blades called teeth. These teeth have a very sharp angular or curved corner and take the shape of a folded tab of chromium plate steel. Each section of a chain consists of little riveted pieces of metal which look very similar to those found on a bicycle chain.
There are many types of chainsaw chain and each has its own specific tension for precise cutting - this can usually be easily be adjusted on most of the chainsaws. Proper maintenance of a chain so it should always be kept razor sharp, properly oiled and clean - this will ensure optimum performance and keep the chainsaw safe for the user as well.
Regular chain sharpening with a manual or electric sharpener is essential; otherwise the performance of any chainsaw will be greatly reduced. The more a chainsaw is used, the quicker its teeth will become dull and worn - dull teeth of a chain put more strain on the motor, and well as making the device more difficult to use and therefore potentially dangerous. There's also an increased risk of kickback, which all chainsaw operators dread.
Chainsaw chains are easy to clean after you have slackened it off and removed it from the guide bar. You should take care when removing the chain to avoid hurting yourself on the sharp teeth. A chain can then be placed in a bucket or suitable container and soaked in a mixture of water and a cleaning agent, such as ammonia, before scrubbing it with a stiff brush. The chain should be left to dry completely before reconnecting it to the chainsaw.
Finally, an approved lubricant oil or spray should be applied to the chain. To work properly, chainsaw chains and its bars must be lubricated. Oiling the chain throroughly will minimise friction between the guide bar and the chain itself, thereby enabling the blade to cut evenly and rotate freely with minimal heat energy production.
Some people choose to remove their chain from the guide bar, wipe away debris with a clean cloth and then simply spray the chain with WD40 or other suitable penetrating oil, before taking to it with a stiff brush.
There’s a whole range of chainsaw chain types available these days including semi chisel, full chisel, ripping chain, square ground, low profile and skip chain. Another type is a carbide chainsaw chain which is used to cut very hard materials. Chainsaw chain types are made using various pitches, different chain lengths and with varying drive length gauges.
A ‘professional’ chainsaw chain is specifically made for people who are experts and have training and experience using specialist chains, including the ripping and square ground types. Pro chainsaw users who long hours they require a specific chain types that come with certain pitch requirements so that they can achieve more cutting in a shorter period of time.
The majority of chainsaw chains have been designed so they cut perpendicular to the grain of wood, but ripping chainsaw chains have been designed to cut parallel to the grain, a procedure usually required for cutting boards from felled trees in a saw mill.
Nowadays it's possible to buy self-sharpening chainsaws which have been designed specifically for owners with limited experience who are not comfortable with sharpening their chains themselves.
Getting the right chain for a saw is essential if you want to cut wood efficiently, while keeping the risk of injury or damage to the chainsaw to an absolute minimum.