Gardening

5 things not to do when maintaining your chainsaw

The chainsaw is a very versatile tool when it comes to cutting all kinds of plant materials. But if we fall into some of the existing errors in its maintenance, it is likely that we will end up having problems during its use.

Like any cutting tool, the chainsaw requires considerable precautions when it comes to its use. But just as important as taking the necessary safety measures for safe use of the product is its maintenance, given that without adequate control of the state of the machine it is highly likely that we will have problems when working with it. Therefore, we are going to summarize in this article some of the things you should not do when taking care of your chainsaw. Some tips with which to gain security and peace of mind when cutting everything you need, since it is not enough to have the best chainsaw on the market at hand if you do not dedicate yourself to maintaining it properly.

1. Do not tighten the chain, or check its tension

Chain tension is essential for a chainsaw to work properly, but above all for it to be safe. A loose or slack chain is fertile ground for problems during the cutting process, such as snagging or even chain breakage, the consequences of which can be fatal. So, before using the chainsaw, it is essential that we check the condition of the chain, as far as its tension is concerned, correcting it if necessary.

Regarding the tightening process, this depends on the type of chainsaw you have, so you will have to take a look at the options offered by the product for it. In fact, many chainsaws include a side tensioner system, which makes it easier to get that tension correct. Other models have quick tensioning, which by means of a simple key allow to regulate that tension in a simple way. It is enough to see the system that your specific product uses to leave the chain tensioned in just a few seconds, although without going completely, so that the chain can move comfortably.

2. Never sharpen the chain

As with knives, the chainsaw chain must be sharpened every certain number of hours of use of the machine, in order to properly maintain its cutting properties. A dull chainsaw will not cut correctly, increasing the risk of the chain getting stuck during the cutting process, simultaneously increasing the possibility of the chainsaw kicking back from the material we are cutting. In the most extreme cases, a dull chain can break, which can have dire consequences.

Fortunately, today we have a good number of options on the market to sharpen our chainsaw chains, ranging from machines specifically designed for it to the use of stones and other elements designed for the sharpening process by hand. So it is enough to see the process that suits us best and sharpen our chainsaw whenever necessary.

3. Not checking the condition of cables and batteries

Electric chainsaws have the advantage of not using fuel in their operation. But this means that we must take certain precautions when reviewing them. And one of the most important has to do with the electrical part of the product. Using an electric chainsaw with a bad power cord is a considerable risk. Therefore, we should not use a machine that has bare cables, without their plastic cover, or that has that cover in poor condition.

In parallel, for cordless models, we should not use chainsaw batteries that are damaged, swollen or have other defects. These deteriorated batteries can end up exploding, causing serious damage to everything around them. Therefore, we must change these batteries at the time they present some of these defects, taking care to look for a new battery that has the same parameters as the one we are discarding.

4. Clean the chainsaw with gasoline or other fuels

Although it is an obsolete custom, there are still people who use fuel and other flammable products to clean the body of the chainsaw. A custom of yesteryear that today is not necessary, since there are all kinds of cleaning products on the market with which to safely remove resin and other plant debris from the chainsaw.

As proof of how risky this practice is, we have the case of a man from Madrid who, after cleaning his chainsaw with fuel, proceeded to turn it on to verify its operation. During that ignition, a spark was produced, which ignited the gasoline used during the cleaning process and caused serious burns, which finally ended his life. So the use of this fuel in cleaning is clearly discouraged, and it is advisable to use the specific cleaners that we have available on the market.

5. Not checking the condition of the fasteners

Fastenings are one of the keys to gaining safety when working with a chainsaw. These fastenings help us to keep the chainsaw in its correct position, to apply the cutting force on the area that suits us, as well as to prevent the chainsaw from being fired while using it. If the fasteners are loose, cracked, or just not where they should be, then we have a problem.

For this reason, at each maintenance it is necessary to verify that the different gripping areas of the chainsaw are correctly positioned and fixed on the area where they should be. Check the tension and tighten the corresponding screws, without forgetting to replace the handles or handles, when they are broken or more deteriorated than necessary.

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