Homeowner's Guide to the Chainsaw

Just about everythng you need to know about using a chainsaw - safely.


Homeowner's Guide to the Chainsaw

The first thing you need to know about this book is that the authors (Brian and Jen Ruth) know a bit about the chainsaw. Brian is a former tree surgeon with over 28 years experience, and the winner of several world chainsaw carving titles. Jen has been chainsaw carving for almost a decade. It always adds a dose of credibility when you're learning from a 'practicing' professional.
The chainsaw is a remarkably powerful tool, but one that can easily cause serious damage, particularly to your legs or hands (Ruth points out that it takes 110 stitches to close the typical chainsaw wound.) Ouch! So it's good to see that the first part of this book covers chainsaw safety - including safety issues around the saw, the tree, and the user. Ruth covers chainsaw control, kickback, pulling-in, push-back and pinching, explaining why these situations happen, and what to do should they occur.
The following chapter discusses the different kinds of saws, and the kind of features you should be looking for, depending on the kind of cutting you will be doing. There are a huge number of saws on the market - this chapter will help you narrow the field down considerably.
Don't think that you'll get away with only buying the chainsaw. In the third chapter Ruth lays out the rest of the shopping list: protective gear, service and maintenance tools, sharpening accessories, tree felling and handling tools, and safety equipment. And you thought that you were just going to buy a chainsaw!

While you might be tempted to rush through the first three chapters, you'll not want to skip any of the fourth chapter. Ruth provides a step-by-step guide to using your saw. The chapter is great reading - the explanations are clear, concise and amply illustrated with close-up photos. You'll learn how to install and adjust the bar and chain, fuel and oil the saw, grease the sprocket, and safely start the saw, with it resting on the ground and held in a standing position. Knowing how to handle a tool makes it much easier to actually use the tool to proper effect.
The next 90 pages or so take you through a dozen uses for the saw, including cutting firewood, making and using a sawbuck, trimming branches, felling a tree, and milling lumber from logs. Each project is delivered in a step-by-step format, showing you what to do, and what not to do. There are lots of high quality illustrative photos.
Once you've been using the saw for a while you will likely never need to refer to the first five chapters again. But, the last chapter, 'Maintenance, Service and Sharpening' is one that you'll come back to time and time again. In fact, this chapter alone justifies buying the book. Take care of your saw and it will last a long time - I bought my Husqvarna in 1981, and it's still in use today.
If you don't feel comfortable using your chainsaw, if you feel that you're not getting the most out of it, or if you are a first time buyer, then you really ought to consider getting this book.


  • Read This Chapter! (Safety is Important)
  • Buying a Chainsaw: Which is the Best One for You?
  • At the Store: A Shopping List
  • Getting Started: Step-by-Step
  • Projects
  • Maintenance, Service and Sharpening
  • Appendices
PUBLISHER:Fox Chapel Publishing
AVAILABLE FROM:Your local bookseller or online
FORMAT:Softcover, 208 pages
AUTHOR:Brian & Jen Ruth

Carl Duguay
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