7 Safety Tips to Follow While Using an Electric Chainsaw Sharpener
Machines may make it easy to fell a tree or two, but as far as we can see, it remains a risky task since there is a lot of potential danger involved. Tree felling accidents are no joke, and the number of chainsaw related mishaps is bothering as well. So in the perspective of common safety, we’ve compiled a list of precautions you must follow to minimize a lot of possible risks. These precautions are not an exhaustive list, but in our opinion, they’re among the most important to follow. Comment any other precautions you think we should talk about.
- Wear Proper protective clothing
- Wear Eye gear
- Make sure your chainsaw is sharpened
- Use proper tree felling technique
- Always trim long branches before felling the tree
- Set out a perimeter on safety to avoid injuries
- Avoid felling trees with animal habitations as far as possible.
There’s enough talk about these, however. A completely unexplored area is using a chainsaw sharpener and the proper precautions and safety tips to employ when using one, so as to not cause distress to the blade or result in an unequal cut which will make cutting difficult than it should be with a sharp chainsaw, as well as make things dangerous since one section of the chain will have to take on extra tension while some part gets no tension at all.
Want to know how to make sure you’re using your chainsaw sharpener properly? Here’s a list you could follow followed by a short exposition on each point.
- Keep the chain tight while sharpening.
Having the chain slacking when it’s time to sharpen it can be pretty dangerous. Plus it beats the entire point of sharpening the chainsaw. You see, a slack chain leaves scope for sagging, which can not only give you a poor idea of how much you need to sharpen a tooth, but also make it incredibly hard to sharpen it to that level. Since the entire point of sharpening your chain is to ensure your chain has an even bite throughout, you’re not going to turn up happy with the results. Use the tools you got with your chainsaw to tighten the blade so that there is no visible sagging when you apply pressure.
- Check your sharpener
Your sharpener is a tool as well, and it is prone to decay and failure. It is best to take a quick look at all the important parts before commencing the sharpening. Get old handles replaced, make sure the file doesn’t have gunk stuck to its surface, and if things look improper, chances are they actually are. You can always have someone more skilled than you take a look at the sharpener, or buy a cheap one from the market. It’ll probably save you money when compared to ruining your chainsaw with a bad tool and having to buy a new one afresh.
- Make sure things are secured.
If you’re using a manual file with a measuring tool, it is always a good idea to make sure your chainsaw blade is clamped tight enough to not move under pressure you’re going to apply to sharpen the blade. Use a worktable for this; the standard clamp can be a good fit. Things are different with a different kind of tool. For example, you might need to fix the sharpener if you’re using an industrial size sharpener that runs on electricity. There are hardly such tools, however, since a manual file is much more convenient and a lot easier to operate, plus it is very versatile.
- Make the same number of swipes on each tooth
You want to even out the blade as much as possible. This isn’t possible if you sweep whimsically at the tool you’re trying to sharpen. If you’re using a die (it’s recommended that you do), you can see well enough how much you need to cut each tooth to make the blade even. Your blade will be healthier for the effort you put in.
- Take special care of the tooth’s direction
You want your blade to sharpen, not cut down its size. A very common mistake people do is rub the file on the blade like they’re trying to get the rust off. Remember, the aim is not to make the blade shiny and appealing. Only focus on the tooth. The tooth is only sharpened if you sit it in the direction it is going in. Also remember to sharpen both sides of the tooth, not just the one facing you. It is not just going to ensure you get maximum sharpness, it is also just common sense.
- Grease things afterwards.
Greasing is another often overlooked aspect of mechanical tool care. Chances are, your chainsaw has lost its smoothness with use, along with the sharpness. Old grease can contain a copious amount on dust and grime, along with pieces of debris from the wood you’ve been cutting. Running the saw with these caught in between can gnaw at your blade, cause obstruction and resistance, generate unwanted heat and make things harder otherwise as well. This can also weaken the blade. It is best to wipe off old grease as much as you can (don’t go overboard though, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing; ask an expert to help you instead). Apply fresh grease right away, and your chainsaw should run smoothly.
- And as always, take care of protection.
All this time, you should remain cautious about not hurting yourself in the process. Chainsaws are sharp, as are chainsaw sharpeners. Files aren’t harmless either, and swiping them too close to your skin can cause a lot of pain as well, not to mention the trouble that chips of metal and the bacteria that love rusted surfaces can cause. At the very least, avoid wearing your favorite shirt when sharpening your chainsaw, and maintain a safe distance from the chainsaw while sharpening it, making sure the saw is plugged out and the battery is disconnected.