My Friend, the Chainsaw

Because they are so useful for a wood burner, and because I enjoy them so, I wanted to make this entry on an intro to the chainsaw – or a beginner’s guide to the saw.  While I only have average experience using a chainsaw for someone who processes their own firewood, I do have several years experience fixing and selling chainsaws professionally.  In the past I have been certified by both Husqvarna and Stihl.

So you want to purchase a saw?  Great!  There are somethings to look for and chainsaw quality can vary greatly within the industry.  The same golden rule applies to saws:  You get what you pay for.  If you buy a cheap saw, all else being equal, it will perform worse and die sooner than a better saw.  Cheap saws have their place, but if you’re cutting and preparing more than a cord or so of wood a year you’ll want something better than a hundred-dollar-special.  The best thing to do (in my opinion) is to visit a local reputable dealer and shop.  Remember, for the most part good saws come from dealers.  Cheap saws come from box stores, no matter what brand.

Protective gear is also a good idea.  Kevlar chaps can save your legs.  I have, on more than one occasion “repaired” a non running saw by pulling kevlar fibers out of the sprocket.  The customers often didn’t even know they hit their legs.  If you’re felling trees a good helmet with ear and eye protection is important.  Dead or hung up branches can fall and injure or kill you.  Eye protection keeps sawdust out of your eyes while cutting also.

One hazard a saw operator can face is kickback.  What happens is the top quadrant of the bar tip catches on a log, digs in, and flings the saw back at the operator.  It doesn’t always happen, but it’s something you should be aware of and watch out for.  Make sure you have a good grip on the saw and good footing while using it, and try to keep the top of the bar from touching other logs while cutting.  The best way to avoid it is prevention.

Saws do require maintenance and good quality mix fuel.  Fuel should be mixed with the proper amount of 2-stroke oil and fresh fuel should be used.  Fuel nowadays contains ethanol, which isn’t very good for 2-stroke equipment.  Keep the fuel clean and free of moisture and do not store fuel in your equipment no matter for how short of a time – even overnight.  Ethanol and water can destroy the saws delicate carburetor and also can result in the saw running on a very lean mixture and burning it’s engine up.

Keep your chain nice and sharp too.  Sharp chains will make the saw easier to use and can reduce fatigue and injury on the operator.  They also will prolong the life of the saw.  Sharpening with a file can take some practice, but is well worth it.  It’s also nice to have a spare.

There’s way more to saws than this crude “crash course” can say.  Stihl has a great hour long video on the web on a similar theme, owning and using a saw.  It’s pretty good and informative.  Saws are handy to have when a tree falls on your property.  They also greatly expand your ability to get free wood from neighbors.  I sometimes carry one on the truck during winter storms just in case.  So have fun Paul Bunyan, and don’t cut your leg off!

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)