I have never had much luck with chainsaws, but then I have always bought
Currently I have a Craftsman 16" 36cc.
Although I haven't used it much, it barely cuts and when I push it the blade
just stops. Getting through anything more than a branch is an ordeal; but I
see professionals going through 3' logs like butter.
I concede my technique is largely responsible, I wonder if it is entirely
There is an "new" Echo 440CS available locally for a very low price.
Since the normal price is more than twice that of the saw I have, I have to
think it is somehow better.
Will the Echo do better for me than the Craftsman; or would I be just as
unhappy with it?
When was the last time the chain was sharpened? Depth gauges the
right height? Have you the proper tension on the chain (not too
tight)? Checked the drive gear and bar?
I just gotta ask: Did you have to do any assembly? Is the chain on the right
I did that to my self one day after I had stripped the saw down to clean it
up. I put the chain on backwards. They won't cut worth a damn that way.
Wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple! I will check. Don't think so
though; cuts too well for that.
I have cut very little with it, and I don't think it is any worse now than
I just adjusted the tension because it was a bit loose.
Don't know what a depth stop is. Please advise.
Learn how to properly sharpen your chain including the depth gauges
(rakers). Or buy a new chain. Or have your chain sharpened by a saw shop.
Note that if you touch a running chainsaw to the ground just once, it will
need to be sharpened.
Stihl - Chain Saw Safety, Operation & Maintenance DVD...
Oregon Maintenance and Safety Manual...
Chainsaw safery and maintenance books/videos...
If you're an occasional user don't bother trying to learn hot to
properly sharpen a chain, just pay a good local shop the $10 and be done
with it. Before you have the chain sharpened, go to said local power
equipment shop and have them make up a new chain for you of quality non
anti-kickbak chain like a good Oregon type. Almost certainly the chain
you get on a cheap saw is an anti-kickback type the doesn't cut worth a
damn and a pro wouldn't touch with a 10' pole (saw).
Even my Shindaiwa 488 came standard with a crap anti-kickback chain
which my shop recommended throwing in the garbage and replacing with
real chain. I put it aside as a last ditch backup chain and when I had
some time tried both the anti-kickback chain and the good "real" chain
they gave me on the same 12" logs and the difference was dramatic.
If you use the quite dangerous chains which lack the anti-kickback links,
then you should also have training on how to avoid injury when using these
chains and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself in
the event of a kickback.
PPE for operating a chainsaw...
Chainsaw injury statistics...
When operating potentially dangerous equipment I always pay close
attention to safety and to date have avoided any serious injuries
despite many dangerous activities.
My favorite story was one Saturday when I was out in the middle of the
woods, by myself, with no cell coverage, working with my chain saw and a
large back hoe clearing a number of trees. At the same time a coworker
of mine was in the office doing some network work.
At the end of the day, one of us was visiting the emergency room...
Hint, it wasn't me :) He managed to put a knife through his hand while
cutting inner duct for fiber optic cable, while I ended the day without
a scratch... Ok, probably a few scratches from dragging all that brush
My favorite is the home remodeling show where they were remodeling the two
daughter's room of a single blind dad.
The blind dad wanted to help, and wanted to use the small air nailer. The
show's carpenter had reservations about it, and wouldn't allow it. Fast
forward to the next day. Guess who had the big white bandage on his thumb?
Yep. The blind guy had to finish the job for him. It was hilarious because
the carpenter "didn't want to talk about it."
Invite someone else to try it out to see if it is working properly.
If you bring it home from the store and spend 20 minutes cutting the
sandy roots of tree in your yard, then it is dulled and that explains
I didn't think so. Certainly not well enough to get as far as starting to
cut something and wondering why it won't. I pulled a stupid one the other
day. Went to start mine and the chain wouldn't move. Shut it off and tried
to move it by hand, no luck. I though hell, the clutch or something is
froze. Here the chain brake had been activated and I didn't notice it :)
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