Getting the most out of your chainsaw.

Chainsaws can drive you crazy. For most lawn care business owners, their chainsaw is not used everyday, so on those odd times when you need it to start, there is a good chance it won’t. Here are some steps and procedures you can take to make sure you get the most out of your chainsaw as discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “so I have 2 chainsaws. One is broken, the other is… ‘broken.’ The better of the two doesn’t start easy, I almost smashed it out of frustration. I got it to start, then the chain wouldn’t move, then it shut down and I tried to get it to start again, but failed. 10,000’s of pulls on the cord and I am done for the day, what a waste.

Anyone know of a good chainsaw that cat cut thick branches FAST? My old chainsaw took forever to just cut twigs! I don’t do a lot of chain research, maybe a need a certain or newer chain?

I want something to cut down this hedge/tree I am working on. First I trimmed it with a hedge trimmer, but the branches were too big and my chainsaws are crapped out. I ended up snipping some of the branches with wire cutters lol. Anyway I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. I want to get the most out of my chainsaw and be able to cut thick branches like butter. But so far my experience has been the exact opposite.”

A second added “how much you spend on a chain saw will depend a great deal on how much you are going to use. And most likely, the chain may just need sharpened on the one saw to get it to cut better. It also may need a tuneup to get it to run and start better.

You also have to be aware that many manufacturers make both consumer and commercial grade models. I’d highly suggest you get a commercial grade model.”

A third added “in the grand scheme of things, chainsaws are not that expensive so have a back up and pay a professional to tune up periodically. A well maintained sharp saw is the ticket to making money. Pick a good commercial grade company and stick with them. You are likely to get better service if you use one brand exclusively.

Your chain saw is only as good as your chain. Learn how to sharpen them or find a shop that can do it and carry 3-4 extra. lots of things can dull chains prematurely (dirt, rock, foreign material embedded in the wood, ice, decayed or punky wood) so try to only keep in contact with good wood but you will encounter the other stuff so be prepared.

You need to think of the cutting edge on a chain as a fine wood workers chisel. It is awfully close to it. The edge is very sharp and designed for taking a very specific size chip out of the wood. Soil is made up of many things including tiny rocks and sand. A little bit of that is all it takes to dull you chain. If your chain is sharp, the saw will produce small wood chips, not saw dust.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a chain saw is a two cycle engine and overall is pretty simple. The carburetor should be checked and cleaned, air filter replaced, the spark plug should be checked, cleaned, and replaced if necessary. The hi and low idle needs to be adjusted properly. The final one is the most tricky and is why I recommend a professional for the tune up. If there is nothing major wrong with the saw it should only take a pro an hour to tune it up and maybe cost at most $100.
If you don’t want to pay that, you can also learn how to do all this yourself. Either way you go is fine but you should pick one way. Otherwise if you don’t you will get yourself in a situation where you are spending way more time on a job than you have to. Doing so can lead to losing money on a job(s).”
A fourth said “sharpening is super easy however the key is to get someone who knows what they are doing to show you. Once you get it, you will never forget. I have been sharpening chains for 30 some years now. An older fellow showed me when I was 13. It took a few tries but then I had it.
Once you learn how to properly sharpen a chain by hand you should be able to make it just as sharp as it was from new. Depending on how dull it was, and how sharp your file is, it may take anywhere from 2 to who knows how many strokes of the file to sharpen the chain. There is no ‘it will take this many strokes’ to sharpen the chain….

Now regarding how far back to sharpen a chain, I would definitely not recommend sharpening it back farther than the red mark I placed on the photo.

Chain Saw Blade

Chain Saw Blade

I would personally recommend stopping a bit sooner. I have seen chains sharpened beyond this line. Keep in mind that when you do sharpen beyond this red line, that you risk having the teeth break off since there is considerably less strength there to hold the tooth in place. If you choose to sharpen beyond the safe limits I showed, you take that risk on your own.
We run ours until there is about 3/16th of an inch of tooth left, as the tooth gets shorter you sharpen more often, mainly due to heat. I use a round file and in about 3 to 4 minutes I can give you big chips. A new employee may need five tries and they will generally get it right.
Also, I always carry a 12 volt chain sharpener. It’s a great way to get a quick sharpening job done out in the field.”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success