Any of your wifes/girlfriends use a chainsaw?

Yamaha_gurl Posted By Yamaha_gurl, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

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  1. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister
    Member 2.

    Jan 3, 2009
    Cutting in the winter around here adds the risk of slipping on snow / ice.

    The three most important things when cutting are safety, safety and safety. A chainsaw is very unforgiving of little mistakes.

    In addition to reading up on the use of a saw and wearing PPE, I would strongly suggest getting some tutoring from an experienced wood cutter. Most guys get it from fathers, friends or mentors. I don't buy the whole "it's a guy thing". I think we've come far enough down the road to realize there's very little that a woman can't do that a man can. Male or female it takes some strength. Having said that, if you're not very strong, buy or rent a small saw to start with and look for smaller downed trees.

    I had a macho type uncle. Was a logger in Northern WI in his youth. He wanted to go cut a dead Oak down in mid winter. Called his relatives to come help. They too were loggers, and all refused. So he took his son out in a 20 - 30 mph wind and proceeded to cut. A large branch fell off the oak, came down and hit him on the head while he was cutting the trunk. It cracked his skull into pieces, crushed two vertebrae and caused him to fall down on the saw. The chain cut into his arm down to the bone. His son was back at the truck and heard the saw stop. Came back to the tree and found blood all over the snow. He dragged his dad 200yds . back to the truck through 18 inches of snow. Long story short.......he actually lived. Doctors reattached the cut tendons so he could use his hand again. They fused his spine back together. Was in recovery for two years.

    Moral........don't cut alone, in high wind or in deep snow. And if 3 or 4 others are saying it's too just might be wise to listen to the voices of experience.
  2. Wet1

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Apr 27, 2008
    Thanks for the kind words John! It's hard to get her upset, but either way I'm safe as long as I keep the saws locked up. :coolsmile:

    Me either... although typically it's bright red. :)
  3. Olgagrl

    New Member 2.

    Jan 14, 2009
    San Juan Islands
    Check with your local saw shop too see if they offer some sort of safety training, and can familiarize you with your chainsaw. We all pick up bad habits, especially after cutting wood for awhile. Eye protection, ear protection, steel toe boots-(no flip flops please), know your footing, and the area you are working in. I have been cutting all of our firewood, for the last six years, with my first and only saw, a Farm Boss. Running a chainsaw is a really good skill to have especially, if you live a wooded and rural area. "Safety first" is the answer to any question you will have. With a nod to the comments about lipgloss and earings, and speaking from experience, it can be pretty entertaining when you walk out the woods with your saw, up to your boyfriend and his buddies, and one of them says "Oh, hi, who's back there cutting wood," and you say "me."
  4. kevin j

    kevin j
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 21, 2008
    minnesota us
    Q comments about lipgloss and earings, and speaking from experience, it can be pretty entertaining when you walk out the woods with your saw, up to your boyfriend and his buddies, and one of them says “Oh, hi, who’s back there cutting wood,” and you say “me.” Q

    and it is way cool as a parent when the young guys try to impress my daughter by bragging about motorcycle riding, we take them out, she rolls up tight to a big log, hard right turn, balance, hop over it and go on. or shooting, or car oil change or other stuff.

    I am traditional, there are some roles we simply do best at, but all my kids have at least passible skills to fix, cook,clean, take care of their world without waiting helpessly for the experts to save them. and that was a really good thing for the girl.
    so be safe, but go for it.

  5. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 10, 2008
    Britton MI
    Way to go Yamaha Girl!!

    The most important part is wanting to learn. The second is finding good teachers. There are a lot of people that say they Know how to cut. But are sadly laking in knowledge and safety. I will be 43 in a month and a half and have been running a chainsaw since I was 10. Both cutting firewood and a little logging. And I can say I have learned a lot in the last year. I can honestly say if there was a way to do something wrong I have done it. But I have learned from my mistakes.

    Since you have time. It would be a good idea to go to They are the ones that sent me to this site and I have learned a lot there. It is very important to be able to identify any dangerous situation. You need to get a basic knowledge base to work from. Because some things don't look dangerous but are.
    The forms I read there are. Arborist 101, Homeowner Helper Forum, Forestry and Logging Forum, Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment.

    Another good form to read there is Arboricultural Injuries and Fatalities, where you can see mistakes that others have made and not make them your self.

    You definitely need to spend more time cutting with someone before you go out by your self. Building up your reflexes so when it kicks back or pinches the bar you can react without thinking. Just like driving your motorcycle you had to think about leaning into the turns clutching and braking. And now you just do it with out having to think about it.

    There are two kinds of kick back. One where the end of the bar hits something and flys up in the air and back at you. The other is when the top of the bar gets pinched and the saw comes strait back at you. You always need to watch where the bar tip is and be aware of any branches it may hit and fly up on. And know where your legs are in relation to the bar and chain. Cutting branches off of a tree are under tension and on ones that the tree is pressing into the can pop off when cutting and whack you good. (don't ask how I know) or cutting a branch off of a tree can cause it to roll towards you. You need to learn to see how the branches and trees might move and pinch the bar as you are cutting. You are going to get the saw stuck in a tree it happens to us all.

    I am not trying to scare you. You just need to start off slowly and lean. Work with someone that is safe and knows what they are doing until you lean.

    I take my 7 yr old nephew out to the woods with me. He learns that way and I have someone that can go and get help if I need it. I always make sure he stays with his four wheeler out of my work area and far enough away that a tree cannot fall on him.

    When cutting a tree down a thing you need to look at all the trees around the one you are going to drop. I have had good trees that I was felling hit a dead tree on the way down and have that one fall back at me. Some times it it hits dead branches on the way down that can get cought on other branches and stay up for a few minuets before coming down. So after the tree is down look up at the trees above where you dropped one is and see if any broken branches are waiting to come down before you walk under them and start cutting up your tree.

  6. bsruther

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Oct 28, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    There is no way I'd put a running chain saw in my wife's hands. That would be a BIG mistake. It scares enough me just to watch her run the weed eater.
    She has no desire to learn that sort of thing anyway. She'll run the splitter and stack all day long though and she enjoys doing it too.
    I've known women that were completely capable of running a chain saw and most any other tool for that matter.
  7. cgeiger

    New Member 2.

    Nov 22, 2008
    Northwestern VA
    Came home the other day to split a little wood and when I went out, I found a wedge buried in the middle of a particularly large round. Found out my wife had gone out to some splitting herself and did a pretty good job with the maul. While you don't have to be Hercules it does take a bit of heft and accuracy to use the sledge end of the maul to bury a wedge. I gave her an A+ for effort and gumption and a small lesson in proper wedge placement and why you always have 2 ;) Otherwise, she's out there tossing rounds, pushing the wheelbarrow and such. One in a million.

    As far as a chainsaw, I haven't tried but she does just about everything else so I don't see why she wouldn't be just as good at that too (with the right training, PPE, etc.). I'd definitely start her out on something small for limbing though.
  8. Chris S

    Chris S
    New Member 2.

    Jan 22, 2008
    Orange County NY
    My wife has had her own chain saw since she was 20, except when she can't find it because I hide it (them) My (24 yr old daughter is not as brave)
    She's 102 pounds soaking wet, and is more careful than most men are. Currently she has a Stihl MS18 which is well suited for someone her size, she cannot start or use my larger o29 which is good.
    I keep the chains sharp, along with all of the other good advice given here... be careful, and keep your equipment gear etc in top order, and change out the chain or sharpen it when it gets dull- otherwise you're asking for trouble
    Good luck
  9. tbrickner

    New Member 2.

    Jan 31, 2009
    Elkton, MD
    These 4 videos are the best I have found. Great advice from someone who has cut down some trees. When you do fell some trees, start out with the 3” to 4” diameter ones to get your confidence level up and to practice felling the tree where you want it. Then you can work your way up to larger diameter trees with confidence. Another great piece of advice given on this thread is to WEAR YOUR SAFETY CLOTHING. Don’t skimp on this. Your health is worth millions of times the price of the equipment.

    Notice that this guy wears protective clothing and so do the professionals. Hmm?? I wonder why???

    Notice the jokers on the web who think they know what they are doing don’t wear any protective clothing, and will probably someday hurt themselves badly.


    TITLE: “How to put a chainsaw blade into your head” NEVER CUT OVER YOUR HEAD LIKE THIS. Always cut below your waste.

    TITLE: “How to put a chainsaw blade into your knee or chest” NEVER CUT WITH THE BLADE IN FRONT OF YOU it can buck and cut your mid section. NEVER CUT WHILE UNBALANCED or NEVER CUT WITHOUT CHAPS you can easily loose control of your saw and cut into your leg. Always position your body so if the saw kicks back on you at lightning speed it will move in a path that won’t hit any body parts.

    These guys are the “I have been doing this for (INSERT YEARS) and never got hurt” crowd . Well they haven’t got hurt yet and the people who do get hurt often don’t live to put their video on the web.

    The best advice is to start slowly, build up your confidence level with the saw and if you get too tired stop. It isn’t a race. If you are tired and you feel like you can cut that last piece of wood DON’T. STOP, take a break then cut that last piece. It’s always the last piece at the end of the day that will hurt you. Good luck and enjoy the feeling of putting that bar through a piece of wood. It’s quite a rush.
  10. jebatty

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 1, 2008
    Northern MN
    My girlfriend uses chains in all the usual places.
  11. mjbrown

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Jan 15, 2008

    uuuummmmm.....lites on, or lites off? NEVER MIND, to much info! LOL

  12. karri0n

    New Member 2.

    Nov 18, 2008
    Eastern CT

    Can anyone explain why he uses a plunge cut in this video? He goes over the possible kickback, and we all know the tip of the bar is the most dangerous point of first contact. Is there a particular reason a plunge cut is safer here than coming in from the back?
  13. sugarloafer

    New Member 2.

    Nov 18, 2008
    The plunge has many advantages. My favorite is that it enables you to preserve a tab on the backside that, along with the hinge, helps hold the tree in place until you're ready to drop it. Notice how he made the plunge cut, removed his saw and inserted a wedge without having to worry about his saw getting pinched (recall this tree has a slight back lean). Doing so also gave him the opportunity to reposition himself so he could make his get-away safer.

    This video doesn't show him initiating the plunge cut, but what he does is to begin the cut with the bottom of the tip and then rotates into the plunge. As for the cut itself, it's something that takes practice, and is not popular with all loggers, but is now widely used by professional loggers and taught by manufacture's reps (I went to a workshop last year led by the Stihl rep and he was demonstrating the bore/plunge cut). Here in Maine, the CPL (Certified Professional Logger) program trains that method. There may be better examples, but here's one I found on YouTube:
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