Electric Chain Saws
Types, uses and safety precautions
Heavy duty electric chainsaws can have power equivalent to that of a 40 cc gas chainsaw motor, so the image of them as less capable cutters than gas saws is clearly false. They're great for landscape timbers, outdoor construction projects, firewood, trimming and pruning. In fact, for most home sawing jobs, they're the perfect tool, and superior to gas chainsaws in many ways.
Benefits of Electric Chainsaws
If you don't use a chainsaw very often, an electric chainsaw is the best option. After a gas chainsaw sits for a while, you'll have to do all sorts of prep work to get it to start. Electric chainsaws will start right up – simply plug them in.
Another benefit of the electric chainsaw, like the highly popular Remington chainsaw, is the ability to easily check the oil level, usually through a tiny window. Unlike smoking gas-powered saws, there's no exhaust to deal with, no fuel to mix and carry with you, and they're quieter and vibrate less than their counterparts. They're also lighter, easier to maintain and keep running at top efficiency.
Electric Chainsaw Safety
Almost 40,000 chainsaw accidents are reported each year, with the average injury requiring over 100 stitches. Safety must be foremost on your mind when using a tool that can cause life-threatening injuries. Chainsaws do have safety features built-in to help protect you, but you are ultimately in charge of your own safety.
The biggest hazard when using any kind of chainsaw is kickback. That's when the tip of the saw touches the object you want to cut, but the force of impact and the spinning chain causes the saw to literally "kick back" toward the person operating the machine. Electric chainsaws all have to comply to UL standards regarding a maximum kickback angle, as well as two other kickback safety devices like chain brakes, a tip guard and kickback bars. When the chainsaw kicks back and part of your body comes in contact with a kickback bar adjacent to the front handle, a chain brake activates, stopping movement. Some are activated by inertia, and when the kickback occurs, the very speed of the movement stops the chain.
Electric chainsaw safety equipment and procedures are almost the same as regular chainsaws. Wear full-cover protective clothing, a dust mask and safety goggles to protect yourself from flying debris. Keep both hands on the saw – NEVER try to operate the saw with one hand. Keeping your left arm straight while holding the saw parallel to the ground can also reduce kickbacks. And never stand directly behind the chainsaw, but to the side, so that the saw doesn't slice through the wood and continue on to your leg. Also, never use a chainsaw alone, don't saw in wet weather, and be sure to use an extension cord suitable for outdoor use.