By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.
In workshops for many years I have used a large scale cutter tooth to open up discussions on chainsaw safety. It has always been a great icebreaker for my presentations because everyone knows, or believes they do, how important sharpening is to their success with a chainsaw.
Understanding the five cutting parts of a saw tooth helps us to confirm our saw chain will do the job. The real test however, is putting it in the wood. My theory is the cutting rate into the limb or log should be about an inch a second or something is wrong, dull.
I strongly believe, Theory by Ard, that many of the laceration incidents with chainsaws occur because of dull chain. When an operator pushes harder to make the cut, the chance of loss of control or lack of regaining control increases. When we apply more pressure to the reactive forces of the bar and chain, the management of them is truly risky. So the answer - keeping a sharp chain is never a dull subject in chainsaw operation.
I know we all consider ourselves chainsaw file efficient, but every workshop I have attendees come up and state they learned something they didn't know by revisiting the basics.
Check out the articles and info on our website on sharpening. A good refresher if nothing else will produce a much more efficient and safe chainsaw experience.