Tree & Hedge Care Advice

Hints and tips for maintaining healthy trees and hedges.

How to use a chainsaw safely

Whether you are a professional arborist or an amateur who simply needs firewood for the winter, the chainsaw is your trusted companion. As with all powerful machines, however, the dangers are very high if used incorrectly.

At McCulloch, we have been making chainsaws since the late 1940s so we strive to keep our customers informed about the dangers that these machines can pose. To keep you protected, we have put together a handy checklist to allow you to get the job done, safely.

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Understanding chainsaw chains

Chainsaw chains are one of the most important parts of the whole chainsaw. Without them you certainly wouldn’t be able to cut through wood. Confusingly they come in almost limitless combinations of type, size and features, all geared to different applications.

You should always refer to your individual manufacturer’s manual as your first port of call, however here is our handy guide that should clear a few things up for you:

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How to split logs

When the cold weather sets in, you need to prepare with a healthy supply of firewood. Sawing your own wood is always much more fun than buying it pre-cut. Henry Ford once said “chop your own wood and it will warm you twice”, so it’s time to break out the tools and unleash your inner lumberjack.

While it may look very easy in the movies, there is an art to chopping wood, so make sure you do your research or you could end up with nothing to show for a day’s hard work beyond a sore back. Here are a few practical hints and tips that can help you make light work of splitting logs.

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How to carve wood with a chainsaw

Chainsaw carving is amongst the oldest of DIY crafts in the world. Chainsaws are, without doubt, one of the sharpest tools around, which makes them ideally suited to carving sculptures. It may seem difficult at first, but everyone has to start somewhere and with perseverance you can soon create masterpieces that can decorate both indoors and outdoors.

You don’t need to be Michelangelo to get cracking. Thankfully, there is a lot of information and designs to help you get started. Here are our beginner tips on carving wood with chainsaws.

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How to avoid chainsaw kickback

‘Chainsaw kickback’ is a phrase that is used when discussing operating chainsaws. To ensure absolute safety, it is extremely important to ensure you’re well versed in what it means and how to handle it. It can mean the difference between getting the job done and serious injury.

To fully prepare for chainsaw kickback you first need to understand what it is, how it happens and, more importantly, how to avoid it.

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Chainsaw Troubleshooting - Why Has My Chainsaw Stopped Working

It is important that your chainsaw is in good working condition in order to get the best out of it when you have a job to do. If your machine does stop working you will need to check what repairs you can do without voiding the warranty. If you are unsure you can query it with a registered repair agent. Here at McCulloch we have dedicated service agents across the country that you can find here.

When diagnosing different issues with machines, you will need to understand the different components that go into making a chainsaw work. As an example, the diagram below shows the main components in a McCulloch CS 42S Chainsaw.

1.Combination tool 2.Chain 3.Front hand guard
4.Muffler 5.Front handle 6.Starter rope
7.Idle speed screw 8.On/Stop switch 9.Choke/fast idle lever
10.Primer (air purge) bulb 11.Fuel mix fill cap 12.Starter housing
13.Bar and chain oil fill cap 14.Bumper spike 15.Cylinder cover
16.Throttle lock-out 17.Rear handle 18.Throttle trigger
19.Clutch cover 20.Chain catcher 21.Guide bar
22.Chain brake 23.Cutters 24.Depth gauge
25.Drive links 26.Chain direction of travel 27.Guide bar retaining nuts
28.Manual

With roughly 30 different components to most petrol chainsaws, make sure that you are confident with the repairs that you need to carry out. The manufacturers manual provides additional information as to what is required; however if in doubt consult a specialist so you don't void the warranty.

To make things easier here are the most common issues that you can experience with your chainsaw.

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How to tell when your chainsaw chain needs replacing

Chainsaws are incredibly powerful machines, which makes them very effective at the job they are designed to do. As the saying goes however, “with great power comes great responsibility” and if your chainsaw isn’t properly maintained it can be very dangerous to the operator.

For bespoke information on your machine and the signs to look out for you should always check your manufacturers manual, as this will provide the appropriate safety advice. Here are our quick tips that you should also be aware of.

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Pole saw attachment

When Is The Best Time To Prune Trees?

When a tree has outgrown its space, it is important to keep it in shape and reduce its size. This can be hard work, but can be essential to keep the look of your garden as smart as possible. If your tree is likely to overhang into your neighbour’s garden, they may want you to keep the branches in order.

The decision on when to trim your tree really depends on your desired objectives. Light pruning and the removal of dead branches can be done at any point during the year, for anything more substantial here are our top trimming tips:

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What To Consider When Buying A Hedge Trimmer

It doesn't take long for hedges and bushes to quickly grow out of control so owning a hedge trimmer that can get the job done quickly and effectively is very important – say goodbye to those shears! When choosing a hedge trimmer that’s right for your garden needs there are several things you need to consider. We’ve devised a handy checklist to help you choose the one that’s right for you…
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