How Does a Chainsaw Work to Cut Down Trees & Branches?

How Does a Chainsaw Work to Cut Down Trees & Branches?

Whether you are a farmer cutting wood or a homeowner cleaning up a few trees, a chainsaw will come in handy, and it’s among the powerful tools that have had a major impact on the timber industry. Chainsaws are not only used for cutting wood but also to carve driftwood into fantasy creatures or maneuver a large piece of wood into an item of unique furniture.

Regardless of why you need a chainsaw, there are many strengths, possibilities and blade lengths. But, what exactly is a chainsaw, and how does it work? Let’s dive in.

What is a Chainsaw?

A chainsaw is a portable electrically powered or gas-powered for cutting large rough wood pieces such as logs and trees. It cuts wood through a fast-moving chain that rotates around a guide bar, making short work of climbing, pruning, felling, and bucking trees. It has an electric motor or a small petrol/ gas engine motorized by a cord or a battery pack.

A chainsaw has a bar and a cutting chain containing teeth or saw blades attached. After you start it, the chain starts spinning around the guide bar at a fast speed and cuts everything placed in its way. The blade’s speed depends on the horsepower your chainsaw will possess and what engine speed your chainsaw engine will be responsible for. However, that’s not the end and below is a full breakdown of how different chainsaws work.

What are the Types of Chainsaws?

a). Gas

Gas chains have a fuel tank that feeds into a carburetor to mix with air before it passes into a cylinder that works like the one in a car engine, and the gas ignites to release energy. The energy pushes the piston in a back and forth motion, which causes a chain to turn in a circular motion.

b). Electric

Electric chainsaws get energy by being plugged into an electric outlet that powers a rod and crank assembly to power a circular motion of the chainsaw’s chain. The main disadvantage of electric chainsaws is they aren’t as portable as gas or battery-operated chainsaws.

Both electric and gas saws have a drive shaft that guides the rotary motion to the centrifugal clutch, and this clutch will transfer energy and power to the chainsaw’s chain.

c). Battery

Battery-powered chainsaws get their energy the same as electric chainsaws, but instead, it comes from a lithium-ion battery instead of an electrical outlet. Since battery-powered chainsaws are limited in the power they receive from the batter, they need to be charged often and may not be as powerful as the electric or the gas chainsaw engine.

How Does a Chainsaw Work In General?

According to science, a chainsaw converts chemical energy into mechanical energy, transforming any tree into logs and trunks. Here are the main parts that work together within a chainsaw:

  • Starting Mechanism
  • Engine
  • Crankshaft
  • Gear wheels
  • Chain Brake
  • Chain Assembly (Guide Bar and Chain)

Most chainsaws start by pulling a cord or pushing a button, depending on the energy used.

The engine will receive power from the starting mechanism, giving power to the crankshaft. Like a bicycle chain, the saw chain is rotated by gear wheels, and the power of the crankshaft will rotate the wheels, and the power stroke will determine the rotations to be made.

As the gear wheels are spinning, the chain is rotated around the guide bars, creating enough friction to cut through wood. The power usually travels from the clutch to the chain sprocket, and the guide will offer room for the chain to spin.

Since the guide bar is made of a long steel plate, it spits wood dust in motion. In addition, all modern chainsaws come with a chain brake that stops the chain from spinning when a kickback occurs.

How Does an Electric Chainsaw Work?

Electric chainsaws are lighter than the traditional chainsaw tool, and luckily there is no need for the use of gasoline in an electric chainsaw.

To start, fill the reservoir with a weight oil but before you fill the reservoir, always read the manufacturer’s manual.

Starting a chainsaw can be challenging, but putting on your safety gear is a must since you are in direct contact with electricity to avoid unexpected incidents. First, place your power cord into an outlet or power plug.

Start the chainsaw, keep other things away from it, and wait until the chain is lubricated by the oil and pull the trigger. Then, use your left hand to operate the chain saw, bring it onto the wood and let the tool perform its task.

How Does a Gas Chainsaw Work?

A gasoline-powered chainsaw is an advanced chainsaw machine that uses a two-stroke burning motor to check a quick turning wood cutting chain. In other words, it’s a mechanical device that uses a chain with sharp teeth to slice through wooden objects.

The chain is twirled around the aide bar and sliced through wood as it pivots, where the length of the aide bar will decide how thick a tree the trimming tool can cut.

Gas-fueled trimming tools are categorized into three classes depending on the sizes, and they include mortgage holders, homestead and farm, and expert trimming tools.

Frequently Asked Questions on How Does a Chainsaw Work

1. What is the Chainsaw Maintenance?

Chainsaws need proper maintenance to work properly, and the maintenance will vary depending on the chainsaw type and the frequency of use. Since the sharpness of the saw blade of chain saws dulls with use and age, you should often check since dull blades can be dangerous as they can cause a chainsaw operator to bounce away from wood instead of cutting through.

2. Can a Chainsaw Run Without a Chain?

The chain is part of the chainsaw that does the actual cutting, so the chain shouldn’t run if you are not cutting. However, a chainsaw without a chain is hazardous, and mishaps can occur.

Jacky Chou


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