Cold-Weather Cutting

   Chainsaws are often called into use during cold and unpleasant conditions. The risk of injury can climb when you combine compromised operator control due to cold and increased stress on the chainsaw itself. Cold and snowy conditions along with wood that can be frozen hard can lead to more rapid wear and increased chance for mechanical failure of the cutting chain. When cutting in cold climates and conditions, follow the tips below to minimize the cold-weather wear and tear on your saw.

  1. Chain tension. Even metal can shrink and contract in cold weather so it's very important to have your chain properly adjusted for cold-weather cutting. It may be necessary to check and adjust it more frequently in very cold conditions.

  2. Cutting teeth. Your chain can only cut as well as it's sharpened. Keep your cutters sharp and touch them up as often as needed while cutting. Cutting hard and frozen wood will dull your chain quickly. Safe and dependable cutting demands a sharp chain.

  3. Oil, oil. Cold-weather cutting calls for lighter-weight bar-chain oil. If need be, you can dilute your normal chain oil with 25% kerosene. Make certain that your chain is receiving oil when cutting and oil your chain liberally while cutting in cold weather.

  4. Bar talk. Keeping your bar groove clean and oil holes open will help insure safe chain operation while cutting. Symmetrical bars should be turned over to guarantee even wear.

  5. Check your depth. The leading portion of each cutter acts as a depth gauge and regulates the "bite" of the cutting teeth. You should always check and adjust the depth gauges at each chain sharpening.

  6. Sprocket wear. Watch the wear on your drive sprocket. Drive sprockets generally last for about two chains. Replace sooner if you notice significant wear.

Choose from the chainsaw topics below or click the "Next" button to continue.
Dress For Safety
Built-in Safety Features
Cold-Weather Cutting
Chainsaws Aren't Toys
Additional Guidelines
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