A saw chain is simply the part of a chainsaw that cuts through the wood. When kept, sharp tight, lubricated, and clean, this vital component enables you to cut through large woods easily and quickly. However, the chain does not achieve all this on its own.
For it to be complete, it incorporates several parts which work together to make it effectively dig into your timber smoothly and cut it according to your specifications.
What are the different parts that make up the chainsaw chain?
Before you start using your chainsaw, go through the following parts of a chainsaw chain to become more familiar with your cutting tool:
- Different Parts of a Saw Chain.
- Power Source.
- Different varieties of chainsaw chains are driven by different sources of energy.
- Almost any chainsaw designed for home use runs on electricity as opposed to gasoline. The cordless chainsaws are compact, portable, relatively quiet, and easy to operate. Though they’ve less power compared to the other models, these chainsaws are ideal for smaller projects at the private residences.
- Then there is larger electric chainsaw that you must plug in. These are also relatively light and have a great advantage when it comes to safety. Because no power source is available when you unplug the cord, you won’t have to worry about the dangers of the machine accidentally activating.
- There are also gasoline-powered chainsaws perfect for the bigger, professional projects. These tools are quite powerful and make quick jobs of large tree branches and tree trunks. Due to the added weight resulting from the oil tank, these models are somewhat awkward to operate. They might prove dangerous when being run by inexperienced people. On the other hand, they’re cordless which means they’re more portable and there are no tipping risks.
This is the long, round metal piece on your cutting machine. The bar is usually construed using wear-resistant metals such as steel alloy. A typical guide bar length ranges from around 16 to 36 inches.
The edge slot that surrounds the outside part of the bar guides the saw chain and correctly holds it into position. The user will control the device by just placing the guide bar against the object he/she want to cut.
In the past years, manufacturers used to produce loop-style guide bars- usually known as the bow bars- which were used to buck logs as well as clear the bush. However, these styles were associated with a high number of injuries, prompting the manufacturers to abandon them.
Engine control is another essential part of your saw chain. The machine motor is connected to the cutting chain by a clutch and sprocket. One of the top tasks of a clutch is to prevent your chainsaw engine from stalling in case the cutting chain abruptly slows down or stops working.
Additionally, it prevents the chain from rotating when the engine is idling- keeping off accidental cases to the operator or the saw itself.
A well-tuned clutch is necessary for the consistent and efficient running of the machine, guaranteeing performance and safety.
NOTE: The modern chainsaws are incorporated with the flywheel (a weighted wheel) that generates rotational energy to help keep the device running at constant speed. The wheel is also tasked with preventing the engine from overheating and keeping it cool.
Because of their exceptional cutting prowess, saw chains are highly dangerous devices. Thus, all chainsaw manufacturers have been directed to incorporate various components to help reduce risks of an accident.
One such device is the chain catcher- made of plastic or metal material. This is a guard specially designed to intercept the derailed or broken chain. Rather than striking the user’s hand, the chain will simply land on the chain catcher.
Since 1995, all chainsaw manufacturers have been directed to introduce a chain brake in their product. This feature immediately stops your chain from moving whenever a kickback occurs.
However, it important to note that the chain break cannot prevent the chain from hitting you. On the contrary, it can stop the chain from rotating when it hits you.
Important Note: because these features are recent innovations, they might not be present in all the chainsaws you find on the market. It’s, therefore, advisable to ensure that the chainsaw you’re buying has such features installed on them.
Simply stated, a throttle regulates the supply of fuel to chainsaw engine, thus managing the number of revolutions made by the saw every minute. In other words, the throttle helps you increases or decreases the speed of your saw according to your needs.
For the ultimate safety, modern chainsaw has been made to automatically stop your chain as soon as you release the pressure on the throttle.The modern saws also come with throttle interlock locking features.
Without depressing the interlock, the throttle won’t be engaged. This is a great safety measure that will prevent any chances of your machine starting accidentally.
There are also additional safety features that come with the saw chain to keep you safe when running, carrying or storing your cutting machine.
These features are
Even when not moving, a well-sharpened saw chain can cause injury to the user. It’s therefore recommended that you cover your chain blades with the plastic scabbard or cover whenever you’re transporting or storing your machine. Aside, the cover will protect the blade from getting damage if it accidentally bangs against a wall or falls to the ground.
This is the plastic shield situated between your hands and the saw chain. It shields you from possible injuries when a kickback occurs. Together with the chain catcher and chain brake, this guard can greatly protect you from sustaining serious injuries when running your cutting tool.
These are the major parts that work behind the scenes to enable the cutting chain to do its intended task. Familiarizing yourself with all the above parts is important as it will help you pick the right product when shopping for a new chainsaw.
With knowledge of the functions of the various parts of the chainsaw chain, you’ll also be able to choose the best one when buying individual parts.