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Chainsaws are a handy piece of equipment that can be of great help in your garden and renovations. But if you are just starting to use them, they can be tricky to get your head around. If you live in a place with plenty of rainfall, you may be asking yourself; “can my chainsaw cut through wet trees?”
Cutting a wet tree with a chainsaw is safe if you’re careful. Most modern chainsaws are effective for use on dry and wet wood. Gas chainsaws are preferable in rainy conditions. There are safety precautions you must take when using chainsaws in a wet environment to prevent injuries and malfunctions.
Will Wet Trees Damage My Chainsaw?
Wet wood won’t damage your chainsaw. Whether it is damp from dewdrops, light showers, or heavy rain, the wetness of the wood will not affect how the chainsaw operates or functions.
In fact, wet wood is slightly easier to cut than dry wood because it contains more moisture. This will act as a natural lubricant for the chain, reducing the friction usually experienced when cutting dry wood.
The biggest problem you may find when chainsawing a wet tree is that the sawdust will stick to the chain. This means you will have to stop and clean it throughout the cutting process to maintain the strength and cutting power of the chainsaw.
What Are The Differences Between Cutting Wet Trees And Cutting Dry Trees?
The main difference between cutting dry and wet trees, as mentioned, is that wet trees are easier to cut. More friction is created between the chain and wood fibres which ends up slowing the chain down. The water in wet trees is a natural lubricant for the chain, allowing it to slide through the tree easier.
As we mentioned before, the other difficult aspect is the sawdust that will stick to the chain more easily if you are working with wet trees. It can build up and start to affect the chainsaw performance, but it is a quick fix. Turn the chainsaw off and carefully clean off the sawdust and you will be ready to keep slicing through the trees.
What Chain Should I Use When Cutting Wet Trees?
In most cases, using modern and high-quality chainsaws means that the chain will perform the same on both wet and dry wood. In this sense, any chain is fine to use and there’s no need to purchase a specialist wet wood chain.
To make things easier, just approach the material as if it was dry. As with dry wood, you should always check the size and density of the tree you are going to cut through to determine what chain you should use.
If it’s only thin, then a lightweight chainsaw would be better. Whereas, if you are cutting a dense species of tree, then something like a micro chisel chain may be easier.
Will My Chainsaw Work In Heavy Rain?
Most chainsaws will still operate in hard rain and the chances of water getting into the mechanisms are slim. On the other hand, the engine can’t be submerged underwater for instance if you accidentally put it down in a puddle.
Heavy rain is okay, although submersion could penetrate water into the engine and block it causing your chainsaw to break. There are many other issues you could encounter depending on whether you are using a gas-powered, battery-powered, or corded chainsaw.
Which Chainsaw Models Work Best In Wet Conditions?
There are several different types of chainsaws all with their own perks. These include gas, electric, corded, and cordless all of which cut wet wood well. Yet, gas/petrol-powered chainsaws are perfect to use in wet conditions. This is why professional loggers prefer to use this model. However, you should never let water get into the fuel tank as water and fuel are not compatible. This could easily cause malfunctions.
Water and electricity are not a good mix. If you’re using an electric chainsaw in damp conditions, be careful in areas of long or wet grass and avoid using extension cables or cords. Although most manufacturers design chainsaws so that water won’t get inside easily, using corded chainsaws when it’s raining could cause the tool to short circuit or break completely.
While cordless and battery-powered chainsaws aren’t as dangerous as corded chainsaws, they still aren’t ideal to use in wet conditions. If water gets into the motor, it could burn your battery immediately.
Precautions To Take When Using Your Chainsaw In The Rain
Hard rain and wet conditions also present many personal safety hazards which you need to be aware of. These could all cause serious injury or complications.
Slippery ground and high winds could cause you to lose your balance and fall over. With an active chainsaw in hand, you could very easily hurt yourself. Depending on where you are using your chainsaw, flooding is also a major possibility in heavy rain. So, you should try and avoid being out in severe rainfall altogether.
In heavy rain, there is often very poor visibility and the potential for loud noises such as thunder. These noises, as well as unexpected movements like lightning, may cause you to flinch or make simple mistakes when using your saw. So, it’s often better if you wait until the rain has died off a little.
While you can use a chainsaw to cut trees in the rain, you shouldn’t do it if the weather will pose a major threat to your safety. You should also always wear the correct quality personal protective gear when working with any chainsaw.
Can I Chainsaw Trees When They Are Frozen?
Although working outside in the winter is challenging, sawing a frozen tree is a viable option. But frozen bark is harder to cut through and takes much more time and effort. You can still operate your chainsaw by decreasing the angle of your chain by 5 degrees. This will improve your cut performance and will also decrease any potential wear and tear to your saw’s guide bar.
Before you start cutting the frozen tree, you should ensure that the area around the trunk of the tree is clear and shake any branches which may drop snow onto you and distract you while working.
So, you can cut trees when they are wet, and the performance of the chainsaw will remain the same. But it’s important for your safety and that of those around you that you work in suitable conditions. If the ground is too slippery or you think that you could injure yourself, do not use your chainsaw. Instead, wait until conditions have improved.
Whilst you wait for the storm to pass, read about what type of chain cuts the fastest. We also have a detailed guide called Different Types of Chainsaw Chains and it is a great read if you haven’t already seen it! Do you know what the best chainsaw bar length is? It’s also not too late to make the most of your 2021 safety goals by checking out our guide. If you have more inquiries, feel free to contact Canberra Diamond Blades at any time.