Basic Chainsaw Use & Safety for Beginners

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WHEN: April 20, 2021

WHERE: The Lands of the Watershed Center (4783 Plank Rd., Bristol, VT)

HOW MUCH: $200


WHAT: This course is designed to introduce the safe handling of the chainsaw, and to boost the confidence level of anyone who has very little or no experience with a chainsaw. Being confident with using a chainsaw in the woods or on the firewood pile can be achieved with this internationally recognized program. While this training has shown to increase the efficiency, production and safety of working with a chainsaw, it does not eliminate all hazards.

NOTE: This course is taught by the same excellent instructors (from Northeast Woodland Training) who teach the Game of Logging chainsaw training courses we offer. It is not a prerequisite for taking the Level I course, but is excellent preparation for it.


Download printable PDF of course description

This hands-on full-day course will include:

  • Basic saw maintenance
  • Starting the saw
  • Daily engine and bar maintenance
  • Chain sharpening – learn when to sharpen or change the chain
  • Basic bucking and limbing techniques (The instructor will fell the trees. All participants will get hands-on time bucking and limbing.)
  • Practice cutting “cookies”
  • Challenge cutting through log but leaving bark, emphasizing control.

Safety principles covered will be:

  • Understanding the reactive forces that need to be controlled by the operator.
  • Push, Pull, Kick back.
  • Safe and proper body mechanics to minimize the risk of slips, trips, and falls when operating a saw.
  • Possible review of electric chainsaws, if group interest.

***Workshop participants will not be felling trees. This course is designed to prepare a beginner saw user with the fundamentals of chain safety and maintenance.

Designed for the first-time saw user, this course is an excellent foundation for someone to attend future Game of Logging Level 1 – 4 trainings.


  • You will use the instructor’s chainsaw, so you do not need to bring one. But if you own a saw, it’s a good idea to bring it along to show to the instructor for feedback.
  • Hardhat with eye and ear protection
  • Chaps (In the past, instructors have been able to share chaps with participants who don’t own them, but during the Covid-19 epidemic, you will need to bring your own. Please assume this is the case unless we let you know otherwise.)
  • Sturdy boots
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Clothes appropriate to a full day in the woods, rain, snow, or shine (If it’s really cold, hand- and toe-warmers are great to have!)
  • Lunch and beverages
  • Cloth facemask
  • Drug- and alcohol-free body
  • Positive attitude. Remember that you will be in a course with up to 9 other participants, all of whom will take turns with chainsaw practice. You will learn a great deal by watching and listening closely to other participants’ chainsaw handling.
  • There are no bathroom facilities, so be prepared to take care of business in the woods

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