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Must-Have Chainsaw Accessories. A pro perspective

Even the best chainsaw operators make use of certain accessories in every job. Chainsaw accessories and tools are there to help you do your work more efficiently and safely. In this blog post, I will introduce you to some of the most common chainsaw accessories and their jobs.

What are the must-have accessories for your chainsaw?

Some of the most common chainsaw accessories include both safety items and tools. Chainsaw PPE include the following:

  • Chaps
  • Helmet system
  • Footwear
  • Gloves
  • High visibility vests, etc.

Chainsaw tools include the following:

  • Wedges
  • Sharpening kit
  • Cant hook
  • Oil
  • Chain lubricant

The non-essential but good to have chainsaw accessories may include a first aid kit, storage case/bag, ax, logger belt, sawhorse, spare parts, etc.

Let’s dive into some more of the details of the must-have chainsaw accessories and how they function.

Must-Have Chainsaw Accessories, in Detail:

The must-have chainsaw accessories include chainsaw personal protective equipment, some common felling tools, and chainsaw maintenance supplies.

● Must-Have Chainsaw PPE:

– Chaps:

Operating a chainsaw can be dangerous because of the high RPMs and kickbacks. A kickback is when your chainsaw jerks out of your hands and flies backward toward your body. In a way, a chainsaw kickback is like a gun recoil.

Chainsaw chaps are there to protect you from serious injury in case of a kickback. Chaps are made especially for chainsaw operators with multiple layers of cut redundant material with a rugged outer layer. The cut redundant fabric layers function to instantly seize and stop the chain as soon as it comes in contact with the chaps.

Chaps are a must-have accessory, and you should never operate your chainsaw without your chaps on, especially when performing a tough task. You can easily find chainsaw chaps at local hardware stores or online stores. You can usually find good-quality chaps for under $100.

The best-rated chainsaw chaps on include:

  • Husqvarna Functional Apron chap, 40-42 inch (More than 2500 five star ratings): Has an adjustable waist from 40 to 42 inches and meets international quality standards. You can buy it for $79 plus shipping charges for your locality.
  • Husqvarna 587160702 Chain Saw Chaps (More than 2500 five-star ratings): Comes in three different color options and has an adjustable waist up to 38 inches. You can buy it for $78 plus shipping charges.
  • FORESTER Durable Chainsaw Safety Chaps (More than 180 five-star ratings, best seller): Come in many color options and are compliant with international quality standards. You can buy these for $42 to $68.

Chaps with extra layers of cut redundant fabric (6 to 9) generally cost more than $100, and I recommend them for professionals.

– Helmet System:

Like chaps, the chainsaw helmet system is also must-have personal protection equipment. Chainsaw helmet systems are usually comprised of three components: the hard hat, the transparent face shield with a filter, and the earmuffs. 

The first component, the hard plastic hat, is there to protect your head from serious injuries due to impact or sharp objects. When felling trees, many logs, and branches fall around and can cause concussion or injury if they hit your bare head.

The second component, the face shield, protects your face, especially your eyes, from sharp wood chips, dust, and debris. Dust and debris can be rather irritating and even dangerous in extreme cases, without a face shield.

Finally, the earmuffs protect your ears from the loud chainsaw noise. Most chainsaws produce 110 decibels or more. If exposed for a long time, this level of noise can be harmful to your ears.

A chainsaw helmet system can cost you somewhere between 35 to 60 dollars. You can easily find a helmet system at a local hardware store or online.

The best-rated chainsaw helmet systems listed on Amazon include:

  • TR Industrial TR88011 Hard Hat Forestry Safety Helmet & Ear Muffs (More than 5500 five-star ratings): A 5-in-1 safety helmet system meets international quality standards. You can buy it for around $28
  • NoCry 6-in-1 Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet and Hearing Protection System (More than 900 five-star ratings, Amazon’s choice): Has two protective visors and is completely adjustable to fit anyone. You can buy it for under $40.

– Footwear:

Like much industrial safety footwear, Chainsaw boots are specially designed with a steel or hard composite toe and a nonslip sole. Chainsaw boots are usually lightweight as compared to other industrial boots because tree climbers usually prefer lighter footwear.

General safety boots with hard toes from CAT, Timberland, etc., can be used as chainsaw protective boots. These boots can be found easily at local and online stores. Good quality protective boots can usually be purchased well under $100.

– Gloves:

Chainsaw gloves dampen the vibrations produced by the high RPMs to increase the accuracy of cuts. And protect your hands from serious cuts.

Chainsaw safety gloves usually come under $30 at local and online stores.

– High Visibility Vests:

High visibility vests are a must-have when felling trees in an urban area. These vests come well under $20 at local and online stores.

● Must-Have Chainsaw Tools and Supplies:

– Wedges:

Chainsaw wedges fall into the category of felling tools. Wedges are a must-have tool because they ensure that the tree falls in the right direction. They can also help free a guide bar stuck in a large piece of wood.

A tree falling in a random direction is not a problem when felling trees in the woods. But it can be a serious risk when working near traffic, the public, or houses. In an urban area, a tree falling in the wrong direction can harm electricity transmission lines, buildings, and vehicles. This makes wedges an essential item.

A chainsaw wedge is quite simple to use. Just make a partial cut in the tree trunk where you want the cut to be and insert a wedge into the cut. The wedge should be placed in the direction opposite to where you want the tree to fall.

Wedges can also be used to prevent horizontal logs from collapsing inward since they can damage a saw. Sometimes a chainsaw’s guide bar gets stuck in the wood, and trying to free it with the force of the engine can cause overheating. When this happens, you can use a wedge to free the guide bar.

Usually, there are multiple chainsaw wedges in each pack. Depending on the wedge size, a pack of four wedges can cost somewhere between $15 to $20.

  • Other common felling tools include ropes, pulleys, and winches. You may need various such tools depending on the complexity of your job.

– Sharpening Kit:

A chainsaw chain needs regular sharpening for efficient cutting and longer service life. How often you need to sharpen the chain depends on the size and quality of its cutting edge, the type/hardness of wood it is usually used to cut, and the usual working temperature.

A chainsaw sharpening kit typically consists of the following tools:

  • A flat file and a depth gauge
  • A round file
  • A file guide

I recommend that you sharpen your chain whenever you sense one of the following symptoms:

  • You have to apply more pressure than usual for the same cuts.
  • Your saw produces a lot of wood dust when cutting.
  • Your chainsaw produces uneven cuts.
  • Your chainsaw produces a lot of smoke when cutting.

The files you use to sharpen your chain should depend on your chain’s size. Maintaining the correct filing angle is also necessary, and therefore, you should consult the manual for more information on file size and angles.

A chainsaw sharpening kit may cost you somewhere between $70 to $100. The best sharpening kits on include:

  • Katzco Chainsaw Sharpener File Kit (More than 2300 five-star ratings, Amazon best seller): This kit includes 5/32, 3/16, and 7/32 inch files. It also includes depth gauges, a filing guide, and a tool pouch. You can buy it for $60-$70.
  • Oregon 5/32-Inch (4.0 mm) Professional Chainsaw Chain (More than 700 five star ratings): Includes round files to sharpen low profile chains of size 1/4 and 3/8 inches. A pack of 12 files comes for $17.66 plus shipping charges.
  • Oregon Chainsaw Chain Sharpening Kit with Hard Case (More than 200 five-star ratings): Contains round and flat files, depth gauge, file guide and handles, etc. You can buy it for $50 plus shipping charges.

– Cant Hook:

A cant hook has a long lever handle with a moveable metallic hook attached at one end. The hook is also referred to as the dog, so a cant hook is also known as a cant dog. This must-have tool is used to turn and position trunks and fallen logs.

Cant hooks come in different sizes and can cost somewhere between $70 and $150.

– Oil:

Most chainsaws (except the electrical ones) have 2-stroke engines that run on a fuel-oil mixture. The fuel-oil mixture usually has 1 part of oil to 50 parts of fuel. The oil is there to lubricate the pistons during the working of the 2-stroke engine. Using the correct fuel-oil mixture is a must. Otherwise, your chainsaw may overheat or produce smoke.

Chainsaw manufacturers usually supply/recommend fuel-oil mixtures that are best suited for their products. Therefore, the best practice is to use the oil provided by your chainsaw manufacturer.

– Chain Lubricant:

Friction between the chain and other parts of a chainsaw can cause performance losses and wear. For this reason, a chain lubricant is considered one of the essential chainsaw supplies. The lubricant sits in the lube tank and is pumped to the chain and bar when the saw is running. This pumping can be manual or automatic.

A bottle of chain and bar oil usually costs around $20. You may consult the user manual for the best info on what to use.

● Other Useful Chainsaw Accessories:

Some chainsaw accessories are not necessarily a must-have but can be very helpful in some special cases. These include:

– Saw Horse:

A sawhorse is not a chainsaw essential, but it makes firewood preparation easier and safer. A sawhorse helps you cut wood without the risk of injury or running the chainsaw into the dirt, which can make it blunt. A wooden sawhorse that can handle up to 155 pounds (around 70 kg) would be perfect for household firewood preparation. For professional uses, you can opt for more robust sawhorses that are usually metallic and can carry more of a load.

– Logger Belt:

This is a complete tool belt for professional loggers. It can hold many types of tools like wedges, axes, lifting hooks, files, measuring tape, and a first aid kit.

  • Professional logger belts cost between $150 and $200 at local and online stores.

– Ax:

An ax counts as a chainsaw tool because you can use it to remove soil and bark from a log before cutting it with your chainsaw to reduce wear on the guide bar and chain. An ax can also be used to push in the felling wedges.

– Spare Parts:

An essential assortment of spare parts is recommended when working in remote areas. The spare parts will ensure that your chainsaw keeps running. Chainsaw spare parts include spark plugs, an extra chain, some wires, etc.

– Log Dolly:

Sometimes, professional loggers use log dollies to move logs in sections and then saw them up outside the woods. A log dolly is usually a bit expensive but can save you from back pain.