Man working on chainsaw

How-To Articles

In this section you will find seasonal tips, maintenance support, general advice and more.

Maintenance, US, 2min 59sec

Chainsaw care and maintenance

Jonsered chainsaws are built to survive tough challenges, but they do need some looking after to work safely and efficiently. Here are a few easy tips.

You can do most maintenance yourself using the instruction manual. Your Jonsered dealer has all the spare parts and accessories you need and will also be happy to assist you when it’s time for service.

After every shift

Check the chain tension and lubrication. Retention the chain and top up the chain oil if necessary. Get into the habit of refueling the saw before you put it away for the evening. That way it will always be ready.

At regular intervals

When the air filter starts clogging up with sawdust you should remove the filter and wash it in a little tepid water and mild detergent. How often you need to do this depends on how much you use the saw.

Jonsered’s unique turbo air cleaning system removes most of the sawdust from the intake air before it reaches the air filter. This means you do not need to clean the air filter on a Jonsered turbo saw as often as with most other chainsaws.

Now and then you should also blow the sawdust and dirt out from the cooling fins and the brake band.

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Chainsaw safety features

There are a number of safety aspects to consider when operating a chainsaw. Here is an overview of the safety features on Jonsered chainsaws.
1. Chain brake

The greatest hazard when working with a chainsaw is if the saw kicks back. Kickback can happen if something contacts the upper quadrant of the tip of the bar, or if you try to cut with that same quadrant (the “kickback sector”). The bar tip will then try to climb upwards, and the saw will be thrown backwards by the force of the rotating chain.

You should always make sure the bar tip does not contact anything, and never try to cut with the kickback sector of the bar.

This is why the chain brake is an important safety feature of the chainsaw. If activated, it can stop the chain in a fraction of a second in the case of a kickback. The chain brake can be triggered in two ways on all Jonsered saws: either by the motion of the saw during kickback, or if the wrist of your left hand strikes the kickback guard.

2. Chain catcher

If the saw chain is not maintained properly it may jump off or break. The chain catcher is designed to protect the operator by stopping the chain from flying backwards.

3. Right hand guard

Designed to protect your fingers if the chain jumps off or breaks.

4. Throttle lock

Prevents accidental throttle operation. As an additional safety feature you must activate the throttle lock to operate the throttle.

5. Stop button

Conveniently positioned so you can stop the engine quickly.

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Traditional felling, US, 4min 52sec

Felling with a chainsaw step-by-step

Plan your tree felling carefully. Trees must be felled safely and in the direction you want them to fall. Here is our expert step-by-step guide to doing this.

1. Planning and preparations

Once you are familiar with your chainsaw it is time to fell your first tree. To make felling as safe and efficient as possible it is important to plan felling in advance and always think one step ahead. To start with, never work alone in the forest. Always make sure you have someone with you. A mobile phone is a good idea; as it lets you quickly call for help if you need it.

2. Choose the felling direction

Once you have chosen a tree to fell, you should decide what direction you want it to fall. You should consider the following: Is the tree leaning? Do the branches hang mostly in one direction? Which direction is the wind blowing?

The easiest choice is to fell the tree in the direction it would naturally fall due to slope, overhang and wind direction. Felling in another direction requires a special technique, more effort, and is sometimes just impossible.

It is an advantage if you can fell the tree across a log, rock or stump. This ensures a comfortable working height for limbing and cross-cutting. Note: If other people are in the vicinity, the safe distance for them is at least two tree lengths.

3. Limbing the lower trunk

First cut away any low branches that could get in the way. But remember never to cut above shoulder height. Do not stand directly behind the saw. Use the trunk as a barrier between yourself and the saw.

4. Clear your work area and path of retreat

Clear the ground around the tree and a few meters/yards behind it. You need to be able to take a few steps backwards if the root end should spring up.

5. Felling a tree in the right direction

To make a tree fall in the chosen direction, you should use a method that professional loggers call “directional felling.” This means that you cut a sort of hinge in the trunk, which steers the tree as it falls to the ground.

To create this hinge you first cut out a wedge-shaped piece, using a “directional cut,” on the same side you want the tree to fall. Next you make the “felling cut,” by cutting horizontally from the opposite side. However, you should not saw through the entire stem, but leave a hinge of about 3 cm. This hinge controls the felling direction.

6. Directional cut

A. Stand with your feet apart behind the tree and lean your left shoulder against the trunk to keep you steady. Aim along the top of the front handle in the felling direction. This gives you the right direction for the directional cut, since the handle on a Jonsered saw is at right angles to the bar.

B. First make the top directional cut. Keep a firm grip around the front handle with your left thumb, apply full throttle and bring the saw downwards at an angle of about 60 degrees. The depth of the directional cut should be about 1/4 to 1/5 of the trunk’s diameter. Start high enough up on the trunk so that you have space for the bottom directional cut.

C. Stay in the same position and make the bottom directional cut. Keep your left thumb around the front handle and use full throttle (control the throttle with your right thumb).

Bring the saw upwards at an angle of about 30 degrees and stop precisely when you reach the top cut, neither too far nor too short. It is very important that both cuts meet precisely so that the hinge steers the tree all the way to the ground.

While you are making the bottom cut you should look down the top cut to see when both cuts meet. If you have done it properly you should have a perfect directional cut with a 90 degree opening.

7. Felling cut

First a tip: Stop the engine and check the fuel level now. If the fuel runs out in the middle of a felling cut it could be dangerous.

A. The felling cut should be level with the tip of the directional cut, or slightly above it. Do not forget to leave a hinge with a uniform thickness of at least 3 cm, about 1 1/4 inch.

B. If the diameter of the trunk is less than the bar length, you simply make the felling cut directly from the back and in the felling direction.

C. If not, you should start by bringing the saw in from the side of the trunk and moving backwards around the tree as you cut.

D. Stand firmly with your feet apart, keep your left thumb around the handle, and apply full throttle before you start cutting.

E. When the felling cut is roughly halfway, stop the saw and insert a pry bar or drive a wedge into the cut. This prevents the tree from falling backwards and trapping the saw. A pry bar also makes it easier to fell the tree. Then complete the felling cut, but take care not to saw into the pry bar.

Note: If you are a beginner we recommend that you do not fell trees with a diameter larger than the length of the bar, because it is easier and safer to fell the tree with a single felling cut made from the back of the tree.

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Cutting, US, 1min 26sec

How to cross-cut a trunk with a chainsaw

Think ahead before you begin to cross-cut, especially if it is a large trunk. Where will the next length fall when you cut through it? And what will happen to the rest of the tree when you cut off a large, heavy length?

Start by gripping the front handle with your left thumb and apply full throttle before you begin to cut. Stand diagonally behind the saw while you work, not directly behind it.

If the trunk is supported at both ends

If you try to cut the trunk from above when it is supported at both ends, the cut will close up and trap the saw. This is why you must always cut the trunk from below. First make a shallow cut in the top of the trunk above the cutting point to prevent the trunk from splitting.

If the end of the trunk is unsupported

If the end of the trunk you intend to cross-cut is suspended in the air, you must cut it from above to avoid trapping the saw. But first make a shallow cut in the underside of the trunk at the cutting point to prevent the trunk from splitting.

If the saw becomes caught in the cut

Sometimes it can be hard to judge how a log is lying. If the saw becomes caught you must never try to shake the saw free with the engine running. You could injure yourself and damage the saw. Instead you should stop the engine and prize open the cut to release the saw. Work calmly and methodically.

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Safety, US, 3min 19sec

Chainsaws and personal safety

Wearing the right clothes and safety equipment when working with a chainsaw is extremely important. Here is an easy-to-follow guide to prevent injury.

When operating a chainsaw, you should never work in jeans or everyday shoes, even if you just cutting a little wood outside the front door. Protective clothes and equipment must always be used.

6 tips to dress safely

1. Protective trousers are important. Jonsered’s logging pants have built-in saw protection, with long fibres designed to jam the chain in an instant if it penetrates the outer fabric.

2. An approved helmet with hearing protectors and visor is also very important. These protect your hearing, eyes, face and head.

3. Our protective boots have steel toecaps, saw protection over the instep and a rugged tread pattern. They protect your feet and give you a safe footing.

4. Work gloves protect your hands from small cuts and grazes. Especially important when you sharpen or replace the chain.

5. A first aid kit should always be kept handy. Keep it in your shirt pocket or logger’s belt if you have one.

6. A long sleeved shirt or jacket is essential to protect your arms from sharp branches and flying chips.

You will find everything you need to work safely, and in comfort, at your local Jonsered dealer and in the Jonsered catalogue.

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Handling, US, 3min 40sec

How to handle your chainsaw

Our expert advice for reducing the risk of chainsaw incidents, whether you are a professional or inexperienced user.

Fitting the bar and chain

1. Make sure the chain brake is not activated.

2. Place the bar in position.

3. Check the direction of chain’s rotation and lay it around the drive sprocket and bar. Make sure the chain is correctly seated all the way around the sprocket and bar.

4. Tension the chain by pulling the bar. Refit the chain cover. Check that the stud on the chain tensioner fits through the hole in the bar. Partially tighten the bar nuts.

5. Tension the chain by turning the chain tensioner clockwise. The tension is correct when the chain does not sag below the bar and you cannot lift the drive links completely out of the bar groove.

6. Tighten the bar nuts firmly. Now try to pull the chain around the bar by hand. It should run smoothly. If not, the chain is too tight. Wear work gloves.

Filling with fuel and chain oil

1. Switch the stop button to “on” and pull the choke all the way out. Place the saw on the ground.

2. Hold the saw firmly on the ground while you start it. Put your right foot through the rear handle and grip the front handle firmly with your left hand. Pull the starter cord with your right hand until the engine fires. Now push in the choke without moving the throttle control. The saw has an automatic start throttle setting.

Note! It is very important that you push in the choke after the engine fires the first time, otherwise the engine may become flooded.

3. Pull the starter cord until the engine starts.

4. Lift up the saw and press the throttle a few times to get a feel for how the saw reacts to the throttle.

Hot starting

Do the same as above but do not use the choke. Note: The chain must not move when the saw is idling. If it does, the idle setting needs adjusting. The instruction manual tells you how to do this.

For inexperienced chainsaw users

If you are an inexperienced chainsaw user we recommend you to get familiar with the saw on home ground before you go into the forest and start felling trees. For example, you could start by cutting some wood on a sawhorse. Make sure that the wood is in a secure position.

1. When you are cutting, always remember to grip the front handle by wrapping the thumb of your left hand around the handle. Stand with your feet apart for good balance. Your left foot should be slightly in front of the right.

Do not be scared of the chainsaw. Hold it close to you to reduce strain on your arms and back. But remember not to stand directly behind the saw. Apply full throttle before you start cutting. Start cutting as close to the base of the bar as possible.

2. When you cut downwards the chain will try to pull the saw towards the trunk. This is known as cutting with a pulling chain.

3. Also try cutting from beneath. Then you will feel the chain trying to push the saw towards you. This is known as cutting with a pushing chain.

Retensioning the chain

A new chain should always be retensioned after about 20 minutes use. Switch off the engine, put the saw down, and undo the bar nuts slightly. Turn the chain tensioner clockwise until the chain is correctly tensioned. Then tighten the bar nuts firmly. You should also check that the chain feels oily, then you know that the chain lubrication is working properly.

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GC128CJ

Clearing technique for plain grass

Our expert advice on how to clear plain grass, including movements and operating tips that make your work easier and more efficient.

Effective clearing of large areas of grass and long working hours call for powerful machines fitted with a trimmer head. The trimmer line’s cutting area is very large, but it is also very demanding on power, as the line causes a braking-while-cutting effect.

The engine as well as the cutting equipment work under extreme strain. Thanks to the torque increase, due to the gear ratio in the angle gear, even the smaller Jonsered brushcutters have a higher capacity than normal for their class. In parks, where grass clearing is often a question of removing weeds and trimming areas where lawn mowers cannot reach, this gives an extra power margin.

Working technique

You can work with either single or double-sided sweeping movements. Towards the end of the movement release the throttle and accelerate before starting the next movement. The reason why you should not operate the tool constantly at maximum speed is because clearing using a trimmer head is extremely demanding work for the machine. The engine must provide maximum power at the same time as the trimmer line causes a braking effect.

Clearing on slopes

The general rule when planning clearing work on slopes is that you always move along the slope, not up or down. Start at the bottom and let the cut material fall downwards, thereby avoiding using the machine in grass that has already been cut.

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How to use a brushcutter

There are a number of safety aspects to consider when using a brushcutter. Here is an overview of how to dress in order not to get injured, and how to operate the machine efficiently.


Preparations

Always wear a visor, safety glasses and hearing protection when clearing, or a safety helmet with visor and hearing protection if the stand reaches head height. Shoes, protective footwear or strong boots should always be worn.

In dense stands you should wear heavy-duty clothing. When clearing brush and grass, heavy-duty trousers and a shirt or jacket will generally be sufficient.

Read more about safety equipment in our article “Brushcutters and personal safety.”

The harness and anti-vibration system

The design and individual adjustment options of the harness play a crucial role. The harness distributes the machine’s weight so that the body is not put under unnecessary strain. Therefore the harness should not hang loosely, but sit tight against the body. The machine’s suspension point should also be adjusted so that you obtain the correct working angle to the ground.

There are also several other fixing points on the machine, partly so the cutting equipment works parallel to the ground and partly so the machine is correctly balanced.

Most brushcutters are equipped with vibration damping between the engine and shaft. However, as soon as the cutting equipment starts to bite, other vibrations and types of impact occur. To overcome this, Jonsered has developed a unique anti-vibration system. The whole of the upper section with the handle and the section that rests against the body is isolated from the engine and shaft. Jonsered also has a full anti-vibration system on machines fitted with loop handles.

Starting point

The ideal starting point when using a brushcutter is this: A straight back, the hands extended comfortably in front of you and the cutting equipment directly in front of the body.

As Jonsered brushcutters have an angle between the double handle and the shaft, offset 7 degrees to the left, a left-hand sweep is not obstructed by the body and handle colliding. It is this, which allows you to effectively sweep in both directions, without excessive twisting of the back.

Each type of vegetation requires its own clearing technique. On this website you will find easy-to-follow how-to articles on clearing thick grass, plain grass, and coarse brush and bushes.

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Brand: A Working Life - Fall

Clearing technique for coarse brush and bushes

Our expert advice on how to clear coarse brush and bushes, including movements and operating tips that make your work easier and more efficient.

The larger Jonsered machines are used with the heavier three-tooth grass and brush blade, which slices effortlessly through stems. If the stems are too thick, then fit a clearing blade, which will cut through the stem. “A rule of thumb”: When the stem is as thick as a thumb, use the clearing blade.

The smaller lightweight Jonsered machines are equipped with the four-tooth grass and brush blade, which works smoother and gives less kick. Alternatively fit a special clearing blade, Opti 26T, which has been specially designed for these machines. If you have a loop handle this should be changed to a “J” handle.

Sweeping movements

In dense vegetation it is preferable to work with a single-sided sweeping movement from right to left – or the reverse – and guide the cut material to the side. The density of the vegetation determines the width of the clearing arc.

In sparse vegetation you work with sweeping movements in both directions. Let the blade do the work using gentle sweeping movements releasing the throttle at the end of the movement. Before starting the next sweep, accelerate to bring the blade up to speed. Operating the blade at high speed gives it the required momentum, while releasing the throttle gives the engine a breathing space

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