Chainsaw Guide Books to Sharpen Your Skills

If you're going to be using powered cutting tools, educate yourself first! There are dozens of good chainsaw guide books out there, and we'like to recommend a few.

| September/October 1984

  • chainsaw guide - illustration of man with chainsaw
    Read first before you try cutting anything. A chainsaw guide will get up to speed with your tool and help you use it safely.
    Illustration by Fotolia/patrimonio designs

  • chainsaw guide - illustration of man with chainsaw

Here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS we fondly refer to Barnacle Parp's Chain Saw Guide, by Walter Hall, as "the chainsaw guide book," or "the classic." It is both. Originally published back in 1977 by Rodale Press, this fine instruction manual has been out of print for some time now. But not long ago we happened to speak with the author, and the upshot of that fortunate conversation is that MOTHER EARTH NEWS has agreed to publish Barnacle Parp's New Chain Saw Guide. The new version will be larger, more comprehensive, and better than ever, but it won't be available for some months yet — and the initial printing may not meet the built-up demand for this fine title. If you'd like to reserve a copy (or copies), send us your name and address, along with the number of books you'd like us to hold for you. As soon as the guides start rolling of the press, we'll send you complete ordering information.

Another fine all-purpose chainsaw guide is Robert A. Ouellette's Chain Saws: Buying, Using, Maintaining, Repairing (1981 from Tab Books). The title reflects the contents of this comprehensive 144-page paperback. (One of our technically disoriented editors calls this one "the book that finally got it through my head how to sharpen a chainsaw chain!") If you can't find Chain Saws at your local bookstore, you can order it for the cover price of $6.95, plus 50¢ handling for one or two copies, or $20 for three or more, from Mother's Bookshelf. Chain Saws is copiously illustrated with photos and drawings.

The next five publications we'll discuss here all hail from the McCulloch Company.

First there's Your Chain Saw, by Robert Scharff (154 pages, hardbound, 1980), which is a nice little guide to using a chainsaw for cutting firewood; it includes operation and safety tips, maintenance information, and a section on do-it-yourself chainsaw crafts projects. Your Chain Saw is $7.95 from the above address.

The next McCulloch offering is Firewood and Your Chain Saw by Robert Scharf (176 pages, hardbound, 1981), which is an easy-reading guide to choosing, cutting, and seasoning firewood, with sections on safety, firewood burning, and the selection and maintenance of woodstoves. Firewood and Your Chain Saw is $7.95.

Creative Chain Saw Projects, by Robert Scharff (who seems to be McCulloch's number-one chainsaw writer), offers step-by-step instructions for a variety of chainsaw carpentry projects, including log structures, furniture, yard and garden projects, and hints on selecting, finishing, and preserving wood. Creative Chain Saw Projects goes for $7.95 (160 pages, hardbound, 1981) from McCulloch.

9/29/2008 2:00:15 PM

here is one for ya i have used a chain saw personally and professionally(not alot but) well like alot of tools relaxed i have been using for years is the most dangerous state. even if you havent been doing it right so learn and stay focused, keep your tool in good maintenance(sharp) and dont push the saw. and easiest ever take a break and refuel when ya come back now for my question... saws are notoriously dirty. what is a a chean small hobby saw ie 12"-14" for light trimming , electric need not apply ,although i may look at rechargeable(rent one then buy) would be clean and efficient and from the civialized world us canada sweeden etc if ever the old 70s 21" mac10 ever fails what would be a good replacement. even if the tiny saws are good a real saw is great if i actually have to do some work i know some brands i have worked with Jonsered, huskys, macs(new ones seem to be chinese crap unlike my 30+ year old saw as are homelite and wont last 30 years or cut well


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