Chainsaw Terminology Explained

We know that chainsaw terminology can get a little bit confusing when you're looking to purchase your first model, so we've put together a helpful glossary of terms to make it simple for you. 

Even if you're a complete chainsaw novice, we hope that by the end of this article you'll have a deeper understanding of these features and terms so you can make an informed purchase. 

2-stroke fuel: A mixture of unleaded petrol and 2-stroke oil, combined to a 25:1 or 40:1 ratio. 

Anti-vibration technology: Absorbs the vibration produced by the chainsaw to reduce the strain on the user’s hands and arms. 

Bar chain: Fitted around the sprocket and the guide bar and provides the cutting power of the device. 

Choke: Designed to restrict the flow of air, enriching the fuel-air mixture while starting the engine. 

Cutting teeth: The cutting teeth are spread around the chain and provide the cutting action. 

Guide bar: An oblong-shaped bar which the chain wraps around. The size of the bar dictates the cutting capabilities of the chainsaw. 

Kickback: A sudden reverse reaction where the guide bar is kicked back and upwards towards the operator. Caused by the tip of the chain touching an object unexpectedly, or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw. 

Power unit: The section of the chainsaw where the bar and chain are attached. 

Primer bulb: Fills the carburettor with fuel by creating a vacuum when pressed, allowing combustion to occur and the engine to start. 

Recoil cord: A short piece of cord which, when pulled, starts the engine. 

Safety brake: Located in front of the top handle and, when pushed forward, immediately stops rotation of the chain by locking it in to place. Protects the user from a kickback.

Tensioning screw: Used to tighten or loosen the tension of the chain for optimum cutting performance.

Throttle lock: Located on the back handle which must engaged before the throttle trigger will work. Prevents accidental starting of the chainsaw.

Throttle trigger: Controls the spin of the chain. The throttle lock must also be engaged for it to function.

You can browse our full range of chainsaws here, and if you'd like any assistance with your purchase please don't hesitate to contact us on 01437 700123.