Cutting down a tree, also known as felling, can be a very nerve-wracking endeavor. Especially if you haven’t done so before. While it should usually be left to a professional, you may want to try it if the tree is smaller or seems easy to cut. You will want to make sure everything about it is done as safely and smartly as possible. This includes having the best tools on hand. Read on for our expert recommendations for the best tools for cutting down trees safely.
A chainsaw is a top tool to have for cutting down trees. It has exactly the right amount of power to complete this intense job. But powerful tools can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t use them smartly. To start, you need to read the instructions and owner manual and know them well. This will help you feel prepared for the job and can help you avoid an accident. And the instructions can include a guide for picking a compatible power cord for a saw.
If you’re buying or renting one, you need to make sure it’s a high-quality one. See if you can find a chainsaw with an anti-vibration system. This will make cutting down trees much more comfortable.
Before you do anything with the chainsaw, though, make sure it’s working properly and in good condition. And also make sure that the chain oil supply is full.
An axe is a great tool for cutting down smaller trees or for splitting wood. The small handle makes it easier to work with, which can help you feel more in control. If you already have an axe, make sure it isn’t too dull. If it is, you can sharpen it using a long mill file. If you need to buy or replace one, look for axes that reduce shock. This means they will prevent your hands from stinging. This is especially important if you’re cutting down a tree in cooler weather. You also want a strong handle, not one that will break or splinter.
You can also keep different types of axes, such as chopping axes, double-sided axes, and hatchets, on hand. Hatches can be good for splitting smaller pieces of wood. You might not necessarily need these extra axe tools for cutting down trees, but it can be smart to have them just in case or if you plan to cut the tree into smaller pieces for firewood. You can also use a pickaxe on the tree roots to lift them from the soil.
You can use an axe to predict what direction the tree will fall when you cut it down, which will definitely help you be more prepared. Hold the axe handle at arm’s length, close one eye, and move away from the tree until the top of the axe is even with the top of the tree and the bottom is even with the base. Of course, this will be more of an estimate, but it still gives you a helpful idea. Make sure the tree will fall in a safely cleared space and won’t be near power lines, knock anything over, or cause any property damage.
Wedges help the tree actually fall in the direction you want it to, reducing the risk of it falling backward. This makes it an incredibly important tool to have for cutting down trees safely.
Plastic felling wedges also help to stop the chainsaw bar from getting pinched in the cut if the tree leans back while you’re cutting it.
Look for wedges that are made of high impact polymer, which can handle the beatings they get and are also made to last longer.
The job isn’t done once the tree is cut down. You will still be left with a stump, which you most likely want to get rid of. Some turn to the professionals for stump removal, but you can use tools to do it yourself. Stump grinding equipment uses rotating teeth to get the stump out of the ground. This is usually better to do yourself if the tree is smaller, while larger trees are better to leave to a tree service.
Personal Protective Equipment
In addition to using the best tools for cutting down trees, you should be sure to wear the right protective gear. Don’t even think of starting to cut down a tree before you have these. Also, have a first aid kit on hand, just in case.
Good-quality work gloves are one of the things you should wear to protect yourself. Gloves don’t just keep your hands clean. They also prevent cuts and can even stop you from cutting off a finger. And they can improve your grip on the tools you use to cut down the tree.
Also, wear a hard hat or logger’s helmet. You never know if a branch might end up falling on your head, which is a common injury when cutting down trees. If you can, look for a hard hat that comes with protective earmuffs or headphones. This is for the very important hearing protection. If you can’t find a hard hat with them attached, you still need to wear them. For your eyes, wear protection items like goggles, a face shield, or safety glasses. Some hard hats can include built-in face shields. These also help keep the dust out of your eyes.
For your feet, wear steel-toe boots. They’ll keep your toes safe. Don’t just wear regular boots, as you never know when something might happen. Logs can fall or roll on your feet when you least expect it. Also, wear shoes with non-skid soles. Some also recommend Kevlar chaps or a cut-resistant pair of pants to protect your legs. At the very least, wear long sleeves and pants to protect your arms and legs.
If You Have Any Doubts
Of course, in general, having a professional cut down your tree is the safest way you can go. Even if you have all the right tools for cutting down trees, there are sometimes certain situations that are best left to experts. This is especially true if the tree is large, too close to structures, rotting, or any other reason you don’t feel like you can handle it on your own.
At Mr. Tree, we have the experience and knowledge to guarantee the best quality of work. If you’re unsure whether the tree needs to be cut down, we also provide a tree inspection service. You can find more information about us and our services on our website.