Wearing proper chainsaw gloves and trousers and proper work boots is essential. Also wearing a hard-hat with a peak and visor matters though you do not need ear defenders apparently because it does not make the level of noise that a larger more professional chainsaw does. I thought I would feel a bit of a nana dressed like this to be in my own garden but once kitted up I mainly felt safe.
I am a total chainsaw novice and I am very aware of how much respect I need to show this piece of equipment. I had been talked through how to use it by the lovely lady at Farol Ltd, my local Stihl dealer. It might not be professional grade, but it could still do me a large amount of damage if I make a mistake so I was very grateful for the care that was taken to make sure I was properly kitted out and that I understood how to use the machine.
The first time I tried it out I worked at ground level, in which I mean I did not use any ladders. I wanted to be used to the feel of the machine and how it worked before taking any steps upwards.
The lilac in the front garden was the first victim/choice. It does not have very thick stems, about an inch or so in diameter and chainsaw made short work of it. In the past I have pruned this fairly easily with a pruning saw but as I said, this was an exercise in getting to know the machine.
A few weeks later and autumn has arrived, the perfect time for tree pruning. I suited up again and strode out in the garden. I was already very pleased with the chainsaw as I had fully charged up the batteries when I had last used it, which was about eight weeks ago, and the batteries were still pretty much fully charged. This was very good.
The battery has an indicator so you can see how much power is left and I still had two of the four bars lit when I had finished for the day. I thought this was very good. Whilst I had been out there for a couple of hours that does not mean the chainsaw was in use all that time. Each branch takes less than a minute so it was not in constant use. Also, because I have this and the grass strimmer that means I have two batteries as they are interchangeable. So even if I had run out of power I had a second battery ready to pop in. I do like having two batteries.
The chainsaw does not mean that I will never need the services of a tree surgeon as they are the experts and the ones who need to do the difficult and skilled work. But I can now lop off the odd branch with much more ease and that makes my life and the garden's just a bit easier. I can absolutely recommend it.