A glossary of chainsaw terms, phrases and acronyms

Arborist – A professional tree worker sometimes known as a tree surgeon who specialises in the study, cultivation and management of trees and shrubs.

Bucking – The process of cutting a felled trunk or a log into smaller sections.

Chain Catcher – A safety device that prevents a derailed or loose chain making contact with the operator

Chaps – Very tough, specially designed leg protectors, like wrap-around trousers that are worn by chainsaw operators to protect against injury *

Path – the pre-arranged route by which you can get out of the way of a falling tree after cutting. It must be clear of obstacles and easy to travel through. This is an important part of chainsaw safety! *

Guide Bar – The actual frame, of the chainsaw which sticks out from the engine housing and around which the chain revolves. Sometimes called the blade but is not sharp in itself.

Kickback – A stalling, juddering action that forces the chainsaw up and back towards the operator. It can be caused by catching the tip of the saw in the wood you are cutting or catching the saw in the cut. It can be reduced by a number of good practises while sawing. It is the main reason for wearing specialised clothing and potential injury can be virtually eradicated by using the right protective gear.*

Limbing – The action or task of cutting lateral, or side branches from a felled or standing tree as a preparation for creating logs or transporting the trunk.

Nose Sprocket – Sometimes know as the Sprocket Tip. A wheel like device at the end of the Guide Bar (see above) which eases the chain around the curve of the bar and can help prevent kickback.


* See the articles in our Chainsaw Safety section for more information

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