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Chainsaws: Safety, Maintenance and Tree Felling

Course Overview

A chainsaw is a powerful and efficient tool that requires a specific set of skills and experience to safely operate and maintain, even if those skills are used only on an occasional weekend at the cabin. This course will teach students to recognize and to avoid the hazards that surround a person when working with a chainsaw in the yard or in the woods. Like any tool, a chainsaw will work better and last longer with some basic maintenance and sharpening, also covered in this course. On Day 1, we will cover the necessary clothing and safety equipment, hand tools, how to identify and avoid hazards, how to cut brush and fell trees of different sizes and types, and proper technique for limbing. We will then remove the bar and chain and learn to sharpen the chain with a round file. The second day we will carpool to the woods, where we will begin cutting (bucking) logs to length and cutting brush. This will be an extensive “hands on” day where each student will be closely supervised and get a chance to handle a chainsaw safely and efficiently. On the third day each student will fell a tree, and as a group we will discuss the use of different ways to move and remove logs and firewood, as well as pull lines and come-alongs as time permits. The goal is simple: learn to safely and effectively use this powerful tool—and have fun while doing it.

Required Tools

  • Cold weather clothing -Wool or fleece shirt, wool pants or overalls, rain gear possibly. Dress in layers, as we will start out with some classroom time. 
  • Two pair of insulated gloves (they can get wet). Oil and and pitch stains can ruin expensive clothes, so bring work clothes.  
  • Winter boots, with safety toe if you have them.
  • Bag lunch for the field Saturday and Sunday.
  • Water bottle or thermos

Optional Tools

  • chainsaw  (instructor has two saws that students can use for the class.)
  • chainsaw chaps (we will have some available to use if you don't have them)
  • hard hat (with screen visor and/or ear muffs, OR hard hat with safety glasses and ear plugs.

Session Information

  • This course is a rescheduled session that had been canceled earlier in the pandemic. Priority registration was given to previously enrolled students; please join the waiting list to be notified of any openings.


Please Note: North House is looking forward to hosting this course on campus in the safest way possible.  Students must participate in a daily health screening and temperature check, agree to wear a mask at all times on campus, and to practice social distancing of 6 feet, as well as adhere to other safety protocols in some cases, regardless of their vaccination status. See the full details of our COVID-19 protocols here.


Fri, Mar 19th, 2021  –  Sun, Mar 21st, 2021

Course Details

Length: 2½ Days
Hours: Day 1/2: 9am-5pm Day 3: 9am-1pm
Tuition: $260.00
Materials fee: $35.00