Unexpected weather can happen at any time when you are tending to your garden, whether you pruning trees with your chainsaw or getting kindling, but can you continue to use your chainsaw in the rain?
No, we would not suggest using an electric chainsaw in the rain, this is because the tool gets its power from an electrical source, either through power outlets or a battery inside of the chainsaw, this could produce an electric shock in wet conditions, causing safety concerns.
In our informational guide below, we will cover exactly how an electric chainsaw works, whether you can use a petrol chainsaw in the rain and some safety tips for using a chainsaw in wet conditions.
To understand why you shouldn't use an electric chainsaw in the rain, we first need to look at how they work.
Electric chainsaws have an electric motor or an electric engine inside of them for power, depending on the model, this will then be connected to a battery pack that needs recharging or a corded outlet plug.
Once turned on the chainsaw will drive the engine inside to move the chain around the guide bar to cut down your wood. Electric chainsaws mostly just need an oil reservoir for maintenance.
Since most electric chainsaws are powered by an electrical outlet, these devices do not mix with wet and cold conditions well with the foremost concern being an electric shock.
Even with a cordless electric chainsaw, the wet chainsaw can develop rusted blades over time and there could be a chance of slippage when cutting wet wood after heavy rain.
On the other hand, petrol chainsaws can be used during the rain for a cutting project, this is because they don't have any electrical components inside for cutting if you are worried about rust on your chainsaw blades then simply dry them and make sure to oil them.
Some people ask if wet wood can be dangerous to cut too and dull your chainsaw, but the moisture of the wood will likely not make a difference to the blade, since blades need to be oiled anyway.
A petrol chainsaw can be used in the rain, but can it be submerged in water?
Well, no, we would not suggest submerging a whole gas chainsaw because the engine can flood and break the chain saw, some people wonder if covering a plastic bag would help with this, but water would likely still find a way inside.
If you planning to do a cutting job in wet conditions then you need to be aware of some of the safety risks to be safe while cutting.
When cutting wet wood, it's a good idea to choose a chainsaw blade with rounded teeth or a sem-chisel, it allows you to cut slower through wood without the blade dulling too quickly.
To stay comfortable when cutting with a chainsaw you should ensure that you are wearing more protective gear than you would in dry conditions. Wet weather typically means cold weather so wrap up in layers, wear waterproof trousers, a jacket and waterproof boots for the job.
Trees can often drop branches when wet after a storm, debris is also more likely to fly due to it being looser too, make sure you are protected from dropping items.
You should always ensure you have a solid footing and a balanced grip when operating your chain saw, wet conditions can make the ground more slippery, rain boots should help with your grip, however.
Plenty of rain can lead to the submersion of your tool, you will know if your chainsaw is being submerged since the water will be able to get under the plastic casing, air filter and into the engine. Light rain will not be able to pass through the casing.
Should I cover the engine of my electric chainsaw in plastic?
No, there is no need to cover the engine of your electric chainsaw in plastic when it's raining, there can still be a risk of electrocution due to the outlet and parts, this may work for a petrol mower however but is not essential.
What should I do if my chainsaw falls into the water?
If your chainsaw falls in water by accident we recommend first removing the spark plug from the tool and turning it upside down to let any leftover water trickle out. Ensure the filter is dry then put the saw back together, top up the oil and allow it to run for a few minutes.
Could you clean a chainsaw with water?
Yes, the outside of a chainsaw can be cleaned with mild soapy water, the blade should be dried carefully after cleaning to avoid it from rusting.
Is wet wood harder to cut through with a chainsaw?
No, despite what many think, wet wood is easier to cut through thanks to the moisture and poses no risk to your chainsaw.
What is the biggest safety issue when using a chainsaw in the rain?
The biggest personal safety issue has to be footing when using a gas chainsaw in wet conditions, this is important to avoid slipping down.
Can you use cordless electric chainsaws in the rain?
No, since cordless models still have their electronic battery and other parts, avoid using any type of electronic model in the rain.
Overall, you cannot use an electric chainsaw in the rain due to the risk of electrocution, you can however use a petrol chainsaw in the rain, but not submerged underwater since this could flood and damage the engine.
Always be aware of slipper cutting conditions after rain and wear appropriate clothing for the weather and cold.