How to use tree felling tools
AuthorHusqvarna Chainsaw Academy
November 11, 2020
Last editedNovember 11, 2020
The size of the tree determines which felling tools you need to use. For the smallest trees, you do not normally need the felling tools. Hand force is enough, possibly with a long pole. The felling wedge provides greater felling force than the different types of breaking bar. In extreme cases, you can use a rope and winch, which is the safest and most powerful way to fell a tree.
Foot breaking bar
The foot breaking bar is suitable when thinning and for smaller trees. Insert the foot breaking bar before completing the felling cut. Stand and put all your weight on the lever arm. The foot breaking bar is generally telescopic and can be carried in a holster on your logging belt.
The breaking bar is available in different handle lengths providing you with varying amounts of felling force. Avoid breaking bars with a long handle for really thick trees and large backward leans, as this may require a lifting height that is greater than you can handle. Maximum lifting height: approximately 2 cm.
The impact bar is used in the same applications as the breaking bar. It can also be used as a striking tool when using felling wedges.
Felling wedges are best for medium to large trees as they provide a lot of lifting force. They are inserted before the felling cut is complete, and are knocked in with an axe or an impact breaking bar. Occasionally, several wedges are needed. It’s always good to use wedges made of a soft material, such as plastic or aluminium, should you happen to cut into the wedge, thus eliminating the risk of damaging the chain. Maximum lifting height: approximately 50-60 mm.
Rope and winch
Using rope and a winch to help take down a tree increases safety and can speed up the process considerably. The rope and winch solution is beneficial, for example, when pulling down dead trees, or to extract half-fallen, stuck trees. It can also be used to determine the felling direction. The size of the tree determines the strength of the rope (or cable) you need for the job.
Other useful tools
To keep all your vital gear close and secure, a good tool belt is the very best solution. The Husqvarna tool belt Flexi is a flexible and ergonomic belt with excellent weight distribution and pockets and fasteners for wedges, files lifting hook, combi tool, measuring tape and your small axe.
The sappie is an extremely useful tool to manually lift, transport, turn or stack logs, making the arrangement of wood piles easier. Just as with any other lifting tool, it’s important to make sure the blade’s pointed hook is sharp enough. If not, it’s easy to file. The sappie is available in different sizes, all depending on the size of the logs you’re working with and will extend your reach and spare you from lifting, saving you from unwanted back pain.
The most common logger tape is 50 feet/15m long, but it’s available in many other lengths. The tape should be equipped with a swivel snap for attaching it to a belt as well as a quick-release nail end that you attach to log ends, making it easy to move the needed distance, along the tree or log, to measure length or diameter correctly, then release the nail with an easy tug.
Needless to say, a combined petrol/oil can with filling protection that prevents unnecessary spills, is a given to avoid running out of fuel when working in the forest. By using alkylate petrol, such as Husqvarna XP® Power 2, you can lower the amount of harmful emissions from your chainsaw. If you use regular petrol, you should mix it with a high quality 2- stroke oil (XP®-oil is recommended). For chain lubrication, we recommend vegetable chain oils that are biodegradable.
Lifting hook and tongs
A lifting hook is used to lift and turn the logs. Lifting tongs are used to lift and move the smaller logs and pieces of firewood and pulpwood. It is very important that your tongs and hook are pointed and sharp to ensure good grip on the logs.
Using the lifting hook and tongs
Grinding the lifting hook and tongs
In order to ensure good grip on the logs, it’s important that your hook and tongs are pointed and sharp. Blunt hooks and tongs are inefficient and can be dangerous as you can easily slip and cause injuries.
Filing the lifting tongs
The tip should be sharpened in a chisel shape to easily release the tongs from the timber. File from the outside of the hook. However, make sure not to file to a point, as this might get stuck in the timber.
Filing the lifting hook
You file the hook from the sides and the inside of the hook. File towards the tip. This method retains the tip naturally.
Testing the lifting hook
Check the function of the tip by pulling it horizontally, with light pressure on the handle, along the grain on a wooden board or bark-free log. A properly sharpened tip attaches evenly to the wood and ploughs a slight groove.