Small Woodland Owners' Group

Chainsaw courses

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Postby pete » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:30 pm

Hi everyone, I'm probably being dumb, but is there any existing info on the best courses on chainsaw use anywhere on the web-site or the Forum? And if not, then can anyone make some recommendations because this is obviously basic resource stuff for new woodland owners.

I'm actually looking for a course that doesn't interfere with a Mon-Fri job, or minimally. Perhaps a full weekend or even a day a weekend over several weekends.

I feel a bit sheepish going on a course now, because I've used a small bladed Huskvarna saw for some years, self-taught after lots of reading, plus study of internet and YouTube videos. But I want to buy a Stihl MS 650 20" for bigger work and it seems the manufacturers have a policy of not allowing internet sales (where one can save a lot of money) unless you can prove you're a 'professional'. So it looks like I have to go on a course after all! Recommendations for the Herts/Beds/Northants area very welcome please.

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Postby tracy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi Pete

No, we haven't collected a list of recommended chainsaw courses yet - so we can start one here. Anyone able to help?

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Postby coppiceer » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:41 pm

Try the Education & Training forum on ARBTALK:

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Postby Fuzzy-Felt Bloke » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:53 pm

The real reason for a chainsaw training course is to show you safe methods of felling and de-limbing trees, not how much you can save. A full NPTC Cert a course will cost around £400 - £500, will you save this much on a chainsaw. Unless you are buying a top handle saw, I would just go local and buy one from a store, unless you feel that you need training in how to fell a tree safely, and do the course for the right reason.


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Postby treebloke » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:47 pm

Speak with Liam at he is probably the most helpfull and knowledgable guy you will ever meet and does courses all over the country.

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Postby happybonzo » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:23 pm

Like this one?

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Postby pete » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:33 am

Thanks for those replies, everyone. I've located a course at Shuttleworth College which is pretty close to me and has an ok web-site. It seems the courses aren't cheap though, bearing in mind one needs 3 courses really; the basic maintenance course, the small tree course, and the medium-sized tree course. All at around £400 each, which is no small sum. But maybe worth a chainsaw kick-back injury.

I definitely think it would be worth SWOG having a few names up our sleeves for future enquiries, so keep them coming!

As for that link you recommended,, that's a mean machine (the 650) but I don't think I could cope with a 30" blade! (I'll go for the 650 with a 24". I've got a huge, literally huge old lime to cut up which will make lousy firewood but be a wood-carvers delight. Actually that's a wonderful web-site for chainsaws which everyone should make a note of for several reasons: its centrally placed in England (Derbyshire), offers free delivery by van (apparently anywhere) and offers really great reductions on Stihl's list prices, PLUS a further 10% off in January! Thanks, HappyBonzo!

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Postby rogerspianocat » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:04 pm, or others run by LILI (low impact living initiative), might be worth a look - I haven't been on one of their chainsaw courses, so can't exactly reccommend it, but about as cheap as you'll get, I think.

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Re: Chainsaw courses

Postby Lenny » Tue May 13, 2014 6:21 pm

I am actually a tad disturbed by the fact that someone would want to use a saw without any training!!! fair play for looking at videos, but everyone needs the training. That's why companies want to see certification.

I had plenty of hours training, aprox 30 hours before I could do an assessment of my ability. even then, I passed but would not consider myself any good at it. I've been in the industry a long time, and have worked with people straight out of college, these guys typically have 4 days of training. Most of it seems to be in the class room. This again is no good! It's all about practical experience with an experienced person.

I would highly recommend training with a registered trainer. They know their stuff and will charge you £80 a day.

Please anyone out there who wants to use ANY saw, get some training, I've seen some terrible things in my time, It's not just the saw that can hurt you!!

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Re: Chainsaw courses

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue May 13, 2014 7:53 pm

Lenny wrote:I am actually a tad disturbed by the fact that someone would want to use a saw without any training!!!

better not chat to me then,
I'm quite surprised though, that you have revived a 2yr old post, rather than some on my younger one's on you tube training
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