homestead thinking big

Chainsaws + Birdsong

Hot Take: You don’t have to like NOISE to use a chainsaw.

You can, but you don’t have to.

I hate the sound of most chainsaws. Though they can be used thoughtfully and productively, there is still an abundance of destructive macho BS around them. And that’s just… bleh.

But I do own and use a chainsaw. And I recently took a practical course on how to maintain and run chainsaws safely. Short version: RTFM.

My chainsaw is 16” — and electric. Even while she’s running, you could carry on a conversation. Between cuts, I can hear birdsong.

…I will always choose birdsong.

She’s plenty powerful, and has never been defeated in a task. We get tired before the batteries do. Even if your chainsaw doesn’t go VROOM VROOM, and you never cut down a really big tree if you don’t need to, and your fuel doesn’t take millions of years to produce, you’re still doing a great job. And whether it’s powered by gas or electricity, there are still only two right ways to use a chainsaw: safely and thoughtfully.

(Similarly, whether gas or electric, there is no port that requires insertion of a fleshy male peripheral to operate a chainsaw. So long as you have two arms and a working brain, you’re golden.)

If you want to operate a chainsaw with thought and care and respect for the whole of the forest, you can stand alongside me any day.

…Except not literally of course, cuz we’re operating chainsaws here. You take that path and I’ll work on this one. But we can meet up later for sandwiches.

And listen to the birds.

📸: A note on the photo — I wear All The Gear All The Time when operating a chainsaw. Hard hat, eye protection, steel toes, chaps, etc etc. I had this chainsaw out to clean and sharpen it. It has no battery inside. Electric FTW.