Article 4 — How to Cut limbs with a Trimmer


Trimmer Engines vary in power and speed. So if you have a smaller engine this article will be even more important to first review:

***Consider your engine size and power for the job on hand, consider the limb size and wood characteristics as a hardwood limb is different than simple Pine or Fir, and is the limb real wet or dry as dry will cut easier than wet, is silicone spray or wd-40 needed to offset sticky sap.

(1) If the blade is sticking then you might be slightly “forcing” the blade into the cut swath.  The blade will only cut at the pace it cuts at, period.  You cannot hasten the speed of the cut by forcing or pressing the blade faster into the sapling than it can tolerate.  So depending on the Speed & Power of your engine and the Hardness & Wetness of the limb you are cutting, the blade will cut at the pace it does and no faster, this will be telegraphed to you by the RPM’s staying at or near MAXIMUM that you can hear and feel in your hands.  If you hear a slowing of RPM’s then you are either pushing the blade beyond its limits or friction is increasing due to cutting too much surface area (which is to say that too many teeth on the blade are contacting wood at one time inside the cut) for the blade size and limb characteristics.

(2) As the blade cuts into a 3″ wide sapling (example), move the blade around the  outer circumference edge of the limb somewhat, don’t necessarily cut direct as you would (with say) a 1″ wide limb.   Picture in your mind’s eye that the blade has a rounded leading edge (rounded disc) so the cut it makes is the opposite or compliment, which is in the shape of a “U” or mouth.  So the deeper you cut into this “U” the more blade teeth are coming into contact with the sapling wood causing ever increasing friction.  So move your blade out of the deep bottom of the mouth-swath of the “U” and instead cut the EDGES of the “U” swath.  It is more efficeint if you are always cutting with the rounded leaading edge of blade to the rounded edges inside the sapling instead of burying your blade deep into a “U” swath.

An example is when you cut a piece of flat plywood with a common hand saw, you always prefer to cut the 1/2″ wide leading edge so all your blade teeth will perform the sawing but only 3 or 4 teeth are cutting at any instant in time, keeping the friction low. You would not lay your hand saw across the entire flat surface of the plywood with all your blade teeth in contact with the wood as this would create too much friction and hurt sawing effectiveness.   Similarly, as the Carbide Brush blade is spinning at its max RPM’s (that you hear while working) move it back and forth slowly inside the swath like a hand saw so fewer teeth contact rounded convex aspects inside the cut swath path and do not get bogged down inside an ever growing concave “U” cut; don’t just go straight through the limb for these reasons but attack the cut at angles. Hope this is clear and not too redundant.

(3) As the carbide blade is cutting you can hear it and feel where it’s RPM pace is and therefore the friction the blade is encountering, so attack angles inside the cut swath will be clear where it is at its PEAK.  So operate the blade as it tells you through the sound of its speed.  If the speed is slowing then don’t push or force the blade, instead let it out a bit to re-find its max RPM’s again then attack the cut swath again but from a slightly different angle to avoid the “U” as explained above. The best angle inside the cut is where the fewest teeth of the blade are cutting and are at maximum RPM. This says lowest friction coupled with maximum speed.

(4) Always begin the cut on an ANGLE so GRAVITY will FORCE OPEN the limb cut as you proceed.  Never cut across a limb where the cut will want to “CLOSE UP” from Gravity.   If a limb is growing straight up and down, cut across it at a 45 degree angle so it will fall away from you and its weight will force the cut swath to open for your blade going foward.   If the limb is growing at an angle out of the ground, don’t cut from the bottom edge of the limb as gravity will cause it to pinch and grab your blade as you cut; only cut from the top edge so the cut swath opens as you proceed.