Can you use a chainsaw in the rain?
It depends on what type of chainsaw you are running.
- A gas chainsaw can be used in the rain without any problems
- Do not use a battery-powered chainsaw in the rain unless specified
- Do not use a corded-electric chainsaw in the rain
However, despite the fact that a gas chainsaw can mechanically function in the rain, it’s not pleasant, and there are important things to keep in mind.
Using A Gas Chainsaw In The Rain
One of the many benefits of a gas chainsaw is that it can be used in rain and other wet environments.
There are all sorts of professional tree workers who can’t stop every time a bit of rain starts falling. Arborists, loggers, and other forestry workers will often work through bad weather, but, of course, in severe conditions, it is very wise to stop.
It doesn’t matter if you are using a logging chainsaw or a cheap gas homeowner chainsaw – they should all be fine.
Some people even hose or pressure wash their chainsaws after a day’s use. That should give you a good idea as to how durable they are in the rain (though you do need to cover the exhaust and carburetor air intake if you try this).
What you don’t want:
- Don’t get rain or water in your fuel or fuel tank
- Keep water out of your bar and chain oil and tank
- Don’t submerge your gas chainsaw in water
Tornados, hurricanes, and other severe storms and destructive events bring down trees and cause other damage. Thankfully we can use gas chainsaws to help clean up the aftermath and clear roads, whether it’s raining or clear.
Important things to keep in mind:
- Sound footing – ensure you are not going to slip when using your saw in the rain
- Visibility – make sure you can identify hazards and know the location of others
- Grip – when your chainsaw gets wet make sure you can safely hold onto it
Safety gear is especially important when working in poor weather conditions with a chainsaw, though should be used in fine weather as well.
For example, a chainsaw helmet and visor can reduce the risk of injury from falling branches and debris in the wind and rain.
Chainsaw chaps and chainsaw gloves will help to protect your legs in the event of a slip.
Safety glasses may not be the best idea when using a chainsaw in the rain, for obvious reasons (vision may be obscured).
It’s also important to keep warm while working in the rain and wet – it’s easier to make mistakes when you’re cold, wet, or rushing your work – all hazards increase in the rain.
There’s a video below of some guys in the Philippines milling with what looks like the Stihl 090 or 070 chainsaw in the rain.
Don’t imitate them when it comes to safety gear (no shoes, ear protection, etc.), but you can see that their gas saw runs perfectly well in the rain.
It’s especially important that you can use a chainsaw in rain in some climates. The tropics, for example, where it can rain every day, or like the cold climate I live in, where it basically rains for 6 months each year.
Can Chainsaws Get Wet?
Can a chainsaw get wet?
Yes, gas chainsaws can get wet – that probably goes without saying now!
It’s totally OK to keep your chainsaw running in the rain, though it’s wise to stop in the event of heavy rain for safety reasons. Personally, I only use mine in the drizzle or light rain, but I’m a bit soft.
When my chainsaws get wet I always let them dry out in the sun and then start them up again for a bit before storing them away. I don’t like to put them away wet.
- Want to throw your chainsaw onto the back of your truck in the rain
- Accidentally leave your saw outside and it starts pouring
- Drop your chainsaw in a puddle
There’s no need to be concerned – it will be fine. And if there are problems with your saw, it’s likely something other than that it got wet.
Battery And Electric Chainsaws In The Rain
Can you use an electric chainsaw in the rain?
Corded electric chainsaws should never be used in the rain (or other wet conditions).
There is a risk of electric shock to the user and the possibility of damaging the tool.
It’s OK to cut damp or wet wood with electric or battery chainsaws. Moisture will only get onto the bar and chain system, which is fine.
Cordless battery-powered chainsaws pose less of a risk in wet weather, but still should not be used in the rain UNLESS the manufacturer specifies that it is ok to do so.
For example, some Stihl Battery Chainsaws can be safely used in the rain. These tools have a raincloud symbol on them designating them as such (image to the right).
These battery-operated tools can get wet and simply must be left to dry out after use. Obviously, never try and charge a battery in the rain!
Chainsaw In Rain
So, can you use a chainsaw in the rain?
Gas chainsaws can safely be used in the rain.
Battery chainsaws should not be used in the rain unless specified by the manufacturer.
Corded electric chainsaws should never be used in the rain.
As already stated, personally, I stop using my chainsaw when the rain starts. However, I’m not using my chainsaw as a profession (unless you count writing about them a profession?).
Rainy and wet conditions only compound the risks associated with using a chainsaw, so if you don’t have to be using it, consider stopping.
At the very least, don’t try cutting down trees with a chainsaw in the pouring rain!