Chainsaw Maintenance Course

Our chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting courses run monthly, Whether you are new to the industry or been using chainsaw for years this is the course for you.

Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting

(formerly CS30)

So, chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting course are what you’re looking for. It would seem the time has come for you to get your chainsaw qualification, you could be:

  • new to the use of chainsaws
  • used them in the past
  • have the opportunity for a new contract or tender
  • need evidence of a certificate to show competence
Unfortunately we are no longer able to offer this course as a single unit, only as part of the combined CS30-31 course. Please see the Chainsaw maintenance, cross cutting and felling of small trees.  

There are many reasons why you have found your way here and we understand you may have lots of questions. Or you know exactly what you are looking for. No matter where you are coming from the place to start with using chainsaws is here. With the chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting (formerly CS30) course.

Not only is this a great starting place for those who have not used or had the experience of using chainsaws. As folk tend to forget that we all have to start somewhere. It is perfect for those experienced users too. As in everything, there is always the potential to learn something new if you are open to the experience.

For those who have been working within the land based sector such as a:

  • budding arborist
  • forester
  • farmer
  • hedge layer
  • gamekeeper
  • landscaper
  • utility worker e.g. rail, highways

Our 2-day chainsaw maintenance course allows you plenty of time to learn to read the tension and compression to prevent your chainsaw from getting stuck! 

Providing ample opportunity to practice for the assessment process on the 3rd day.

Without this first unit, you can not continue on to felling trees.

To allow you to fell trees of 380mm in diameter, you must have first completed the chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting 0039-20 (formerly CS30 and 20-03) qualification. You can then work your way to the next unit.

Many of you are already actively using chainsaws. However, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence. To enable you to carry on doing so.

You may have been asked by:
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification
  • your farm assurance body

Whether you could be new to the job or have been doing it for over 40 years and things have changed. If so and you are faced with having to gain your chainsaw qualifications have you been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
  • worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
  • concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
  • looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
  • offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?

New to chainsaw use? Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and your level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.

Providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, approachable trainers and assessors.

All courses are run in small groups. To ensure you have as much time as needed to learn and experience the requirements for the assessments. If you chose to take them. Trainers and assessors are experienced, friendly, and approachable.

Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone. If you need it in the future. Just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.

City and Guilds accreditation

Is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting assessment. 

A  two-day course, with a third day for the assessment

Group sizes are no more than four candidates to one trainer, so nice small group sizes. To allow for plenty of discussion and questions. 

You will have access to the Lowe Maintenance portal on booking where you will find leaflets and updates to look through before attending the practical session. 

On this chainsaw maintenance course you will be learning about:

  • importance of chainsaw maintenance and how to keep your chain sharp
  • signs of a damage bar and chain and the impacts on the cut you make
  • risks involved in using chainsaws and how to stay safe
  • reading the lean of the timber
  • when not to use certain cuts
  • the difference between snedding hardwood and softwood
  • importance of biosecurity
  • industry best practice and processing timber to the required standard
  • what you need to do in an emergency
  • how health and safety legislation will affect you

Also, a huge bonus for you is that you can hire one of our chainsaws at no extra cost – how amazing is that!

Bear in mind that this course is physically demanding and requires the carrying of equipment in woodland and forest environment. You will have to carry your kit and equipment.  

Candidate portal

On booking your course you will be given access to the candidate portal, where you will find lots of leaflets and documentation to read through, ideally before you attend the course. This helps you with the terminology during the course and gives you a heads-up of what to expect in any discussions and practical sessions. There are even some videos we need you to watch to help embed your learning in preparation for your assessments. 


The chainsaw maintenance training is two days, on a third day, you will be assessed by an independent City and Guilds assessor. 

We may be stating the obvious and it is sad that we have to be saying this as it appears it is not common practice. 

When attending a course with us, you must follow any instructions that are given when using any equipment and carrying out tasks, for the safety of all involved. 

For further details please see our terms and conditions for courses.


Other courses of interest to you


IClearly it is always best to bring your own chainsaw to the course if you have one so that you learn to maintain your own.

But no , we can provide the chainsaw, sharpening kit, felling bar at no extra cost. However, this is under the provisio that any damages and/or losses are replaced. 

We do apprecaite the catch 22, how do you know what to buy you’ve not done the course yet. 

  1. on/off switch
  2. rear handguard
  3. two-stage throttle trigger
  4. safety decals
  5. chain catcher
  6. directional exhaust
  7. anti-vibration mounts
  8. chain brake
  9. safety chain/limits kickback
  10. bar chain cover

These are the standard safety features but there are others, it depends on the make of chainsaw. There may also be other adaptations of these features.

We believe it’s easier to follow someone showing you how to maintain your chainsaw than to read and figure out the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, the odd little quirks with each chainsaw’s can be explained in more detail. 

All stickers on a chainsaw must be legible and fully in place. There are some that provide specific safety information. It could be classed as an insurance / HSE fail if they are not in a good readable condition if an accident occurs. 

Alkylate fuel is very good and can be left for a long time. However, if you are using a self-mix two-stroke fuel, don’t leave it too long as it can separate. This is not good for the cylinder head. 

If you have a chat with your supplier, they might advise you. However, it depends on what you plan to do with it. What you are cutting and how often? The user manual will also have information as to the type and size of the chain. Join in a fabulous Lowe Maintenance course where all will be covered through in detail with different examples to see.

Most suppliers will have a good cleaner available. Although an industrial wet wipe cleans most oils and resins from your chainsaw.

If you find out the size (pitch) of your chain, then you can order the correct sharpening kit or file to match the chain. You will undoubtedly see this on your chainsaw maintenance course.

The fuel filter is a micropore filter and can’t really be cleaned. So if it looks badly stained or you have a problem with the saw, replace it. However, a good clean fuel should keep your filter going for a number of years with no problems.

A full chisel chain is a more aggressive cutter and used normally for fresh-cut wood and pines, it processes wood very well. Although beware that a full chisel can lose its edge easily because it is so aggressive. The semi-chisel is not as aggressive and is used as a general-purpose chain. Depending again on what you are cutting, it can keep its edge a bit better. Our workbooks, provided during the chainsaw maintenance course, demonstrate this with good pictures. 

There is no restriction on bar and chainsaw size it’s down to being able to handle it safely. Of course bigger chainsaws are heavier and longer bars are harder to control. However, it is all down to getting the best tool for the job and being able to safely control it.

Anyone who uses chainsaws as a professional must have certificates of competence to be insured

There is no such thing as grandfather rights in the use of chainsaws

Unfortunately, not, because there are many different situatuls and scenarios in using chiansaws. So it is not possible to just have one ticket to cover everything.


Certainly always use a chainsaw oil (not any old engine oil) as the chain oil is designed to stay on the chain for as long as possible. It has very good viscosity when hot.

Of course you should be wearing a helmet to limit injury from falling objects. Purpose brought helmets have combined ear defenders and mesh visor which are compatible so offer the right level of protection. 

It depends on your budget, the alkylate fuels are very good and better for your lungs and the environment but can be expensive if you are using a lot.

Normal unleaded petrol is cheaper but has several health issues with it. It may be that the contract or site owner has a preference in which case you may have to follow their guidelines.

If you mean length, it may be stamped on the guide bar or in your user manual. If you are looking for cutter size, then again it may be on the bar or in the user manual, if you are struggling you could speak with your local dealer.

If a nylon filter, you can wash in warm soapy water and leave to dry, before putting back on. However, if a paper or fibre filter, you cannot wash it and has to be replaced if heavily coated with oil.

As the name suggests the bar guides the saw through the cut. If you do not maintain the bar then you will find it harder to cut straight and the bar may fail in a way that can be dangerous to the operator.

If when you are cross-cutting and the wood coming from the chain is like dust not little square chips or you find you are having to push harder on the saw to cut. Then it is time to look at how sharp your chain is.

If you did the City and Guilds tickets and you still have your certificates, then yes, they should still stand. If you can be found on the City and Guilds system, have copies of certificates or your blue book to hand. 

The average time to change the sprocket on the chainsaw is two to three full lives of a chain or if the teeth of the sprocket are showing signs of wear and the wear is deeper than 0.5 millimetres.

Ideally, store the chainsaw with the chain brake on due to the nature of the brake spring and the force it is left under when the brake is off.

Some user manuals will describe how to change the cord; you could attend a training course where part of the training involves the replacement of the cord. In most cases, it is not overly hard to do, a bit fiddly but possible.

The best practice is to turn the bar over every time you maintain the saw to even out the wear and prolong the life of the bar.

You can do a bit of formal training but not book for an assessment. If you are cutting on your own land and don’t have a need for insurance, then there is no need for a full course. There are several insurance companies that are happy with formal training. If a certificate of completion is provided, with a date and list with what was covered on the course, this can demonstrate an element of competence

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