Chainsaw Refresher Course

Our refresher for chainsaw maintenance and felling small trees up to 380mm chainsaw course runs regularly for arborists, conservation staff, utility workers and landscapers, to name a few.

Refresher for Chainsaw Maintenance and Felling Small Trees up to 380mm

 (formerly CS30-31)

Chainsaw refreshers

Our chainsaw maintenance, cross cutting (formerly CS30) and felling small trees up to 380mm (formerly CS31) refresher course is run as a combined element. Therefore, both units are done within the same time frame saving you time and running courses as efficiently as possible.

As each unit has specific elements to be covered felling small trees wouldn’t automatically cover maintenance. 

Things you must consider when it comes to chainsaw refreshers, is who is asking you for the evidence of a chainsaw refresher?

  • Is it for your peace of mind?
  • Requirements of your insurance company?
  • A contract that you have fulfil?

Before booking be sure that this refresher course will fulfil your requirements. 

If you have contracts with companies such as the Forestry Commission they only accept accredited bodies such as FISA and other awarding organisations.

City and Guilds now offer a CPD unit, please ask for assessment prices if this is what you require.
As we would recommend both our Lowe Maintenance refresher day and CPD unit session. 

Using a chainsaw in industry as a professional is something to take seriously, as such it is important to keep up to date and attend refresher courses. 

Think of it this way, if you have an incident one of the first questions your insurance company or HSE may ask, is,

‘When were you last refreshed?’

It’s not going to sound so good if you say you haven’t had a refresher since you did your original course twenty years ago.

Don’t forget HSE advise a refresher every 5 years and some insurance companies are now insisting on a refresher course every three years. 

Do you know what your insurance company requires?

With all this in mind and you are now faced with having to gain your chainsaw refresher 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?
Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and the 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.

Lowe Maintenance Certificate of Completion

Is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your chainsaw maintenance and felling small trees refresher course, it is valid for 3 years. 

We would advise that you check with your insurance company before booking to ensure they are happy with a certificate of completion, many are, but is it certainly worth checking first!

Companies we already provide refresher courses for are:

  • Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • National Trust
  • Natural England
  • Burnley Borough Council
  • amongst many others 

Our one-day chainsaw refresher training course provides you with any industry updates, along with plenty of time for you to demonstrate your maintenance skills and cutting techniques. 

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 and small trees refresher course you will be covering or demonstrating:

  • risk assessment and emergency procedures
  • relevant health and safety regulations and changes where applicable
  • maintenance of the chainsaw 
  • operational checks of the chainsaw
  • fell and process trees
  • carry out cross-cutting and snedding of the timber
  • discuss hung up trees 
  • and demonstrate industry best practice 
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 before you attend the course. This helps you with the terminology on the day and gives you a heads-up of what to expect in any discussions. There could even be some videos to watch to help embed your learning ready for the session. 


You will be assessed ongoing throughout the session by your trainer who will make recommendations as required. There is no formal assessment process for this course but must meet the requirements listed above to be fully refreshed and demonstrate competence. 

City and Guilds now offer a skills check, CPD unit. 

If you wish to complete this in addition to the Lowe Maintenance chainsaw maintenance, cross-cutting and felling small trees refresher, please contact us to make additional arrangements and for us to provide costs. 

The CPD unit is an additional day and you would on successful completion receive digital credentials direct from City and Guilds. 

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


Clearly 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. 

Although, 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. In addition there may also be other adaptations of these features.

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. 

There are many different cuts, however cuts covered on the course will certainly include:

  • a conventional felling cut
  • a cut for a tree with the weight and lean in the direction of fall
  • a cut for a tree where the weight is slightly opposing the line of fall

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

There is a cant hook on the felling bar and tongs are available to limit arm strain when moving logs. As a result, both are very handy to have in the working environment.

  • helmet with ear defenders and a visor (in date)
  • protective chainsaw gloves
  • chainsaw trousers
  • chainsaw boots or wellies
  • personal first aid kit
  • felling bar
  • chainsaw with a bar no larger than 15 inch
  • relevant sharpening kit

Yes, although, when you are a competent operator your insurance may let you modify your dress code in accordance with HSE.

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.

Of course, yes! Moreover, very well too. The chainsaws are now much lighter, the equipment is much more user friendly and most women are tough. In addition they are also very good at thinking a problem through and not just fighting with the tree.

Indeed you should be wearing a helmet to limit injury from falling objects. Furthermore 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.

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 cut close to the ground, you maximise the amount of wood extracted.

Furthermore, it is also safer to cut close to the floor if anything goes wrong the more of you that is below the hinge then the more gets hurt. Industry-standard would also encourage you to cut as close to the ground too, high cuts could result in lost future work.

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. 

However, if in doubt get in touch with City and Guilds. 

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.

Softwood is mainly pines, whereas the term hardwood is mainly used to describe a broadleaf tree-like beech, oak etc. As a result, there are slightly different techniques for processing the timber which you will be made aware of during your training.

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.

It’s the forces that can build up in a piece of wood. If you take a broom handle and bridge it across two points, then put a bit of weight in the middle you will see the handle bend. The fibres at the bottom of the handle are being stretched or put under tension and the fibres at the top are being compressed. However, with a tree, it’s not quite as easy to read, however, if you get it right you are less likely to get your chainsaw stuck!

If you have surveyed the site and are sure there are no nests, then you are okay to cut. However, you must not hit a tree while you cut even if the bird is on the vermin control nest you can not disturb a nest that is in use.

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