chainsaw & outdoor
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Questions & Answers

Saw Chain          Trimmer Line          Mower Blades          Oil Filters

Outdoor Power Questions answers advice & tips faq

Saw Chain

At a lawnmower & chainsaw sales & servicing outlet – visit our Dealer Locator for a local outlet & ask for Oregon brand chain . Oregon are the worlds leading manufacturer of chainsaw chain & are the original designer of modern chainsaw chain.

Take your saw or chain to a lawnmower & chainsaw sales & service outlet – see our Dealer Locator; for a service centre near you . Alternatively with a certain level of skill you can sharpen it with a round file of the correct size, various file guides are available to be purchased to hold the file to keep chain angles correct. Additionally instead of a round file various models of grinders are available for purchase. See Oregon files, guides and grinders.

A chainsaw is designed to cut wood . Clean wood , timber & logs are kinder to the cutting chain. Dirt & abrasive material on the wood will dull the chain & impair the cutting efficiency.

Your cutter bar that the chain runs in may be worn but more likely your chain cutters may be dull & or the angles on the cutter face may vary between the cutters on the left hand side & the right hand side. Click on the Oregon Maintaince & Safety Manual

Oregon make chain for every make & model of chainsaw – visit our Dealer Locator; for a stockist

    • keep your chain correctly tensioned .
    • use quality chain lubricant & make sure your saw is “oiling”.
    • set depth gauges correctly .
    • keep your chain sharp .

Click on the Oregon Maintaince & Safety Manual for extra advice.

Oregon invented the modern chainsaw chain over 70 years ago and remains a world leader in the manufacture of saw chain today. Oregon makes over 200 types of saw chain and is constantly upgrading the product lines to suit the modern, lighter and faster chainsaws being produced. They have a chain type to suit all brands of chainsaws.

COP Ltd is the distributor of the largest selection of Oregon® saw chain in New Zealand. These are available in selected sizes, which include VersaCut™, SpeedCut™, RipCut™ and the ultimate saw chain for loggers and skilled chainsaw operators PowerCut™. Check our Dealer Locator to find your closest Oregon® stockist.

There are a few factors to consider before selecting the right saw chain for your application here in New Zealand conditions. Firstly, you will need to determine what type of saw chain you currently are using. (see below) Also, what type of work are you intending on doing? ie. Firewood, tree pruning, milling etc. What type of timber are you predominantly going to be cutting? These questions will assist you when visiting a local Oregon® stockist – they will be able to recommend the type of Oregon® saw chain which would best suit you and your application. General rule of thumb; semi chisel for hard wood (bluegum), full chisel for soft wood (pine)

It is time to sharpen when you have to push on the saw and it is no longer self-feeding. A sharp chain will cut large sized chip whereas a dull or damaged chain will create sawdust. Rule of thumb is to sharpen the chain each time you fill the fuel tank, don’t wait until it is blunt, always keep it sharp.

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Trimmer Line

Choosing the right trimmer line for your grass trimmer is critical to the performance of your machine & to completing your trimming task satisfactorily. You also need to match the trimmer line to the trimmer head for optimum trimming efficiency. Store trimmer line out of the sun & even keep it in a container of water to retain moisture.

    • choose quality trimmer line such as “Oregon” brand trimmer line ( as it is specifically formulated for efficiently trimming grass & weeds. Poor quality lines are prone to breaking & “welding” & may contain voids – air pockets that weaken the line.
    • for electric & battery powered machines choose line under .080 in diameter . Drag created by heavier diameter line reduces the cutting efficiency of the machine. If in doubt consult the machines owners manual .
    • For machines in the 20-25cc petrol powered capacity choose .080 or .095 diameter line for premium cutting efficiency. Ensure that the line length from the trimmer head is not excessively long . Generally the machine will have a debris shield & often there will be a knife in the debris shield to keep the line to optimum length. Line should be approximately 4” to 5” per side = 100mm to 120mm . Line that is too long causes drag & reduces the cutting efficiency of the machine & can cause internal mechanical issues – alternatively line that is too short can cause mechanical issues & inefficient trimming .
    • for machines 25cc – 30cc use line up to .105 in diameter.
    • machines around 35cc use line up to .130 in diameter.
    • larger capacity brushcutters & clearing saws can be capable of running line up to .155 in diameter.

Remember also that trimmer line comes in various shapes – the traditional round line , square , twist etc. Twist style line is designed to lower drag & be quieter in operational noise output.

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Mower Blades

Mower blades should be replaced when they are damaged, excessively worn or out of balance causing vibration.

Homeowners should sharpen their mower blades at least once a year. Commercial landscapers should sharpen their blades more often than homeowners.

Balancing mower blades prevents harmful vibration and wear from damaging your mower.

Your blades should be aggressively sharp but without a razor edge. The edge of the blade should have a small radius.

Gator® Mower Blades are 3-in-1 mower blades that mulch, bag and discharge grass clippings.

Yes, they have a higher "lift" than standard mower blades and an extended cutting edge. When we see that the lift is higher, this refers to the fact that the lift area of the blade is higher to better lift the grass.

The fin of the mulcher blade should be pointed up.

Mulching blades are used to finely chop grass clippings and return them to the soil where they act as a natural fertilizer.

A mulching blade is designed to re-cut grass clippings several times before they are discharged.

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Oil Filters

1. Unscrew old filter 2. Lubricate seal on new filter 3. Screw onto engine block.

Change the oil filter every time you change the oil on your lawn mower. See your mower’s owner’s manual for intervals.

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    • A smaller capacity chainsaw , typically 25cc -40cc capacity, running a 12” to 16” bar & chain is very useful for home & backyard work such as pruning, cutting out smaller trees or cutting small firewood or for controlled cutting applications such as fencing– cutting posts and stays. We recommend the Oleo-Mac GS35C, GS37 or GS41.
    • A mid-range chainsaw – 40cc – 65cc is very useful for cutting firewood & for general work around the farm or lifestyle block. The bar & chain combination may vary from approximately 16” – 24” depending on the power of the chainsaw & the application. See our range of Oleo-Mac chainsaws from the GS45 42.9cc to the GS650 63.4cc.
    • Larger capacity saws of approximately 65cc & over will typically run a 20” – 28” bar but depending on the power output of the chainsaw can run bars up to 36” & even longer. These saws are commonly used for felling trees or cutting up trees that have come down in storm.
    • It should be noted that whilst chainsaws are an amazing precision cutting tool – they are all dangerous & should be treated as such. A significant level of skill & control is required to operate a chainsaw safely.
    • “Top handle” chainsaws are typically used by professional arborists for precision tree work. This is a very skilled operation, profession and enthusiastic amateurs should only proceed with training and caution. Oleo-Mac has two model top handle saws. The GST250 and the GST360.

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Trimmers & Brushcutters

    • Smaller capacity curved shaft trimmers are suited to lighter trimming typically around a suburban home. Be sure to match the correct diameter & length of trimmer line to the capabilities of your machine. For example, have a look at Oleo Mac model Sparta 25TR.
    • Straight shaft grass trimmers typically run a steel drive shaft inside the outer tube. However sometimes this is substituted with a flexi cable drive so check with the seller of the machine or in the owner’s manual. A steel drive shaft is more durable & transfers the drive power more efficiently. A loop style handle on the trimmer is particularly useful when trimming edges, around flower beds, shrubs & fence lines. This style of machine is often used by lawnmowing contractors. For example, Oleo Mac models BC241S, BC270S or BC300S.
    • Bullhorn style handle systems on trimmers / brushcutters are typically larger power capacity machines used for open scything style cutting such as overgrown properties, roadsides, paddocks etc. The extra power of these machines & the safer handle harness system allows a range of cutting attachments to be used such as trimmer line head, grass cutting blades for heavier thicker grass & weeds, blades for sappy weeds & light shrubbery, blades for cutting woody stems & even small trees depending on the power output of the machine & the skill of the operator. View Oleo Mac models BC300T, BC350T, BC400T, 755 Master or the Sparta 381T and Sparta 441T.

Remember to wear the appropriate safety equipment & make sure other people & pets are a safe distance away.


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