Women in the Woods: Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance (New Hampshire)

Event Date
Women with a chainsaw

This event is hosted by New Hampshire Women in the WoodsSign up for our Women in the Woods newsletter to receive updates about future workshops and trainings. 

October 18 - 19, 2023

Hollis, New Hampshire

Learn more and register!

About the Workshop

This two-day course is specially designed for women by women with insight and experience in educational programs for women. No experience is necessary though this course is also an effective refresher for more experienced individuals who have developed some bad habits with a saw. This is the gateway course to learning more advanced practices.

The focus of this course is on safety: safe posture, safe practices, safe clothing, and safe habits. The first day will focus on safety gear, parts of a chainsaw and function, chainsaw safety features, basic saw maintenance, and introduction to proper and safe operation. The second day will focus on practice and application of basic chainsaw operation, safe movement and operation, making straight up and down cuts, limbing, and tension and compression wood. Students will learn bore cutting methods and see a felling demonstration.

The goal of this course is to provide each participant with the tools to evaluate practices and equipment for safety. All participants will have the opportunity to practice chainsaw use in a safe, controlled, and supervised environment. This course is designed to provide a classroom where all participants have ample opportunity to ask questions and practice these techniques.

The instructors will break groups out based on experience and some participants may have the opportunity to try more advanced techniques depending on their experience level.

Instructors: Wendy Weisiger, Managing Forester, Society for the Protection of NH Forests; tish carr, tish carr Consulting; Michael Gagnon, Forestry Field Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension

Space: Limited to 15 participants, pre-registration required. 

Cost: $250 per participant

What to bring:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): During the workshop we will cover correct fitting and proper PPE so you may want to hold off on purchasing new PPE until after the workshop. We will have PPE and chainsaws to loan during the class, however, we cannot provide steel or composite toe boots so you will need to arrive with your own pair. 

All students must wear the following required PPE:

  • Helmet
  • Eye protection
  • Ear protection
  • Hard-toe (steel or composite) boots  (you must bring your own pair)
  • Chainsaw chaps (full-wrap preferred)

Chainsaws: Students should bring their own chainsaws (if they have them) but instructors will provide classroom saws for everyone to use. Chainsaws must be in working conditions and have the following: working chain brake, rear hand guard, throttle interlock system, chain catch peg, pin or stud, antivibration/insulation mounts. (If your saw was made by a reputable manufacturer in the last 10 years, then it likely has all these features). Bring tools to perform basic maintenance if you have them: scrench, files, guides. Fuel up before you come. NOTE: We will not be using electric or battery powered saws in this workshop. Please do not bring one. Chaps have not been rated for stopping a battery powered saw.

Other: Bring a refillable water bottle, coffee mug, snacks and lunch for each day. We'll provide coffee, water, and morning snacks.

Directions: From the north: Take exit 6 off of the Everett Turnpike and take a right onto Rt. 130 West. Drive 1.3 miles. At the traffic circle, take second exit to stay on Rt. 130 W. Stay on Route 130 West for 3.9 miles. At the traffic light turn left onto Route 122 towards Pepperell, MA. Drive approx. 1 mile and turn right onto Ridge Road. Travel 0.9 mi and turn right into the driveway at 117 Ridge Road. (This is the second entrance to BBA properties – don’t turn onto Brown Lane.) Go past the office and barn on the left and park in the designated areas. We’ll meet in the barn. You may enter up the stairs at the back of the building, or on the side you see when you first drive into the driveway. Look for signs.

Learn more and register!


Women in the Woods is a collaboration between UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and other partners aimed at connecting women landowners and land managers with the resources, skills, and community they need to make informed stewardship decisions that promote healthy forest resources.  For more information about Women in the Woods, visit: extension.unh.edu/womeninthewoods.

Funding for this program provided by a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant, U.S. Forest Service.