As the name implies, a Chainsaw winch is essentially a Chainsaw attached to a Winch. It may seem like a dependent relationship between the two, where the winch powers off of the motor of the Chainsaw machine.
But when the winch and the chainsaw act in tandem, a small chainsaw engine temporarily becomes a powerful pulling machine, able to perform rescue operations as well as the usual hauling and cutting. The main advantage lies in the portability of the equipment and the fact that the winch will work as long as there is fuel in the Chainsaw tank, making the entire equipment self-contained.
How do you decide which Chainsaw is best for your Winch?
Since it is the engine of the Chainsaw that provides the necessary force or pull for the winch, you have to ensure enough power to haul loads, not too much and not too low.
Chainsaws of 7HP or more (100cc) have a powerful torque and require careful handling during winching or they could easily become something more than you bargained for. Similarly, Chainsaws that have less power will only overheat and burn out relatively fast.
Winches pulling lighter loads can hook up an electric chainsaw, but for those who do heavy work with their winches and want a versatile source of power, the gas chainsaw is an ideal choice.
When purchasing a Chainsaw for your winch, consider the Weight to HP ratio/rate when pulling loads in a straight line.
2,000 lb – 2,500 lb requires a 3HP Chainsaw
3,000 lb – 3,500 lb requires a 5-6HP Chainsaw
4,000 lb requires a 7HP Chainsaw
Remember that the load you can pull can be doubled when adding a Snatch Block to the mix.
Preparing the Winch for Mounting the Chainsaw
You have to make a few external changes to your winch to prepare for an easy mounting process for the Chainsaw. The Direct Mount Kit that comes with your Winch has components that will be used to facilitate the installation.
Situated at the base of your winch on one side is a cup-washer located on the drive. You will have to remove this part since it is not needed with the Chainsaw, but keep it safe since you might need it when you remove the Chainsaw from the winch later on.
Assembling the Adapter Kit
The Direct Mount Kit comes with an adapter that fits conveniently well with both the Chainsaw and the Winch. According to your Chainsaw, pick out the adapter that fits with it. As for the adapter that goes with the winch, you can make it out with the recesses made in the adapter for a form fit.
Place them over each other, till the three bolt holes align and with a bit of Loctite on each bolt, screw them securely in place. Fit the adapter into the winch recess from where you removed the cup-washer and confirm that it is a good fit.
Prepping the Chainsaw
Take off the side cover on the Chainsaw to expose the Sprocket underneath. Retain the screws since they will be needed at the end to hold the two equipment in place.
Remove the retainer clip carefully and then the sprocket, since it is used only when you are using the chain. Put back the retainer to hold the brake drum in place during assembly.
The Chainsaw comes with a Bar adjuster that usually interferes by jutting out at the side where you will have to connect the winch to the chainsaw. The next step will be removing this Bar adjuster held in place by hex screws.
Most chainsaws do not require the removal of the Adjustor assembly since the winch they will attach to, has a flange with the particular shaped recesses cut-out for proper alignment of the equipment. Removing the Bar adjustor is simply a matter of whether the chainsaw is small or big and whether the adjuster assembly will interfere at the mount site or not.
Lining up the Chainsaw Winch
Make sure the adapter is in place and then line up the two machines along with the bolts and secure the screws that you had removed initially to take off the side cover. Make sure you put in some Loctite to hold the bolts in place so that they do not shear off during the main operations.
As the final step, you will have to install the winch cable on the winch drum according to the instructions provided.