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The Do’s and Don’ts of Chainsaw Use!

Over the past few months, I have been talking to you about how I like to use my STIHL Lithium-Ion Chainsaw to get things done. We have talked about getting your yard ready for summer and gone over tips on how to be a helpful neighbour, but now is time for the most important lesson of all! Here is my definitive list on the Do’s and Don’ts of owning a chainsaw.

STIHL Post 3 Bubble Wrap

Do NOT – Protect yourself by wrapping yourself in bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is excellent for shipping fragile items in the mail. I use it all the time and, in fact, this may not be the only time I have wrapped myself in it… That said, bubble wrap is a terrible choice when it comes to protecting yourself while using your STIHL chainsaw.

DO – Use tested and approved protective chaps. As you will see in this video, STIHL’s protective chaps were made with specific fibers to withstand an accidental touch on your leg. You definitely don’t want to leave anything to chance when thinking about safety while using a chainsaw. Along with protective chaps, STIHL recommends also wearing safety gloves, a protective helmet, protective gloves, safety shoes, and protective eyewear.

STIHL Canada Juggling

Do NOT – Attempt to juggle chainsaws at your child’s birthday party. As awesome as your kids may think you are for doing this, that will take a very quick turn when they realize that you do not even know how to juggle balls yet, let alone chainsaws!

DO – Use your chainsaw to clean up your yard before attempting to juggle balls at your child’s birthday party. On second thought, just don’t do any juggling at your child’s birthday. Nobody wants to see that; however, all the kids will be excited to have a nice clean yard to play in before the cake comes out!

STIHL Canada Careless

Do NOT – Leave your chainsaw lying around when you are finished with it. I get it, yard work can be tiring, but the job isn’t completely finished until everything is put away properly.

DO – Store your chainsaw in a dry, ventilated and safe place, away from kids’ curious hands. I’m not sure what more needs to be said here. Keep your chainsaw away from your kids’ toys and make sure it’s in a safe place where it won’t get ruined.

STIHL Canada Scare Kids

Do NOT – Scare your children by jumping out from behind the shower curtain while wearing a hilarious mask and carrying your chainsaw… Hilarious? Definitely! Safe in any way whatsoever for anyone involved?? Definitely NOT! I can’t stress enough that you should never, ever do this under any circumstances!

DO – Teach your children that you are a responsible adult who takes the appropriate safety precautions when getting ready to use your STIHL Lithium-Ion Chainsaw on the tasks that it was designed for.

And that wraps up my definitive list of Do’s and Don’ts for proper chainsaw use. I hope you found it helpful, along with my other posts this year, and I highly encourage you to look into STIHL’s line of lithium-ion chainsaws as mine has absolutely cut my yard work time in half this year. Yep, I closed with a chainsaw pun. Deal with it!

*Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign.*

STIHL Neighbour Kids

Tips On How To Be A Good Neighbour!

Having lived in the same house for almost a decade now, I have managed to develop a pretty good relationship with my neighbours. I know that we live in a different world than our parents did, when all neighbours talked and hung out all the time, so I wanted to share some tips on how you can achieve neighbourly success!

In no particular order, here are my Top 5 tips for being a great neighbour:

1. Watch Their Pool For Them While They Are Away

STIHL Pool Swim

Look, being a good neighbour is a tough job and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and agree to take care of your neighbour’s pool for a few days in the summer while they are away. It not a fun job but it is your duty as a good neighbour to get in that pool and make sure it is staying at a reasonable temperature. How would you feel if you came home from vacation to a cold pool???

2. Help With Yard Maintenance

STIHL Neighbour Helper

Living in Canada, there are many factors that go into helping out with property maintenance. For instance, I share a lawn with a neighbour who works multiple jobs to support his family, so I generally take care of the front yard work for the both of us. In the winter, however, I will often find my walkway cleared of snow very early in the morning.

Everyone plays a role or has a “toy” that they use to help others. One of my neighbours bought a snow blower and helps clear the piles of snow at the bottom of the driveway after the plow comes. I have been enjoying being the neighbour that owns the STIHL Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw because it feels good to know you’re contributing something to the area. Just the other day, I noticed a neighbour using a handsaw while trying to dig up some roots from a plant they were moving. It would have taken them hours to get it done, but because my STIHL Chainsaw is both cordless and lightweight, it got the job done in minutes. Needless to say, we spent a good hour admiring our work afterward but that’s because we were so impressed with how quickly the STIHL chainsaw got the job done! Bonus feature that helps in being a good neighbour: the STIHL Lithium-Ion MSA 120 Chainsaw is over 17 decibels quieter than the gas powered MS 170 chainsaw, making it as quiet as an electric drill. This feature significantly reduces neighborhood noise levels and will create much less of a disturbance for your neighbours when pulling out your chainsaw for required yard work.

3. Driveway Rental Service (With Optional Sangria!)

STIHL Driveway Friends

No good neighbourhood would be complete without a musical chairs of driveway parties! It really is the best way to get to know your neighbours, after-all. Everyone brings a couple food items, the kids get some water play in and the grown-ups settle in for some relaxation after a busy work week. Ours happen to include sangria but you make yours work in your own way!

4. Take Turns Watching Each Other’s Kids

STIHL Neighbour Kids

Look, it takes a village to raise kids, right? Well, in this case, sometimes it takes a minivan, 1 hour of trampoline time and a dinner at Lonestar, while you and your significant other spend uninterrupted time doing what you both love to do. That’s right, I’m talking about napping.

5. Provide Pet Sitting Services

STIHL Pet Sitting

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have a strict “no pets” rule at the moment. With kids in competitive sports and our work schedules being different, I feel it would be irresponsible of us to subject a dog to that much alone time. That said, I don’t mind borrowing pets from time to time and we have had guests such as hamsters, gerbils, fish and even a dog a couple times. It definitely goes a long way to keeping the “Pro Pet” folks in our house happy, which is basically everyone but me…

These are just a few of the things that have worked for us and hopefully they work for you, too! My suggestion is to go grab some hamburgers and maybe even one of STIHL’s Lithium-Ion Chainsaws, so you can start on your way to winning at neighbouring!

Disclosure: I was provided a STIHL Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw to facilitate this post.

Chris Read STIHL 3

Get Your Yard Ready For Summer With A Little Help From STIHL!

It’s no secret that winter can be rough on Canadian properties. From ruined lawns to downed tree branches, there is a lot of work to do once spring finally rolls around. This year’s spring clean was a lot easier for me as I teamed up with STIHL to put one of their Lithium-Ion Chainsaws to the test against the mess of flailing branches around my property.

Chris Read STIHL 5

Before we get to STIHL’s chainsaw’s performance, there were plenty of other tasks that needed to be completed to get the house ready for summer. I don’t know about you guys but once that nice weather hits, I get a sudden boost of energy and dare I say, I actually enjoy doing the clean up! Here are a few spring cleaning tips that will help your house shine this summer!

1. Clean Your Windows – We’ve all cleaned windows before, right? Wax on, wax off, simple! I’m talking about DEEP cleaning those windows, though. You can start by removing your screens and gently washing them with soap and a garden hose. Then wash the windows from the outside in and you’ll be ready to catch that cool breeze on the hottest of summer days.

2. Declutter The Garage – There’s something funny that happens when you have kids. Stuff begins to simply pile up in places all throughout the house. For us, the majority of that stuff ends up in the garage. What was once a beautiful, open space with so much potential, has become a wasteland of toys and random items that we have never been used before. I’m not sure anything makes me feel as good during spring cleaning than emptying the garage and only putting half of the stuff back into it. Fun tip, go into it with an open mind and the will to say that you don’t need 7 different types of broken lawn chair, and you’ll feel great by the end of it!

3. Lawn Maintenance – Full disclosure, this is the area that I have the most learning to do. For the first couple years in our new house, I was out there picking all the weeds and really trying to make the lawn work. After a few unsuccessful years, however, I slowly stopped trying and eventually gave up. This is going to be the year that things turn around though! We already have the frame for a really nice garden and I think with a little elbow grease, we can make it beautiful again! Quick Tip: Mow at least once per week. This will help with healthy growth for a lusher, more dense lawn. STIHL’s Lithium-Ion mowers are not only powerful, they’re also lighter than the average mower so that you can breeze through the task.

4. Clean Up Your Trees – This is where STIHL comes in! I have never owned a chainsaw before, instead opting for the hand saw route in previous years. The truth is, I was never very handy growing up and the thought of using a chainsaw frightened me a bit. Well, I’m happy to report that my fear was unfounded and after using the STIHL Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw to clean up all the stray branches around my property, I started offering to help other folks with their yards because I loved it so much.

Chris Read STIHL 6

The cuts were so smooth and powerful that I easily finished in a quarter of the time it usually takes to do it by hand. The chainsaw is also very lightweight, so I was able to move it easily from branch to branch without having to constantly shift while on the ladder. The other thing that struck was how quiet the chainsaw is. I expected this big, lumbering noise but you could barely hear it doing its thing.

5. Bath Time! – People are the only ones who need a bath from time to time. When you think about everything the outside of your house goes through in a year, I’m sure it would appreciate a good washing from time to time as well. You can borrow a pressure washer, or you know, visit your local STIHL dealer and pick up one of their models, and get to work cleaning all the dirt and grime off your house. It’s a good time to spray off and stain your deck while you’re out there, too!

6. Party On, Wayne! – I can’t think better way to celebrate all your hard work then by inviting a few friends over, firing up the BBQ and showing off your new STIHL Chainsaw!

Canadian Dad STIHL 2

I hope your spring cleaning adventure is as smooth as mine was and please feel free to share your spring cleaning tips in the comments below! And, if you are looking to make things a little smoother this spring, I highly recommend checking out STIHL’s line of Lithium-Ion Chainsaws. They have made my job easier and way more fun!

Disclosure: I was provided a STIHL chainsaw to facilitate this blog post.

Fall Leaves Stihl

Preparing Your Property For The Harsh Canadian Winter

You’ve worked hard on your lawn and garden this year, haven’t you? You built beautiful garden boxes, planted vegetables, cut your lawn with precision and spent hours making sure everything looked just right! With winter on the way, you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste, so it’s time to start preparing for the long winter ahead and STIHL has everything you need to get the job done!

Here are some tips for you on how to protect your property from the harsh Canadian winter and to make sure that you have a #RealSTIHLYard!

STIHL LOGO

1. Let Your Lawn Breathe: Why wait for those two guys to come door-to-door with their aerator when you can do the job yourself with the STIHL RL- MM Lawn Aerator?
Aerating your lawn prevents rainfall from pooling on the grass, ensuring water and nutrients can reach the roots.

2. Lawns Have To Eat, Too!: Winter in Canada can be tough on lawns and we have always struggled to come out of winter unscathed. That said, using a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth will definitely get your lawn off on the right foot come spring.

3. Blast That Slime: Maybe it’s just me, but has anyone else’s kids been obsessed with slime this summer? Now that I am doing an assessment of my property, I am noticing slime all over the brick walls outside my house. Of course, the slime will be no match for my STIHL RB 600 Pressure Washer! See you later, slime!

4. Huff & Puff & Blow It All Away: Leaving leaves all over your lawn during winter has the same effect as throwing a tarp over it for the winter, effectively killing the grass you spent so much time working on, so you want to make sure you get them all picked up. We let our kids try the leaf-blower at the cottage last fall and we weren’t sure they were going to give it back. By arming yourself with the STIHL BGA 56, leaf collection can be a breeze and it’s especially great for cleaning small outdoor areas.

5. Trim, Trim, Cheroo: Make sure your bushes and shrubs are talked about for all the right reasons by trimming them with the STIHL HSA 25 Shrub Shears. The shears also include a grass trimmer blade for trimming lawn edges, as well as around patios and flower beds.

6. Find Lost Treasure In The Gutter: This is one of those tasks that can easily get forgotten, but it is so important because water build-up causes things like mould and rot, which compromise the entire structural integrity of your house. For us, cleaning the gutters is also a great chance to find all the toys and hockey balls that were lost in there over the summer!

7. TIMBEEERRRRR!: Okay, maybe not as dramatic as that, but you really want to consider cutting back shrubs and tree limbs in your yard that could possibly snap off and damage your house or car in one of the many ice storms that are sure to come! With the lightweight, but powerful STIHL MSA 120 C-BQ cordless chain saw, you can cut any hazardous shrubbery or tree branches.

8. Tune Up: It takes the proper tools to get your yard ready for winter and you want to treat those tools with the love they deserve. That said, make sure you clean and store tools properly to ensure they start up with ease the following season. Products like the STIHL HomeScaper Lithium-Ion series make tool care a lot easier, but when in doubt, don’t be afraid to head to your nearest STIHL dealer for a tune up!

As you can see, STIHL has a product for every occasion when it comes to winterizing your home and lawn, so I encourage you to pop into your local STIHL dealer to see what they have in store for you!

I’d also love to hear your best tips for winterizing your home, so please feel free to share them here or on any of my social media channels! You can never be too prepared for winter, especially when it comes to your lawn and garden, so make sure that you are STIHL prepared this fall! You can find out more about STIHL’s products and promotions by visiting STIHL Canada on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, however you really do need to make sure your home is ready for winter and STIHL can definitely help get the job done!