Do You Need a License to Use a Chainsaw? (Explained)

The need for a license to operate a chainsaw depends on the country and the intended use of the chainsaw. While in USA & UK a license is generally not required for private, personal chainsaw usage, following safety procedures, age limits, location rules, and proper training is strongly advised by professionals.

Chainsaws are dangerous machines that cause major or fatal injuries if you fail to use them correctly.

Therefore, anyone using a chainsaw should have adequate training.

People operating with essential skills stay competent and you get to use a chainsaw as per the work type.

Do You Need a License to Use a Chainsaw

What is a chainsaw license?

A chainsaw license is to acquire training under the PUWER provisions, (PUWER – the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.)

As such, there is no need to acquire training or get a license to use or buy a chainsaw.

However, if one is less confident in using a chainsaw license, acquiring training courses is the best to go. 

The chainsaw license course enables successful candidates to take over commercial tree felling services.

The full-time courses include NPTC assessment following the training.

Chainsaws license allows operating the machine on having knowledge of handling the useful tool.

Operating a tool such as a chainsaw is a handy tool. 

Is a chainsaw license necessary in all these places?

The US

In the United States, there is no federal requirement for a license to operate a chainsaw.

However, some states may have their own regulations, and certain organizations, such as the US Forest Service, offer chainsaw training and certification programs.

In the US, people receive standardized training with the US Forest Service, if they are working with them.


Taking a chainsaw license and certification is not mandated in Canada, but is encouraged.

As the regulations vary with each state and province, even if there is no law mandate, people encourage learning and certification.

The UK

Here you need not have a chainsaw license to use a chainsaw if you are not some professional operator using the chainsaw daily.

Precisely, people can operate without a license the chainsaw.

Yet, having adequate training does not go waste, it helps while working.

Only professional operators in the UK may operate a chainsaw by acquiring a license by going through the specific course to get the certification and licensing.


Yes, operating a chainsaw in Australia is not a problem and they do not ask for a license to use a chainsaw.

However, some industries such as forestry ask for a certificated training and so complete the training compulsorily.


Ireland emphasizes the training course and acquiring the license to use a chainsaw.

The certification here is valid for 10 years.

regulations and safety requirements to follow

  • Training – While a license is not required, appropriate training in chainsaw safety and proper operating techniques is highly recommended before using one. This ensures you know how to properly control, maintain, and safely operate the saw.
  • PPE – Chainsaws should only be used with proper protective clothing like chainsaw-resistant chaps/pants, steel-toe boots, hard hat, visor, ear protection and work gloves. PPE is mandatory for commercial/professional users.
  • Age Limit – Most manufacturers recommend an age restriction of at least 16+ years old to use a chainsaw. Children should not be allowed to operate them.
  • Location – There are often municipal, state or federal regulations on where and how chainsaws can be used, especially related to forestry, tree removal services, and public land usage. Research rules for your area.
  • Insurance – Chainsaw operators are advised to have liability insurance in case of property damage or injury lawsuits. Typically mandatory for those working professionally with chainsaws.
  • Registration – Some states require registration of chainsaws to aid in recovering stolen equipment. This is not common however.

What is exactly a license for chainsaw use?

A license course is a training course mandated by the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

The Use and Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 allow the users of the tool to practice following safety measures.

An official document from the Health and Safety Executive outlines if the user is fit to handle a chainsaw and if the correct courses and provisions were completed.

Even acquiring an official document is enough and it is different from the license that a professional carries.

Besides, if your land or property includes large tree maintenance, then the government asks you for a felling license.

When does a chainsaw Licence expire?

It is the same as other licenses and expires once every 5 years.

A refresher training course in chainsaw should be taken so that you refresh your skills.

It depends on how frequently you need to use the chain saw.

It also relies on your confidence and health and safety policy.

Chainsaws are not permitted to operate by anyone is on or near 16 years.

It is under the minimum school age, depending on the school year’s last day.

What is the need to take the chainsaw license course?

Taking the chainsaw license course is mandated only for a few reasons.

It means to obtain the license after attending the course.

You are not allowed to operate a chainsaw in a professional capacity without a proper license proving your knowledge of the skills.

The places that involve cutting through wood ask for a chainsaw license, if not the medical costs such as personal accident insurance will not cover, while working on the job if something unfortunate happens.

Where can one take the Chainsaw course?

Many organizations and agencies are available for you to look out for a chainsaw course if you like doing things methodically.

However, before looking into the course, ensure the providers have proper accreditation.

Check the company background and read reviews of other operators who have completed the course from the same place.

The course should involve using the tools, assessing a tree, and now the training course offers aerial rescue training course.

The courses should not take more than a week and one day will be to assess your skills and testing.

If you wish to take more courses and get a proper license, consider your plan on sawing and your needs before involving in the course.

Before you are ready for the course, you must first have ready your chainsaw and enough personal protective equipment.

Learning the use of a chainsaw involves you lifting the chainsaw and handling it with minimal difficulty while cutting through lumber.

It means the fitness level is necessary.

It is also important to bear in mind you must not take substances or medication that may alter your state of mind.

The experts recommend learning the use of a chainsaw by attending the course.

You should set a few hundred pounds or dollars aside and sign up to learn the course.

You may at least learn to use the tool methodically, even if you do not go for professional accreditation.

The course will help you in maintaining your property garden. Get ready for the training and do the assessment.


The certification is not necessary, but in some places, training is mandated.

The training ensures candidates are fit for the licensing if it is required only for commercial and professional purposes.

The certification involves assessing the courses and skills to ensure you can fulfill the goal.

Wear protective gear while using a chainsaw while on the job or in training.

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