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The two biggest drawbacks of Saw Chain Sharpener are safety and maintenance. Although chainsaws can be used by any fairly strong adult (after suitable training), they are nevertheless inherently dangerous. (I have the manual for a Stihl MS270 chainsaw open beside me as I write this and it's interesting to note that about 16 of the 64 pages—fully a quarter of the text—is devoted to warnings and safety precautions.) The biggest risk comes from a problem called kickback, where the chain catches on something but the engine keeps turning, so the whole saw flies up and backward toward your head (think action and reaction—Newton's third law of motion), potentially causing fatal injuries. Chainsaw helmets with visors offer some protection; so too do chainsaw uniforms (made from synthetic fibers such as nylon, which snag up the chainsaw teeth and bring the machine quickly to a halt).

The other big problem with Chainsaw Mill is the amount of maintenance they need. A handsaw is delightfully maintenance free: the sawdust you produce simply falls out of the groove you're making. In a chainsaw, the super-fine dust can get caught up in the mechanism and mix with the chain's lubricating oil to make a gungy mess that has to be cleaned out regularly. Again, looking at the manual for the Stihl MS270, it's interesting to see there's a full-page chart spelling out a couple of dozen different checks and maintenance jobs you have to do before starting work each day, or on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis thereafter. So while it's true to saw that chainsaws save you time in the actual chopping of wood, some of that time is, unfortunately, lost in maintenance!