Chainsaw Safety Tips: A Checklist For Cutting Safe

chainsaw safety tipsToday we are talking chainsaw safety tips. Staying safe with your chainsaw is the most important thing always. Never pick up a chainsaw without understanding the dangerous risks involved with the operation. A chainsaw is not a harmless tool like a drill or a lawnmower. If you don’t have any experience with a chainsaw, it can be very dangerous.

From the moment you start the chainsaw until the moment you turn it off, there is always an aspect of danger. It is important that you learn a few safety measures you can take to minimize the chance of an injury. Chainsaw safety is definitely the most important thing to learn when it comes to operating a chainsaw.

The biggest problem is that no one thinks a chainsaw injury can happen to them. However, a sudden kickback from your chainsaw can result in a spinning chain to the face or leg. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, I have compiled a detailed list of the best safety measures to take while operating one of these dangerously powerful pieces of equipment.

General Chainsaw Safety

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    • Always read your owner’s manual. There is a lot of great information in the manual that will allow you to better understand the tool and how you should be using it.
    • Understand your own capabilities. If you are not a professional, it is important to admit that and allow yourself some space if you feel overwhelmed. Never try to tackle a job you don’t feel comfortable doing.
    • Wear your safety equipment at all times. You always want to wear hearing protection, heavy boots, a hard hat, quality safety goggles, special chaps to keep your legs safe, and heavy-duty gloves.
    • As a beginner, start with small projects. Try cutting firewood, cutting some branches, or felling a very small tree. Never start with a massive task that you don’t fully understand. Practice will make you safer in the long run.
    • Never cut by yourself. Always have a spotter nearby in case something goes horribly wrong. And on that same note, always have a first aid kit and an exit strategy in case an injury should occur.
    • Don’t cut wood that someone else is holding. Make sure there is nobody near you when you begin operating the chainsaw.
    • When you start using your chainsaw, ensure the chain brake is engaged.
    • Always hold your chainsaw with both hands. You need both hands to remain balanced and firm. Don’t ever use one hand to operate a chainsaw, as this is extremely dangerous.
    • Never climb a tree with your chainsaw ever. This is a really good way to lose your balance and fall on your head.
    • Keep calm at all times. Don’t turn your chainsaw on until you have a plan. And if you feel confused or overwhelmed, stop and take a break and reassess the situation.

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  • Before starting work, always inspect your chainsaw. Make sure the safety features are enabled and functional and the chain is tight on the bar.
  • Never cut with the tip of your chainsaw. Only ever cut with the lengthwise part of the saw. If you touch a tree or a piece of wood with the nose of your chainsaw, it is going to cause instant kickback that can lead to one of the worst kinds of chainsaw injuries.
  • On the same note, don’t hold the chainsaw above your head to make a cut. This is equally dangerous.
  • Before you add more fuel, let the chainsaw cool down first. Don’t refill a chainsaw that has a hot engine.
  • When moving around, turn off your chainsaw. Don’t wander around holding your chainsaw with one hand while it is idling.

Safety Tips for Cutting Branches

Cutting branches is one of the first jobs you should ever do with a chainsaw. This is a simple task that does not require a ton of skill and does not have too big of a danger factor. The first time you use a chainsaw, you should definitely get comfortable by first limbing a tree.

  • When starting your first cut, make sure your feet are planted and you have a solid balance. You don’t want to be thrown off balance during a cut.
  • Cut branches at the bottom of the tree trunk first and then slowly work your way up to the top.
  • Don’t ever stand on top of the tree. Stand firmly on the ground to cut branches.
  • If you happen to be on a hill or an incline, stand on the higher ground because it will give you a more stable stance.
  • Don’t bend over the saw no matter how natural it feels. If there is kickback, and you are hovering over the saw like a hunchback, there is a much higher chance of injury.
  • When cutting big limbs, make two cuts. Also, if you are cutting firewood, make sure you cut the limbs to length while they are still on the tree.
  • If cutting a difficult branch, always make a shallow cut first so that most of the tension is relieved, then make another cut to go all the way through.

Chainsaw Safety Tips: Final Thoughts

Using a chainsaw does not need to be dangerous. With the proper precautions, the correct protective equipment, and some common sense, you can avoid a disastrous injury.

Always remember to keep your feet and legs away from the blade of the saw. Leg injuries are the most common type of injury since one swipe of the saw can easily miss the wood and fly into your leg, just like swinging a sledgehammer and missing.

The best piece of advice is to practice and feel comfortable. Don’t be reckless, don’t try to impress your friends, and stay within your own realm of comfortableness. Injuries most often occur when someone does something which they know is foolish or that they don’t feel comfortable doing.

Randy Peterson Cutter Life

Randy Peterson

Randy is a chainsaw enthusiast and an experienced lumberjack. He'll most likely be found cutting, chopping, and trimming trees, usually working with a wide variety of tools. Randy likes the outdoors and socializing with friends.