Chainsaw Brake: Forward or Back?

Using a chainsaw can be both challenging and rewarding, and it’s critical to differentiate between the parts of the tool to use it safely and efficiently.

One crucial component is the chain brake, which is a safety feature that stops the chainsaw’s chain from turning unexpectedly. It can be confusing for many new chainsaw users whether you should push the brake forward or back.

So let’s look at both methods in more detail and the differences between them.

Chainsaw Brake Forward or Back

Chainsaw brakes are usually positioned on the top handle of the chainsaw. It is crucial to know how to use it correctly to prevent injury.

One method is to push the brake forward. This will activate the brake and cause the chain to stop turning. It’s essential to note that if you’re in the middle of using the saw, you’ll need to restart it after activating the brake by turning it off and back on again.

It’s also crucial to use the brake whenever you need to set down the chainsaw to ensure the chain is not turning when you set it down.

The second method of activating the chainsaw brake occurs when a kickback occurs. Kickback is when the saw bites into the material you’re cutting and jerks back toward you. When this happens, it will automatically engage the brake and stop the chain.

Although this feature is helpful, it should not be relied upon entirely. It’s crucial to remain fully aware while using the chainsaw and aware of any potential kickback situations.

You should always be in control of your chainsaw and avoid letting the saw overwork itself.

Many professional chainsaw users prefer the kickback method since it can be quicker than using the brake handle. Pushing the brake handle forward can require time, and in some cases, it can be challenging to locate quickly.

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Professionals use the kickback method in many scenarios since they are familiar with their saw and are confident in their ability to identify and react quickly to a kickback.

Importance of Chainsaw Brake

Regardless of the method of engaging the chainsaw brake, the key takeaway is that having a chainsaw brake is a safety feature that should not be ignored.

The brake chain prevents accidents that could cause severe injuries or harm, and it is therefore essential to keep it in excellent condition.

It is also crucial to understand when to engage the chain brake to avoid potential injury or damage to the chainsaw.

Another notable factor to consider is the weight and size of the chainsaw. If you’re using a heavier saw, for example, a 36-inch bar, it might be more appropriate to use the brake handle instead of relying on kickbacks.

This is because the weight of the saw can cause the chain to continue running even when it jerks back in a kickback scenario. It is always crucial to balance your strength and the saw’s weight when determining how to use the chainsaw brake safely.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, chainsaw users should be aware of the two methods of activating the chainsaw brake: pushing the handle forward or relying on kickbacks.

Both methods have their pros and cons, and the choice usually depends on personal preference and the experience level of the user. Whether you are using a lightweight or heavy chainsaw, you should always remain watchful and attentive to prevent kickback and ensure your safety while using the tool.

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Remember that the chainsaw brake is there for your protection, so use it correctly and wisely.

Happy sawing!