Are Chainsaws Dangerous? Safety Tips to Live By

If you’re a homeowner, you have probably considered using a chainsaw before. After all, they can be extremely useful for cutting down trees and trimming branches. But because chainsaws have sharp blade that moves at high speeds, chainsaws can also be very dangerous if not used properly.

I have used chainsaws in a professional capacity for a long time, and I have learned that safety should always be the number one priority when operating a chainsaw.

So let’s look at some of the basics of chainsaw safety so that you can use yours safely and effectively.

What Makes Chainsaws Dangerous?

Chainsaws are powerful tools that move at high speeds, making them particularly dangerous when handled improperly or by someone who is inexperienced with their use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that [1], in the United States alone, around 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries occur each year. Though fatalities from these tools are uncommon, serious wounds like amputation or head trauma can still arise.

The most common cause of chainsaw injuries in contact with the spinning chain or blade while the saw is running. This can happen if you come in contact with the chain while cutting something, or if your clothing gets caught in the blade.

How Hot Should a Chainsaw Bar Get?

It’s important to always wear protective gear such as gloves, hearing protection, and safety glasses when handling a chainsaw.

Another major risk when using a chainsaw is kickback, which occurs when the tip of the running saw strikes an object that it cannot cut through or when you hold it too close to yourself while cutting.

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Kickback can cause serious injury and even death if not managed properly. To prevent kickback from occurring, always keep your hands away from the front of the saw and make sure you are holding it securely before starting it up.

Serious accidents can also happen when chainsaw users try to do jobs that are beyond their levels of experience. Inexperienced users should start out with small tasks and work their way up to larger ones, or seek professional help if needed.

Felling and cutting operations may require special safety measures and specialized techniques, so it is important to know your limitations before attempting any job.

How to Use Your Chainsaw Safely

As useful as chainsaws are, they can be dangerous if used improperly. So before you fire up your chainsaw, it’s important to know how to use it safely and correctly.

Below are some tips to help you do just that:

Wear the Right Gear

The first step in using a chainsaw safely is to make sure you have all the right safety gear. This includes wearing protective eye and ear defenders, heavy-duty work gloves, steel-toe boots, long pants (preferably made of heavy material), and a hard hat with face protection.

You should also wear chainsaw chaps or other protective clothing designed specifically for use with chainsaws.

It is important to make sure the saw is turned off when not in use and keep your hands away from the moving parts at all times. This will help reduce the chance of an accident occurring while using your chainsaw.

Prepare the Area

Once you’re dressed properly, it’s time to prepare the area where you’ll be working with your chainsaw.

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Make sure there are no tripping hazards or anything else that could cause an accident. If possible, clear away any debris and sticks from the area before getting started. Also, look up – you don’t want any branches hanging overhead that could fall on you while you work.

Know How to Operate Your Chainsaw

Most modern chainsaws come with an operator’s manual that includes instructions on how to safely operate the machine.

Before doing anything you should read through these instructions before using your saw so that you are familiar with all its functions and safety features. Remember to always keep one hand on the handle of the saw while cutting – never cut with just one hand.

Start Up Your Chainsaw

Now it’s time to start up your chainsaw! Before doing so, make sure that all body parts are clear of the saw blade – you don’t want any limbs getting caught up in it as soon as you turn it on.

Chainsaw Hard To Start When Cold

Once your saw is running smoothly, read through its user manual carefully so that you understand all its features and controls before operating it.

Finally, never attempt to cut more than what you can handle; if a branch or log is too big for your saw, hire someone who has experience handling larger logs or trees instead of trying it yourself.

Proper Technique

Using the right technique when operating a chainsaw is key to avoiding kickbacks and other accidents.

  • When cutting, always start the cut on the top side of the log or branch so that you will be pushing down into it – never pull up while cutting.
  • Make sure your hands are away from any moving parts and always keep two hands on the saw at all times.
  • Never attempt to cut with one hand.
  • Keep your body positioned away from where you are cutting so that any potential kickbacks won’t cause injury.
  • Stand slightly behind (or above) where you are cutting so that debris won’t come in contact with you during the operation.
  • Do not force your saw through the wood. Let the weight of the machine do most of the work for you so that kickbacks don’t happen suddenly or unexpectedly.
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Regular Maintenance

It’s also important to regularly maintain your chainsaw to ensure its longevity and keep yourself safe while using it.

This means regularly checking the tension of your chain (it should be tight but not too tight), inspecting the blade for signs of damage or dulling (if necessary), cleaning off any debris or dust from the motor housing and other parts, and making sure all screws are tightened securely before each use.

Final Thoughts

Chainsaws can be incredibly useful tools for homeowners who need to cut down trees or trim branches around their property. However, it is important to understand that these tools come with some inherent risks that must be taken seriously if you want to stay safe while operating them.

Taking proper precautions will help protect you from potential danger when using a chainsaw.

Remember that even experienced users of chainsaws must take all necessary steps for their own safety before operating any type of power tool like this one.

If you follow all safety rules while using a chainsaw and always exercise caution, then you can avoid potentially serious injuries while completing your projects safely and successfully.

Additional Reading

Preventing Chain Saw Injuries During Tree Removal After a Disaster – Link