A chainsaw can be a very dangerous tool if not used properly. Pinching occurs when the chainsaw blade gets caught in the wood. This can cause the blade to come to a sudden stop, and the momentum can cause the chainsaw to kick back.
Kickback is when the chainsaw kicks back toward the operator and can cause serious injuries, such as lacerations and even broken bones.
The most common cause is the incorrect sawing technique, but it can also be due to damaged parts or incorrect bar and chain tension. Let’s look in more detail at the causes and how to prevent them.
Using the Wrong Blade
The number one cause for pinching is the wrong blade for the job. For example, when cutting into a log, you should use a blade with rakers (teeth to help guide the saw through the wood). If you are cutting through firewood or timber that has branches still attached and there will not be much of a problem.
If you are cutting through a log that has no branches and needs to be cut relatively quickly, you should use a narrow kerf blade.
A narrower kerf will help decrease the saw’s resistance as it cuts through wood, making it easier for the saw to maintain its speed and momentum. A wider kerf will slow down the chainsaw since more of the blade is in contact with the wood, and more energy is required to keep it in motion.
Incorrect Sawing Technique
Another cause of pinching is incorrect sawing technique. It is important to position your body properly when using a chainsaw to prevent this from happening.
First, you should keep your feet at least 18 inches apart, with one foot in front of the other and slightly flexed. This will help you to maintain your balance if something goes wrong, since having a solid stance will allow you to keep your body out of the way of the saw’s chain as it moves back toward you.
Another important factor is keeping your arms tucked into your body. Think about it – if you keep your arms out to the side, what happens if the saw kicks back? If the chain comes at you with some force, your arms will be a prime target for injury. Keeping them tucked in close to your body can help prevent this from happening.
If the chainsaw is not properly lubricated, this can also lead to pinching. Over time, the chain and bar will become dry, cracked and full of wood chips. If this happens, then the saw can get stuck in the wood as it cuts through it. This will usually result in pinching or kickback if you are not paying close attention to what you are doing.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to always keep the bar and chain well-lubricated. Some professional chainsaws have a built-in oil reservoir that you can fill up, while many others require manual lubrication. To do this, be sure to apply enough oil to coat the entire length of the bar.
To prevent pinching, always use a sharpened chain and keep the guide bar level with the ground. A dull chain or an uneven guide bar will make it difficult for the saw to cut through wood and can result in pinching.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by using a chain with hardened steel teeth, which are less likely to dull over time. You should also sharpen your chain regularly and keep the guide bar level with the ground as you work. This will help to minimize resistance as the saw goes through wood and reduce the chances of pinching.
One other cause of pinching is damaged parts. If your bar or chain has nicks in it or if there are cracks or chips along its length, this can lead to pinching when you are cutting with it. If this happens, then you should replace the damaged parts as soon as possible to prevent injuries and further damage.
Pinching can cause serious damage to your chainsaw, so it is important to be aware of how to prevent it.
There are a few things you can do to prevent your chainsaw from pinching.
- Use a sharp blade – A dull blade can cause the chainsaw to bind in the wood and pinch. Make sure to keep your blade sharpened before each use.
- Use gloves – Gloves give you a better grip on the saw and can help prevent your hands from slipping.
- Use proper technique – When cutting, make sure to apply steady pressure and follow the grain of the wood. Sudden stops and starts can cause the blade to bind and pinch.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Make sure there are no nails or other objects in the path of the saw that could cause it to bind and pinch.
- Check for damage – Inspect your saw before each use for any damage that could cause it to bind and pinch.
- Keep your hands away from the cutting area – Keep your hands away from the cutting area and make sure they are not in line with the blade. If the blade does bind and pinch, your hands could be pulled into it.
- Wear protective gear – Always wear gloves, eye protection, and hearing protection when using a chainsaw.
- Turn off the saw before moving it – Once you have cut through the piece of wood, turn off the saw before moving it out of position. Do not try to yank it out of the wood as this could cause kickback.
- Stay alert – Do not use a chainsaw when you are tired or distracted as this could lead to an accident.
- Practice – Take some time to practice with your saw before using it on actual projects. This will help you get comfortable with it and learn how it behaves under different circumstances.
By following these tips, you can help prevent your chainsaw from binding and kicking back during use. Remember to always use caution when operating a chainsaw and never use it when you are tired or distracted.
With proper care and attention, you can keep yourself safe while using your chainsaw.