Operating a Chainsaw

Operating a Chainsaw: 5 Essential Safety Tips

If you’ve used a chainsaw before, you may be aware of just how dangerous the tool can be if not
handled properly. Although many of today’s chainsaws come with a standard set of safety features, you
will still need to operate the machine like a pro if you hope to avoid a nasty injury here and there. No
matter how skilled you believe you are with chainsaws, accidents can still happen.

To state the obvious, we know that it’s the inexperienced user who’s are more likely to suffer chainsaw
accidents. Many users have had to learn the hard way, but you don’t have to go through the same. If
you take time to understand how your chainsaw works and how to make the most of its safety features,
you can effectively eliminate the possibility of any major accident. Have a look at the following tips on
operating a chainsaw safely:

Working environment

If you will be logging firewood in your backyard, for example, you want to make sure that you have a
safe working environment. Choose a clear, flat space, making sure that’s there’s at least 15 feet of
clearance all around it. Be sure to inform others about your planned logging operations so they can also
take the necessary safety precautions.

You will need a good sawhorse for holding the timber during logging, so if you haven’t bought one yet,
go ahead and do it. Adjust the sawhorse to a level that allows you to operate in a comfortable posture
that doesn’t strain your back. Setting up a good working environment is the first step to ensuring safety
for both you and other people at home.

Know your chainsaw

Many people too excited about working with newly-bought tools to at least read the user manual. A
chainsaw, however, warrants proper preparation before use. Fortunately, many manufacturers will
provide you with a detailed instruction manual, along with safety videos in a DVD. Besides perusing the
manuals, be sure to familiarize with all the controls in a safe environment. If you’re not sure about how
a certain feature works, reread the manual or watch the relevant video. The important thing is that you
don’t make any assumptions.

Taking time to explore all the extra features that come with your chainsaw is an excellent idea. Extra
features such as tool-less chain adjustment, primer bulbs and chain oilers have made modern chainsaws
easier and safer to work with. Don’t be anxious to start operations right away, as you just might miss a
few important tips that will help you make the most of your chainsaw.

Use safety gear

No matter how skilled you may be with your chainsaw, you still can’t rule out the possibility of an
accident. This is a lot like driving a car—even the most experienced drivers can still make mistakes, but a
safety belt could come to their rescue. In the same way, wearing safety gear when using a chainsaw can
guard against injury in case of a nasty accident.

Protective gear such as helmets, gloves, steel-toed boots and face shields offer great protection,
allowing you to operating your machine confidently. Chaps can protect against cuts to the lower body,
which happen to be some of the most common chainsaw accidents. Be sure to check out safety
equipment reviews before making any purchases.

Keep the saw sharp

A blunt chainsaw can be quite dangerous. This is because dullness increases the chances of a kickback
happening, and when it does happen, the impact can be much more violent if the chains are dull. You
can choose sharpen the chains yourself if you understand the techniques, or you can take them to a pro
for sharpening. Either way, ensuring the saw is always sharp will reduce the chances kickback accidents.

Correct posture

As already mentioned, you will need to have the sawhorse at a comfortable-enough level. During
operations, it’s important to always maintain the right posture. While this doesn’t seem to be a big deal
for a lot of people, but you’d be surprised to know just how many injuries occur as a result of bad
posture. To minimize such risks, always keep both feet grounded, with one foot slightly ahead of the
other to maintain proper balance.