Chainsaws are some of the most resourceful power tools. Professional loggers use them every day in the work. Many people also use them in their homes to trim hedges and cut firewood too. They make quite easy to cut through logs and blocks of wood, a task that would otherwise be very tedious. You need to how to operate a chainsaw safely though. Chainsaws are dangerous and can cause harm if not handled well. It is scary to imagine the damage the rotating chain would do if it caught any part of your body.
We seek to educate our readers on various aspects of chainsaws. We want to ensure your chainsaw serves you well, and you remain safe. Your safety and that of the people around you always come first. This is a comprehensive guide on the best safety practices, that you should always engage in when operating a chainsaw.
Guide on Using a Chainsaw Safely
Follow these guidelines while operating a chainsaw, and you should be safe.
- Protective Gear
This is the most basic and the most important protective measure. As the operator, you are more at risk of getting injured by the chainsaw than anyone else. You, therefore, need to protect yourself as much as possible. You are going to need the following personal protection equipment.
- Helmet – this protects your head from getting hit by the chips coming from the wood being cut
- Eye protection – the eyewear will keep the wood chipping away from your eyes. You will also be able to keep your eyes on the chainsaw no matter how dusty it gets.
- Ear protection – chainsaws make a lot of noise. Ear protection is necessary to protect your eardrums.
- Long pants
- Chainsaw Chaps – these cover your ankles. Your ankles are the closest part of your body to the rotating chain. The chaps will protect you in case the chain touches your ankles accidentally.
- Long-sleeve tough shirt
- Creating a Safe Space
Everyone else should keep a safe distance while you are working with the chainsaw. Nobody should stand in front of or behind you. Many of the times, chainsaws are used to cut trees. You need to know where the tree is likely to fall. Explore the environment and anticipate how you will react when the tree starts falling.
You should also be experienced enough before you get to cutting trees with a chainsaw.
- Operating the Chainsaw
There are several aspects to consider your safety when operating a chainsaw.
- Handling – make sure you are strong enough, and the weight of the chainsaw is not too much for you. Ensure you are not straining to hold the chainsaw. The chainsaw has two hand grip positions. Make sure you get them right. Always place the chainsaw on the ground with the chain facing away, when starting the chainsaw. While cutting, do not try to overreach, cut as far as the chainsaw’s shaft can reach.
Kickback and Pinching – This is a common phenomenon. The chainsaw chain will occasionally get in the wood. Due to the force on the chain, there is going to be a reaction force. The reaction might push you away if you are not well prepared, which is very dangerous. Always hold the chainsaw strong, and anticipate kickback. The modern sewing machine has anti-kickback systems though.