When operating any power tool, it's crucial to always take proper safety precautions. This doesn't only pertain to proper use of the tool, but also to maintenance and preparation as well. Chainsaws are among the more dangerous power tools, but with proper operation and precautions, there's a limited chance of something going wrong. Read on to learn how to properly operate your chainsaw.
Safety Gear When Operating A Chainsaw
Safety gear is a must when operating a chainsaw. This includes proper hand, foot, leg, eye, face, and ear protection. If anything were to go wrong, this gear would be your last defense in protection against an injury. Your clothing should also fit properly—baggy clothing increases the chance of getting caught in the chain or on a branch, which could obviously lead to injury.
Chainsaw Preparation Before Using
Before you even start your chainsaw you should inspect it carefully to be sure that nothing is broken or looks out of the ordinary. If it's your first time using a new saw, read through the owner's manual and be sure to take note of any features that are unique to your saw. One important feature to note is the chain brake. Some saws have a hand guard that doubles as a chain break, which is a useful safety feature that protects against kickback.Be sure to check the lubrication reservoir and fill it if it's low. When it's time to fuel, make sure that any spilled fuel is cleaned up before starting the saw. You should wipe down your saw if any excess fuel or oil has spilled on it and wait for it to evaporate before starting. Finally, move at least 10 feet from where you fueled the saw before you start your chainsaw up.
Starting Your Chainsaw
Again, this is a good time to refer to your owner's manual for any unique features of your saw, but there are also a few general things to keep in mind. Make sure the chain break is engaged so the chain doesn't start moving when you start your saw. Also, make sure to never attempt to "drop start" your saw. The saw needs to be secure when you are starting it so you have time to react in case anything goes wrong. This is a great video on how to properly start a chainsaw.
Again, chainsaw operation is going to be specific to your saw, what you're using it for and your particular skill level, so be sure to take each of these into consideration. It's important to never attempt something that is beyond your capabilities, but there are a few general guidelines to follow.
- Always look for any debris, particularly metal, that needs to be removed from the path of your chainsaw.
- Make sure to engage the chain break or turn off your saw when moving between different areas.
- Be aware of kickback and always use a saw that has kickback prevention devices. To avoid kickback, never saw with the tip of the chain.
- Always keep your hands properly on the handles of saw and keep secure footing when cutting.
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