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Chainsaws are dangerous tools so learning some basic chainsaw safety tips is essential. Learning how to use a chainsaw properly is all well and good, but learning what to look out for before you even start a chainsaw is just as important. There is so many things that you need to look out for when using a chainsaw, it can be very overwhelming. This is even more true if you’re a beginner, I can still remember being a beginner and being unsure on how to do things properly.
The most important thing is to keep yourself and those around you safe when using a chainsaw. While I have never had a severe injury myself I have had a few close encounters. Where if I wasn’t wearing the right gear I would be in a very different situation right now. Which is one of the basic things to learn right away. You’re never to experienced to learn a thing of two, so with that in mind it’s time to get to the chainsaw safety tips.
Before You Even Turn The Chainsaw On!
Before you even turn the chainsaw on there are many things you will need to do beforehand. From checking out the area you’re planning on cutting, to what you’re wearing, and reading your manual. The most simple things can get overlooked, especially when you have been cutting for years. The question is where do you begin, is it your protective gear, the chainsaw itself, what you’re cutting, or where you are cutting? The answer isn’t simple at all, they are all important and need to be considered. But to keep it simple I will be starting with what safety gear you should be wearing, I find this slightly more important.
What Gear To Wear?
I feel the reason I think safety gear is the most important is obvious, but I will somewhat explain my thinking first. The main reason is that there has been a time when I was cutting and I slipped, which cause the chainsaw to hit my thigh. This could of been severe if I wasn’t wearing a some cut resistant pants. These pants caused the chain to get tangled and stop, therefor preventing cutting into my leg. So to this day I have always gone with protective gear first.
There are a few things that you should wear when operating a chainsaw, and I know there are a few old hats out there saying I’m being overly cautious. But in my experience these are all necessary, with the most basic of thinking being I’d rather have it and not need it. Then need it and not have it.
The gear you should be wearing is safety goggles, hard hat, ear muffs, cut resistant clothing, enclosed shoes (preferably steel caps), and leather gloves. This does sound like a lot of gear, but they’re all important and needed. They all serve a purpose with none of them being more important in my opinion. You could wear a proper full helmet instead of a hard hat, ear muffs, and safety goggles. This isn’t a bad option since it means having to put less things on.
Now You’re Properly Equipped, What’s Next?
One thing I highly recommend is reading the manual that came with your chainsaw. This will be your bible with your new chainsaw. Inside will tell you everything you need to know about your current saw. While a lot of chainsaws share similarities, they’re still generally different. So you should study your guide book as much as possible. Not only telling you how to use your chainsaw, it will have some handy information about maintenance!
Fueling Your Chainsaw
This is a simple thing but there are still a few things everyone should know. Most of this is common sense so should be easy to remember. The first thing is what you store your fuel in, it should be an approved container. One thing that I’ve seen a lot of old timers do is pouring fuel with a cigarette in there mouth. Think it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t pour fuel near anything flammable within at least 10 feet. The last bits of info I’d recommend is using a funnel when pouring your fuel. Never should you try to pour fuel into a warm or running chainsaw. Again all these are common sense, but still good to brush up on.
Before You Start Sawing
Now that you have your protection gear and have fueled up, it’s now time to check the chainsaw over. This is the time to check over the things like the bolts, chain tension, and any controls your chainsaw has. You should have these set to your guides directions. You will also want to make sure that the lubrication reserve is full. Then you need to check over the chain to make sure it’s sharp.
Now it’s time to start the saw, which you need to choose an appropriate place to start your saw. You shouldn’t start your chainsaw within 10 feet of where you filled up. One thing you shouldn’t do is drop start your chainsaw. You should always start your chainsaw on the ground, or something with firm support.
General Safety Tips
When you’re preparing to cut, you should check your surrounding area. Make sure there is no debris around, such as rocks, small tree limbs etc. You will want to inspect what you’re cutting, and make sure there is no nails, or other metal materials in it. One of the most common stories you will see. Is someone hitting something with there saw, and either damaging there saw, or themselves.
One thing I do see quite a bit is someone who just cut something, then walk over some rough terrain with the saw still on. They do this without engaging the chain brake. You should either shut your saw down, or engage the brake. One slip and it can end very poorly. Keeping your footing, and your hands on the handles are important. These two alone will help prevent a lot of potential situations.
Being aware of what you’re cutting is just as important as everything else. That’s the thing when you’re using a dangerous tool, everything you do. You need to be careful. You need to make sure that you’re cutting straight, and generally make sure one side of what your cutting is hanging. This will help preventing the tree from binding against the saw. Paying attention to the tension of the tree limb that you’re cutting is a definite yes! you want to make sure it doesn’t spring out when cutting, and cause damage.
Most chainsaws now days have a device that helps minimize kickback on a chainsaw. You will want to check your manual to find out if your chainsaw has this. Saw kick back is extremely dangerous, and you will want to avoid it all times. To help prevent kick back, you do not want to cut with the tip of your saw. That is the main bit of advice to help prevent kick back.
Safety Tips For Beginner Chainsaw Users
Apart from the tips above, it goes doubly for a beginner. I can’t stress it enough that chainsaws are dangerous tools, which can be intimidating. Once you get comfortable with them, is when I believe most people have an accident. They get confident and start to pay less attention. So focus and research is a big part of learning the gap as a beginner. One other thing I’d recommend for a new person, is to never cut alone. Having a second person can help alert people, if something happens.
If you have someone in person who knows a lot about chainsaws, then that is a big plus. Tho just be warned sometimes experienced people have learnt things the wrong way. So you will want to avoid some bad habits from them. Such as not wearing safety gear, and drop starting there saws.
My Final Thoughts
Too many times I have seen accidents with chainsaws, which is why I want to help try and prevent as much as I can. Being someone who has had an accident almost go completely wrong. This can be really overwhelming if you’re a new to chainsaws. But know with some common sense, and paying attention you can avoid most accidents. Hopefully you found something here that will help you in your future. Remember to be safe when sawing!