Oregon teach us how to avoid the danger.
Oregon tells us that there are two circumstances that can cause kickback when using a chain saw. The first occurs when the moving chain at the tip or the nose of the guide bar strikes an object. The second situation is when the wood closes in, pinching the saw chain in the middle of the cut. Both of these situations cause the chain saw’s guide bar to launch (or “kick”) up and back, which may cause the user to lose control of the saw possibly result in injury to themselves or others.
Factors that increase the risk of chain saw kickback include improper saw maintenance; a dull chain; loose saw chain tension; incorrectly installed chain parts; loose rivets; bent, cracked, or broken saw chain components; incorrectly sharpened chain angles; excessive chain depth gauge settings; incorrect chain depth gauge shapes; and additionally, as the size of the guide bar’s nose increases, so does the potential risk for kickback. Oregon provides the following steps to reduce the possibility of kickback:
- Step 1: Before you use a new chainsaw, be sure to read through the operating instructions in their entirety.
- Step 2: Stay alert at all times when using a chainsaw. If you are tired, it’s not a good time to use a chainsaw.
- Step 3: Be particularly cautious when removing tree branches. Kickback can be caused during limbing if the nose of the bar strikes logs, stumps, hidden branches and the end of logs.
- Step 4: When preparing a tree for felling, use the underside of the bar (aka pulling chain). Never saw above shoulder height. Following these two practices will help reduce the risk of kickback while pruning trees and felling objects (bushes, small trees) blocking your way.
- Step 5: If you are using your saw for felling or crosscutting, boring the chainsaw bar into the trunk may be the best way to cut. The best way to avoid kickback, however, is to avoid putting the tip of the chain saw bar against the wood.
- Step 6: Make sure the chain brake on your saw works prior to use.
- Step 7: Pay attention to the nose of your chainsaw bar and how it is positioned.
- Step 8: Choose low kickback chain saw chains.
- Step 9: Use narrow-nose bars, such as Oregon Double Guard bars, to ensure maximum kickback safety.
- Step 10: Wear the right clothing and equipment to protect commonly injured areas.
- Step 11: Avoid clothing that is too tight or too loose.
- Step 12: When cutting, make sure your thumbs and fingers are completely wrapped around your chain saw handles.
- Step 13: When performing maintenance, follow all of the instructions that came with your chain saw chain.