Chainsaw Basics for Safe Use

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Chainsaw Basics for Safe Use

January 2, 2018


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In our last series we discussed some initial safety tips for your new device.  If you missed it please be sure to check out 



Again, please be sure to rear the proper protection and clothing, be aware of your surroundings as well before starting or running your new chain saw.

Let’s begin


Now that you have the basics, lets get to work!  before you start the saw, make sure everything is in working order with a quick check of the controls, handles, bar, and chain sharpness and tension. It may seem obvious, but fill both the gas and bar oil reservoirs each time that you use the saw, even if you are only going to cut for a few minutes. It is a good habit to get into to ensure that the saw will never run out of lubricating oil while it’s being used. Saws are designed to run out of a full tank of fuel before running out of a full tank of bar oil. Why? Running out of fuel is no big deal, just fill the tank again and the saw is good to go. But running out of bar oil causes friction and heat enough to seriously damage the saw.  Be sure to do all of this whale the saw is powered off.


Fill the saw with fuel and oil while the saw is on the ground, not on the un-grounded tailgate of a truck. And be sure that the saw is not hot when fueling. Of course, don’t smoke while fueling.  Chain Protect ensures that your saw is level on the ground for easy maintenance, this is the best accessory on the market today for your new saw.

Fire it up


Believe it or not there are really only two common methods to starting a chain saw: on the ground (our recommended way), or between your legs.  Either way, Please please please, make sure the chain brake is engaged, push the handle forward.  Once the chain brake is engaged make sure that the choke is on and the switch is in the “on” position.  Not all saws are the same, there may be a primer or an ignition pump on your model.  Please be sure to check your instruction manual for more info.  Vroom! The saw started! Tap the throttle trigger to set the saw to an idle, and it should be purring like a kitten.


Safe Handling

Ok, so I am sure you know that common sense applies here on how to handle and use your chainsaw.  Here as Chain Protect we want to review them again with you just to be sure you have a good understanding.  Maintain good footing, watch for tripping hazards, and keep a good balance by not overreaching with the saw running or getting into some weird body contortion. Keep your left hand firmly around the front handle, including the thumb. (My saw instructor reminded us that we “were operating a saw, not driving a car,” as you tend to rest your thumb on the handle, rather than wrapping it around.)

Some things feel like they are out of control

Kickback and pinching are two of the largest issues when cutting.  If you dimly remember physics class, you may recall that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Saw kickback is a demonstration of that principle (Or is it a law? Theory? Hypothesis? I forget.), and occurs when the top corner of the bar tip hits some unforgiving object or is pinched. When that happens, the energy of the saw forces the bar up and towards the operator with terrific speed and power — faster than the user can react. The first line of defense against kickback is never to engage the saw with the upper corner of the bar — be aware of the position of the tip at all times. Otherwise, practice good operating techniques: a firm, two-handed grip on the saw; a balanced stance; a sharp, tensioned chain; and being alert to situations when the bar may be pinched by the wood that is being cut through.


“Pinching the bar” is a good segue into the directional pressures present in the limb, log, or standing tree that dictate how the saw operator will approach the cut. These pressures — tension or compression — are present to varying degrees in every limb, log, or tree. Tension is when the force present causes the wood fibers to be stretched apart, and the kerf — the groove in the wood made by the saw — will tend to widen as the cut deepens. Compression is the opposite: the pressure on the log or tree is pushing the fibers together which, in turn, will cause the kerf to narrow as the cut deepens, and if the operator is not alert, pinch the bar and violently stop the chain’s spinning. The best advice that I can give is to take a moment before cutting to size up the situation. Think, “This log is suspended between two high points of ground; where is the bind, and where should I cut?” Or, “This limb is really bent by the adjacent tree and under great tension. If I cut it, will it spring back towards me?” Often an operator can detect a slight opening or closing of the kerf as the cut deepens. The kerf opening means full speed ahead, a kerf beginning to close means pull the saw out and cut from the other side, if possible.  Chain Whip is another safety risk, imagine while you are cutting the chain breaking in half.  Yes, this is possible for a link to break or the chain to slip off track is very common, and it happens all the time.  The lash of a sharp chain on your arm or leg is no joke and you can easily end up in a hospital.  There is a solution!  A properly attached accessory like Chain Protect can help to reduce chain whip from happening.  As a Chain protect has the ability to catch the chain and prevent it from snapping back at you.  Be sure to get your Chain Protect today.


Thank you for taking the time to learn about your new tool, you are more prepared now that when you opened the box for sure.  At Chain Protect we value our customers and want to ensure that everyone is safe and prepared.  There is no other tool or accessory on the market today that will provide chain saw safety the way that we will.  Be sure to get one today for anyone that you know that operates a chainsaw,

Your Chain Protect Team