Chainsaws are powerful and dangerous tools that require proper handling and attention to safety measures. Most accidents that involve chainsaws occur due to a kickback. This happens when the chain or bar catches a foreign object while cutting, causing the saw to pivot. The kickback can also occur if the saw operator suddenly touches the top of the saw or when the chain is pinched by a large piece of wood. To prevent a kickback, the operator must first consider how the saw will affect the material in question. In this article, we will discuss how to prevent chainsaw kickback.
Understanding the cause of chainsaw kickback
The most common cause of chainsaw kickback is nicking the upper nose of the saw. As the saw catches on something, the kickback becomes more violent. When the bar catches on a small piece of wood, it will result in a kickback. Luckily, most saws have built-in safety features, such as a “kickback danger zone” at the top of the guide bar. This area is a 90-degree angle that warns the operator about the potential danger of a kickback.
Preventive measures to avoid chainsaw kickback
Proper Technique and Body Position
One way to avoid a chainsaw kickback is by using proper technique and body position. The saw’s guide bar should never touch the guide bar’s upper tip, as this can lead to a rotational kickback. When a piece of wood is struck by the guide bar, the entire saw can flip back. Proper body position is essential for safe chainsaw use. The operator should always stand to the side of the saw, with their feet apart for balance. The dominant hand should hold the rear handle while the non-dominant hand holds the front handle.
Choose the right chainsaw and chain
Selecting the right chainsaw and chain for the job is crucial to prevent kickback. The operator should choose a saw that is the right size for the job, and the chain should be sharp and properly adjusted. A dull chain can cause kickback as it is more likely to catch on the wood.
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Inspect the wood and work environment
The operator should inspect the wood and work environment for any potential hazards. The saw should not be used on wet or frozen wood, as this can cause kickback. The operator should also be aware of any rocks or other foreign objects in the wood, as they can cause the chain to catch.
In conclusion, chainsaw kickback is a serious safety concern that requires proper handling and attention to safety measures. To prevent kickback, the operator must use proper technique and body position, choose the right chainsaw and chain, and inspect the wood and work environment for potential hazards. By following these preventive measures, the operator can reduce the risk of kickback and ensure safe chainsaw use.
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Jake is a tool guy – think Tim Allen from Home Improvement but with a much drier sense of humor. He lives in the great state of Ohio and plays the guitar on his downtime. He also spends his time writing on all things tools and DIY-related as this is his passion.