Each year, about 20 thousand injuries most likely came from chainsaw accidents. And the most common accidents when handling one is chainsaw kickback, which is more prominent on gas-powered chainsaws.
When it comes to cutting small trees, limbs, or pruning, most homeowners opt on using chainsaws for easy convenience. But the danger it brings is something that we should be careful of especially when using high-powered chainsaws.
Not knowing how to properly handle a chainsaw is a recipe for disaster, and the next thing you’ll find is yourself lying inside a coffin with a decapitated body. And we don’t want that to happen right? That’s why we have to be prepared when dealing with chainsaw kickbacks.
About Chainsaw Kickback
- Before anything else, you must know what chainsaw kickback is. This is a situation where the chainsaw suddenly kicks upward towards your face especially when the chainsaw exerts too much force and power.
- But why does this happen? There are several factors why this happens. First of all is where the blade is pinched between the wood while cutting. Depending on the speed of the blade, the machine will kick back towards you like it has a mind of its own.
- Second, is where the nose of the chainsaw which is also known as the “kickback zone” hits a solid object during operation. Once this happens, the chainsaw will throw the momentum back into you especially on your face.
- As you can see, chainsaw kickback is indeed a scary accident that is a matter of life and death. In the following sections below, we are going to give you some tips to help avoid chainsaw kickback.
Knowing Your Chainsaw
- This is important especially for first timers. It’s important to read the manual first before operating one. Don’t get excited on unboxing your chainsaw and start to turn it on and swinging it around everywhere like a loose serial killer. You need to understand how it operates, from starting, handling, and turning it off.
- For beginners, learning how to handle a chainsaw properly is a must. This will ensure a safer operation overall without risking your life. Don’t underestimate the power of manuals!
Hold The Machine Tightly
- Know that you are using a machine with blades spinning like there is no tomorrow. So it is important to hold the chainsaw tightly with your hands firmly wrapped around the handles. And while you’re doing the operation, focus on the subject and keep your grip as tight as you can. A kickback is likely to happen if you don’t hold the chainsaw properly.
- If you handle a chainsaw properly, you can control a kickback situation without harming yourself. However, don’t assume that you can handle the situation if things start to get crazy. Taking safety precautions is still important when handling a chainsaw.
Check Its Sharpness & Tension
- A kickback usually happens when there is a loose blade on your chainsaw. That’s why sharpening your chainsaw regularly is a must. Not to mention, checking its chain tension too. If sharpening doesn’t help, then it’s time to get a brand new chain. Operating a chainsaw with a dull blade is a recipe for disaster.
- If you don’t know how to check the tension, then here’s a quick guide for you.
- Turn the chainsaw first and unplug it from the electrical source.
- Grab the chain and pull it out from the guide bar.
- If you see that it comes up a little while the drive links stay into place, then congrats! The tension is fine. However, if the chain and drive links come off from the guide bar, you need to tighten the chain.
Always Wear Protective Gear
- No matter how much we prepare and follow safety measure, accidents still happen in just a blink of an eye. That’s why wearing proper safety gear is important to protect yourself from your chainsaw’s rage.
- If you take a read at the manual, you already know that wearing proper gear is a must. Don’t just stand there and do nothing! Follow the manual! Wear proper gear such as boots, a helmet, and most of all, a sturdy eyewear such as work goggles to protect your eyes. Don’t want to wear proper gear because you want to follow the footsteps of Chuck Norris? Well get ready for a trip to the hospital.
- Chainsaw kickback is fatal, and death is never a good thing for now. (of course we are going to get there soon as we get old) That’s why it is important to prepare yourself when operating a chainsaw. Be in control or the chainsaw controls you. Don’t just throw the manual and leave it at your desk collecting dusts. Take time to read it to familiarize yourself about chainsaw operation. Lastly, always make safety a priority.