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Chainsaw Basics: How to Use a Chainsaw Safely

Chainsaw safety

The last time a tree in your yard needed felling, you called out the local tree service to do the job for you. After receiving the bill, you firmly vowed to do the job yourself next time. In fact, you've already done the research on the appropriate chainsaw for home tree-felling and now that beauty is sitting in your garage.

Until now, the tool has been laying dormant. With the Christmas Season in full swing, you're not going to need to do much garden work but what happens in January when you realize it's time to get moving? You've never wielded such a powerful garden tool before and, let's face it, safety is always an issue.

Using a chainsaw

We've got you covered. Here are some steps on using a chainsaw safely:

1. Safety first: wear a hard hat and earmuff-style hearing protection as well as safety goggles with side shields to protect your eyes.

2. Try to find a hard hat that has a face shield to protect your face from errant wood chips.

3. Protect your body and clothing by wearing ballistic nylon apron-style chaps and non-slip work gloves.

4. Stability is key: wear work boots that offer good side-to-side stability and traction.

5. Make sure that you're not wearing any jewellery or loose clothing that can get caught in the chain.

6. Opt for a chainsaw that has a throttle interlock. This will require your hand to be fully inside of the saw's handle before the chain will accelerate.

7. Additional safety features are a must: check that the chainsaw has a chain catch that will automatically stop the saw from running if the chain slips off the bar.

8. In case the saw kicks back towards you, make sure that it is equipped with a spring-loaded kickback guard that will activate a chain brake.

9. While the chainsaw is still off, fill the fuel tank with a mixture of gasoline and two-cycle engine oil.

10. Fill the lube reservoir with chain oil.

11. Set the chainsaw safely on the ground, step inside the rear handle to and make sure the back end of the saw is secured.

12. Hit the saw's ignition switch. Then pump the primer and lock on the trigger.

13. Pull open the choke and yank the starter cord until the chainsaw fires.

14. Carefully push in the choke and pull cord until the saw starts.

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