There are some basic rules that you should always follow when using your chainsaw. When moving about with your chainsaw, the engine should always be turned off and the chain brake engaged. The bar should be positioned behind you and the muffler pointed away from your body.
Never walk with the bar positioned in front of your. Even with the engine off and the chain brake engaged, if you were to fall and come into contact with the chain, you could easily cut yourself on the chain.
As youre working with the chainsaw, always hold the saw firmly with both hands. Never under any circumstances operate your chainsaw with one hand. Doing so will enhance the chances that you could become seriously or fatally injured while using the chainsaw.
Regardless of whether or not you are a right-handed person, you must always grip the front handle with your left hand. Make sure that your finger and thumb are wrapped around the handle bar. Do not operate your saw with the thumb not fully engaging the handle bar. Your right hand will grip the rear handle and also operate the throttle trigger, throttle interlock and the chainsaws control. When operating your STIHL chainsaw, the master control level can easily be accessed with the thumb of your right hand while still maintaining a firm grip on the rear handle with your fingers.
Always be aware of your working conditions and how they can contribute to thereof the most common and potentially dangerous reactive forces: kickback, pullback and pull in.
Kickback occurs when the moving chainsaw near the upper quadrant of the bar nose contacts a solid object or is pinched or is incorrectly used to begin a plunge or barring out. The greater the force of the kickback reaction, the more difficult it becomes for the operator to control the saw. The type of bar and saw chain you use is an important factor in the occurrence and force of the kickback reaction. STIHL recommends the use of their reduced kickback bar and kickback chain color-coded green. Check with your authorized dealer for more details on which bar and chain are available for your chainsaw.
Your chain brake is another feature that can help reduce the risk of serious or fatal injury from kickback reactions. Although the chain brake does not stop a kick back from occurring and it is nor a failsafe system, it can stop the chain quickly when activating reducing the chances of a rotating chain coming into contact with the operator.
Studied carefully, these 12 points that can help you avoid kickback:
- Hold the chainsaw firmly with both hands and maintain a secure grip at all times.
- Be aware of the location of the guide bar at all times.
- Never let the nose of the guide bar contact any object.
- Do not cut limbs with the nose of the guide bar.
- Be especially careful when cutting small tough limbs, small sized branches and samplings which can easily catch the chain.
- Dont overreach.
- Dont cut above shoulder height.
- Begin cutting and continue cutting at full throttle.
- Cut only 1 log at a time.
- Use extreme caution when entering a previous cut.
- Do not attempt to plunge cut when you are not experienced in these techniques.
- Be alert to shifting of the log or other forces that may cause the cut to close and pinch the chain.
- Maintain saw chain properly.
- Cut with a correctly sharpened, properly tensionered chain at all times.
- Stand to the side of the plate of the bar and chain when cutting.
Pull in occurs when the chain on the bottom of the bar is suddenly stopped. This can happen when the chain becomes pinched, caught or if it encounters a foreign object in the wood. The reaction of the chain pulls the saw forward and may cause the operator to lose control. To avoid pull in, always start a cut with the chain rotating at full speed and the bumpers spiking contact with the wood. Sometimes pull in can be prevented by using wedges to open the curf or cut particularly when making a bucking cut.
Pushback occurs when the chain on the top of the bar suddenly stops when its pinched, caught or encounters a foreign object in the wood. The reaction of the chain drives the saw straight back toward the operator and may cause loss of control of the saw. To avoid pushback, always be alert to forces or situations that may cause material to pinch the top of the chain. Never cut more than 1 log at a time and dont twist the saw when withdrawing the bar from a plunge cut or under bar cut. The chain can easily pinch in this situation.