Matt Ellsworth: Hi! I am Matt Ellsworth with ECHO Inc. I am here today to give you some safety tips on how to properly operate your chainsaw.
Being safe begins with being familiar with all the operating parts of the saw and wearing the appropriate safety gear. Fully read the safety manual and the owners manual before operation and have the right safety gear while operating the saw.
A helmet system with ear, head, and face protection; eye protection, gloves, long sleeves and pants, leg chaps, steel toe boots, and a dry clean leveled clear work area. Be sure to place the saw on the ground before starting it. Do not drop start the saw. Follow the manufacturers starting procedure found in the manual. Disengage the chain brake after the saw has been started and is ready to be used. Always be sure to engage the chain brake when the saw is not in use or is being transported. Do not use the saw if the chain brake does not functioning properly. To check if the chain brake is operating properly, accelerate the saw to full throttle then engage the chain brake. The chain brake should stop the chain immediately. After the saw has been started run it for 5 seconds with wide open throttle and then check the chain to ensure proper chain tension. Check the manual to identify proper chain tension. Do not leave the chainsaw running unattended; always stay alert and focused on the cutting operation when the saw is in operation. Before cutting check your surroundings to ensure people are at a safe cutting distance. Always operate the saw using both hands. Do not operate it with only one hand.
To avoid kickback do not let the tip of the guide bar contact the surface or any surrounding surface. Using a tip guard can help avoid kickback as well. Perform all cutting while standing to the left side of the chainsaw. In the event of a kickback the saw will avoid hitting your body.
Never use the saw to cut above the level of your shoulders. Never force the chainsaw through a cut, a properly sharpen chain will cut easily without excessive pressure. Do not perform cutting with the saw between your legs or while standing on a log. Do not come close enough to a worker using a chainsaw where you can be struck by the saw. You could potentially startle them and in the process of turning around they could cut you. If you must interrupt the chainsaw operator when cutting, do so in a manner that will not startle them and cause imbalance or any injury to yourself. When the saw is not in use, be sure to engage the chain brake.
Use a scabbard as an extra precaution. Store the saw in a well-ventilated area. Do not store at some place where it can fall on someone.
A chainsaw is an efficient tool for demanding tasks. With these safety tips and proper operation techniques, it will help you accomplish your work quickly and efficiently.