Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaw Safety

The Handyguys discuss chainsaw safety in this audio podcast.

If you rent, borrow or buy a chainsaw, you will still need to be aware of proper chainsaw safety. In the summer, many areas are affected by thunderstorms. In the late summer and fall, some contend with hurricanes, others tornadoes and may need to put a chainsaw to use for cleanup of debris. Other people may be cutting and splitting wood for heat, some people are clearing their property. Regardless of how and when you use a chainsaw, safety must always come first.

We can’t cover every aspect of chainsaw safety in this show. Please read, understand and follow all the safety precautions outlined by the manufacturer of your chainsaw. Use common sense. Do not push yourself or your chainsaw beyond what you can handle.

WARNING! A chain saw is a dangerous tool If used carelessly or incorrectly and can cause serious, even fatal injuries. It is very important that you read and understand the contents of your operator’s manual.

Chainsaw Safety

Here are the basics of chainsaw safety:

Common sense

  • It is not possible to cover every conceivable chainsaw safety situation you can face when using a chain saw.
  • Always exercise care and use your common sense.
  • Avoid all situations which you consider to be beyond your capability.

Handyguy Paul with Chainsaw Safety in mindPersonal protective equipment for chainsaw safety

  • Approved protective helmet
  • Hearing protection
  • Protective goggles or a visor
  • Gloves with saw protection
  • Trousers with saw protection
  • Boots with saw protection, steel toe-cap and non-slip sole
  • Always have a first aid kit nearby

Machine’s chainsaw safety equipment

Your saw will have several chainsaw safety devices built into the design. These will vary by manufacturer. Ensure they are properly attached and operational.

  • Anti-kickback features, bar tip, safety chain
  • Throttle lockout
  • Chain catcher
  • Hand guards

 Fuel handling

  • Do not smoke and do not place any hot objects in the vicinity of fuel.
  • Never refuel the machine while the engine is running
  • Always stop the engine and let it cool for a few minutes before refueling.
  • When refueling, open the fuel cap slowly so that any excess pressure is released gently.
  • Tighten the fuel cap carefully after refueling.
  • Always move the machine away from the refueling area before starting.

Chainsaw Safety gearStarting and stopping a chainsaw safely

  • Never start a chain saw unless the bar, chain and all covers are fitted correctly.
  • The chain brake should be activated when starting.
  • Never start the machine indoors.
  • Observe your surroundings and make sure that there is no risk of people or animals coming into contact with the cutting equipment..
  • Always hold the saw with both hands.
  • Start the saw on the ground. Grip the front handle with your left hand. Hold the chain saw on the ground by placing your right foot through the rear handle. Pull the starter handle.

Chainsaw Safety Instruction

Chainsaw safety working techniques

  • Look around you, and above you. Ensure nothing in the area will affect your control of the saw.
  • Do not use the saw in bad weather.
  • Make sure you can move and stand safely.
  • Take great care when cutting a tree that is under tension.
  • Understand the causes of kickback so you can avoid it.
  • Two hands, always.
  • Never use the saw above your shoulders.
  • Always cut with a sharp blade, properly fitted for your particular saw.
The chainsaw safety information in this post and in the podcast is never a substitute for professional skills and experience. If you get into a situation where you feel unsafe, stop and seek expert advice.

Here are some helpful links to manuals containing chainsaw safety information.

Most manufacturers will have their manuals online. If you do not have a manual you should find one.



Craftsman (good luck, I had trouble finding manuals online)


10 thoughts on “Chainsaw Safety

  1. Chainsaw safety is a must. These are some great tips. I agree that you should not raise it above your head, use a very sturdy step stool or ladder to reach hard to get places. You have much more control that way. A lot of accidents could be prevented with basic safety in mind.

  2. Chainsaw safety equipment costs $50-60 max, but the emergency room surgery costs $300 minimum including the stitches. So its wise to be cautious and avoid the pain.

  3. A little bit of safety can go a long way. Having the right protective gear like eye, ear, head, leg, etc. has prevented lot’s of accidents for those that use them. The newer chainsaws (I use a Stihl) even has additional built in protection. Also, it helps not to use a dull chain, always keep those sharp, usually only around $7-10 if you don’t do it yourself.

  4. Ensuring safety when using a chainsaw is very important. No matter who you are, beginners or experts, it’s necessary to keep knowledge about protective equipment and follow working rules. Your post is really a necessary reminder for chainsaw users. Thanks!

  5. Chainsaw chaps are a part of the personal protective equipment that is recommended for all occasional and professional chainsaw users.

    1. Yep! Chaps refer to trousers made of special fabrics that are designed to protect chainsaw operators from being cut by a running chainsaw

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