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Chainsaw Kickback

Chainsaw kickback is probably the most dangerous hazard facing the chainsaw operator. All chainsaws can kickback, so it is very important to be aware of the possible causes and be alert at all times. It is also very important to wear chainsaw safety clothing.

Kickback may occur when the moving chain at the nose or tip of the guide bar touches an object, or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut.

Tip or bar nose contact can, in some cases, cause a lightning-fast reverse reaction, kicking the guide bar up and back toward the operator.

Pinching the cutting chain along the top of the guide bar may push the guide bar rapidly toward the operator.

Either of these reactions may cause you to lose control of the saw, which could result in serious personal injury to yourself or to bystanders.

More than 8% of forestry accidents are estimated to be caused by chainsaw kickback. It is a serious hazard and it is therefore very important to take precautionary measures to minimise the risk.

Chainsaw Handling

Kickback can occur during most work procedures if the chainsaw is not handled carefully. This is why it is essential for you to learn and use correct saw technique.

  • Always use a chainsaw with a working chain brake.
  • Always use the chain most suited to the job.
  • Always be aware of the chainsaw bar's nose (specifically the kickback zone).
  • Thumbs and fingers must be completely wrapped around the handles.
  • Always keep your left thumb under the front handle when you use the saw to catch the saw in case of kickback.

Work Tasks With Risk Of Kickback

Kickback Risk When Limbing

Observe caution when limbing. The nose of the guide bar can hit underlying logs, stumps, hidden branches and ends of logs, causing kickback.

Kickback Risk When Felling and Crosscutting

Preparation Ahead Of Felling

Before felling, there is a risk of kickback when pruning and when you cut down shrubs and small trees that are in the way when felling. Cut with a pulling chain when pruning. Never saw above shoulder height.

Felling And Crosscutting

When felling and crosscutting, you may want to bore the guide bar into the trunk. There is a risk of kickback if you saw carelessly with the guide bar’s kickback zone directly facing the trunk.

You can avoid the greatest risk of kickback simply by never putting the nose of the guide bar directly against the wood.

Chainsaw Kickback Zone

Chainsaw Kickback ZoneThe chainsaw kickback zone is the upper part of the nose of the guide bar. Applying the guide bar here has a kickback risk. Never saw using the part of the guide bar that poses a significant risk for kickback!

In the event of kickback, the chain will grip the timber with the kickback zone first. The saw and blade are thrown backwards and upwards by the force of the rotating chain.

We would like to thank Husqvarna for information supplied that was used in compiling this guide. Husqvarna Chainsaws are considered by many to be the best chainsaws on the market.

Husqvarna Automower 450X

Automower 450X

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 Deposit  £1,500
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