How to Use A Chainsaw Safely: 9 Helpful Tips You Should Know

Working with or using a chainsaw is quite dangerous, so you have to know exactly how you can use it properly. To prevent unnecessary strain and accidents, ensure that you are making use of the right working strategies.

In addition, it is crucial to invest in the best safety equipment as well as a modern chainsaw that have plenty of functioning safety features. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you will be using your chainsaw safely:


Tip #1 – Invest In The Proper Outfit And Equipment

Make sure that you wear the proper outfit and have all the necessary equipment for the job. It should be noted that all chainsaw have a few mandatory safety features. For instance, some models come with a chain brake activated by an inertia.

In the case of a kickback, causing the bar’s tip to be forced upwards, the front guard’s inertia will work in instantly activating the chain brake, stopping the chain.​


Also, take note of the most common injuries linked to using chainsaw – one of which is a laceration, an injury causing your skin to break. By ensuring that you wear the correct protective clothing and gears, you can significantly reduce the risk of incurring laceration or any other form of injury.

In this case, you need to invest in the right personal protective equipment, including protective chaps or pants, protective trouser, and helmet. There should also be a pair of protective glasses and visor.

In addition, you need to invest in high-quality gloves and forestry shirt or jacket with the right amount of coverage for the upper body. Aside from protective clothing, it is also a must to invest in a safety footwear, such as a steel-toed shoes.

You can use this boot to protect you from inevitable scratches or possible injuries. Ensure that the boot is cut-resistant and anti-slip, so you can keep yourself safe.

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Tip #2 – Create A Safe Working Environment

Before you start using the chainsaw, assess the environmental safety linked to the cutting situation. Check the entire environment. Ask whether there is an available escape route for you just in case a tree falls. Also, figure out whether there is a clear path in case of falling trees.​


In general, you have to assess whether you’re comfortable with the task that you need to fulfill – whether it involves trees or other objects. Your working environment should be free of any safety hazard.

Tip #3 – Familiarize Yourself With The Feel Of The Machine

Once you have your protective equipment, clothing, and footwear, it is time to get familiar with how the chainsaw machine feels. Dress up for safety before starting to work then fill your chainsaw with the required gas. Operate it based on the instructions in the owner’s manual.​


Once operating, ensure that you get a feel for the way the saw reacts to the throttle. Make sure to cut only during that time when you’re in a balanced and comfortable position. The ideal position is with your feet shoulder-width apart. Also, you need to stand to just one side of the chainsaw, not behind it.

When cutting, you will notice various forces. Familiarize yourself with them and check how the saw responds. That way, you will find it easier to handle it during your next cutting sessions.​

Tip #4 – Choose A Model That You Can Comfortably Operate

Ensure that it is also large enough for the specific kind of application you plan to use it for. Determine the blade configuration and size you’re comfortable using. If you’re still a beginner, then it would be best to go for the bar type blade.

It should come with a bar, which is at least one-third longer when compared to the log or tree diameter you’re planning to cut. Also, take note that in most cases, the displacement or horsepower of the engine is connected to the bar’s length.​


Ensure that your chosen model is well-tuned and comes with a sharp blade. With that, you have an assurance that you can’t just comfortably operate it. You can also use it to cut easily, accurately and quickly, thereby ensuring that you are safe when performing the job.

If you are a person with a small frame and you only want to do a light trimming task, then an electric chainsaw is the most comfortable type and model you can use.

Tip #5 – Familiarize Yourself With The Cuts Normally Made By A Chainsaw

In most cases, a chainsaw is capable of doing up to 4 cuts with each one having its own cautions and considerations that you need to address. You have to be aware of all these so you’ll know exactly how you can avoid disasters, such as a tree falling on a house, car, a friend, or a power line.


To give you an idea of the four normal cuts that a chainsaw can make, here are they:

  • Felling – takes place when you cut down trees.​
  • Limbing – involves the removal of tree limbs after or before felling them.
  • Trimming – If a chainsaw is involved, trimming happens when you cut limbs back or take off limb’s branches.
  • Bucking – involves cutting the tree’s trunk or log into more functional pieces. An example is a fireplace length.

Tip #6 – Be Aware Of How You Can Handle The Chainsaw

Keep in mind that there are a few techniques involved in handling the chainsaw. The use of the right techniques can help reduce the risk of dealing with strain or injuries. Here are some tips that will let you handle the saw well without harming yourself.


Close contact – In this case, it would be best to hold the saw close to your body. Avoid feeling afraid of the saw. You need it to be close so you can attain accuracy and balance.

Use the thumb grip – This requires completely wrapping your fingers and thumbs around the saw’s handles. Hold the thumb of your left hand beneath the handle in front. Such is the key to reducing the force caused by a kickback.

Be in the right position – The ideal position when you’re working using a chainsaw is putting your left foot in front of the right. You also need to bend your knees. Avoid bending your back as it just causes you to be in a poor position when making use of the chainsaw.

Chain off – Ensure that the chain does not rotate in those instances when you need to move to a new spot.

Follow the safety distance – When using the chainsaw, it is a must for you to ensure that no one and nothing is within three meters or ten feet from your working environment.

Tip #7 – Check The Chainsaw For Safety

Spend time assessing the condition of your chosen chainsaw. Aside from ensuring that the saw you will be using perfectly suits your build and project, it is also advisable to conduct a safety check. You can do so by first checking whether its chain is on properly.

You also need to check whether the saw’s tension is adjusted accordingly and won’t rotate when engaging the chain brake. Spend time checking the air filter, too, for proper installation. Another safety check that you need to do is to make sure that the bar nuts and faceplate are firmly installed.

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Tip #8 – Let The Chainsaw Cool Down Prior To Storage

After doing the cutting project using your chainsaw, ensure that you let it properly cool down prior to storing it. In most cases, it would be best to let the oil and fuel fully drain out before you store the saw. Such is essential in preventing them from leaking out, considering that both are flammable.


To cool down, operate the engine for the last time. Doing it one last time works in emptying the carburetor once you drained the tank. The good news is that this technique can help prevent the left fuel from sticking too much to the fuel system when you store it for a long time.

Tip #9 – Learn Proper Maintenance

You need to be aware of how you can properly maintain your chainsaw so you can retain its excellent condition and operate it safely for a long time. You can refer to the chainsaw’s manual as it often provides information about the items you need for maintenance as well as the schedule.


Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Each time you need to use the chainsaw, spend time assessing the chain tension then make the necessary adjustments.
  • Inspect and clean the bar on a regular basis.
  • Inspect the saw’s air filter – Ensure that you spend time cleaning it. Replace the filter if necessary, too.
  • Regularly check whether the oiler, chain catcher, chain brake and throttle lockout still operates well.​

Aside from the mentioned tips, it is also a must for you to check and follow the directions in terms of mixing fuel or utilizing the right pre-mixed fuel.

Final Words

Working on a chainsaw entails some risks and dangers. However, you can avoid most of them by learning some effective tips on how to use a chainsaw safely, just like what this article provided.


Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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