Know Your Chainsaw
All modern chainsaws have safety devices designed to help you keep control of it and so reduce the severity of accidents. You need to understand how they work. But remember - these devices are no substitute for training and experience.
SAFETY MITT, HAND GUARD OR CHAINBRAKE
A leather safety mitt securely attached to the front handle but free to rotate on it helps to keep your left hand on the handle in case of kickback. It also provides protection for your hand.
While you are handling your chainsaw, ensure that your thumb remains firmly wrapped around the front handle at all times. This will ensure that in the event of a kickback your hand will not slip off the front handle.
RIGID FRONT HANDLE GUARD
This helps to prevent your left hand from touching the chain if it slips off the front handle.
The chainbrake is designed to stop the moving chain if the front guard is moved forward. It can be activated if the chainsaw rotates about its axis in a kickback situation and your left hand swivels on the front handle and contacts the front guard. You can also activate the chainbrake manually.
A recent development in chainsaw technology, this braking system has the advantage that it will automatically trigger the brake in any position as soon as a kickback starts. This is especially important when you are using the chainsaw with the guide bar in the horizontal position while making a felling cut, a horizontal bore cut or when trimming. In these situations a manual chainbrake would not be activated if a kickback occurs. All chainsaws sold in New Zealand must have a compliant chain brake.
This is located so that it can be operated with your right hand remaining on the rear handle.
THROTTLE CONTROL LOCKOUT
This prevents the accidental opening of the throttle. The throttle control is locked in the idle position when the lockout is not pushed in by your right hand gripping the rear handle.
REAR HAND GUARD
The lower part of the rear handle is widened to protect your hand in case of a chain breakage or slippage.
This is designed to catch a broken, slipping, or jumping chain.
VIBRATION DAMPING SYSTEM
This system isolates the motor and handles to reduce vibration.
BAR AND CHAIN COMBINATION
Using the correct combination of guide bar and chain reduces the possibility of kickback. The bar length should be matched with the power of the motor unit and the material being cut.
Correct chain sharpening, depth gauge settings and tensioning are essential for good performance and improved safety.
Noise levels from two-stroke engines are high. The muffler is designed to decrease noise levels, direct gases away from you and act as a spark arrestor. Don't use a chainsaw with a missing or damaged muffler.