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

SAFETY MITT

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.

Fig 5: Chainsaw mitt helps keep your hand on the handle.

Fig 5: Chainsaw mitt helps keep your hand on the handle.

 

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.

Fig 7: Rigid front handle guard helps to protect your hand from the chain.

Fig 7: Rigid front handle guard helps to protect your hand from the chain.

 

CHAINBRAKE

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.

Fig 8: Chainbrake stops chain when guard is moved forward.

Fig 8: Chainbrake stops chain when guard is moved forward.

 

INERTIA CHAINBRAKE

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.

Fig 9: Inertia chainbrake triggers brake in any position when kickback occurs.

Fig 9: Inertia chainbrake triggers brake in any position when kickback occurs.

 

STOP SWITCH

This is located so that it can be operated with your right hand remaining on the rear handle.

Fig 10: Stop switch can be operated while your hand is on rear handle.

Fig 10: Stop switch can be operated while your hand is on 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.

Fig 11: Throttle control lockout prevents accidental opening of throttle.

Fig 11: Throttle control lockout prevents accidental opening of throttle.

 

REAR HAND GUARD

The lower part of the rear handle is widened to protect your hand in case of a chain breakage or slippage.

Fig 12: Rear hand guard is designed to protect your hand if chain breaks.

Fig 12: Rear hand guard is designed to protect your hand if chain breaks.

 

CHAIN CATCHER

This is designed to catch a broken, slipping, or jumping chain.

Fig 13: Chain catcher is designed to catch broken or jumping chain.

Fig 13: Chain catcher is designed to catch broken 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.

 

MUFFLER

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.

 

Fig 14: Among other things, muffler reduces noise levels.

Fig 14: Among other things, muffler reduces noise levels.