In honor of Chainsaw Safety Month in October, Oregon Products is offering education on kickback, from listing what causes kickback to identifying the danger zone. To read the full article, click here. For a few brief tips, read below.
What causes kickback?
There are two circumstances that can cause kickback when using a chain saw. The first occurs when the moving chain at the tip or the nose of the guide bar strikes an object. The second situation is when the wood closes in, pinching the saw chain in the middle of the cut. Both of these situations cause the chain saw’s guide bar to launch (or “kick”) up and back, which may cause the user to lose control of the saw, possibly resulting in injury to themselves or others. Additionally, as the size of the guide bar’s nose increases, so does the potential risk for kickback.
The following factors (alone or in combination) can increase the risk of chain saw kickback:
- Improper saw maintenance or dull chain
- Loose saw chain tension or incorrectly installed chain parts
- Excessive chain depth gauge settings or incorrect chain depth gauge shapes
- Bent, cracked, or broken saw chain components
- Incorrectly sharpened chain angles
- Loose rivets
The Danger Zone & Reducing Risk
The term “kickback danger zone” refers to the top of the tip of the chainsaw bar. This area has a high kickback risk. You should never saw using this part of the chainsaw bar because doing so would significantly increase the chances that you will experience kickback. When this area of the bar touches an object, like a branch or log, there is high-likelihood that a sudden kickback reaction will occur. The larger the bar nose size, the higher the potential for chainsaw kickback.
Low Kickback Chains
Most of today’s chainsaws incorporate features that reduce kickback and other sources of chainsaw-related injury. These built-in features include: chain brakes, the front (left) hand guard, the bar tip guard, and low or reduced kickback chain and guide bars. In order to guarantee the effectiveness of these safety features, you need to ensure your chainsaw is properly assembled and that all the components are securely attached and functional. Unless you have experience or training for responding to chainsaw kickback, you should use low kickback chain. In North America, low kickback chain is packaged with a green label from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
There are many other things you can do to reduce the risk of kickback in the areas of operation. assembly, maintenance, awareness, and protection. To see these tips, learn more about ANSI, and find more chainsaw advice on tightening chains, sharpening, and more, visit this page.