How to be Safe When Using a Chainsaw in Your Garden

Imagine you wake up one morning and find a huge dogwood tree ferociously growing over your garden. What would you do? Call someone to help you cut the tree and clean the area?

Instead of spending money on hiring someone to cut that tree, you can do it by yourself with a chainsaw. However, using a chainsaw isn’t an easy task. Most accidents occur due to negligence on the part of a chainsaw user. Handling a chainsaw is a dangerous job and requires proper safety precautions, so it’s essential to know how to use this tool safely. Continue reading to learn how you can operate a chainsaw without hurting yourself.

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Operating a Chainsaw: Things You Should Consider

Whether it’s for cutting a tree or cleaning the overgrown shrubs that are ruining your garden, knowing how to use a chainsaw safely is the first thing you need to do. Here are some of the rules that you should consider while using a chainsaw to avoid any accidents.

Get The Protective Equipment

The first thing to consider for using a chainsaw is your safety. No matter how expert you think you are in operating this tool, accidents may happen. That’s why you need to take necessary safety precautions before you use it.

Before you start working, make sure you have suitable clothing and protective equipment for this job. Most people get injured by the sharp wood chips flying at high speed towards the face. As such, wear a helmet with ear defenders and a face mask. Always wear tough, hard-wearing clothes that cover your body as much as possible. If you don’t have any specialized gear to operate a chainsaw, at the very least, wear thick pants. Also, don’t forget to wear thick gloves to protect your hands.

protective clothing

Ensure a Safe Working Space

Ensuring a safe environment before working with a chainsaw is crucial for both you and anyone else who will be walking around the garden. Look for any possible hazards in your garden and clear them first. It’s quite easy for the log to slip out from the blade and cause dangerous accidents, which means you need to hold it in place using a sawhorse.

Never operate a chainsaw when over-reaching from a ladder. While cutting a branch of a tree, make sure there’s enough space for the timber to fall. Inform your neighbours about what your plan is in advance so that they don’t get in the way. If possible, ask a friend for some assistance so that he/she can help you maintain a safe working environment.

Preparing The Chainsaw

Before you start the chainsaw, thoroughly inspect a few things to avoid any damage later. Take a look at the unit to make sure everything is in place. Sometimes, the grooves and rails of the bar wear quickly, leading to a serious accident, so, you need to make sure the chain is lubricated and not loose before starting your project. Chainsaws run on two-strokes fuel, which means you need to use a mix blend of oil and gas instead of just regular gas. If you’re purchasing a new chainsaw, make sure it comes with a chain catch that restrains the chain from slipping off the bar.

Properly Start The Chainsaw

If you’re a first time user, you must get a solid idea about how to start a chainsaw properly. First, place it on the ground with a strong footing and level surface. To make sure that the machine is steady, put your right foot through the rear handle. Now, with your left hand, safely hold the handlebar. Engage the chain brake with your right hand to prevent the chain from moving until you’re ready to start the machine. Once you’re ready, simply pull the starter rope.

Handling The Kickback

When cutting through a log, sometimes the guide bar gets pinched and flings back at the operator, which is known as a kickback. To prevent this from happening, always keep the upper tip of the bar from touching anything. When cutting with the chainsaw, be aware of its pulling and pushing power. The force of the saw can pull you in towards the log when you’re using the bottom bar and push you away from the bar when you’re cutting with the top bar. This kickback can cause severe damage, so be aware of the position and grip the machine accordingly.


Go Cordless for Your Garden

When using a chainsaw to clean up your garden, using one with a cord can be inconvenient. It’s difficult to trim shrubs, mow the lawn, and remove the foliage with a chainsaw that needs to be connected by a cord. Always get a cordless chainsaw, which is easy to move and use. Besides, it will reduce the possibility of some hazards stemming from a corded chainsaw.

Make Sure The Chain is Sharp

While cutting with the saw, if you see the chain isn’t pulling itself into the wood, creates fine sawdust, and emits smoke, chances are the chain is blunt. Remember, a chainsaw only performs well when the chain is sharp. If you think your saw chain isn’t sharp enough, go to a mechanic and re-sharpen it if necessary or you can do it yourself following this tutorial.

Follow The Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance ensures a longer shelf life for many tools, and it goes for the chainsaw as well. If you’re a seasonal user, you need to empty every drop of fuel from the engine before refueling for the next use. Also, clean every tool thoroughly before putting it back to the shelf for a long time. Remove the chain and guide bar, and store everything in a cool and dry place. If you’re using a battery-powered chainsaw, remove it before storing the machine. Also, don’t forget to replace the chain once a year.

Final Thoughts

Handling a chainsaw can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first time user. However, things are going to be easy and fun once you know how they work. Chainsaws can be a great tool to trim shrubs or cut the trees that are covering your driveway. However, this power tool can be highly dangerous and must be handled with caution, especially when you’re working in a garden. Following the above rules will help you work safely in your garden and keep your chainsaw functional for a longer period