Chainsaw Kickback

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What is chainsaw kickback, its causes, and how to avoid it?

The saw is one of the best and well-known tools to cut the woods into pieces for different purposes. These saws have sharp-toothed edges often made up of metal, wire, or a chain.

These saws were frequently used a decade ago, but now they are replaced with a new and modern chainsaw.

Chainsaws are more reliable and need less effort than the older saw that uses more physical power and time.

What Is Chainsaw?

chainsaw kickback

A chainsaw is an electric saw that works on the current supply and is used to cut trees, harvesting of firewood, and bucking.

There are gasoline, electric, and battery-powered chainsaws that have sharpened teeth on the chain fixed on the metallic bar on which they move back and forth to chop the log.

Chainsaws are easy to use and do our work more efficiently in less time but using these saws, you must be careful.

What Is Chainsaw Kickback?

As the term kickback itself describes the meaning of the sudden upward movement of anything that will harm you.

In this, sometimes the chainsaw kickback occurs due to many reasons. The guided bar on the chainsaw automatically moves in the upward direction leaving its place when you hit the end portion of the guided bar to a rigid position.

Chainsaw kickback is one of the common problems nowadays faced by everyone as it is too dangerous and happens in a blink of an eye.

In this, it happens so suddenly that you cannot find time to resist it. Yearly, 30,000 people worldwide got injured due to chainsaw kickback.

Causes of Chainsaw Kickback:

Several reasons lead to chainsaw kickback. To avoid the chainsaw kickback, you must need to be aware of it by knowing its reasons. Some of the common mistakes or purpose that cause this are as follows:

  • Low-Quality Chainsaw:

The most important and common reason that leads to the chainsaw kickback is the poor quality of the chainsaw.

Usually, people want to buy cheap and less expensive things that are very attractive. Still, they do not focus on their specifications.

These inexpensive products with beautiful looks have low specifications and are made up of low-quality material that will only harm you.

So, you must buy high quality and the best chainsaw that is reliable and long-lasting.

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  • Inexperienced User:

Everyone thinks that he is too intelligent and can do anything he wants.

Still, to use a chainsaw, you must need to be experienced in it, or if you are new to use it, you must have the basic knowledge of how to use it.

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  • Improperly Maintained:

Improper maintenance of these chainsaws may cause a disaster while using them. To work without any issue correctly, you have to maintain it properly.

After using it, clean it if necessary, grease different parts where there is a chance of getting damaged. To keep all your things tidy and proper, you must maintain them according to their requirements.

  • Low Tension Chain:

Before using the chainsaw, always check out the chain, whether tight or loose because a loose chain has low tension due to which the chance of breaking increases and even harms you as it is too fast and sharp.

  • Incorrectly Installation of Parts:

When you buy a chainsaw, first read all the instructions written on the instructions copy or letter with that chainsaw.

Some parts need to be placed carefully and correctly because incorrect installation of these parts may significantly affect the machine’s working by causing chainsaw kickbacks. 

  •   Broken Parts:

Please do not use it with broken parts or parts that are not in good condition; it will only affect the machine.

The broken, bent, or cracked chain can damage the chainsaw by causing a kickback, or damaged parts may cease its engine.

  • Chain Cutting Angle:

During cutting the wood, it is very crucial to sharpen the chain cutting angles to avoid any disaster. These angles must be sharpened with proper tools to lead to chainsaw kickback.

  • Set Gauge Properly:

The gauge in the chainsaw matters too much because its improper setting causes this problem. Excessive chain depth gauge settings disrupt your working by stimulating different issues.

  • Loose Rivets:

Using a chainsaw for a long time, heat it, and the chain expands that will lose the rivet. These loose rivets lower the tension on the chain leading to chainsaw kickback.

  • Hitting the Hard Object:

Use everything with great care and maintenance for its proper working by giving you a 100% result as it works the first day.

That is why hitting the chainsaw on any hard rigid surface causes it to move back, directing the chainsaw kickback to harm you.

  • Cutting with Old Chain:

Using old, dull, and rusty chains for cutting wood is not a good idea.

Flat chains work slowly with low tension and low performance by taking more time to cut a plank of wood, and the risk of kickback is too much in this.

  • Extensive Nose:

The extensive nose of the chainsaw is one of the prominent and primary causes of chainsaw kickback because, in this, the nose is too long, and if it is stuck or hit on the object, it will kick back with more force and power, which causes more damage.

When it comes to chainsaw kickbacks, you must be aware of them. These factors lead to different injuries and problems even sometimes, these mishaps may be fatal.

So, you need to know about them to avoid them and stay safe all the time.

How to Avoid Chainsaw Kickback?

As you know, chainsaw kickback is a prevalent problem nowadays and causes more damage.

So, it is indispensable that before using a chainsaw, you must be aware of it to avoid them and use it safely with extra protection. Some of the essential protection tips to prevent chainsaw kickback is the following,

  • Read the Instructions:

Whenever you buy an item that is new to you or is not experienced in it, then read the written instructions in the letter provided with that item by the company.

Different companies have different instructions according to their item specs, so you must read the instructions before using the chainsaw to avoid any mishap.

  • Learn to Operate the Chainsaw:
chainsaw safety tips

One of the most critical questions is how to use the chainsaw.

If you are a newbie and do not know how to use it, then first learn about it, or if you are experienced, you have to check the usage instructions because all of these chainsaws are not the same.

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  • Wear Protective Gear:

Always take care of yourself by wearing different protective gadgets before doing anything that has dangerous effects like in chainsaws, there is always a feat of kickback.

So, to use the chainsaw, take the following steps before starting your work.

• Wear protective glasses for eye protection

• Chainsaw pants

• Special chainsaw glasses

• Helmet with a face shield for the safety of your face

• Earplugs

• Heavy boots specially designed for the chainsaw users to work correctly as they are not slippery.

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  •    Stay Alert:

Remain active and alert when you are cutting the woods in the forest with the chainsaw, and there is no one to help you if anything wrong happens.

  •   Buy A High-Quality Chainsaw:

A cheap product is almost always a waste of time and money because there is no guarantee of their safety and lifetime.

It depends on the chainsaw how long they last with you. So, always buy the best quality products like the chainsaw as cheap chainsaws have no guarantee of their safety, and the chances of chainsaw kickback increases.

To avoid them, always buy the best quality chainsaw with security.

  • Check the Brakes:

Before starting your work, check the brakes of the chain

saw twice to avoid any accent. Usually, after long-term usage, the brakes are not tight enough to stop the chain suddenly, and you must check them regularly.

  • Never Use Tip:

The tip of the chainsaw is known as the kickback zone as there are more chances of chainsaw kickbacks; that is why it is always mentioned in the instructions that do not use the tip of the chainsaw first for cutting.

You can say that the tip of the chainsaw is a prohibited area to use for cutting.

  • Use It Below Your Height:

Never try to use it above your height because of the chainsaw kickback; if you will use it above your height and there will be a kickback, it will be too much harder to stop it and damage more than using it from the lower altitude.

That’s why it is recommended to use it below your shoulders for proper functioning, and in this way, you are safe, and you’ll not get tired too early.

  • Start from Bottom Side:

For safe and secure use of chainsaws, always cut the wood from the lower side of the branch, reducing the risk of kickback.

  • Stay Tuned with Its Position:
operate chainsaw

While cutting the tree, always know the position of the nose of the chainsaw because slashing from the lower side of the branch, you must know the status of the nose so that you will pull the break when you are about to cut it completely.

  • Sharp and Well-Tensioned Chain:

If you are using the chainsaw regularly as it is your professional work, you must check the chain on the saw if it is not in good condition and then use the new chain that is sharp and well-tensioned.

Less harsh and low tensioned chains are the cause of chainsaw kickback.

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  • Narrow Nose Bar Chain:

It is better to use the small-size chainsaw with smaller chains because large-sized chains are a little bit difficult to handle and control; moreover, they have less surety of protection.

If you want to use a larger chain, you will have to be an expert in it, and you must be aware of the chainsaw kickback.

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  •   Hold Tightly:

Always keep wrapping your finger around the handle tightly and firmly because a half-grip on the chainsaw handle will lead to losing control of the chainsaw resulting in different casualty.

While doing anything dangerous, health is the priority over anything else. Without health care, you cannot do work with full power and enthusiasm as you do.

So, to maintain your health without doing anything wrong, you have to follow the above steps to avoid different mishaps caused by these chainsaws, especially chainsaw kickbacks.


1.         Is it safe to use a chainsaw?

Using a Chainsaw is a tricky process. To avoid any accidental contact trying a chainsaw, use proper cutting methods.

To safely operate the chainsaw above the ground level or from a ladder. The best way to safely use a chainsaw is the personal protective equipment (PPE).

This protection equipment can keep workers safe from injuries while using a chainsaw. Employers need to ensure the excellent condition of PPE to operate the chainsaw safely.

2.         How do I stop my chainsaw kickback?

It would be best to stand side of the path while cutting anything from the chainsaw. Keep your eye on the bar tip.

Installing a safety tip on the guide bar can further prevent the kickback of the chainsaw.

3.         What should you not do with a chainsaw?

There are certain things you can do with a chainsaw.

•          Never use the chainsaw to cut anything on the ground.

•          Refuel the chainsaw consistently.

•          While learning how to use the chainsaw, never use motor oil.

•          Do not use old gas. It is one of the best safety tips for chainsaws.

•          Also, maintain the tension of the chain balanced.

•          Regularly sharp the blades for better results.

4.         How can chainsaw injuries be prevented?

There are many ways you can prevent chainsaw injuries; you can use the proper cutting method, avoid the blade pinching, install an anti-kickback on the chainsaw, use a chain brake that can stop the chain frequently.

5.         Do these chainsaws have the same functioning?

No, different chainsaws have different functions according to their model and design. The company provides full instructions related to these chainsaws to function correctly.

6.         How many types of kickbacks do we face?

Referring to the kickback and effects, there are two types of kickback having a different impact and causing different intensities of damage on your body. Two types of kickbacks are:

•          Linear Kickback

•          Rotational Kickback


Chainsaw kickbacks are the most common incidents people have faced while using the chainsaw. The chainsaw has sharp blades and miss handling can cause severe issues.

The most common accidents that are experienced using a chainsaw are due to improper cutting techniques.

Many carpenters do not learn the acquired process of using a chainsaw and result in kickback. The chainsaw kickback is not a prepared attack of the machine.

The kickback usually happens within an eye blink.

So, to avoid those mishaps and stay safe, you need to learn about these chainsaws then use them. It would help if you kept in mind many factors before using it, and those factors are mentioned above.

About Albert P Emmanuel

Hi, It’s the Albert Powell Emmanuel here. You can call me APE. I am the founder of ChainsawAPE. Here, on this website, I aim to teach you all you need to know about chainsaws – yeah, those sharp, scary things that intimidate you. Well, they’re not that hard to use.

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