How to safely operate a chainsaw

Whether you’re stocking up on firewood or pruning trees, there is a lot of yard maintenance to be done in the fall, and using a chainsaw is the most effective way to get it done. But chainsaws are powerful and can be tricky to handle for the first time. It’s absolutely critical to understand the proper use to avoid serious injuries.

“Chainsaws are very effective, but can be very dangerous if used improperly,” says Michelle Sordi of Husqvarna Canada. “No matter how big or small the job, safety should always come first.”

October is Chainsaw Safety Month – what better time to get tips from the pros on proper chainsaw use? Make sure you go through the checklist below before operating a chainsaw.

1.    Refresh your memory: If your saw is new or has been stored for a long time, give yourself a quick refresher by reading the instruction manual. Taking your saw to a local chainsaw dealer, like Husqvarna, who can help familiarize you with your machine is also very helpful.

2.    Suit up: No job is too small for protective gear. To prevent serious injuries, suit up with the necessary equipment, like a helmet, ear protection muffs, gloves, safety glasses, chainsaw chaps and protective shoes.

3.    Check the chain tension: Proper chain tension is critical for the performance of your chainsaw. It should be evaluated before starting your yard maintenance routine and checked regularly. A loose chain could increase the risk of kickback and the chain being thrown off the guide bar. A chain that is too tight could prevent the chainsaw from operating or cause overheating. This is a potential fire hazard and could significantly reduce the longevity of the engine.

4.    Use the buddy system: Never cut alone. If an accident occurs, you’ll need someone there to administer first aid and summon medical assistance if necessary.

For additional information on chainsaw use, please visit Husqvarna.ca.