STIHL SAFE CUTS

Your guide to chainsaw safety

Committed to safeguarding chainsaw operators of all capabilities, STIHL chainsaws have been purposefully developed with a host of innovative safety features across the range. But user safety really does begin with you.

Keep unsafe practices at bay by following our simple safety tips on how to operate a chainsaw.

Watch the short STIHL Safe Cuts video. Read the tips. And take our brief quiz to reinforce what you have just learnt.

You can also refer to your STIHL Chainsaw Safety Manual for more detailed information and diagrams around safety precautions and recommended cutting techniques.

And don’t forget, your friendly expert local STIHL dealer is always there to help with any queries you may have around chainsaw maintenance, operation and safe use practices.

STIHL SAFE CUTS: TIPS TO SHARPEN YOUR SAFETY SMARTS

Chainsaw safety tips - personal protective equipment

1. Wear proper chainsaw protective clothing

Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating a chainsaw. This includes head, eye and hearing protection, gloves, cut-resistant legwear, such as chaps or chainsaw pants, steel-toed boots, and a face shield if needed.

Chainsaw safety tips - check chainsaw

2. Check your chainsaw before beginning

Before starting the chainsaw, ensure that all parts are in good working order. Check the chain tension and sharpness, the condition of the bar, the proper functioning of the throttle and safety features, and ensure that all nuts and bolts are tight.

Chainsaw safety tips - clear area

3. Clear the work area

Ensure your work area is clear of obstacles and that there is a safe retreat path from the falling tree if you are felling. Also, make sure that there are no people or animals within at least two tree lengths of the work area. If you’re working with others, work within earshot for assistance if needed, and confirm that bystanders are also within a safe distance.

Chainsaw safety tips - maintain focus

4. Maintain your focus

When preparing to cut, always hold the chainsaw with both hands and maintain a stable stance. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart for balance and be prepared for the force of the saw at start-up and when cutting through material. Maintain focus, avoid working in poor light and/or when fatigued. Work in well-ventilated areas to avoid exhaust fumes and take breaks to prevent overexertion.

Chainsaw safety tips - reactive forces

5. Be aware of reactive forces

Kickback can occur when the nose or tip of the chainsaw bar touches an object, or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. To reduce the risk of kickback, never cut with the nose of the bar, be aware of where the tip of the bar is at all times and use a chainsaw with a reduced-kickback chain if available and if you’re unsure. Pull-in and Pushback can also occur depending which part of the cutting bar is used, so be aware of how the saw will react when contacting the material.

Chainsaw safety tips - shoulder height

6. Do NOT cut above shoulder height

Cutting above shoulder height increases the risk of loss of control and kickback. NEVER operate a chainsaw without having both feet firmly on the ground. For taller limbs use a STIHL pole pruner to cut and trim from the safety of the ground. If you don’t have the appropriate tools seek professional assistance or head to your local STIHL dealer for expert advice.

Chainsaw safety tips - chainsaw brake stop

7. Ensure the chainsaw has stopped before moving it

To bring the chainsaw to a halt after making your final cut, release the trigger and activate the chain brake. Always allow the saw chain to fully stop rotating after releasing the trigger, before handling the chainsaw to prevent injury.

BONUS TIP: READ YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL!

You can also refer to your STIHL Chainsaw Safety Manual for more detailed information and diagrams around safety precautions and recommended cutting techniques.

And don’t forget, your friendly expert local STIHL dealer is always there to help with any queries you may have around chainsaw maintenance, operation and safe use practices.

Test your chainsaw safety knowledge!