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Chain saws are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can rent and are great for clearing, pruning and harvesting logs for the fire. They can turn something that seems daunting and impossible into a quick and easy task.

If you haven’t used a chainsaw before make sure you follow these ten rules of Chainsaw operation.

  1. Use the correct chainsaw. Make sure you are using the correct size and type of chainsaw for the job at hand.
  2. Every time you use the saw, and after every few hours of use, make sure you check the chain tension and adjust as necessary. Loose chains can fly off causing serious injury.
  3. If the item your cutting is above shoulder height or at an awkward angle you may need to resort to a handsaw. Never attempt to use a chainsaw one handed or bring it to above your shoulders.
  4. Make sure you are wearing the correct safety gear. This includes a hard hat, ear protection, eye protection, long pants, gloves and steel-toed boots. It’s also a good idea to have someone nearby who can get help in case of an emergency.
  5. Make sure you have no one in close proximity to you. If someone is working nearby make them aware not to approach you while the chainsaw is on. Due to the noise and concentration required by the operator, a blind approach could easily startle them.
  6. Always engage the chain break when not cutting. The chain break is designed to stop the chain if kickback occurs.
  7. Did you know a cut to the left thigh is the most common chainsaw related injury? To avoid injury, do not walk with a running chainsaw. Engage the chain brake and carry the chainsaw by the front handle only.
  8. Understand the kickback zone. Kickback can occur when the saw tip bounces back from an object and throws the saw up and back towards the user. To minimize kickback, make sure you never cut with the saw’s tip.
  9. Do not touch the ground with the chain as this will dull the cutting teeth.
  10. Stabilize any wood or branch that could roll back on you while cutting.