How to Avoid Chainsaw Kickback – Prevention Tips

Chainsaw kickback: A chainsaw is a very useful tool that helps many people in household work. It can be used to prune, and cut down small trees or limbs. As everything has its two faces, it can be a deadly tool and cause the death of the person operating the tool.

A study conducted by the CPSC concluded that over twenty thousand injuries occur every year due to chainsaw-related accidents. Unfortunately, some of these injuries wind up being dangerous to the operator causing his death or creating harmful conditions for those around the chainsaw when the accident occurs.

Chainsaw kickback is one of the predominant reasons for chainsaw-related accidents. If you can avoid kickbacks, you are on a much safer side.

Nobody ever would be willing to have a bad experience with any of the tools they use. To help prevent this, one must priorly read the tool guide keenly and share the same with his family and acquaintances.

Here, we gather tips for avoiding the chainsaw Kickback and using the tool without any fear.

What exactly is Chainsaw Kickback?

Kickback is a term used to describe the sudden, upward motion of a chainsaw guide bar and is one of the most common causes of chainsaw accidents. When the noise of the chainsaw “kicks” upward towards the operator creating a potentially dangerous situation, Chainsaw kickback occurs.

Chainsaw Kickback

Why does this happen?

There are two circumstances that can cause kickback when using a chainsaw

  • When the blade is pinched between the wood. Wood closes in and pinches the saw in the middle of the cut. More the speed of the blade, the blade kicks out back towards you.
  • Also, when the nose of the guide bar also called the “kickback zone” hits a solid object while cutting. This will drive the chainsaw back to you which can endanger your life with a blade rushing at your face.

If proper cutting techniques are not followed, the lightning-fast kickback of a chainsaw can be very dangerous and may result in serious injury. The following factors can increase the risk of chainsaw kickback:

  • Improper saw maintenance
  • Dull chain
  • Loose saw chain tension
  • Incorrectly installed chain parts
  • Loose rivets
  • Bent, cracked, or broken saw chain components
  • Incorrectly sharpened chain angles
  • Excessive chain depth gauge settings

The Kickback Danger Zone

The term “kickback danger zone” refers to the tip of the chainsaw bar, and has a high kickback risk. You should never saw used this part of the chainsaw bar, doing so will increase the chances of kickback.

When the tip area of the chainsaw bar touches an object like a branch or log, there is a high probability that a sudden kickback reaction will occur. Additionally, as the size of the guide bar’s nose increases so does the potential risk of the kickback.

Now, let’s look at some tips to avoid chainsaw kickback.

Step1: Know Your Chainsaw!

Before you use any tool, appliance, or gadget, make it a habit to read the user manual first.

This first step will prevent many accidents and makes the user aware of best practices.

Chainsaw Kickback

Step 2: Staying cautious at all times when using a chainsaw.

Step 3: While you are preparing for a tree to fall, use the underside of the bar (aka pulling chain). Never saw above shoulder height. Following these two practices will help reduce the risk of kickback.

Step 4: If you’re using your saw for felling or crosscutting, boring the chainsaw bar into the trunk may be the best way to cut.

Step 5: Check if the chain brake works on your saw before you start using the chainsaw.

Step 6: Always keep an eye on the position of the nose of the chainsaw bar.

Step 7: Prefer to buy a chainsaw that has the lowest kickback potential always. In North America, a low kickback chain is packaged with a green label from the ANSI.

Step 8: There is a specific dress code that demanded a particular work people do. It best suits the environment and helps us during accidents by lowering the severity.

Wear the proper clothing and equipment to protect areas that are commonly prone to injury.

Avoid clothing that is too tight or too loose. Wear the following while using a chainsaw

  • Protective eyewear
  • Chainsaw Chaps
  • Gloves
  • A hard helmet
  • Heavy boots

Step 9: Keep your fingers and thumbs wrapped around your chainsaw handles for proper access.

Step 10: For proper maintenance and the long life of the tool, follow the instructions provided in the user manual. As proper maintenance helps in reducing the risk of injury.

Step 11: Each chainsaw is unique and has different qualities that others don’t. For a novice, it’s very important to learn how to hold the chainsaw and how to cut. This helps them play safe. Don’t ignore the manual.


Safety should be the first and foremost thing on everyone’s mind while using any tool.

It’s always better to be cautious and prevent hazards instead see them happen and experience the bitter results. Chainsaw kickback is extremely dangerous and can be sometimes fatal.

If we‘re lenient and not take proper care to avoid injuries, then you are at stake putting yourselves in danger.

Chainsaw is not a toy and should be considered as a dangerous machine that can harm us.

Always be aware of what to be done in case of any injury or mishandling of the tool. Keep your children and pets away from the work area. Bear in mind that, reading the manual is worth a million that helps everyone and not put yourself in the face of danger.

The most essential and significant thing is your safety. Be aware, be safe!

We hope this guide has helped you learn more about chainsaw kickback and some tips on how to avoid it. If you’ve enjoyed this guide, be sure to let us know!

Danny K
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