A chain saw is one of the most dangerous tools a do-it-yourselfer will ever handle.
One mistake and you can wind up with serious injuries. Here are 10 common sense
tips to protect you and your property.
Be sure to take safety precautions before you use a chain saw to cut down a tree.
Tip 1: Wear Kevlar
The Kevlar fibers will stop the chain well before it gets to
the flesh on your leg. So invest the $75.
Tip 2: Wear a
Essential safety gear includes a logger's helmet for about
$50. The unit includes the helmet to protect your skull from falling branches,
a visor to protect your eyes and hearing protection all in one convenient
Tip 3: Know when to
call a pro
You never really know which way a tree will fall. Never cut
down a tree if there's any chance it can fall against buildings, power lines or
anything else of value. Hire a pro.
Tip 4: Don't lean
your ladder against a tree
It might be tempting to lean a ladder against a tree to do
some pruning. Don't do it. This stunt accounts for a large percentage of chain saw
Tip 5: Find a trusted
Get a volunteer for a lookout. He should hold a long stick
and watch the top of the tree while you're cutting. If he sees a branch shaking
loose or the tree begins to fall, he should tap you on the shoulder so you can
get out of the way immediately.
Tip 6: Don't run out
Fill the gas and chain oil reservoirs before dropping a tree.
The last thing you want is to run out of gas in the middle of a felling cut.
Tip 7: Maintain your
Never take either hand off a running saw. If the saw kicks
back, there's nothing to stop it. Use an encircling grip with your thumbs
wrapped around the handles.
Tip 8: Clear two
Before dropping a tree, cut all of the brush around the
trunk and clear two escape routes at 45-degree angles away from the felling
direction. When the tree begins to fall, walk backward down one of the routes,
watching the tree the whole time.
Tip 9: Watch for
Beware of "loaded" limbs on felled trees. Often the tree's
weight is largely resting on several limbs at once. When they're cut, they can
spring forward or backward or the tree itself can roll over you. So study each
and every branch before cutting.
Tip 10: Stay away
from hollowed-out trees
Leave rotten trees to the pros. If the heart of the tree is
rotted out, the felling direction can be extremely unpredictable. In addition,
it most likely has many dead limbs above that just might shake loose and land
on you during cutting.
— The Editors of The