Chain Saw Kickback Hazard
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Consumer Product Safety Commission

Chain Saw Kickback Hazard

CPSC Document #5011


Chain saw kickback can result in serious injury or death to the person operating the saw. Kickback most often occurs when the saw chain moving around the nose of the guide bar accidentally touches another object such as a log, branch or twig. Contact like this can throw the chain saw violently back toward the operator. In 1982, kickback was involved in an estimated 24,000 medically attended injuries to chain saw users.

Recent improvements in the design of saw chains have led to the production of low kickback consumer replacement chains which are capable of reducing chain saw kickback. Generally speaking, there is a low kickback replacement chain for virtually every chain saw, old and new alike. The Commission strongly recommends that you have your dealer or retailer determine whether your saw is equipped with one of these new chains. If your saw is not equipped with it, have the retailer install a new low kickback consumer replacement chain so that you enjoy the added protection every time you or someone else uses the chain saw.

If you are shopping for a new chain saw, look for the safety features found on many new chain saws: low kickback saw chain...hand guard...safety tip...chain brake...vibration reduction system...spark arrestor on gasoline models...trigger or throttle lockout...chain catcher...and bumper spikes.

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