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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.