Chainsaw Safety 101 – 6 Basic Rules and Essential Gear

| Last Updated: February 6, 2021

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Safety should always be your number one priority, especially when working with a chainsaw.

Below are some of the most important safety tips to follow when operating your chainsaw. 

Tool Tango's Chainsaw Safety Basics 

These safety basics should be followed by everyone. Following these rules will put a huge barrier between you and any possible accidents and can even save your life.

  1. Work on your technique with others around, don't be building bad habits.
  2. Understand your chainsaw by reading over the owner's manual repeatedly. 
  3. Don't climb trees or obstacles unless you're a professional
  4. Always carry a first aid kit in case of emergencies. 
  5. Don't cut wood which is held by another person.
  6. Engage your chain brake before starting your chainsaw. 

Essential Chainsaw Safety Gear

The role of protective equipment should not be overlooked.

The equipment below can and has saved thousands of lives.

In this section, we'll explain the role and importance of each piece of safety equipment.

If you'd like to learn more about specific pieces of gear, be sure to visit our other articles where we cover the ins-and-outs of the year's top gear.  

Chainsaw Protective Jacket 

A protective jacket is mainly worn for its ability to make you visible in woodland or any outdoor environment. If there's ever an accident and you can't be located, this will give searchers a much higher chance of finding you. Most of these jackets are tightly fitted, so there aren't any loose parts to it to cause entanglement. 

Chainsaw Eye Protection

Eye protection is important for chainsaw operation. It'll protect you from getting hit in the eye by splinters and larger dust particles. Without them, you could damage your eyes, which can create long-term problems. 

Chainsaw Ear Protection

Chainsaws are sometimes unbearably loud, and just 10-minutes of an 80db chainsaw can create long-lasting damage to the ears. Therefore, ear protection is vital when working with a chainsaw. 

Chainsaw Safety Boots

Safety boots provide the user with great grip and comfort when in the outdoors, something that's required to operate a chainsaw. 

They're usually made with steel caps or other safety systems in case of the chainsaw ever touching your foot while running. Many have breathable material and vents, and the soles can be removed for washing. 

Chainsaw Gloves

Gloves are necessary for providing a comfortable and firm grip on the chainsaw during wet and dry conditions.

Just like the other wearable protection, the gloves on most occasions will be made from various layers of protective material, including Kevlar.

If you ever slip and the chainsaw touches your hand, the Kevlar will help protect your hand from any deep cuts. 

Chainsaw Helmet

Many chainsaw helmets will come with a protective visor attached that can be pulled up or down whenever necessary; this adds more protection from splinters and flying shards of wood. 

Many high-quality makes will come with built-in ear protection or an attachment for your current ear protectors to be inserted. These helmets will protect you from any falling branches or if you land on your head after falling from a tree

Chainsaw Chaps

Chainsaw chaps are known for their comfort, adaptability, and protection from chainsaw accidents. Many chaps will allow the user to adjust the height and weight of their chaps. 

They are mainly made from various protective layers, including Kevlar, nylon, and cotton for added comfort. They're pretty easy to pull on and off as they attach around what you're currently wearing. 

Chainsaw Safety Tips For All Experience Levels

We've already given you some basic safety tips, but now we'll give you tips and tricks that relate to any experience level. 

  • Keep Steady Balance - Ensure you have a steady balance by placing your feet a few meters apart and with one foot just slightly ahead of the other.

  • Keep a Safe Distance From Others - When operating a chainsaw, it's important to stay clear from one another. One wrong move and a chainsaw could be headed your way. 3 - 5 meters is suitable.

  • Maintain a Firm Grip - A firm grip can save you from a dangerous kickback. Have your hands completely wrapped around the handles.

  • Don't Cut With The Nose - The best way to prevent kickback is to only cut with the shaft of the chainsaw bar. Cutting with the nose or tip will increase the chances of a dangerous kickback. 

What is Chainsaw Kickback and Why is it Important?

Kickback is when the chainsaw suddenly leaps towards you in a linear or rotational direction.

It's caused by the chain getting stuck in the object and getting forced backward towards you. It can also be caused by the chainsaw's tip connecting with a solid material within the wood. 

Kickback can cause serious damage to you and others around you. The chainsaw could make contact with your skin by jumping towards your face; it could also break bones by firing back at you. 

You can reduce the risk of this happening by not using the chainsaw's tip, keeping a firm two-handed grip on the chainsaw at all times, and don't cut multiple logs with the same stroke. 


Safety is important to maintain at all times when operating a chainsaw; with one accident, you could change your life forever.

It's important to prepare for any scenario, so you should invest in some suitable safety equipment and keep your wits about you.