Chainsaws — Can We Talk?

I’ve been using chainsaws for many years, have probably owned 5 or 6. These days it’s a Stihl Woodboss MS270, 24″ bar. Every year I pick up mostly wind-felled oak on country roads, haul it home, cut it into stove-size lengths, then rent a splitter for a day and stockpile a year’s or more worth of firewood. I used chainsaws extensively in the ’60s and ’70s, cutting up redwood (from the beaches or windfallen trees in the woods) into bolts, and which I then split into shakes. Point is, I’ve had a lot of chainsaw experience.

   The other day I was sawing through a piece of wood on the woodpile and as I finished the cut, the blade hit a log below it and snapped back towards my face. It sent a chill of adrenaline that I felt somehow in my ears. Very scary.


I was wearing my Husqvarna helmet, which combines skull protection, ear guards, and a metal mesh facemask. (I’ve only been using the helmet the last few years, prompted by a log rolling down the hill and knocking me down — I should have had one of these helmets all along.)

   This time the blade didn’t reach my face, but if it had, the mask would’ve stopped it from carving up flesh.

   I urge you chain saw users: get one of these. $50 or so. Play it safe, please. The more hours you’ve operated chainsaws, the more the chance of a freak accident. Experience doesn’t make you invulnerable.

   PS I always sharpen the teeth after use, so it’s ready when I next pick it up.

4 Responses to Chainsaws — Can We Talk?

  1. Kev Alviti says:

    I must admit its one tool I always go all out for safety on as you don't get a second chance. I alwasys wear a helmet and the proper trousers and never try to rush what I'm doing. Good advice though.

  2. daltxguy says:

    and chainsaw chaps and steel toed boots.
    Too many people use a chainsaw like a handsaw. Those teeth are moving at 70mph!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Glad you're unscathed, Lloyd!

  4. bayrider says:

    Nothing like a chainsaw for dangerously thrilling satisfaction, I love using my Farm Boss to cut up deadfall oaks on our property. Then I split it up by hand over the summer, also very satisfying.

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