Chainsaw Kickback: Causes and Its Solution

Published on: May 9, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

In this modern time chainsaws have become an essential tool. A chainsaw is a portable power saw that can work throw gasoline, battery, or eclectic power. Chainsaw is used for tree felling, limbing, pruning, and so on. Sometimes use to cutting firebreaks in wildland fire suppression, and harvesting of firewood.

It works so fast for this reason people use this tool. Who use chainsaws regularly must be popular with the kickback issue of chain saw. In this article, we try to describe in detail the chainsaw kickback problem.  

chainsaw kickback

Chainsaw kickback

If you use a chainsaw you must know about the chainsaw kickback. Basically, this word describes the sudden unwork movement of the chainsaw guide bar. Kickback happens when the chainsaw guide bar hits objects or is jammed. Mainly kickback means an unwanted incident when the user cutting an object chainsaw suddenly jammed in the cut. User loses control of the chainsaw. 

This condition is really unwanted and can be dangerous. It has been observed that in many cases the user is seriously injured and even has to be hospitalized. I hope you understand how big of a problem this can be while working. So I have discussed this in detail in this article to avoid kickback issues. 

Causes Kickback on Chainsaw 

To solve the kickback issues it’s important to know the causes. In this section, we will talk about the causes and related risk factors. Mainly two causes are chainsaw kickback. They are: 

  1. It happens when the moving chain or the nose of the guide bar hits an object. 
  2. In the middle of the work when the wood closes trapping with the chainsaw.

These describing situations cause the chainsaw kickback or thrown up and back. It’s the most problematic situation when you work with a chainsaw because the user loses control and this can be a step toward an unwanted accident. It’s time to know some factors that can increase chainsaw kickback risk. 

  • Install chain saw parts on wrong way;
  • Lack of maintenance;
  • Loose rivets; 
  • Blunt chain;
  • Wrong chain depth guide shapes;
  • Bent, cracked, or broken chainsaw chain components of a chainsaw;
  • Problematic sharpened chain angles. 

How to Avoid Chainsaw Kickback Issue

A kickback situation is the most unwanted situation when you use a chainsaw. Because it injured you badly.  If you want to avoid this condition you should know about some situation, these sections describe this. 

  1. Observe the head of the guide carefully. Be aware so that the guide head never touches any object. 
  2. Avoid cutting branches with the guide bar head. 
  3. Pick a standard place to work with so that you can balance yourself when the machine is on. 
  4. Use a good condition chain that has proper sharpness.  
  5. Use both hands when you use chainsaws. 
  6. Be careful to cut hard objects.
  7. Better to cut only one trunk at a time.
  8. Do not create extra pressure when you are cutting any objects.
  9. Avoid seeing with raised arms.

How to Reduce Chainsaw Kickback?

May now you know how to avoid chainsaw kickback. Now it’s time to find out the way to reduce chainsaw kickback. Hope this part will help you a lot to maintain a good work environment. Let’s look at the ideas: 

  • Do not use a chainsaw if you can not manage it properly.
  • Follow the instructions on how to operate your chainsaw with different objects.
  • Be careful all the time when you use a chainsaw.
  • If you face any problem during cutting time stop immodestly.
  • Be alert when you are cutting tree branches or hard objects.
  • When you are tired, stop working because your tiredness can make you injured.
  • Be especially careful when cutting tree branches. Because it creates a bouncing situation.
  • Adjust with the vibrations if you can’t then you need not manage a chainsaw.
  • Maintain a minimum of 2 feet distance between you and the chainsaw.
  • Make sure your chainsaw brake works properly and start working.
  • Avoid cutting above your shoulder height. Because if chainsaws kick back it can injure you. 
  • Alert about the saw guide when you are working. You can use narrow nose guides for safety. 
  • Don’t use chainsaws when your hand is moist. 
  • Follow the technology because nowadays most modern chainsaw comes with an anti-kickback system that alert to ensure kickback safety.

How Do I Stop Chainsaw Kickback?

Sometimes I use chainsaws for my project purpose. I always ensure my safety first when I use these tools. Yes, I also face kickback issues like you. But I try to stop it. It’s time to share my ideas on how I stop chainsaw kickbacks at my work time. Follow the below instructions:

  1. Pick the right and stable place to stand.
  2. I work with both hands so that I can easily use the chainsaw. 
  3. Check before using the chainsaw. 
  4. Check the chain brake to ensure it stops immediately when you need it.
  1. Follow the guide bar instructions and ensure it works properly.
  2. Protective wear is a major important part of user safety so I ensure this.

Protective Equipment And Clothing

Safety is a very essential part when you work with a saw or chainsaw. To ensure your safety, using protective equipment is a good idea. Different types of equipment and safety clothing are available in the market. Here is a list of necessary safety wearers and equipment for you. 

  • Glasses for eye safety.
  • Leather gloves. 
  • Protective helmet.
  • Rubber boots and leg protection trousers.
  • Earplugs. 
  • Leggings-apron for chainsaw
  • Gloves.

The Difference Between a Chainsaw Kickback and a Regular Chainsaw

A chainsaw kickback is a sudden, powerful reaction of a chainsaw caused by contact of the cutting chain with an object that is too hard or too thick for the chain to cut. This reaction can cause the chainsaw to jerk in the operator’s hands, potentially causing serious injury. A regular chainsaw is the normal operation of a chainsaw when it is used as intended and the cutting of the material that it is designed for.


What Happens When a Kickback Occurs While Using a Chainsaw?

Chainsaw kickback is an unwanted situation. Kickback means unwanted movements of the saw. In this case, most of the time the user loses control of the chainsaw and this condition creates the possibility of injury to the user and others. 

How Can Chainsaw Injuries Be Prevented?

Always be alert when you use a chainsaw. Check the chainsaw before use. Wear safety wear and equipment to ensure safety. Take proper preparation and knowledge to prevent chainsaw kickback issues and unwanted accidents. 

What is the Best Way to Prevent Kickback on a Chainsaw?

The best way to prevent kickback on a chainsaw is to use proper technique and equipment. Make sure to use a chainsaw with a low-kickback chain, and wear proper safety gear such as chaps, gloves, and hearing protection. When cutting, keep your body out of the kickback zone, and never cut above shoulder level. Additionally, make sure to keep the chainsaw chain sharp and in proper working condition.


Hope you get a clear view of chainsaw kickback causes and their solutions. It will help you practice when you work. Always be alert and prepare for the kickback so that it can not make any issues with your work. Try to use modern technology chainsaws that ensure kickback safety and reduce kickback problems.  

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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