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Chain Brake

Post in 'The Gear' started by nate379, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    This summer I was up in Maine and ended up helping my brother cut/split firewood. He has an MS460, setup pretty much like mine.

    Anyhow, after he'd get done cutting a log and walk over to the next, he'd set the chain brake.

    I rarely use the brake on my saw...

    Wondering if I'm doing it wrong?

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Common safety advice is to set the brake while carrying the saw. Doesn't hurt anything to use it. I can set mine by rotating my left hand and maybe pushing down on the back handle. Releasing it is a one-handed motion as well. It's second nature for me and has been a good habit in a couple situations where I had less than ideal footing or slipped while climbing through a mess.

    If you don't set the brake, you're not necessarily doing it "wrong" but it sure is a good habit to get into.
    oldogy and jeff_t like this.
  3. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    x2. I get told all the time that my brake is going to be the first failing part on my saws since I use it so much. I just keep walking. Some people cut wood without chaps too. Its up to you.
    jeff_t likes this.
  4. trog04

    trog04 New Member

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    I'm a wildland firefighter and class B faller. From day one in saw class, they POUND it into you that if you're moving with the saw (not cutting), the chain brake is set. It's just a good safety habit and one that I don't even think about anymore. You rarely cut trees where the footing is perfect, so a little extra safety measure isn't a bad thing.

    And like MasterMech said, it's a one handed operation. I rotate my wrist forward and set it. When I'm ready to cut, use my fingers to release it. I never really have to let go of the saw.
    jeff_t likes this.
  5. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I suppose with a proper tune, carrying an idling saw 'shouldn't' be an issue. It's when the chain is coasting down and you're reaching with one hand to move some brush or something, that you get bit. Any time I don't have two hands on the saw, or I'm moving in brush or crappy footing, the brake is set.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It'll save you when you do have two hands on the saw and trip or stumble, land on an idling saw and/or inadvertently squeeze that trigger.
  7. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    Treat every gun as if it's loaded comes to mind here :)
    oldogy likes this.
  8. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    If I'm not cuttin'....that Brake is on....but I do need to get some safety gear (Chaps, and such)
  9. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Yep. I use it more often than not.

    I used to not wear chaps unless I was in the woods, until I felt the chain tug at my pant leg. I was afraid to look, and only found two small holes in my pants. I even ditched the old chaps, and went and bought the latest.
  10. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I use it all the time, especially if I'm playing the sidehill gouger. ::P http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/animals/comments/4357/
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Any time the saw is running and I'm walking the chain break is on. 361s like to spin at idle for some reason. A simple flick of the wrist and it is set...hook your thumb under the bar and pull back with your fingers to release. Cheap easy insurance.
  12. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Im a novice but was taught by my BIL to always set the brake, even when Im cutting using my box and set the saw down to reload the box I set it, its a habit and as everyones saying, a good habit to get into, just in case.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Lot's of people do it. I don't, but I like to live life on the edge.
  14. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    I use it.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I set my saws where the chain won't rotate at idle. I keep my hand off the trigger when not cutting.
    Nixon likes this.
  16. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    A guaranteed way to fail a USFS chainsaw course is to walk with a running chainsaw with the brake disengaged.
    zap likes this.
  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Been working on setting the brake every time I start to walk with the saw, running or not.
    I do it more & more & hope to make it second nature.
    Always tripping or stumbling over something when liming in the woods.
    Safeties on the throttle too. My new saw has a chain brake, so I figured learning to use it was a good thing. Know it's working ;)

    Work remote locations, by myself mostly, so taking safety to it's max is a good thing IMO
    Keeps my head in the game ;)
    Still no guarantees though.
    Be Safe
    Beer Belly and oldogy like this.
  18. oldogy

    oldogy Member

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    I do try to use all safety features. Growing up, cars did not have safety belts, ABS and by today's standards, very poor brakes. And chain saws did not have brakes. The olddogy does try to remember to use the saw brake.
  19. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    I just tossed my backup saw and bought an Echo CS-310 to replace it because the backup didn't have a brake,

    and it was due a new bar and chain which weren't on hand,

    and it was broke (needed a new fuel priming bulb),

    and it was hard to start even when it was running,

    and it was an old el cheapo POS Poulon. :p

    But the real reason was the lack of a brake. ;)
    oldogy, Beer Belly and Boog like this.
  20. Tramontana

    Tramontana Burning Hunk

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    Have a brake, and use it.

    Once the saw is warmed up and running it comes off only once I'm ready to cut, goes on as soon as the cut is completed.

    Steel toed Super Loggers, chaps, kevlar gloves, safety glasses and earplugs too.

    Hardhat when I'm working beneath a tree.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  21. Tramontana

    Tramontana Burning Hunk

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    A sobering read (blatantly copied from Elvex website);

    [​IMG]

    Facts and Figures about Chainsaw Injuries
    • According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission there were over 28,500 chain saw injuries in 1999. More than 36% were injuries to the legs and knees.
    • The average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches and the average medical cost was $ 5,600.00 in 1989. Data according to The Davis Garvin Agency, an insurance underwriter specializing in loggers insurance. In year 2000 corresponding costs can be estimated to be over $12,000.00.
    • Medical costs for chainsaw injuries based on these facts amount to about 350 million dollars per year.
    • Workman's compensation costs, based on the assumption that four weeks recovery is required, can be estimated at 125 million dollars annually.
    • Loss of production as well as loss of quality of life for the injured can not be adequately quantified, but may in fact represent the single largest cost.
    • There are 69,000 professional loggers in the U.S.. The cost of equipping all of them with one pair of chainsaw chaps at approximately $75.00 each would result in a total annual expense of five million dollars.
    • There are few situations where safety has a more immediate payback than in the logging industry.
    oldogy likes this.
  22. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Me too oldogy. I grew up using saws before they had brakes and until very recently never owned one with one. Now that I have them on several saws, I have never gotten into the mindset to use them (and I've never had a kickback yet to have one work automatically). About the only time I do is when I'm sharpening on the bench! Thanks to all who have contributed here, I have definitly seen the light and will start using mine routinely.
  23. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I too set the brake
  24. Tramontana

    Tramontana Burning Hunk

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    Well, with any luck, we'll never have to call you Three Fingers Nate?! :p

    Seriously though, I hope nobody here becomes a statistic.

    Cheers!
  25. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    I rarely if ever set the brake. If I'm moving more that to cut the next round, the saw is shut off . My hand is not on the trigger until I'm ready to cut . But I do wear the other safety gear . I'll also concede that it's most likely a very good idea ,just one I never developed.

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