1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Chain Brake

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

  1. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,127
    Loc:
    Midwest
    ^ This is why I always cut wood while on my knees, feet behind me, with my left hand tied behind my back and my face looking totally away from the saw!

    I don't set the brake on my saw when moving...my thought is: If the blade happens to contact me, it can freewheel and roll across what ever it contacts, probably causing very little to no damage. If the blade is locked and slides across me, then it's basically a very rough toothed, sharp saw...it's gonna cut something pretty bad.

    I guess the argument can be made: IF I drop/fall on the saw...AND something depresses the throttle safety lock...AND something pokes inside the handle...AND something happens to depress the trigger, ALL at the same time THEN I'm worse off. But those are about 4 or 5:1 odds vs the other scenario, so I'll take those chances.
    firefighterjake likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    196
    Loc:
    Wheat Ridge, Colorado
    Well, using your logic, I'm really glad I don't live in Arkansas...

    On an average year in
    Arkansas there will be approximately
    100 hospitalizations
    and three to four fatalities
    from chainsaw accidents.
  3. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    When I started using chainsaws almost 35 years ago very few had chainbrakes.None I was using did & I 'grew up' using more aggressive full chisel chain also,because that's all that was available both at saw shops,hardware stores & farm supply outlets.No 'consumer' or 'safety' chain was seen until probably 20 years ago.I was taught proper safety & operating procedures & always paid attention to where the bar is located at all times,as I still do of course.The rare few times I walked more than 5 feet with a idling saw,it was turned around so the bar didnt face to the front of me.Hearing protection wasnt used much until my mid 20's,though I still prefer to go without when felling - so I can I can hear any cracking etc or different sounds from the saw.Always wore hardhat when felling also.

    Started wearing steel-toed boots early on both working in the woods & on my regular construction job,long before they were mandatory.Eye protection always,same situation there,goggles fog up my eyeglasses in any temperature setting,I prefer either clear or dark wrap around impact resistant safety glasses that fit right over them.For certainjobs I also wear hardhat/mesh face shield combo.Prefer washable corded ear plugs to muffs,they're lighter & have equal protection.

    Depending on temperature & time of year I normally wear blaze orange or neon yellow t shirt,pullover sweatshirt or hoodie for upper body.In cold temps its carhartt jacket/coat or parka w/safety yellow mesh vest over that,blaze orange cap or helmet.Since I work by myself 99% of the time now for several years,I want others to SEE me,from a distance in case something goes wrong,or even if they want to locate me & my cell phone is dead or whatever.
    Tramontana likes this.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,127
    Loc:
    Midwest
    California is another dangerous state with their 'chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer" ... I'm glad I don't live out there...I'd probably be dead 5x over!
  5. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,332
    Loc:
    Tuscola, IL
    I cut for many years without any safety gear or features......there wern't any. But I can tell you I have had many close calls, know friends who have ended up in the hospital, and now....well, I use every safety feature and gear made. I figure I beat the odds for a long time and my time is probably up, so I am going to take every precaution I can. Old age and experience, and pain and injury change the way you think. o_O
  6. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    196
    Loc:
    Wheat Ridge, Colorado
    I do find the polarizing tendencies of a thread like this to be very interesting.

    It is most always the "ATGATT" versus the "don't need it, don't tell me how to work" schools of thought. I've often wondered what it is within the human psyche that resists adopting safety measures and equipment when it is cost effective and readily available?

    To me, not using a brake on a saw is akin to ignoring the safety on a loaded firearm and walking around in unstable footing. Sure, it doesn't usually go off by accident, but the penalty for failure is too high.

    The question is how do you create a safety culture when some are so change adverse?

    Cheers!
  7. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Loc:
    Port Crane ny
    When I first started cutting, the only brake was when the other guy pushed instead of pulling.
    Today thou safe use of brake, PPE, and seatbelts, are second nature.
    HDRock likes this.
  8. NextEndeavor

    NextEndeavor Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Southern Iowa
    I junked an old saw without a brake when I upgraded several years ago. Now, wouldn't think of running w/out one. Also now have a Stihl with the "Q" quickstop feature. It locks down the chain when you let go of the saw handle. I know it can't spin when carrying a short distance or briefly setting it down. The added cost is well worth it. I use all the personal protection available now too. About 15 years ago I was part of the 10,310 leg injuries statistics shown above. Think Safety!
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I rarely use the brake, but I learned 40 some odd years ago on non-brake saws like the Homelite, Mac and Olympik saws. All my saws now have brakes on them, but the only times I use the brake is when I am walking with the saw running, or moving in brush or limbing a crown, climbing, or handing a saw off when it is running. I rarely start a saw with the brake on, and revving a saw with the brake on is not a good idea.

    PPE in most cases: gloves, steel toe boots, eyes and ears always, chaps if doing big firewood or pro work, helmet if doing pro work or climbing or someone else is climbing and I am on the ground, or I am falling with any potential widdowmakers.
  10. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Central/Western MA
    I always wear PPE - chaps, ears, eyes, and a helmet when felling. Brake is engaged whenever I am moving with a running saw, which is very rare. I usually cut in one place and when finished, kill the saw, clear/load what was cut and then fire up the saw in the next spot. I think it's because I am very frugal and only want to burn gas when I am cutting :) It's probably not the most time efficient methodology...

Share This Page