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Chainsaw Safety Brakes

Post in 'The Gear' started by WarmGuy, Mar 13, 2007.

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  1. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    Could someone explain how the safety brakes on chainsaws work? I'm talking about the "lever" above the top handle. My electric chainsaw does not have one of these -- why are they less common on electrics?

    Thanks,

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The lever parallel to the handle is kind of old technology, but it's a second line of defense after the inertial chain brake, which is built inside the saw and activated when there's a sharp jolt to the bar (aka "kickback"). What's supposed to happen with the lever is that when the saw kicks back, it forces your hand into the lever, which trips the chain brake and (theoretically) stops the chain from rotating. I guess if the inertial chain brake failed, the lever might save you. It is mostly useful as a shield to keep your hand from being snapped by branches. Man, that hurts.

    Your electric saw should have an inertial chain brake. If not, then please consider getting a safer saw.
  3. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Eric 'summed it up best'

    Electric chainsaws are "geared towards homeowners" and as such are often "less powerfull" than their gas parents...but are still dangerous in the wrong hands. Some electrics have the handle...but are not actually functional.

    Most people "feel safer" using an electric chainsaw...they think they are less dangerous.
    Personally I would rather have a good "gas saw" with a sharp chain and enough power to 'get the job done...(if I were strictly a homeowner).

    If you are thinking of "moving up" to a "gas job" I would recomend talking to a Stihl dealer and Inquire about the "Quick Stop" line...Stihl deserves some credit trying to develeop this concept... while I don't think they are actively producing them anymore...they can be found.
    Something to keep in mind anyway...
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  5. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, good info. My $4 garage sale Remington has shown me how useful having a chainsaw can be, but it's time to upgrade to the safest available.
  6. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Looks like this thread is covered. ;-)
  7. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    Even the best safty devices can be over come by careless use! Keep two hands on any saw and your eves and mind on what you are doing.
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