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New Chain Brake Policy

Post in 'The Gear' started by WarmGuy, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    This video



    suggests that you engage the chain brake each time you finish a cut, and are moving to do a new cut.

    That seemed like overkill to me. But yesterday, after I made a cut and took a step back to get ready for a new cut, I tripped and fell backwards. It was no big deal, and I had time to think "Well, the chain isn't moving, so as long as I don't depress the throttle, there is no danger." At that point my left hand automatically and unconsciously came off the front handle to break my fall, and as the front of the saw tilted down, you guessed it, my right hand automatically tightened and depressed the throttle.

    If you hold out your hands, palm up, and someone drops a book onto them, your muscles will automatically compensate, and it something that happens at the spinal cord level. That is, there's no thought involved, and it happens fast. That's exactly why my right hand squeezed the trigger.

    The chain only accelerated briefly, and came down harmlessly onto the ground, but it was a perfect illustration of how engaging the chain brake whenever you move around is a good idea. I'm going to try to get into the habit of doing that little hand rotation that switches on the brake after each cut.
    Jack Fate and MasterMech like this.

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  2. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for sharing the experience, there was an extended thread about this a while back. I too had never used my brake, I mean never..............! Now I'm also trying to break decades old habits and use mine whenever I move about.
    jeff_t likes this.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    MM that thread you mentioned has made me get in the habit of engaging the brake whenever I'm not cutting. I dont engage between cuts if I am going from one to the next but have definitely tried to be more conscious of the chain.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I habitually engage the brake after almost every cut. Is this hard on the saw or brake? Should I let the saw idle down first? It is a habit and I usually engage it without even knowing but I read somewhere that this is bad for the saw somehow. I am "Hearth.com Members" on safety and just developed the habit and now want to know if I am shortening the life of my saw somehow?

    Thanks
  6. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    it seems like it would be hard on the brake to me... I wouldn't suggest tripping the brake at WOT... if you want to do this, finish your cut, let the revs fall... then hit the brake...
  7. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    There's a chain brake? :)

    Noted! I too should probably use it, to be perfectly honest, I never even thought about the fact it could be used in this way before. Always just assumed its there for kickback situations.... And, I HAVE had a few close calls over the years in similar situations, loosign balance... Thanks for making me concious of it.
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    When I started using chain saws many years ago chain brakes were in their infancy,none of the saws I used had one & 'low-kickback safety chain' didnt exist.I was taught to always be AWARE where that bar & chain was at every second,not just the tip either.Never work when you are getting tired,take breaks,always watch you're footing etc.

    If saw is idling,the brake is always set when I set the saw down,when walking with it a few feet to another location.Anything more than a few feet or climbing slopes,carrying logs etc I shut the saw off.Its better to do the real "heavy" & more dangerous stuff first thing in the day,when you are strongest,most alert & feel the best.I never spend too much time just running the saw,after a tankful I'll carry logs,split some,take a break or do other things to keep mind fresh.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    anyone who hasn't.... hasn't done much cutting... Just take this weekend.... dropping a 18" locust... it wiped out a 6" maple on it's way down... I expected this, and was completely clear when the butt of the locust bounced 5' in the air....

    bottom line, it's not a "safe" business... but the risk can be mitigated.
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Another way to think about it is, better to replace/repair the saw than your leg. This board just brings out the quotes from my parents. My dad says "Things can always be replaced, people cannot."
  11. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    As the saying goes, safety second!
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Nope. It was designed to be used as such.

    Just to be clear, we're not talking about engaging the brake at WOT here.

    I set the brake when I start the saw. I set the brake when travelling more than a step or two with a running saw. I set the brake anytime I have to remove either hand from the saw, be it to clear brush or whatever. I work on saws, I don't like making extra work for myself. ;)

    You won't fry a clutch using the brake to start the saw either. So long as you knock the saw down from high idle within 3 seconds. Go ahead and count that out, it's plenty of reaction time to bump the trigger and knock it down to reg idle.

    It takes an awful lot of saw parts to equal the cost of an ER visit or worse.::P
  13. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I guess that depends on where you live. Here we have a medical plan, so unless it's elective surgery, trips to the ER or OR are covered, but I have to pay for all my chainsaw parts.<>
    bogydave likes this.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Well hell, I'm selling all my PPE and moving to Canada then. ;) Just had to bring it up didn't ya.....
  15. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

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    I smell the Ash can...
    Thistle and Nixon like this.
  16. flhpi

    flhpi Burning Hunk

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    I don't engage the chain brake after every cut but I do if I am going to walk with the saw. Also if I take one hand off the saw to move brush or step over a trunk.
    I never gave much thought about longevity of the saw or braking components, I am more concerned about the longevity of myself.
  17. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys. Be clear I am not hammering it on as the saw exits every cut WFO - More like when I take a step or reach out to move something after a cut my wrist just bumps it on. This has bocome habitual and I am glad I do it for obvious reasons. I just wanted to be sure I was not shortening my saws life by years. I am working to change the habit to be more aware after a cut and make sure I am letting the saw rev down a bit before I engage the brake.

    I actually use it more, or more quickly with my little Husky than the 036 because it is so nimble. With the bigger saw I am just more careful and slow going overall and therefore more concious of it - if that make sense.

    Rest assured, I am concious of the little one and all of this is based on great respect for the saws and inherent danger involved.
  18. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    What about a prosthetic leg? Do you guys get that for free too?
  19. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure those are covered too.
    Strangely enough though, the one thing that wouldn't be covered is the ambulance ride to the hospital. They will initially cover the costs of the ride, but later, after you get home and have had some time to convalescence a bit, you'll get a bill in the mail. So if it comes down to a number crunching decision, and you don't have alternative transportation to the ER, it might still be cheaper to use the brake. ;)
  20. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    I dont know if you have chaps, cutting shirt, helmet, etc..., but if not, (and even if so) why in the H$ll would you not use the ONLY piece of PPE that is a finger flick or a wrist roll away? I'm glad you are changing your ways. We dont need another dot on that injury diagram from that other thread.
    Thistle and MasterMech like this.
  21. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    LOL :)
  22. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I admit to rarely using my brake. I don't walk around with the saw running and when I move from cut to cut I always move my finger all the way out of the trigger guard.
    I'm not saying it's not the right thing to do but I'm not sure I can get into the habit, just to move over 19 inches.
  23. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I find myself using the brake between cuts more and more often.
  24. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster Member

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    It's just second nature now that I've been at it a while, finish the cut and roll my wrist to lock the blade. It takes no extra time, and as the OP said better than the alternative. The only time I don't do it is when I'm limbing. SB
  25. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Big thing for me is to use it when I'm liming.
    More trip hazards, face slappers & leg snags when liming.
    I use the brake a lot for liming as I work my way down the log.

    Not so much for bucking on good footing & level ground.
    BobUrban likes this.

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