A chainsaw can come in useful if you need to take care of heavy-duty garden jobs, but it’s very important to take proper precautions before, during and after completing any work.

Chainsaw safety

Here’s some tips on how to make sure you use your chainsaw correctly and safely. (Please note that the following advice applies to the domestic use of electric chainsaws for tasks such as pruning, cutting small trees and chopping logs.)

Safety first

  • Make sure you buy your chainsaw from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • It’s important to register a new electric chainsaw with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit our Product Registration page.
  • Use our product recall checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
  • Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask them to fit a UK plug.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
  • Any socket you plan to use to plug in a chainsaw should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider installing an RCD socket or plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
  • If you have to use an extension lead make sure it is suitable for outdoor use, is fitted with a thermal cut-out and is fully unwound before using it.

Using your chainsaw safely

  • It’s essential that you wear the proper safety kit when operating a chainsaw: you should always wear a helmet, ear defenders, gloves and googles as a bare minimum, and also consider chainsaw trousers and safety boots.
  • Chainsaws can be heavy, so make sure you’re comfortable with the weight before beginning work.
  • Keep the lead of the chainsaw behind you and well away from the blade when using.
  • Maintain a solid stance and avoid using the chainsaw from a ladder.
  • If you’re using the chainsaw to chop logs, be sure to use saw horses to hold the timber firmly in place.
  • Always hold the chainsaw with both hands, keeping it close to your body with your elbows locked.
  • If you notice a burning smell or any unusual noises, switch the chainsaw off immediately and contact the retailer and/or manufacturer.
  • Always turn off the chainsaw at the socket when not in use – even better, unplug it all together.
  • If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get out and call 999 immediately.
  • A blunt chainsaw can be dangerous, so inspect yours regularly and sharpen as required.
  • Always clean the chainsaw as per the manufacturer’s instructions store your chainsaw in a cool, dry place after use.