Man wearing STIHL protective gear cutting wood with a STIHL chainsaw

Even if it's only a quick job, every Chainsaw user needs to be aware of how to use their Chainsaw safely to avoid injury.  The reactive forces of Pushing, Pulling and Kickback can greatly affect the operation of a Chainsaw and can lead to serious injury. To minimize risk, it is important to utilize basic safety techniques.

Man wiping down chainsaw


Begin by holding the Chainsaw firmly with both hands, maintain an encircled grip so your thumbs are enclosed over the left and right handles of the Chainsaw. By having a firm grip, sudden and unexpected movements from the Chainsaw can be better controlled.

  • Never use a Chainsaw one-handed

  • STIHL Chainsaws are not safe for left-handed throttle operation. Only use your right hand to work the throttle, even if you are left handed


Think about the direction that your Chainsaw is pointing towards while you're cutting. This is known as the 'cutting line'. Always keep your body clear from this line.

Do not lean forwards to look over the top of your cutting line in case of unexpected kickback. Instead, look to the left side of the bar and chain when inspecting your work.


  • Keep a stable stance

  • Operate with full throttle and maintain good chain speed as your bar comes into contact with the wood, being sure to throttle up before placing into the cut

  • Only cut in straight lines - never twist the Chainsaw

  • Keep close to the work so you do not have to over reach 

  • Maintain a sharp chain


Kickback is a dangerous and sudden upward movement of the Chainsaw which is a leading cause of Chainsaw accidents. It can occur due to various reasons, such as the tip of the bar hitting an object. Here are some tips for avoiding kickback: 

  • Use a sharp and well-tensioned chain at full engine speed

  • Never use the tip or upper quadrant of the bar to cut

  • Be fully alert when using your Chainsaw, ensure good visibility, and maintain a strong grip and stance