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Stihl Chainaw Safety Manual

Chain Saw Safety Manual  
This manual contains the safety  
Safety Precautions and Working  
precautions and recommended cutting  
techniques outlined in STIHL instruction  
manuals for gasoline-powered chain  
saws. Even if you are an experienced  
chain saw user, it is in your own interest  
to familiarize yourself with the latest  
instructions and safety precautions  
regarding your chain saw.  
Maintenance and Care  
Main Parts  
Please note that the illustrations in the  
chapter "Main Parts of the Saw" in this  
manual show the chain saws STIHL  
MS 171, 181, 211.  
Other chain saw models may have  
different parts and controls. You should  
therefore always refer to the instruction  
manual of your particular saw model.  
Avoid contact of bar tip with any object.  
This can cause the guide bar to kick  
suddenly up and back, which may result  
in serious or fatal injury. To reduce the  
risk of kickback injury STIHL recom-  
mends the use of STIHL green labeled  
reduced kickback bars and low kickback  
chains and a STIHL Quickstop chain  
Contact your STIHL dealer or the STIHL  
distributor for your area if you do not  
understand any of the instructions in this  
Chain Saw Safety Manual  
Most of these safety precautions and  
warnings apply to the use of all STIHL  
chain saws. Different models may have  
different parts and controls. See the  
appropriate section of your instruction  
manual for a description of the controls  
and the function of the parts of your  
Safety Precautions and  
Working Techniques  
Do not lend or rent your power tool with-  
out the instruction manual. Be sure that  
anyone using it understands the infor-  
mation contained in this manual.  
Because a chain saw is a  
high-speed, fast-cutting  
power tool, special safety  
precautions must be  
observed to reduce the  
risk of personal injury.  
Safe use of a chain saw involves  
The use of this machine may be hazard-  
ous.The saw chain has many sharp  
cutters. If the cutters contact your flesh,  
they will cut you, even if the chain is not  
moving. At full throttle, the chain speed  
can reach 67 mph (30 m/s).  
the operator  
the saw  
It is important that you  
read, fully understand  
and observe the following  
safety precautions and  
warnings. Read the  
instruction manual and  
the safety instructions  
periodically. Careless or  
improper use may cause  
serious or fatal injury.  
the use of the saw.  
Use your chain saw only for cutting  
wooden objects.  
Physical Condition  
You must be in good physical condition  
and mental health and not under the  
influence of any substance (drugs,  
alcohol, etc.) which might impair vision,  
dexterity or judgment. Do not operate  
this machine when you are fatigued.  
Do not use it for other purposes, since  
misuse may result in personal injury or  
property damage, including damage to  
the machine  
Reactive forces, including kickback, can  
be dangerous. Pay special attention to  
the section on reactive forces.  
Have your STIHL dealer show you how  
to operate your power tool. All safety  
precautions that are generally observed  
when working with an axe or a hand saw  
also apply to the operation of chain  
saws. Observe all applicable federal,  
state and local safety regulations,  
standards and ordinances. When using  
a chain saw for logging purposes, for  
instance, refer to the OSHA regulations  
for "logging operations" at 29 Code of  
Federal Regulations 1910.266.  
Minors should never be allowed to use  
this power tool. Bystanders, especially  
children, and animals should not be  
allowed in the area where it is in use.  
Be alert – if you get tired, take a break.  
Tiredness may result in loss of control.  
Working with any power tool can be  
strenuous. If you have any condition  
that might be aggravated by strenuous  
work, check with your doctor before  
operating this machine.  
To reduce the risk of injury to bystand-  
ers and damage to property, never let  
your power tool run unattended. When it  
is not in use (e.g. during a work break),  
shut it off and make sure that unauthor-  
ized persons do not use it.  
Prolonged use of a power tool (or other  
machines) exposing the operator to  
vibrations may produce whitefinger dis-  
ease (Raynaud's phenomenon) or  
carpal tunnel syndrome.  
Chain Saw Safety Manual  
Clothing must be sturdy  
These conditions reduce the hand's  
ability to feel and regulate temperature,  
produce numbness and burning  
sensations and may cause nerve and  
circulation damage and tissue necrosis.  
saw chain sharp. A dull chain will  
increase cutting time, and pressing  
a dull chain through wood will  
increase the vibrations transmitted  
to your hands.  
and snug-fitting, but allow  
complete freedom of  
movement. Wear long  
pants made of heavy  
material to help protect  
your legs from contact  
with branches or brush.  
To reduce the risk of cut  
injuries, wear pants or  
chaps that contain pads  
of cut retardant material.  
Avoid loose-fitting jack-  
ets, scarfs, neckties,  
jewelry, flared or cuffed  
pants, unconfined long  
hair or anything that  
could become caught on  
branches, brush or the  
moving parts of the unit.  
Secure hair so it is above  
shoulder level.  
All factors which contribute to white-  
finger disease are not known, but cold  
weather, smoking and diseases or  
physical conditions that affect blood  
vessels and blood transport, as well as  
high vibration levels and long periods of  
exposure to vibration are mentioned as  
factors in the development of whitefinger  
disease. In order to reduce the risk of  
whitefinger disease and carpal tunnel  
syndrome, please note the following:  
Maintain a firm grip at all times, but  
do not squeeze the handles with  
constant, excessive pressure. Take  
frequent breaks.  
All the above-mentioned precautions do  
not guarantee that you will not sustain  
whitefinger disease or carpal tunnel  
syndrome. Therefore, continual and  
regular users should closely monitor the  
condition of their hands and fingers. If  
any of the above symptoms appear,  
seek medical advice immediately.  
Most STIHL power tools are  
available with an anti-vibration  
"AV") system designed to reduce  
the transmission of vibrations  
created by the machine to the  
operator's hands. An AV system is  
recommended for those persons  
using power tools on a regular or  
sustained basis.  
The ignition system of the STIHL unit  
produces an electromagnetic field of a  
very low intensity. This field may inter-  
fere with some pacemakers. To reduce  
the risk of serious or fatal injury, persons  
with a pacemaker should consult their  
physician and the pacemaker manufac-  
turer before operating this tool.  
Good footing is very  
important. Wear sturdy  
boots with nonslip soles.  
Steel-toed safety boots  
are recommended.  
Wear gloves and keep your hands  
warm. Heated handles, which are  
available on some STIHL  
powerheads, are recommended for  
cold weather use.  
Wear an approved safety  
hard hat to reduce the  
risk of injury to your head.  
Chain saw noise may  
damage your hearing.  
Wear sound barriers (ear  
plugs or ear mufflers) to  
help protect your hearing.  
Continual and regular  
users should have their  
hearing checked  
Proper Clothing  
Keep the AV system well  
maintained. A power tool with loose  
components or with damaged or  
worn AV elements will tend to have  
higher vibration levels. Keep the  
To reduce the risk of injury, the operator  
should wear proper protective apparel.  
Chain Saw Safety Manual  
Be particularly alert and cautious when  
wearing hearing protection because  
your ability to hear warnings (shouts,  
alarms, etc.) is restricted.  
horizontally. Keep the hot muffler away  
from your body and the cutting  
attachment behind you.  
Never operate your power tool unless  
wearing goggles or properly fitted  
Your STIHL power tool uses an oil-  
gasoline mixture for fuel (see the  
chapter on "Fuel" of your instruction  
protective glasses with adequate top  
and side protection complying with ANSI  
Z 87.1 (or your applicable national  
standard). To reduce the risk of injury to  
your face STIHL recommends that you  
also wear a face shield or face screen  
over your goggles or protective glasses.  
the fuel system is tight (no leaks) and  
that the controls and safety devices are  
working properly. Do not continue  
operating this machine if it is damaged.  
In case of doubt, have it checked by your  
STIHL servicing dealer.  
Gasoline is an extremely  
flammable fuel. If spilled  
and ignited by a spark or  
other ignition source, it  
can cause fire and seri-  
Always wear gloves  
when handling the  
machine and the cutting  
tool. Heavy-duty, nonslip  
gloves improve your grip  
and help to protect your  
ous burn injury or  
property damage. Use extreme caution  
when handling gasoline or fuel mix. Do  
not smoke or bring any fire or flame near  
the fuel or the power tool. Note that  
combustible fuel vapor may escape  
from the fuel system.  
Transporting the Power Tool  
To reduce the risk of injury from saw  
chain contact, never carry or transport  
your power tool with the saw chain mov-  
ing. Always engage the chain brake  
when taking more than a few steps.  
For illustrations and definitions of the  
power tool parts see the chapter on  
Fueling Instructions  
Main Parts and Controls."  
Fuel your power tool in well-ventilated  
areas, outdoors. Always shut off the  
engine and allow it to cool before refu-  
eling. Gasoline vapor pressure may  
build up inside the fuel tank depending  
on the fuel used, the weather conditions  
and the tank venting system.  
Never modify this power tool in any way.  
Only attachments supplied by STIHL or  
expressly approved by STIHL for use  
with the specific STIHL model are  
authorized. Although certain unauthor-  
ized attachments are useable with  
STIHL power tools, their use may, in  
fact, be extremely dangerous.  
Always switch off the engine, and fit the  
chain guard (scabbard) over the chain  
and guide bar before transporting the  
power tool over longer distances. When  
transporting it in a vehicle, properly  
secure it to prevent turnover, fuel spill-  
age and damage to the unit.  
In order to reduce the risk of burns and  
other personal injury from escaping gas  
vapor and fumes, remove the fuel filler  
cap on your power tool carefully so as to  
allow any pressure build-up in the tank  
to release slowly. Never remove the fuel  
filler cap while the engine is running.  
If this tool is subjected to unusually high  
loads for which it was not designed (e.g.  
heavy impact or a fall), always check  
that it is in good condition before  
It may be carried only in a horizontal  
position. Grip the front handle in a  
manner that the machine is balanced  
continuing work. Check in particular that  
Chain Saw Safety Manual  
Select bare ground for fueling and move  
at least 10 feet (3 m) from the fueling  
spot before starting the engine. Wipe off  
any spilled fuel before starting your  
Fold the grip flush with  
the top of the cap. If the  
grip does not lie com-  
pletely flush with the cap  
and the detent on the grip  
does not fit in the corre-  
sponding recess in the  
filler opening, the cap is  
not properly seated and  
tightened and you must  
repeat the above steps.  
Always check your power tool for proper  
condition and operation before starting,  
particularly the throttle trigger, throttle  
trigger lockout, stop switch and cutting  
tool. The throttle trigger must move  
freely and always spring back to the idle  
position. Never attempt to modify the  
controls or safety devices.  
Check for fuel leakage while refueling  
and during operation. If fuel leakage is  
found, do not start or run the engine until  
the leak is fixed and any spilled fuel has  
been wiped away. Take care not to get  
fuel on your clothing. If this happens,  
change your clothing immediately. Dif-  
ferent models may be equipped with  
different fuel caps.  
Screw cap  
Never operate your power tool if it is  
damaged, improperly adjusted or main-  
tained, or not completely or securely  
Unit vibrations can cause an improperly  
tightened fuel filler cap to loosen or  
come off and spill quantities of fuel. In  
order to reduce the risk of fuel spillage  
and fire, tighten the fuel filler cap by  
hand as securely as possible.  
Cap with grip  
Check that the spark plug boot is  
securely mounted on the spark plug – a  
loose boot may cause arcing that could  
ignite combustible fumes and cause a  
In order to reduce the risk of fuel spill-  
age and fire from an improperly  
tightened fuel cap, correctly position  
and tighten the fuel cap in the fuel tank  
The screwdriver end of  
the STIHL combination  
wrench or other similar  
tool can be used as an  
aid in tightening slotted  
fuel filler caps.  
For proper assembly of the bar and  
chain follow the procedure described in  
the chapter "Mounting the Bar and  
Chain" of your instruction manual.  
STIHL Oilomatic chain, guide bar and  
sprocket must match each other in  
gauge and pitch. Before replacing any  
bar and chain, see the chapter entitled  
"Specifications" in the instruction  
To do this with this STIHL  
cap, raise the grip on the  
top of the cap until it is  
upright at a 90° angle.  
Insert the cap in the fuel  
tank opening with the tri-  
angular marks on the grip  
of the cap and on the fuel  
tank opening lining up.  
Using the grip, turn the  
cap firmly clockwise as  
far as it will go (approx. a  
quarter turn).  
See "Fueling" chapter in your instruction  
Before Starting  
Take off the chain guard (scabbard) and  
inspect the saw for proper condition and  
operation. (See the maintenance chart  
near the end of the instruction manual.)  
manual and the section "Kickback" and  
the "ANSI B 175.1-2000 chain saw  
chain saw kickback standard" below.  
Chain Saw Safety Manual  
Proper tension of the chain is extremely  
important. In order to avoid improper  
setting, the tensioning procedure must  
be followed as described in your man-  
ual. Always make sure the hexagonal  
nut(s) for the sprocket cover is (are)  
tightened securely after tensioning the  
chain in order to secure the bar. Never  
start the saw with the sprocket cover  
loose. Check chain tension once more  
after having tightened the nut(s) and  
thereafter at regular intervals (whenever  
the saw is shut off). If the chain  
To reduce the risk of injury from chain  
contact and/or reactive forces, the chain  
brake must be engaged when starting  
the saw.  
The second recommended method for  
starting your chain saw allows you to  
start the saw without placing it on the  
ground. Make sure the chain brake is  
engaged, grip the front handle of the  
chain saw firmly with your left hand.  
Keep your arm on the front handle in a  
locked (straight) position. Hold the rear  
handle of the saw tightly between your  
legs just above the knees. Maintain  
good balance and secure footing. Pull  
the starting grip slowly with your right  
hand until you feel a definite resistance  
and then give it a brisk, strong pull.  
Do not drop start. This method is very  
dangerous because you may lose con-  
trol of the saw.  
There are two recommended methods  
for starting your chain saw.  
becomes loose while cutting, shut off  
the engine and then tighten. Never try to  
adjust the chain while the engine is  
Keep the handles clean and dry at all  
times; it is particularly important to keep  
them free of moisture, pitch, oil, fuel mix,  
grease or resin in order for you to  
maintain a firm grip and properly control  
your power tool.  
With the first recommended method,  
the chain saw is started on the ground.  
Make sure the chain brake is engaged  
Be sure that the guide bar and chain are  
clear of you and all other obstructions  
andobjects, including the ground. When  
the engine is started, the engine speed  
with the starting throttle lock engaged  
will be fast enough for the clutch to  
engage the sprocket and, if the chain  
brake is not activated, turn the chain. If  
the upper quadrant of the tip of the bar  
touches any object, it may cause kick-  
back to occur (see section on reactive  
forces). To reduce this risk, always  
engage the chain brake before starting.  
Never attempt to start the chain saw  
when the guide bar is in a cut or kerf.  
see "Chain Brake" chapter in your  
instruction manual) and place the chain  
saw on firm ground or other solid surface  
in an open area. Maintain good balance  
and secure footing.  
To reduce the risk of fire and burn inju-  
ries, start the engine at least 10 feet  
3 meters) from the fueling spot, out-  
Grip the front handlebar of the saw firmly  
with your left hand and press down. For  
saws with a rear handle level with the  
ground, put the toe of your right foot into  
the rear handle and press down. With  
your right hand pull out the starter grip  
slowly until you feel a definite resistance  
and then give it a brisk, strong pull.  
doors only.  
Start and operate your saw without  
assistance. For specific starting  
instructions, see the appropriate section  
of the instruction manual. Proper starting  
methods reduce the risk of injury.  
Chain Saw Safety Manual