Not all chainsaws have inertia activated chain brakes for kickback.

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dsell

dsell

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The older Shindaiwa 488 and 300 chainsaws have chain brakes, but they are manually operated only. That means they probably will not stop the chain when you have a kickback. If you have an inertia brake, it will probably show a drop test in the user manual that simulates certain types of kickback. I had a very violent kickback with a 488 and when I returned from the hospital, the first thing I checked was the brake. It never engaged. If I had my Husky 50 in the same situation, I bet the brake would have set.
 
dsell

dsell

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Did you have your left hand on the handle in the proper place when the saw kicked back? I would expect your left hand to hit the brake-engagement thing when the saw kicked back, even if it lacked the inertial system...isn't that the way it's supposed to work?
If I had my thick gloves on that might have happened. Yes, I had my left hand on the top handle and right hand on the bottom. My left hand never left the top handle but it is possible the saw left my right hand. When it was over, I was still holding a running saw.
 
dsell

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Hope you're OK!
Thanks, yes very lucky. The cuts to my face never hurt, but the back of the chain actually hit my face and grabbed my glasses and pulled them into my cheek and you know what it's like on your nose when something hits your glasses. So, my nose hurt the worst for about a week. It took a chunk out of the plastic lens of my prescription glasses. The top of the bar hit my shoulder and left 3 marks, but didn't require stiches. It also hit a small spot on my neck. The shots in the face for the 17 stitches stung worse than anything.
 
Piston Skirt

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You are correct. In 1995 only top handle Shindaiwas (357 & 377) had the inertia activated brakes.
488 was designed in mid-80's when any kinds of brakes was still a novelty (usually hated by purists :D )
 
Jethro 2t sniffer

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My old Mac's I'd call enertia operated. The weight of the brake flag and the speed of the saw coming back usually trip it. Some trip better than others. I like cutting with older saws they feel safer you can cut slowly when you know a kick may be possible. Some modern stuff keeps stalling out unless its singing at high RPM.

Anyway sorry for bla bla blaaing have you got any pictures? glad your ok
 
MacAttack

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My old Mac's I'd call enertia operated. The weight of the brake flag and the speed of the saw coming back usually trip it. Some trip better than others. I like cutting with older saws they feel safer you can cut slowly when you know a kick may be possible. Some modern stuff keeps stalling out unless its singing at high RPM.

Anyway sorry for bla bla blaaing have you got any pictures? glad your ok
Now I want to try drop-testing my old Macs with the metal flags and see what happens. I think some of the brakes have adjustable sensitivity.
That's for the saws that HAVE a brake...

20211023_193601.jpg
 
dsell

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New chain and I just finished rebuilding the carb for a farmer.
 

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Canyon Angler

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*******, I bet you had to change your underpants after that!

Glad you're OK mostly, that could have been much worse, it sounds like.

Friend of mine in high school touched bar tip to a log and it kicked back in his face, I can still see the stitches from those three tooth marks in his eyelid over 40 years later...
 
dsell

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The only thing I did correctly was 2 hands on the saw and steel toed shoes. I didn't have my chaps, gloves, or helmet on. I wasn't standing correctly and the wood wasn't supported properly. I was just testing the saw and seen some branches I left to cut. I put my left foot on the branch to hold it. I misjudged my distance from a chain link fence. It hit the fence and it was over in a second. I didn't even realize anything happened until I couldn't see and my glasses were gone. Then came the blood. The face has a good blood flow which is good to fight infection, but sure made a mess. At that time it didn't hurt. This is my first year for bifocals which didn't help. I tend to think about it as I'm going to sleep and it literally makes me jump. I made a lot of cuts this week with 3 sizes of saws and you can bet I paid attention and had my gear on. I doubt the hard hat with muffs and screen would have helped, but I had branches fall from above a couple of times this week and hit the hat as I side trimmed a hedge row. I started running saws 34 years ago and had many kickbacks but nothing like this. Hopefully, people read this and consider the type of chain brake they have. And NEVER cut near a chain link fence. There is a video of a saw hitting a fence online and it will show you how fast and violent it happens.
 

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MacAttack

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This reminds me of when a guy at my old job caught a chain link fence with a 65hp stump grinder. Chain link fence wrapped around the cutter wheel and ripped right off the posts, haha. A stump grinder scares me even more than a chainsaw, and a slow-feed chipper is probably even more dangerous than either of those.
This is a good lesson about being careful what you're cutting near.
 
dsell

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I hunted a few years ago for a brake for my Poulan S25 and found one. It was a bit over active but I plan to revisit that adjustment. I sold all my saws without brakes long ago. Mostly because they have saved me when I fell forwards. A manual brake should still help in that situation.
 
Jed1124

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The only thing I did correctly was 2 hands on the saw and steel toed shoes. I didn't have my chaps, gloves, or helmet on. I wasn't standing correctly and the wood wasn't supported properly. I was just testing the saw and seen some branches I left to cut. I put my left foot on the branch to hold it. I misjudged my distance from a chain link fence. It hit the fence and it was over in a second. I didn't even realize anything happened until I couldn't see and my glasses were gone. Then came the blood. The face has a good blood flow which is good to fight infection, but sure made a mess. At that time it didn't hurt. This is my first year for bifocals which didn't help. I tend to think about it as I'm going to sleep and it literally makes me jump. I made a lot of cuts this week with 3 sizes of saws and you can bet I paid attention and had my gear on. I doubt the hard hat with muffs and screen would have helped, but I had branches fall from above a couple of times this week and hit the hat as I side trimmed a hedge row. I started running saws 34 years ago and had many kickbacks but nothing like this. Hopefully, people read this and consider the type of chain brake they have. And NEVER cut near a chain link fence. There is a video of a saw hitting a fence online and it will show you how fast and violent it happens.
Glad to hear your on the mend! Good post to keep folks like myself on point!
 
rwoods

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Thanks for posting. Glad you weren't hurt worse.

Forty years ago a kickback with an old non-chain brake gear drive bow saw sent me to the hospital. I too only did two things right, one of which saved my life - I was standing properly in relation to the saw and I had a firm grip with both hands. The kickback send the 35# saw completely over my head. Due to my proper stance, my only injury was to my left hand that was cut by the chain when my grip was broken. If I had been standing in line with the bow I would not be here today. If I had not had a firm grip with both hands who knows what would have happen beyond it could have been much worse than a cut left hand.

Ron
 
torch

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I own and use several chainsaws. But they are for occasional personal needs, I am not a professional. I also own safety gear like boots, chaps and helmet and I don them before starting a big job. But I have been known to "forget" about them where I "just" needed to, say, quickly cut up a branch that fell across the drive overnight when I need to get out in the morning.

Stories such as yours that show how even an experienced personl can be hurt in an instant of laxness make me realize how important it is to don all the gear, all the time. Thankyou.
 
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