Avoiding Kickback

Kickback can be dangerous! Do you know what it is and how to avoid it?

Avoiding Kickback All of our STIHL Timbersports athletes use the MS661 for the Stock Saw event competition. This saw is one of the most powerful saws on the market and these guys know how to use it safely…a kickback situation during an event like that could be disastrous! Do you know what kickback is and how to avoid it?


The kickback zone on a guide bar is located between 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock, or 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock (depending on which side of the bar you're looking at), at the very tip of the bar. Avoid letting this zone come in contact with anything while cutting, if at all possible.

If this zone comes into contact with anything, it will stop the chain and transfer all the energy back in the opposite direction. This happens far faster than the human brain can react and will usually send the saw back, directly towards the operator at an incredible rate of speed.

When cutting, avoid using the top of the guide bar unless absolutely necessary. Always maintain stable footing and a firm grip on the top handle with your left hand; this will result in a work position where you are not in direct line with the guide bar, in the event of a kickback.

Never use any chain saw without adequate training and proper personal protective equipment! See your STIHL dealer for details.

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