Is Chainsaw Carving Dangerous – 5 Dangers of Chainsaw Carving

Chainsaw carving is a one of a kind hobby to have. It is getting more and more popular as championships and competitions spread across the US and UK with dozens of competitors and thousands of fans. Therefore if you are interested in getting into chainsaw carving or just interested in this sport, you should know to what extent is chainsaw carving dangerous,

Chainsaw carving is very dangerous. You must only attempt it if you are a trained professional. Before you start you must have all the protective equipment and know all the necessary safety procedures involving inspecting the wood and the chainsaw for possible dangers.

In this article, we will discuss the life-threatening risks that all chainsaw carvers have to deal with. This extremely important to know for everyone who is interested in chainsaw carving.

Risks Involving Chainsaw Carving

As mentioned above, there are many different risks associated with chainsaw carving. Below are the X dangers that need to be inspected before every time you turn on your chainsaw and start carving.

1. Check for Nails

Nails are one of the biggest dangers of chainsaw carving. If your saw meets anything metallic in the wood such as a nail, it will be destroyed and produce a very strong recoil which can lead to unpredictable circumstances.

This is why it is very important to check for possible nails in the wood. It is best that you do it twice to be certain, the first time when you are purchasing wood and the second time is before you start.

This is especially important if you buy left-over wood as there is a higher chance that there will be nails in it, but even if you chop the wood yourself do not leave this to luck, you never know if somehow a nail or something else metallic ended up finding its way into the wood.

2. Safety Equipment Durability

Safety equipment is, of course, mandatory when chainsaw carving. We will discuss the required safety equipment below, here we will talk about the not always straight forward fact that safety equipment also needs to be checked for safety.

Just like anything else, the protection you use to prevent injuries has a lifespan that is not infinite. It is hard to predict how long exactly your specific piece of protection will last you, so it’s better to get some new kevlar pants early than late, especially if you use it frequently.

3. Losing Concentration

Chainsaw carving is very much an extreme sport that does not allow anyone in action to relax.

More than half of the accidents happen from simply losing concentration while chainsaw carving. It is so easy to lose yourself for a quick minute especially when you have been in this for a long time. Carvers that have been carving for 15 years also need just one minute to make a mistake when they are not fully aware of their actions.

Staying focused at all times is not easy but it is key to making sure that you are aware of all the actions you take and that if anything goes wrong you will see it and prevent it before it has happened. The best strategy to being safe during unpredictable circumstances from happening, is by avoiding them in the first place.

4. Keeping the chain sharp

This is not the most dangerous risk that chainsaw carvers need to deal with, but it is for sure one that is easily missed.

If the cutting teeth of the chainsaw are blunt, carving becomes harder which increases the risk of mistakes. Keeping your chainsaw in such a condition for a long time will also result in a high risk of kickback when carving, this is very bad as not handling a kickback well can result in dropping the chainsaw.

This is often missed even by experienced carvers as different woods have different densities. If you were carving a hardwood with a sharp chain and then a softwood with a blunt chain you would still find the softwood to be easier to cut and therefore may not notice that your blades need sharpening.

If you know how to sharpen your chainsaw you can do it yourself, however, if you are just starting out you will most likely have to take the chainsaw to a professional.

5. Risk During Use Of Chainsaw

Lastly, of course, the whole reason that chainsaw carving is an extreme sport and a hobby that is most definitely associated with danger, is the chainsaw itself.

There are so many little things that could happen at some point that are impossible to predict, and the user of the chainsaw must react in a quick and correct manner.

Overall, with enough experience, a chainsaw is not the most dangerous of tools but it certainly does not forgive mistakes so please carve at your own risk.

Necessary Safety Equipment

When you are carving with the use of a chainsaw you must always wear all of the below safety equipment as it is crucial for your wellbeing.

Chainsaw Chaps

Over a third of injuries involving a chainsaw could be prevented by wearing protection on your legs.

These Chainsaw chaps that you can get delivered to your doorstep from Amazon really are filled with ballistic fibers. Once the chainsaw touches them, they fly out shutting down the engine.

If you have a quick two minutes, check out the video below to see exactly what chainsaw chap does when a chainsaw get’s in contact with it.

An alternative to this would be Kevlar pants, they are less warm and a little more casual looking. It is important to know that kevlar pants offer less protection but their cost is about the same as chaps.


You want to make sure you are equipped with a good pair of gloves that will save you from splinters of wood that will be flying everywhere as you are carving through the wood.

Our recommendation would be the Husqvarna 579380210 Functional Saw Protection Gloves. These are a pricy choice but in the long run, their durability is exceptional.

Eye protection

If you are wearing a face-cover it will not be enough to keep your eyes protected from the few bits that go through. Sunglasses or any other home-found item is only making things more dangerous for your eyes.

You need a pair of glasses that look something like what you see on the left. Be sure to click on the picture to view their price.


Our recommendation for earmuffs would be the Fnova 34dB Highest NRR Safety Ear Muffs. They are adjustable for ear protection and cost much less than other similar products on the market.

Tied hair, No scarf, No loose jackets

You probably get the idea. Nothing should be out of place, long hair must be tied, scarfs if absolutely necessary must be hidden under your jacket (although the risk of the scarf falling out and catching the chainsaw outweighs the warming benefit) and all other loose clothing must be replaced.

This is done for safety reasons only, as you do not want anything getting in between the wood and your chainsaw.

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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