Important Parts of a Chainsaw

Chainsaw Parts Essential for Operation and Safety

Chainsaw with numbered parts


There are 10 typical parts of a chainsaw identified and illustrated. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that the chainsaw ​have the parts identified in ​bold italic text. Chainsaws placed into service after February 9, 1995, must also meet the requirements of ANSI B175.1-1991, safety requirements for gasoline-powered chainsaws.

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Chain Catcher

The chain catcher (figure 1) is a metal or plastic guard designed to prevent a broken or derailed chainsaw from striking the operator.

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The flywheel (figure 2) is a weighted wheel that controls engine speed and assists in cooling the engine.

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The clutch (figure 3) attached to the chain sprocket, is the connector that controls the driving part of a chainsaw.

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Decompression Valve

The important decompression valve (figure 4) releases saw compression which allows easier starting.

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Anti-vibration Handle System

The anti-vibration handle system (figures 5 and 7) handles shocks is recommended by OSHA to limit ergonomic stress to the operator's hands, arms and joints.

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The handguard (figure 6) is a defensive plastic shield that protects a user's hands from kickback.

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The muffler (figure 8) is a hearing protection device used on chainsaws to reduce engine noise.

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Chain Brake

Adding a chain brake (figure 9) to all chainsaws was a safety requirement enabled in February 1995. The function of the chain brake is to stop the chain if kickback occurs to prevent user injury.

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The throttle (figure 10) regulates a saw's RPMs by increasing or decreasing the volume of fuel to the cylinders. The chainsaw will stop the chain when pressure on the throttle is released.

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Throttle Interlock

The throttle interlock (figure 11) locking mechanism prevents the throttle from activating until the interlock is depressed.

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Your Citation
Nix, Steve. "Important Parts of a Chainsaw." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Nix, Steve. (2021, February 16). Important Parts of a Chainsaw. Retrieved from Nix, Steve. "Important Parts of a Chainsaw." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).