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Homelite recalls 370,000 chain saws

Consumer Reports News: October 31, 2008 12:09 AM

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on October 30, 2008, announced the recall of about 370,000 Homelite chain saws whose chain brake could fail to stop the chain on its first application, posing a risk of laceration ris. For full details, including a list of the 10 Homelite models affected, visit this CPSC recall page.

If you're using a chain saw as part of your fall cleanup, here's what you need to know:

• Our anatomy of a chain saw lists specific performance and safety features on the models included in our latest report on chain saws (ratings are available to subscribers). It's interesting to note that seven models lacked a chain brake. That's significant, since checking the chain brake leads the advice in our primer on chain-saw maintenance.

• Our advice for safer sawing and the video (right) illustrate proper protective equipment and sawing technique.

Cutting down a tree is a job best left to the pros, particularly for trees larger than about 6 inches around. While trees often fall in the direction they’re leaning, it can be tricky to know where they'll come down. The University of Missouri’s extension center's Web site is among several with illustrated tree- felling techniques.

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