Two chain saws in chain saw recall by CPSC.
Photo: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Harbor Freight has recalled more than 1 million electric chain saws because they can fail to stop running when the switch is in the "off" position, posing the risk of injury. Harbor Freight has received 15 reports of the chain saws failing to shut off, including three reports of lacerations, one that was serious enough to require stitches, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recall notice.

Consumer Reports hasn’t tested any of the recalled chain saws. “A recall like this emphasizes how important it is that you wear the right safety gear when you use a chain saw,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR's testing of outdoor power equipment, including our previous tests of electric chain saws.

Some of the most serious chain-saw injuries occur when the saw’s chain snags and kicks back toward the operator's chest and head. To protect yourself, start with snug-fitting clothing and sturdy work boots, preferably steel-toed. Shield your legs with cut-resistant chaps and the back of your hands with protective gloves, and wear a helmet with a face shield. You'll also need hearing protection because practically all saws, including electric models, exceed the 85-decibel level at which hearing damage can occur.

For more information on chain-saw safety and the types of chain saws, read our chain-saw buying guide.

Details of the Chain-Saw Recall

The recall: 1,020,000 Harbor Freight chain saws. The recall involves two models of 14-inch electric chain saws sold under three brand names. The Portland and One Stop Gardens brand chain saws are green and black and have “Portland” printed on the blades. The Chicago Electric chain saw is red and black and has “Chicago Electric” printed on the handle. All three brands have the same model numbers—67255 and 61592—which is printed on a label on the bottom of the chain saw.

The risk: The power switch can malfunction, allowing the chain saw to continue operating after the operator moves the switch to the "off" position, posing a serious injury hazard to the operator.

Incidents/injuries: Harbor Freight Tools has received 15 reports of chain saws continuing to operate after being turned off by the operator, resulting in three laceration injuries, including one serious arm injury that required stitches.

Where and when sold: Harbor Freight Tools stores nationwide and online at harborfreight.com from May 2009 through February 2018. The saws cost $50 each.

The remedy: You should stop using a recalled chain saw and return the product to your local Harbor Freight Tools store for a free replacement. Replacement units will be available starting May 21, 2018.

Contact information: Call Harbor Freight Tools at 800-444-3353; email recall@harborfreight.com; or go to Harbor Freight’s website, at harborfreight.com, and click on Recall Safety Information on the bottom of the home page.

Report a defective product: Call the CPSC hotline at 800-638-2772 or go to saferproducts.gov.