Q('s) on kick-back, especially in-canopy / top-handled saws


Active Member
I thought I heard on here to put a .43 bar and chain on the echo 2511t you had to buy a different sprocket than the stock sprocket it comes with but my friend at work says I shouldn't need to. He says I should be able to just buy the .43 bar and chain and install it on the stock sprocket it came with... Is that true or do I need to buy a different sprocket for it??
You can do that but you can't use 1/4 pitch w/o changing your sprocket (couple guys on Arboristsite offer change-over kits)

Am eager to get best setup I can for my new 355, my generic Oregon 16" was lighter than the stock 14" on the Echo so it traded w/ my 32cc's setup (makes sense anyways, now have 12/14&16" all w/ appropriate powerheads :) ), now my 32cc - which was already a pig - is just an obnoxious backup unit :p

Would love to hear what you do on this, I've never run anything but safety-chain (oregon Green, standard echo & husq, etc) and was gonna go for ps/ps3 but just 91VXL seems on-point and a good value, got a feeling all my chains will be VXL sometime soon as I've just been getting new, cheap chains everytime I notice they cut shitty, anything past the first 2-4 sharpenings and I'm swapping to a new chain, have soo many "needs overhaul-sharpening" chains in bags collecting dust (their bags not the chains!)

I found the link. Study the chain pics closely and read I wrote about the cutting performance of each. Point is, your "happy place" can be found with either the .050 or the .043. I don't have pic of a worn Oregon .050, but it somewhat mimicks a new Stihl .043 in both dimensions and performance.

Dude thanks a lot, both of your replies to Mowerr were equally useful for me, don't have my 2511t YET but just got a 355t, and my ppt-266 (25cc echo-pro-level pole-saw) is almost fixed/back in-service, and have never used anything except safety chains w/ their rakers worn WAY down (sometimes too much, have learned what is/isn't too-aggressive for filing them, have had setups that made *giant* chips LOL!), seems just swapping to the Oregon 91VXL for 12, 14&16" setups (3/8LP pitched sprocket&bar-noses, 0.05" gauge bars) would do a LOT but it's still 0.05"--- what's the most-comparable setup, only using 0.043" gauge chain? Also, is it true you can run that in a 0.05" bar w/o issue, or are you getting new bars for any 0.043" chain?
Sorry so many Q's, am not gonna touch "chisel/semi-chisel/etc", just hoping to learn a bit will def just grab a VXL for one of my saws to begin 'feeling for' the difference!!
(and thanks for making that pic for that post you linked, love when ppl go above&beyond in helping :) )


Well-Known Member
Yes, new .043 bar with .043 gauge chain. You can technically run .043 chain on .050 bar in a pinch, but it's not a good thing. You will wear bar and chain drivelinks in an improper way over time. Not to mention what happens in the kerf because the chain can tilt.

Don't dismiss those older .050 chains. They will settle in and make great all around work chains.


Well-Known Member
My Island, WA
I've yet to feel prepared to use my lil 25cc top-handled 10" saw but I've been watching others & watching youtubes and there's something I just can't wrap my head around and that's kickback-aftermath in a tree... is kickback basically tantamount to catastrophic injury? I'd been thinking that, of course, you limit kickback potential, but had been thinking you also stand clear of the bar's backwards-path (rear-handled saws) so that if the thing did kick backward you wouldn't be in its path...this isn't really possible with 99% of the work-positioning I'm seeing done in-canopy with top-handled saws.

It's creepy to think that a single bolt left by someone's recreational zipline a decade ago could create kickback that'd throw your 10" bar into your face and I'm guessing even using a face-shield is barely buying you a split-second's insurance in the event of the bar whipping back at you! Would love to hear any thoughts / elaborations on this, I feel I've gotta be missing something as I'd expect a ton more fatalities if kickback was inherently a catastrophic/fatal injury, for instance I look at the lil 10" and 12" bars and think about how often I see people reach-around the trunk to use the top of their bar to make notch cuts and how if that chain ever bound-up it'd just whip that chainsaw right back into their head...I expect/hope I'm missing something!!

(FWIW I understand that a sharp chain, appropriate .025 rakers, safety-chain toothing, chain tension and all that are going to reduce kickback but I guess I still just *ass*umed that a kickback was something that a production-level person would see at least annually, so either it's not as automatically-catastrophic to have a top-handle kickback in a canopy or kickbacks aren't as common as I'd thought! I've never seen one irl but I've got maybe 500-1000hrs max/lifetime around chainsaws so just figured I've been lucky not to see one outside of Youtube!)
I’d look at it this way, kick back will happen and does happen. The likely hood of injury falls upon your work positioning for WHEN kick back occurs. Then secondly focus on everything you can do to prevent kickback.


Well-Known Member
Olympia, WA
Kick-backs happen when you direct your non-sentient saw to kick-back.

Learning how kick-backs feel is important for sawyers. It will relax most to understand the what, how, when, where, and why.


Well-Known Member
So I was at a good saw shop last weekend and asked the guy about switching to the .43 and he felt strongly that I should not do that . He said he never ran the 2511 but that he's always got guys coming in looking to switch the opposite way from the .43 to the .50. He seemed to really think it was a bad idea so I held off and I'm gonna just file it down more before I switch.

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