Chainsaw Maintenance

Can You Use a Chainsaw with a Pacemaker? [Expert Guide]

Ever wondered if you can still rev up a chainsaw with a pacemaker ticking? But it’s all about keeping the right distance. 

With electric saws, a 6-inch gap from the motor to the pacemaker is key, while gas-powered ones demand at least a 12-inch buffer from the ignition system. Especially look for models with spark plugs away from the handgrips.

When you’re navigating the world with a pacemaker, there are vital considerations to keep you safe and your heart ticking like a metronome. Using a chainsaw might not be out of the question, but it does come with specific safety measures. 

Let’s dive into the details and learn how to handle these powerful tools without putting your health on the line.

Can You Use a Chainsaw with a Pacemaker? 

People must use a chainsaw with a pacemaker. However, you have to be more cautious in this regard. On one side, Chainsaws generate significant EMI, which can interfere with your pacemaker. In this stance, you must take the necessary precautions to use a chainsaw for proper functionality safely.

Before that, one must be clear about the general perspective of pacemakers and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). Here is a quick overview of these basic terms;



A pacemaker is a small device implanted under your chest’s skin to regulate your heartbeat. It uses electrical impulses to keep your heart beating at a regular rhythm. If you have a pacemaker, you need to be very clear when using any tools or equipment that generates electromagnetic fields.

EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)

EMI is a disturbance caused by electromagnetic radiation from an external source. It can affect the performance of electronic devices, including pacemakers. Some familiar sources of EMI include cell phones, microwaves, and power tools.


The combination of a pacemaker and chainsaw use should be taken with seriousness. Chainsaws emit high levels of EMI, which can interfere with pacemaker functioning. This interference can lead to complications such as irregular heartbeats or even complete pacemaker failure. 

Types of Chainsaws and Pacemakers: A Closer Look

types of chainsaws and pacemakers

1. Electric Chainsaws and Pacemakers: A Risky Combination?

One common query is, “Can I use an electric chainsaw with a pacemaker?” Electric chainsaws generate electromagnetic fields that could potentially interfere with the pacemaker’s electrical circuitry.

If you’ve been wondering, “Why can’t you use a chainsaw with a pacemaker?” the risk of electromagnetic interference (EMI) is the main concern.

2. Battery-Operated Chainsaws: A Safer Alternative?

Another aspect to consider is using a battery-operated chainsaw. The question, “Can I use a battery-operated chainsaw with a pacemaker?” often arises as people look for safer alternatives.

Although battery-powered chainsaws produce less EMI compared to electric ones, caution is still advised.

3. Gas-Powered Chainsaws: that’s not recommended

If you’re wondering, “Can I run a chainsaw with a pacemaker?” you need to be extra cautious if the chainsaw is gas-powered. The ignition of the spark plug creates a significant electromagnetic field, which could interfere with the pacemaker.

How Does a Chainsaw Affect a Pacemaker?

Running a chainsaw with a pacemaker could interfere with the device’s electrical signals, leading to an irregular heartbeat or, in extreme cases, a complete shutdown of the pacemaker.

This is the core reason why you’ll hear that operating a chainsaw with a pacemaker is generally considered risky.

Chainsaw and Pacemaker; Collaborated Working

The pacemaker and the chainsaw work together in harmony when proper precautions are taken to minimize the risk of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from the chainsaw. 

As stated above, a pacemaker is an electronic device that uses electrical impulses. These impulses are generated by a small battery-operated generator implanted under the chest’s skin. The generator is connected to the heart by one or more leads, thin wires that run through a vein and into the heart.


On the other hand, chainsaws are powered by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. When the chainsaw is in use, it generates high levels of EMI, which can interfere with the functioning of the pacemaker. This interference can lead to severe complications, such as irregular heartbeat or complete pacemaker failure.

To prevent EMI interference, individuals with pacemakers should consider several precautions. When using a chainsaw, you must be cautious about the following stances;

  • Before using a chainsaw, it’s essential to talk to your doctor. They may recommend avoiding using a chainsaw altogether or providing specific guidelines for safe use.
  • Additionally, look for a chainsaw designed to emit low levels of EMI. These chainsaws are typically labeled as “low-emission” or “EMI-reduced.”
  • Keeping the chainsaw at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker is also better. This will minimize the risk of EMI interference.
  • Furthermore, always wear appropriate protective gear, such as eye and ear protection, gloves, and a hard hat.
  • Things will get even more general when you have someone with you while using a chainsaw. They can help you in an emergency and assist if you experience any symptoms related to your pacemaker.

By taking these precautions, individuals with pacemakers can safely use chainsaws. With proper guidance from a doctor and adherence to safety guidelines, the pacemaker and chainsaw can work together in harmony, allowing individuals to engage in activities they enjoy without compromising their health.

Medtronic Pacemaker and Chainsaw Use

For those with Medtronic pacemakers, specific guidelines indicate that heavy machinery and power tools like chainsaws should be operated with caution. Medtronic pacemaker chainsaw use is not recommended without thorough consultation with healthcare professionals.

What If a Pacemaker Is Not Used?

what if a pacemaker is not used

If a pacemaker is not used when needed, individuals with heart conditions may experience various symptoms and complications. A pacemaker is typically required when an individual’s heart rate is too slow or irregular. This can lead to fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and chest pain. In severe cases, an irregular heartbeat can lead to cardiac arrest.

Without a pacemaker, 

  • The heart may be unable to pump blood effectively, leading to decreased oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues and organs. 
  • It can also result in various complications, including heart failure, stroke, and organ damage. 
  • In some cases, a slow or irregular heartbeat may indicate an underlying condition requiring medical attention, such as heart disease or a heart attack.

To clear most of the mind’s thoughts, a pacemaker is not a cure for heart conditions. It is only a device that helps regulate the heartbeat and improve the quality of life. Individuals may sometimes need additional medical interventions, such as medication or surgery, to manage their heart condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use an electric chainsaw with a pacemaker?

Yes, but check with your healthcare provider first to ensure it’s safe for your specific pacemaker model.

What tools can you not use with a pacemaker?

Avoid tools with strong electromagnetic fields; your doctor can provide a specific list.

Things you can’t do with a pacemaker?

Activities with a risk of impact or strong electromagnetic fields might be off-limits—ask your cardiologist.

Can I use Bluetooth headphones with a pacemaker?

Bluetooth headphones are typically safe, but it’s a good idea to confirm with your doctor.

Can I use a riding lawn mower with a pacemaker?

Using a riding lawn mower should be okay, but your doctor should confirm it won’t interfere with your pacemaker.

Can you use a chainsaw with a defibrillator?

It’s not recommended without medical advice due to potential electromagnetic interference.

Final Statement

  • Consult your doctor before using a chainsaw if you have a pacemaker.
  • Maintain a safe distance to avoid electromagnetic interference: 6 inches for electric chainsaws, and 12 inches for gas-powered ones.
  • Opt for chainsaw models with lower electromagnetic interference risks.
  • Always wear appropriate safety gear while operating a chainsaw.
  • Have someone present for added safety while you work.