Jason, I understand that I can really hurt myself if I'm not careful! I read all of the manual before using it and have read up on many safety sites. I have quite a bit of work to do, and I probably will be renting a chipper soon! I don't think Home Depot will take it back now, it's pretty used. There's a lot of sawdust on it and the bar has a scuff or two. I am definitely being as careful as I can. So, what do you think? Is it just the chain? I didn't tighten the tension like the instructions said after the first few cuts, but other than that, I have been doing well. thanks!