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I'd so challenge that. The haunts near me that use chainsaws use REAL chainsaws, for two reasons:

1. gas powered = that light smell of gasoline

2. the sprocket at the tip of the blade makes lovely sparks when scraped along the pavement.
 

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Safety wise a chainsaw without the chain is still VERY dangerous. The bar will get an edge from the chain passing over it. Not to mention swinging a flat piece of steel around. IMO accidents can and do happen and any haunter using a real bar from a chainsaw is gonna wind up getting hurt over the practice.

It is far too easy to make a fake bar out of thin plywood / luaun - somewhat safer - no sharp edges.

Just my .02
 

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Roadkill has a good point. It's a point I tend to bring up at haunts I work for that use 'broken in' chainsaws and remove the chains. The edges of the bar DO get worn and somewhat sharp from regular use.

I have my own saw that I use. I bought it for the sole purpose of Haunting. I removed the blade before I used it so the edges of the bar had no time to wear. I've also found using Plastidip on the bar allows me to use things like liquid latex and fake blood to give it more of a 'used' look.

Of course the plastidip makes the sparks obsolete because its flammable, but the haunt I worked for did not allow the chainsaw actors to make sparks due to the environment.
 

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The weight can be a real issue too. Swinging around that saw gets real old in a hurry, not to mention the fumes/exhaust the engine gives off, those aren't good for ANYBODY.
The bar is thin enough to do some major damage/injury to people and property when you get to swinging it around. That first injury, and the lawsuit that comes with it, will be for more than your haunt will make for many years combined, not to mention that you won't be able to get insurance or permits to carry on.
Consider using fiber-optics sprouting from the bar, and pipe in the sounds of the chainsaws surrounding the guests. The surround-sound will disorient the guests as to where they are being attacked from, adding to the element of surprise, and the fiber optics (think fine fishing line) sprouting from the bar will appear to be sparks without the chance of fire or burns. Using a little tech light @ 5000 lumens or so, will give you a light weight but solid light source for the fiber optics, and it gives you an inexpensive way to get your effect. They use a 18650 battery, which can be recharged, so you can always have your effect of "sparks" at the touch of a button.
 

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Two points:

1) As a kid, I remember seeing a case on "The Peoples Court" / Judge Wapner: Lady claimed injury at a haunted house due to chainsaw. Case was dismissed because the defendant brought in the chainsaw (no chain, bar covered in duct tape) to show that while it was 'real' and made 'real' sound, you could not get cut by the bar. (Though still obviously the hassle of a court case / defense, etc.)

2) In this day and age, carrying around a chainsaw/no chain/duct taped bar, is likely similar to carrying around a hand gun but saying "it's not loaded."

3) No scare is quite equal to coming around a dark corner and having a real chainsaw spark to life on the first pull and hear that R-R-A-A-A-R-R-R-R!!! coming after you.

My .02 - go real, or go home! lol :D
 

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A chain saw without the chain vibrates more. We once used a brand new one and apparently the bolts weren't in tightly enough and part way through the night they jiggled out and it fell apart!

Our haunt is outdoors, so now we use an angle grinder for a similar scare. West have various metal stakes and bars in an industrial setting and the noise and sparks are impressive. As a finale, the crazy dude turn it on himself (he's wearing a metal chest plate--and full safety protection, of course0
 
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