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Our chainsaw buying guide will help you understand your needs and what chainsaw suits you best. There are cases that you need to invest in a powerful chainsaw to help you get the job done and other times you’re needs will be covered with a less expensive model.
Understanding your needs is crucial in order to make the right decision. Our chainsaw buying guide aims at doing exactly that.
Gasoline or electric? Battery or cable? What blade size is appropriate? Read what it takes to choose the chainsaw that best suits your needs.
So, you are looking to buy a chainsaw, but as everything in life, you want to make the best choice for your money and needs.
Chainsaws are now used for common tasks such as garden shaping, branch cutting, tree pruning, firewood cutting, and small wood constructions.
If used correctly, they can help save money and working hours – always compared to assigning such tasks to professionals.
But what’s the right chainsaw for you? Is there one for all jobs or does it need separate devices for each task?
Between handheld chainsaws for casual users and powerful models for professionals, you will be able to choose the one that suits your needs thanks to this guide, which will help you examine the key factors for a proper purchase.
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Chainsaw Buying Guide
This chainsaw buying guide is big. Navigate through the various sections by clicking the relative link below.
- Chainsaw Buying Guide
- Size Based Chainsaws
- Chainsaw Categories Based on Engine Type
- Choosing a Chainsaw Based on The Type Of Work You’ll Be Using It For
- Chainsaw Categories Based on Design
- Special Features To Look For
- Safety Equipment
Size Based Chainsaws
Chainsaws range from small electric models to large gazoline-powered ones, designed for professional use. The general rule is that the larger the size (of the blade, the engine, and the entire chainsaw) the more suitable it is for heavy work.
This, however, does not mean that the biggest is the best since flexibility and low weight are often required. For most operations and household use, 40-46 cm blades are sufficient. (e.g Craftsman 42cc, 16-inch bar, gas chainsaw)
💡 TIP: Start from low and along with the way you go up in cubism, watt, and blade size. That’s how you’re going to save money and get familiar with cutting wood.
As there are no all-purpose chainsaws, the work also determines the type of chainsaw you should choose. The type and size of wood are the primary factors and determine the size of the blade.
A model with a large relatively blade can cut larger diameter trunks. In general, the length of the blade ranges from 25 to 55 cm or more in petrol-powered models. Electric chainsaws are usually smaller and are used for garden shaping and cutting small branches.
The characteristics of petrol-powered chainsaws are cubism, horsepower, weight and input power. The most basic is horsepower and determines whether you can cut large trunks and harder wood.
Horsepower is also related to the diameter of the wood (like the blade), as the strongest chainsaws cut large wood in a shorter time and facilitate long-term work. So the operator completes his work faster and gets less tired.
Chainsaw Categories Based on Engine Type
It is the most widely used type and combines the power of petrol engines with the flexibility and portability of electrics.
Gasoline chainsaws have a two-stroke engine that starts with a crank and works with a mixture of gasoline and oil. It is precise because of this particularity that the quantities provided by the manufacturer must be mixed or supplied with a ready-made mixture which, however, is more expensive. (Husqvarna Pre-Mixed 2-Stroke Fuel)
The great advantage of petrol chainsaws is that they cut quickly and efficiently by reducing working time. However, because they produce exhaust gases, they can only be used in open spaces and not e.g. cutting laboratories, while they are noisier than electrics.
Chainsaws in this category are powered by electricity. They are easy to use (as long as you only connect them to the network), are lighter and portable than petrol cars, and are effective for most tasks.
However, their use is limited by the fact that they must be permanently connected to a power supply and the electric motors are not as strong as petrol engines.
Electric chainsaws are suitable for light work, garden care, and tree pruning near the house. Indicatively you will need a power cord of 20-30 meters (with 2 mm diameter) to cover all possible points of a garden.
💡 TIP: For safety and chainsaw protection, it is a good idea not to use multiple power cords, but only one of good quality.
Battery Based Chainsaws
In recent years there have been more and more rechargeable models given the progress in batteries. The running time of battery chainsaws depends on voltage and current, but they usually work for 30-40 minutes with breaks and take at least an hour to charge the battery.
Battery chainsaws are just as portable as petrol cars and have fewer vibrations. The engine of these models does not produce exhaust gases, it is quiet, but at the same time, it is less powerful, which is why they are not suitable for heavy operations such as cutting logs and large woods.
Choosing a Chainsaw Based on The Type Of Work You’ll Be Using It For
As mentioned above, the bigger and harder the pieces of wood (e.g. oak), the larger chainsaw is required. For agricultural work and frequent use you will need a professional petrol chainsaw to cut large branches, logs and wood comfortably.
If you live in an area of intense vegetation that increases a lot during the year, then you need a medium-powered petrol chainsaw in order to do the job faster and more restfully. It is worth noting that petrol cars require regular maintenance, change of spark plugs and cleaning of the air filter.
For areas with less vegetation and less growth of plants, you can rely on a strong electric model. If you prefer to work more often for fewer hours, then it’s best to invest in a battery model. Keep in mind, however, that their batteries have a specific life span (usually a few years) and their replacement costs.
💡 TIP: One criterion to choose correctly is the design and geometry of the chainsaw. The pruning chainsaws have a handle over the motor to make them more easily centered and not tire the pruner. For general use (not pruning) chainsaws with the handle behind the motor are preferred.
Chainsaw Categories Based on Design
Typical chainsaws have a blade with chain, motor and two handles for more stable grip. Appliances in this category are more powerful and can be used for all kinds of tasks, from pruning bushes to cutting firewood and logs.
As is understood by their name, these models feature a pole that acts as an extension and allows for cutting branches at a higher height. The saws can be battery, current, or petrol and are usually of less power than the corresponding standard chainsaws because the engine is smaller.
These tools combine features from chainsaws and pruning scissors. Electric scissors usually have a chain that moves between two blades, which are protected with covers to avoid injury. They are ideal for lighter work, pruning, and garden shaping. (e.g KOMOK electric scissors)
Special Features To Look For
Engine power and blade size are the most important features, but chainsaws also have other properties related to comfort, safety, and efficiency.
The design of chainsaws determines whether large vibrations are produced during operation. The smaller the vibrations, the more comfortable the chainsaw and the less fatigue it causes.
Therefore, for systematic use and long hours of work it is good to choose a chainsaw with fewer vibrations.
Vibrations also have to do with the size of the blade. The larger the blade, the more vibrations it causes, so you have to choose the right size.
A special spring is used in conjunction with the crank for starting in petrol-powered chainsaws.
Most chainsaws lubricate the chain during operation. Lubrication is necessary for safety (not to break the chain) and performance (more effective cutting).
Some chainsaws have a special mechanism that automatically stops chain movement when they encounter great resistance or when they make a sudden move, thus protecting the engine and chain. Some models also have a manual brake.
This feature on chains and blades prevents the chainsaw from moving backward and upwards and protects the operator.
A special feature that prevents large pieces of wood from reaching the air filter so as not to prevent air from entering the engine.
Chainsaws are associated with thousands of cases of amputations and injuries (e.g. chain hitting the body) each year and cannot be used without the necessary equipment for operator safety. The latter includes gloves, goggles, helmet, earplugs and special clothing.
💡 TIP: Never cut on a ladder or above shoulder height. If you have to do this, use a saw or electric scissors (loppers).
- Gloves: necessary equipment to avoid cuts to the hands and to catch the handles more firmly. (Recommended: Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves)
- Work boots: with special non-slip material, protect against cuts and falls. (Recommended: Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot)
- Clothing: usually it is special pants and a work jacket that protects against cuts. Clothing can be supplemented with upholstery, knee pads, hand protectors, etc. (Recommended: FORESTER Durable Chainsaw Safety Chaps)
- Helmet-glasses: protect the head and eyes from large pieces of wood and branches. (Recommended: TR Industrial Safety Helmet & Ear Muffs)
- Earplugs: useful for long operations with petrol-powered chainsaws. (Recommended: Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs)
So these are the basic features you need to test in order to find the right chainsaw for you and for the kind of work you will do.
Remember that a quality purchase will give you years of frequent and trouble-free use and that the price reflects the quality of each tool.
With these in mind make the best possible choice of chainsaw and enjoy using it.
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