Chainsaws are handy and indispensable tools for many homeowners. They are used for pruning, felling trees, cutting firewood, and other such tasks.
They come in all sorts of sizes, have different features and use different power sources. Before deciding to purchase one, there are some things that you need to consider.
1. Type of work you for which you are going to be using the chainsaw
Before you purchase a chainsaw, you should consider the kind of material that you want to cut with it. Some people think that getting a big chainsaw would be perfect for all their cutting needs.
This is far from the truth because light cutting jobs would only require a light-duty chainsaw. Using a heavy-duty saw that is long for such jobs is dangerous and can lead to accidents.
On the other hand, using a small chainsaw for tough cutting jobs is going to be ineffective and time-wasting. It is, therefore, best that you consider what you are going to cut and get a chainsaw that is appropriate for the job.
You can make use of electric chainsaws for light cutting jobs such as pruning or trimming hedges.
As a professional wood logger or an experienced person who needs to carry out big cutting jobs, you’ll be better off opting for a petrol chainsaw. Petrol chainsaws deliver the most power and will help you get your job done more easily than corded or battery-powered chainsaws.
2. Are you going to be working far away from a power source?
If you are using the chainsaw in, say, your garden, then you may be close enough to an electricity socket and so, you can purchase an electric chainsaw if you want one.
However, if you are going to be using the tool in a place where you cannot plug it into an electrical socket, then you will have to purchase a cordless or gasoline chainsaw.
3. Type of chainsaw you want
There are three different types of chainsaws on the market. They are gasoline, cordless and corded chainsaws.
Each type has its benefits and you should be aware of them so that you can see if the chainsaw you want matches your requirements.
4. Petrol chainsaws
These have the greatest power among the three varieties, meaning that they will get your cutting job done faster and more easily than the cordless and corded models.
Hyundai does this 2 stroke chainsaw that does an amazing job on light fuel loads.
Petrol chainsaws are also quite portable and since they do not need to be plugged into a power source, you can easily transport them from one location to another. These power tools use a two-stroke engine, and because of their great power, are best used for big cutting jobs.
However, they have some disadvantages. For one thing, they are quite noisy, release exhausts, and can be quite heavy. Aside from that, there’s the fact that they need regular maintenance. You’ll need to buy the petrol for running your chainsaw, then engine oil to maintain it.
5. Corded or electric chainsaws
These are the next powerful chainsaws after petrol chainsaws. They are not as expensive as the other models. They use electricity to function and are great for smaller cutting jobs. Corded chainsaws have the advantage of being lightweight, quiet and they also require low maintenance.
This corded chainsaw from Oregon is the best value for money I found.
Less experienced chainsaw users will be better off with this model, or the cordless models than with the petrol models. A disadvantage of corded chainsaws is that you’ll have limited movement using them because of their cords.
You need to be careful with the cords so that you do not trip while using the device. When purchasing an extension cord for your chainsaw, ensure that you get one that matches the amperage of your chainsaw perfectly. Also, you should get one that is water-resistant and has a power indicator.
6. Cordless or battery-powered chainsaws
These types work with batteries and are the least powerful of the three. They are lighter than petrol chainsaws, and like them, you can use cordless ones away from an electrical socket.
Einhell made this cordless chainsaw that is well rated and at a good price point.
They are better suited for smaller cutting jobs and inexperienced users as they do not pack as much power as the petrol chainsaws. They also require only little maintenance.
However, since they use batteries, they have limited run time and so, it is advisable that if you get one, you also get a spare battery for it.
7. The weight and size of the saw
You should consider your comfort when thinking of purchasing a chainsaw. The heavier the tool is, the more easily you are going to get tired when using it.
Petrol chainsaws are the heaviest types and using them can affect your ease of movement, especially if you are using them for light or medium cutting jobs or if you are inexperienced.
They are therefore best for professional loggers. For works like wood carving, it is advised that you get a lightweight chainsaw to reduce the strain on your arms while working.
8. The engine size of the chainsaw
The motor size of a chainsaw matters a great deal, depending on the work for which you are going to be using the device. The engine sizes of petrol chainsaws range from 23cc to 120cc and the bigger the cc (cubic centimetre), the more power the tool is going to generate.
If you decide to use a petrol chainsaw as a homeowner, you should go for one with an engine size of between 30cc to 45cc. For electric chainsaws, their motor power is measured in amperes, with their amps ranging from 8 to 15 amps.
9. Your level of experience with chainsaws
Chainsaws can be dangerous tools, even to experienced users. It is, therefore, best that if you have never used one before, or you have only a limited experience using them, you get one of the least powerful ones.
Getting a very powerful one as a beginner is not recommended at all, as beginners are not advised to carry out big cutting jobs until they gain the needed experience.
Electric chainsaws do not pack as much as petrol ones and so you can get a basic electric chainsaw as a beginner.
10. The bar length of the chainsaw
A chainsaw’s bar length is the length of its cutting bar. The bigger the bar, the bigger the material that you can cut with it at once.
Bar lengths of different chainsaws range from 6 inches to 20 inches. Petrol chainsaws usually have longer bars than cordless or corded models.
11. Safety features of the chainsaw
Chainsaws can be dangerous, especially when not handled with the proper care. They can result in severe injuries for the user. This is why it is necessary to consider the safety features of the one you are purchasing before you buy it.
A safety feature that you will find on good chainsaws is an anti-kickback chain, which will minimize the kickback or jolting of the device. Another one is a trigger lock, which would stop the cutting action of the device once you release the trigger.
Apart from opting for a chainsaw with safety features, it would be best if you wore protective gear while operating the tool.
Some chainsaws have extra features that make them stand out from others. While you may not care about some of these features, others may appeal to you. For instance, some chainsaws have clear or transparent windows for oil visibility that will allow you to know the chainsaw’s oil level.
Another feature is a tool-free chain tensioning that will enable you to adjust chain tension quickly and on the go. You may also want to consider the chainsaw’s handle. The ones that have soft-grip handles and anti-vibration are easier to use and offer more comfort to the user during usage.
Other features to watch out for include built-in circuit breakers that will save your electric chainsaw’s motor from burning out, spring-assist starting that enables you to easily start the device without too much force, and an automatic oiling system. While a chainsaw might not have all the features, you should look for one that has the features that you prefer.
Your budget: Your budget is another key thing to consider if you want to purchase a chainsaw. If you do not have much money, you should consider opting for a corded chainsaw as those are cheaper than the other models. Also, some brands have cheaper chainsaw models for those who cannot purchase expensive ones, but then, you may not be sure of the quality of the device.
Chainsaws are very useful tools for those who would like to take care of their yards and landscaping by themselves. However, it will not do for you to buy any chainsaw without considering your needs and requirements.
Once you have gotten a suitable chainsaw, ensure that you take necessary precautions and wear protective gear while using it to avoid hazards.