What to Know…
There are a few things to consider when you go to buy a chainsaw, depending on what you will use it for and what is most important in terms of its portability.
There are three main types of chainsaws; gas, electric and cordless. Each type has different pros and cons. Gas chainsaws are arguably the most powerful and cut the fastest. They can be used anywhere outside, even in inclement weather, but they can’t be used inside as they emit gas fumes. They are also very noisy and may require a mixture of oil and gasoline. In some cases, the fuel will need to be drained from the chainsaw if it is going to sit for a while, as otherwise it could gunk up the carburetor.
Electric chainsaws can be used inside, but they can’t be used outside in wet weather and most have a cord limit of 100 feet, so you will have to take that into account when setting up your task. However, they are less noisy than gas chainsaws and vibrate less as well.
Cordless chainsaws are quiet and light, and great for trimming shrubbery and cutting smaller branches, but for heavier tasks, they may not have the necessary power. Most consider them decent additions to a tool shed, but not for a primary saw for heavy duty work.
When buying a chainsaw, it is important to check out the saw’s individual features and figure out which ones would benefit you the most. Safety features are always an important element of choosing a chainsaw. If you are not an expert, it is recommended that you get a saw with an anti-kickback chain. The chain keeps the saw from kicking back if the tip catches on something. Along those same lines, a double-acting chain brake is even safer. It acts in two ways. The guard on the front helps keep the hand from going forward to the bar and chain, but also if the saw does kick back and the guard hits the hand, the chain will stop. Some chains breaks are equipped with inertia sensors that will halt the chain before it gets too close to the hand.
Other handy features include anti-vibration handles, built-in circuit breakers for electric chainsaws, primer bulbs and decompression valves on gas chainsaws for easier starting, California Air Resources Board-certified chainsaws have lower toxic emissions, heavy-gauge weatherproof extension cords for electric chainsaws, and make sure to budget for a good sharp chain. It is also important to have protective clothing and gear while working with a chainsaw.
Choosing the right gas chainsaw requires a little research and a little patience. As you begin your search, you’ll find a wide variety of gas chainsaws in the marketplace. Gas chainsaws offer a multitude of features and wide range of power options. Here are the three manufacturers we recommend:
- Husqvarna – Why is Husqvarna worthy of top pick? Well, in our mind it boils down to customer ratings. We’ve scanned numerous websites and found that Husqvarna chainsaws tend to receive the best customer reviews. They tend to offer plenty of power and remarkable durabiliy for those frequest users.
- Solo – It’s always hard to rank power tools considering the various models and pricing structures. For those willing to spend a little bit more, Solo makes a great chainsaw! Very durable and plenty of features.
- Poulan – Poulan chainsaws tends to be favored among the casual users. Average price for a new Poulan saw is around $150. Similar to Solo and Husqvarna, Poulan tends to receive high customer reviews across the board.
Electric and Cordless Saws
For those occasional small woodcutting jobs around the yard electric and cordless chainsaws do the trick. As you might have guessed, electric and cordless chainsaws offer far less power than gas chainsaws. Although, the cordless and electric offer the benefit of being quieter, cost less, lighter, easier to start and may be utilized indoors.
It’s not uncommon for individuals living in wooded areas to own a gas and cordless chainsaw. Typically the cordless saw would be used for smaller projects or as backup.
Here’s a shortlist of some of the best electric and cordless chainsaws.
- Black & Decker