CHAINSAWS

All you want to know about Chainsaws but were afraid to ask

Thanks to the recent technological innovations, chainsaws have made everyday life much easier.

Although farmers and loggers commonly use chainsaws, many households use them for many tasks today. For chainsaws, regardless of their size, you need substantial control to operate them safely.

Choosing a suitable chainsaw for a task can be challenging. Presently, there are different types of chainsaws available for purchase. As such, you can find it difficult to navigate the difference between the various types on sale.

This article offers comprehensive information on the various types of chainsaws and tips to guide you before choosing a chainsaw.

Corded Electric Chainsaws
Best corded Chainsaw

As the name implies, these chainsaws run on electricity through their electric motor by plugging them into an electric outlet. They are used for small to mid-sized cutting jobs

Gas Powered Chainsaws
best gas fueled chainsaw

Got a cheap source of fuel, and you are looking to carry out challenging cutting tasks? Consider a gas-powered chainsaw! Gas-powered chainsaws are the most powerful chainsaws you will find in the consumer market.

Read more
Battery Powered Chainsaws
Best battery powered chainsaw

Suppose you are looking for a chainsaw that you can use outdoors and at the same time not worry about staying plugged in. Battery-powered chainsaws would best suit your needs.

Read more
Manual Chainsaws
best manual chainsaw

Manual chainsaws are also called pocket chainsaws. They are typically small so that you can carry them around your pocket. They are not powered in any way. Hence they do not require gas, electricity, or batteries to work.

Read more
Mini Chainsaws
best mini chainsaw

Recent developments in the manufacture of chainsaws have sprung out mini chainsaws. Mini chainsaws have become the latest type of chainsaw available. Some are designed to be held with one hand. Different right?

Read more
Pole Chainsaws
best polesaw

Pole chainsaws are ideal if you aim to saw up high while keeping your feet on the ground. A Pole chainsaw is made by attaching a chainsaw to an extension pole. Most pole saws comprise a control knob that will allow you to operate them from the end of the handle.

Read more

We offer comprehensive information on the various types of chainsaws and tips to guide you before choosing a chainsaw and hope that this will not only guide you to the ideal choice but serve to satisfy your needs and joy of operating this useful tool for many years to come.

If you are still unsure about choosing a suitable chainsaw for given the different types, brands and features of chainsaws available for purchase we’ve created the table below which may help you navigate the difference between the various types on sale.

Chainsaw comparison chart by power source

Chainsaw TypePower OutputBar LengthFrequencyApplicationEndurance
Corded Electric Chainsaws
600 – 1200 watts.
They vary with amperage
14 – 20 inches90 – 101 decibels
2 to 3 times quieter than the gas-powered chainsaw
Small to mid-sized cutting projects like for miniature trees and thick branchesThey run as long as there is a power supply
Gas-Powered Chainsaws2500 – 3000 watts. The most powerful chainsaw18 – 48 inches106 – 120 decibels
The loudest chainsaw
Majorly for heavy-duty cutting of large trees and lumberDepends on type and usage. They are expected to run between 15 – 40 minutes before you fill it up again
Battery Powered Chainsaws40 – 80 watts depending on the brand14 – 24 inches70 – 85 decibels
Noticeably quieter
They are used for lighter-duty jobs like trimming and cutting small treesThey run for about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on battery capacity
Manual ChainsawsPower output depends on your applied force6 – 12 inches35 – 45 decibelsSuitable for Small cutting jobs such as firewood for a campfireThey run as long as you continue to apply effort
Mini Chainsaws550 – 1000 watts
depending on model
 
Varies with the model and brand. Small power saws range from 4 – 10 inches, while heavy-duty saws range from 18 – 24 inchesDepends on the model.
Gas-powered models are the loudest
Great for pruning branches and cutting small logsDepends on the model and usage
Pole Chainsaws300 – 1000 watts
depending on model
Varies with the model and brand.
Extendable Pole length can be up to 312 inches (26ft)
Depends on the model.
Gas-powered models are the loudest
Great for pruning high, small to mid-size trees and branches and trimming garden hedgesDepends on the model and usage

Pros and Cons of the 6 types of chainsaw

choosing the best chainsaw for type and features
Chainsaws Types and Features

Perhaps the primary factor you should consider before choosing a chainsaw is its intended purpose. Chainsaws are mainly used for cutting down branches and trees. Notwithstanding, you can apply them in land clearing, farming, fencing, landscaping, sculpting foliage, wood carving, and chopping firewood.

Now, how do you choose the correct chainsaw for its intended use? Without further ado, look at the following types of chainsaws to know which is suited for you.

Most Important Features of Chainsaws – Everything You Should Know

Chainsaw basics

What is the best chainsaw on the market for the money?

Chainsaws are mechanical cutting tools comprising a rotating cutting element, a motor unit and a handle system. Today, chainsaws are indispensable tools that homeowners, farmers, loggers, and professionals use for various activities. They include tree felling, land clearing, chopping firewood, and even for emergencies like cutting firebreaks in wildland fire suppression.

For chainsaws, irrespective of their size, it is essential that you are adequately trained and competent to use them. Getting a suitable chainsaw is easier said than done, as chainsaws are now available in different types, prices, and applications.

Hence, this guide will examine an extensive list of top chainsaws, the important features to look for in a chainsaw, and tips for safely using chainsaws. Let’s get right into it.

What Are the Most Important Features to Look For in a Chainsaw?

Advice from chainsaw experts.png

Maybe you own a chainsaw, or you are looking to buy a one.  Either way you should know its important parts. Sit back and relax as this guide covers the important features to look for in a chainsaw to match your needs. Below are some of the essential features of a chainsaw:

●     Type of Engine/Power Source

Generally, there are three main chainsaws based on engine type or power source. They are corded electric, gas-powered and battery-powered chainsaws. Gas-powered chainsaws are very powerful, making them suitable for heavy-duty tasks. In contrast, the corded electric and the battery-powered chainsaws are more suitable for small to mid-sized cutting jobs due to their lesser power output.

Each model has its pros and cons you must consider before acquiring them. Besides, these chainsaws vary in price with brands, influencing your purchasing decision.

●     Bar Length

What-is-a-good-size-chainsaw-for-a-homeowner

The bar length of your chainsaw also determines the tasks you can execute with your chainsaw. Long bars work best with powerful chainsaws because the energy required to drive the chain around the bar makes them suitable for difficult jobs. Short bars are suitable for less powerful chainsaws. Therefore, they are used for lighter tasks.

Consequently, as a homeowner, chainsaws with bar lengths ranging from 12 to 20 inches are most suitable for you. But for professionals, chainsaws with bar lengths up to 72 inches are also accessible.

●     Chainsaw Guide Bar

The length of your chainsaw guide bar is another important feature of a chainsaw. Technically, as long as the pitch and gauge of your chainsaw match, you can fit any length of guide bar on any chainsaw size. You should find highlighted recommendations for the guide bar length if you check the manufacturer’s manual for your chainsaw.

Note that the bigger the chainsaw guide bar, the more force you need to apply while operating your chainsaw. Larger guide bars are mostly designed for chainsaws for heavy-duty projects like cutting thick trees.

●     Chainsaw Blade Configuration 

This includes the cutter material and the cutter style of your chainsaw. Both features determine the cutting ability of your chainsaw.

Chainsaw blades are usually made from steel alloy, but the chainsaw teeth are coated with materials that greatly affect how well your chainsaw blade cuts. Chainsaw teeth can be tipped with materials like Chrome, Tungsten Carbide, and Diamond. Note that these materials vary in strength, durability, and application.

Furthermore, chainsaw blades vary in cutting styles and shapes. The cutter styles react with wood differently. These cutter styles include Square Chisel, Full Chisel, Semi-Chisel, Chamfer Chisel, Chipper, Low-Profile, and Narrow Kerf cutters. Some can be dangerous for beginners or homeowners as they are only designed for professional use.

You would do well to check the manufacturer’s manual for your chainsaw to select the cutter style and material that suits the level of your chainsaw experience.

●     Chain Tensioner

This part controls the chain’s tension on the guide bar, so the chainsaw cuts smoothly.

●     Anti-Vibration Handle System

This part reduces the ergonomic stress on your hands, arms, and joint while operating the chainsaw.

●     Throttle

The throttle is a trigger knob located under the rear handle of chainsaws. It regulates the fuel that enters the combustion cylinders for a gas-powered chainsaw. Otherwise, the throttle controls the amount of amperage in the motor unit for electric chainsaws.

●     Decompression Valve

Only in gas-powered chainsaws. The decompression releases the compression from the combustion chamber to allow easier starting. The pull start is another feature common to gas-powered chainsaws.

●     Clutch

The clutch controls the spinning of the chain around the guide bar. You will find your chainsaw’s clutch attached to the chain sprocket.

●     Muffler

As the name implies, it helps reduce the noise level produced while operating your chainsaw. This part is essential for gas-powered chainsaws because their high frequency makes them quite noisy.

●     Safety Features

Personal protective equipment and chainsaw safety.
Never forget to use Personal Protective Equipment around chainsaws!

We cannot overstate your need to check for the safety features on your chainsaw, to be vigilant and to always use the proper safety equipment.  Below are the vital safety features you should look for in a chainsaw:

Chain Brake

The chain brake is located above the guide bar. It helps stops the chain if kickback occurs to prevent injury. You must not remove your chainsaw’s chain brake or if a chainsaw doesn’t have one you would be wise to get one.

Bumper Spikes

They are often called bucking spikes. They are used to place your chainsaw perfectly on a log while you cut them. They also help prevent kickbacks while cutting.

Chain Catcher

The chain catcher is located at the bottom of the saw. This metal or plastic part is designed to prevent a broken or loose chain from striking the operator.

Handguard

This plastic shield part is designed to help protect your hand from kickback. It also shields your hands from flying debris while cutting.

Throttle Lock

The part is a safety mechanism at the top of the rear handle that locks the throttle while you are operating the chainsaw. Both the throttle and lock must be pressed for the chain to move. This is to prevent you from accidentally engaging the throttle.

Spark Arrestor

The spark arrestor is a mesh-like screen included in the muffler. It helps prevent sparks like small metal pieces from escaping your chainsaw. As such, they prevent injury and reduce the risk of fire hazards. 

Again, make sure you read your chainsaw’s instruction manual and follow the guidelines to the latter. Remember, your safety comes first!

Other Features to Look for 

You can check the chainsaw’s manufacturer manual to examine the following:

  • Weight: It is vital to use a chainsaw with a weight is comfortable to carry and handle after periods of use. When we strain and tire ourselves out, that is when we become prone to injury. After all, we can’t all be like Arnie!
  • Ergonomics: This includes the chainsaw’s shape, portability, and the design of the front and rear handle.
  • Maintenance requirements: Check how easy it is to tighten and loosen your chainsaw’s chain and access the air filter and spark plug for maintenance.

How Safe Is a Chainsaw?

Chainsaw safety and PPE.png
Always be aware of your environment.

It is not that we want to spook you but if that means keeping you safe then so be it.  Chainsaws can be extremely dangerous if you lack control to operate them. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, chainsaws are involved in more than 27,000 fatal or minimal accidents annually. They include injuries in the head, arms, and legs. Most of these accidents occur when a chainsaw’s chain snags and kicks back towards the body or head of the operator.

What is Chainsaw Kickback?

Chainsaw kickback explained.

Chainsaw kickbacks are the most common causes of accidents with chainsaws. Chainsaw kickbacks occur when the moving chain at the tip or the nose of the guide bar strikes an object causing the chain to spin towards the user. This causes fatal injuries in some cases.

Avoiding Chainsaw kickback:

  • Check the chain brake before you start operating the chainsaw
  • Use low-kickback chain
  • Use a sharp chain
  • Pay closer attention to the nose of your chainsaw bar

As a result of these accidents, several manufacturers have been designing chainsaws with improved safety features to protect against kickbacks and other potential hazards.

Chainsaw kickbacks are the most common causes of accidents with chainsaws. Chainsaw kickbacks occur when the moving chain at the tip or the nose of the guide bar strikes an object causing the chain to spin towards the user. This causes fatal injuries in some cases.  Way of avoiding Chainsaw kickback: ●	Check the chain brake before you start operating the chainsaw ●	Use low-kickback chain ●	Use a sharp chain ●	Pay closer attention to the nose of your chainsaw bar As a result of these accidents, several manufacturers have been designing chainsaws with improved safety features to protect against kickbacks and other potential hazards.

Additionally, you can ensure your safety by acquiring your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before using a chainsaw. PPE for chainsaws comprise the following:

  • Safety helmet/Hard Hat
  • Ear defenders/Hearing protection
  • Chainsaw cut-resistant clothing
  • Face and Mask Protection
  • Chainsaw Gloves
  • Safety Boots

Conclusions on our introductions to Chainsaws

Chainsaws have become formidable tools many users employ to make their work much easier. However, you must follow all chainsaws’ safety and protection guidelines to use them effectively and efficiently.

Buying the right chainsaw can be challenging. Therefore, this article provided extensive information on the top 10 chainsaws available in the market for your money. This guide examined the most important features to look for in a chainsaw before buying and the tips to ensure your safety while operating your chainsaw.

Remember that your safety is the most vital aspect when operating a chainsaw!

Read more