Chainsaw Buying Guide
Chainsaws are one of those tools that you shop for once in a while. They usually are not used as often as other tools you may have in your tool shed.
Shopping for a chainsaw for the first time can be a bit of a challenge because you are new to the market, you may not even know where to start.
We have created this guide for you to address just that concern.
Types Of Chainsaws
There are two main types of chainsaws in the market today. Electric and petrol powered. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Electric chainsaws are usually lighter and so easier to manoeuvre and are generally cheaper than petrol chainsaws. Electric chainsaws are easier to start than petrol chainsaws because you don’t have to yank a pulley to get the engine going.
These are best for chopping up limbs and branches from a tree as opposed to the tree itself.
Electric chainsaws are not as powerful as petrol chainsaws. The chain doesn’t spin quite as fast and require more effort doing the same job as a petrol chainsaw due to the lack of power.
Another drawback with petrol chainsaws is that they are corded. This is not convenient – to be bound by a cord. It can get in the way while you’re trying to work and could even be a hazard.
Yes, you can get battery powered, cordless chainsaws – but then the chainsaws longevity is as long as the power in the battery – you can always buy multiple batteries to keep you going. Also battery powered chainsaws are slower.
Some battery powered chainsaws are more powerful than others, you can check these based on the voltage or wattage. The higher the wattage / voltage, the more power you will have in your chainsaw.
Petrol powered chainsaws are much more powerful than the electric chainsaws. The motor is very aggressive and powers the chain to spin faster making even harder jobs easy.
Petrol chainsaws also don’t need to have a cord holding them back – you just get on with the work.
Petrol powered chainsaws have their flaws too. They are heavier than electric chainsaws which means they are not quite as easy to manoeuvre as electric chainsaws. Depending on the amount of work you need to do, you would need to take regular breaks.
They are also noisier than electric chainsaws because of the powerful motor. It is recommended to wear ear protectors especially if you intend to use a patrol powered chainsaw for any length of time.
Petrol chainsaws also require more maintenance than electric chainsaws, and to start the motor you need to pull on a lever, sometimes several times before it starts.
Petrol chainsaws will also need oil as well as petrol, and you will need to regularly tighten its chain. The chain naturally gets lose through use.
The power in petrol chainsaws are measured in CC or cubic centimetres. This represents the size of the engine. The larger this number, the more power in your chainsaw.
Chain Breaking System
Needless to say, chainsaws can be very dangerous if there happened to be a mishap with one. In order to protect us from the chainsaw, manufacturers have started added a chain breaking system.
The chain breaking system is a mechanism in place to protect you from the chainsaw if there was a kickback. A kickback can occur when the tip of the chainsaw comes in contact with the wood and the saw jolts upwards. The chain breaking mechanism kicks in when this happens as your left hand would push the lever forward which instantly turns off the chain.
Chainsaws, as stated above, can be dangerous. To protect yourself, be sure to invest in protective gear incase the unfortunate were to happen.
It is advisable to invest in;
- Goggles – to protect your eyes from flying wood chips
- Ear plugs – to protect your ears as these things can get very loud – in particular the petrol powered ones
- Hard hats – if you are chopping down a tree then this is a no brainer. You don’t tree limbs or in worst case scenario – the tree to fall and hit you on the head. Note: You can actually get a hard hat with built in ear protectors and a face mask – all in one!
- Gloves – to protect your hands from getting cuts and splinters from the wood chips
- Steel toed boots – the last thing you want is for a heavy chunk of wood to drop and break your toe!
- CHAPS – otherwise known as chainsaw leggings – for protecting the legs from the saw