For some the sound is music to their ears. For others it is nothing more than a horrible racket. For many it conjures up images of a crazed madman wading through blood and gore all over Texas, leaving mutilated body parts in his wake.
For those who know and understand the chainsaw, however, it is one of the most useful labor saving devices ever invented, a key link in the chain of modern industry. This site is for those who love, respect and understand the chainsaw as well those who are chainsaw newcomers. It will educate and enlighten you about this incredible, yet underappreciated machine. Ultimately though it will address one over-riding question – what is the best chainsaw for you?
Chainsaws are an amazing labor saving tool. A job that once took hours and bucket loads of sweat and toil can now be accomplished in a matter of seconds.
Chainsaws come in three variations:
- Battery Operated Saws
- Electric Saws
- Gas Powered saws
Each of these machines is ideal for a specific purpose.
Battery Operated Saw
Battery operated saws allow the user the convenience of not having to fuel up their unit without being limited by the reach of their extension cord. The trade off is a loss of power. A battery operated unit is, however, well up to most tasks that will be demanded of it around the home.
The electric saw is an ideal unit for small jobs around the home. Even though it has a lot more power than the Pole Saw, it’s convenience is it’s imitation. Because it runs off of electricity it requires very little maintenance or preparation for use. Simply plug it in and go. Of course, that requires having a power outlet to plug it into. So, while you may be able to get an extension cord to reach to bottom of your yard, you won’t be able to use an electric saw in the bush or forest.
Gas Powered Saw
The gas powered chainsaw is the real man’s saw. It is more powerful than the other two versions, making it the ideal machine to tackle those thick tree trunks. The gas powered chainsaw comes in a range of blades lengths from 12 to 20 inches. It is the heaviest of the three saw variants, is powered by a 2-stroke engine and is powered by a mix of gas and oil.
Which ChainSaw in UK is Best For You?
Your decision on which is the best chainsaw to purchase begins with the question ‘Do you really need a chainsaw at all?’ Unless you will be working with branches that are more than 2 inches in diameter, you’re probably going to be better off with a bow saw, a hedge trimmer or a lopper. For small firewood jobs, an axe is going to do the job while providing a great workout in the process.
For larger jobs, however, a chainsaw will prove to be a great investment. It will save you a heap of time, energy and, when used properly, will prove to be safer than any of the other options. If your objective is to purchase a saw as a home maintenance tool and if you’re happy to run an extension cord across the lawn (with the aid of a transformer, of course), then you are probably going to opt for an electric saw. If, however, you intend to venture further abroad than your mail box or you’re going to be bringing down entire trees of substantial girth, you’d better start looking into the gas powered market. And while it may seem that a gas powered unit is always going to be a better choice, this option does have it’s positives and it’s negatives:
The Benefits of Gas Powered Saws
- Faster Cutting – that’s because they have a higher chain speed. In fact that chain can spin at up to 70 miles per hour.
- More Choice – you can purchase a gas powered unit that is anywhere from six to forty pounds in weight. Blade lengths vary between 12 inches and six feet.
- Versatility – due to the fact that you aren’t bound by the nearest electric power outlet you can use your gas powered saw virtually anywhere (it’s not recommended to use them indoors, however).
- Safety – gas powered saws have more built-in safety features such as chain brakes and other innovations to make them easy to use.
The Drawbacks of Gas Powered Saws
- More expensive
- Require fuel and oil
- Trickier to start
- Heavier, requiring more strength to use
- Make more noise and produce more smoke
- Require more maintenance
The Right Engine Size for You
Once you made the decision on the best chainsaw type for you, the next consideration should revolve around engine size. A chainsaw is made of two main components – the engine and the chain and guide bar. The engine is otherwise known as the power head and you have a number of options as to which size you will select. While most manufacturers match the size of the engine to the length of the guide bar, this is not always the best way to go. The primary consideration should be the type of wood that you will be sawing through most frequently.
The power of an electric power head is denoted in terms of it’s horsepower, which ranges from one to three horsepower.
Gas powered engine capacity is generally rated in terms of their cubic inches. Cubic inches (CC) refers to the size of the chamber where the gas and oil mixture is stored. For jobs such as trimming hedges, pruning trees and limbing small trees, a 30cc small electric engine will more than suffice. Cutting firewood at home that has a diameter of less than 10 inches and cutting medium sized trees will require that you go up to a 45cc engine. For larger jobs you’ll want to go for a saw with between a 50 and a 64 cc power head.
Obviously, the larger the engine size, the more grunt it will produce, requiring greater strength and control to use it safely. Using a large chainsaw for more than a few minutes is hard work. After a few hours your whole body will be feeling the effects. Make sure that you are in the right physical condition to handle the machine. If you don’t your risk compromising your safety.
In finding the best chainsaw for the intended use that you have in mind, you don’t have to be limited by the manufacturer’s matching of power head to bar. Any reputable dealer will allow you the freedom of matching the bar length that you need to the power head that’s best to provide the necessary grunt to get the job done.
To measure the length of the guide bar, a measurement is taken from the tip of the cutting extension to the point where the blade meets the housing of the power head. As a general rule, you should not use a blade length that is longer than the typical job that you’ll be using. If you do, there’s a chance of cutting into thing that you don’t want to, causing annoyance and possible kick back. The following guide will help you to match the guide bar length to the job that you wish it to accomplish.
Bar Length 12 to 14 inches
Task : Trimming jobs, pruning, limbing, taking down small trees
Bar Length 16 to 18 inches
Task: Medium size tree felling, cutting up firewood
Bar Length 18 to 20 inches
Task: Large cutting jobs beyond your back yard
Other Purchasing Considerations
Frequency of Use
If you’re only going to use your chainsaw once or twice a year, you may be better off calling in a professional operator to do the job for you. If you leave a gas powered saw sitting around, unused for an extended period of time, it’s going to be hard to start. In addition the expense, which includes buying a whole host of safety gear, probably won’t warrant infrequent use.
If you are going to get out with your saw less than once every couple of months, an electric saw is probably the best chainsaw for you. If you are going to go with a gas powered machine, make sure that you are prepared to maintain it.
For more frequent, regular use a gas powered saw will provide you with a faster cutting speed and more freedom of movement.