Choosing the Best Chainsaw: Ask Yourself These Questions
Finding the appropriate tool for the job can sometimes be a task in itself. Whether you need to fell a tree, trim some hedges, or cut logs, choosing the best chainsaw can make all the difference. Before purchasing a chainsaw, ask yourself these questions!
How powerful is the chainsaw’s engine?
Power, measured by cubic centimeters (cc), differentiates chainsaw engines. A larger engine with 65 cc generates more power, which is useful when sawing through tough trees. Smaller engines with just 31 cc, meanwhile, are all you need to trim your hedges or slice thin, wooden boards. When choosing the best chainsaw, compare the tool’s engine power with the primary task for which you’ll be using it.
What size is the chainsaw’s guide bar?
The length of the guide bar is as important as the engine power. Both components go hand in hand. A long bar can make one pass through a large tree, and that robust engine provides the endurance to finish the cut. Smaller bars are more useful for cutting smaller things, especially since the engine of a small-barred chainsaw will be weaker.
What type of engine works best for me?
Chainsaws feature two primary modes of power:
- Gas: These engines use gas fuel to generate power and are often more effective at heavy-duty work than their electric counterparts. They don’t require cords to operate; however, gas engines tend to be heavier, louder, and require maintenance for refueling and cleanliness.
- Electric: These motors are powered by rechargeable batteries and require less maintenance than gas-powered engines. Electric-powered engines are often quiet and lightweight. Some electric chainsaws come with a cord that must be plugged into an outlet, but cordless options are available. While gas engines tend to be more powerful, advancing technology is creating electric chainsaws that rival gas chainsaws.
What am I using a chainsaw for?
Choosing the best chainsaw ultimately comes down to purpose. Your work will determine the type of chainsaw you purchase.
- Heavy work: If the task requires long hours felling trees, consider a professional chainsaw powered with a 65 to 110 cc engine and a guide bar of 16 to 20 inches.
- Moderate work: Cutting logs for firewood only needs a 55 cc engine with a 16 inch guide bar.
- Light work: If you want to prune hedges or branches, consider a chainsaw with a 31 to 34 cc engine. You can also purchase a pole saw, which consists of a retractable pole, small engine, and an eight-inch bar.
What safety features do I need to look for?
Remember to consider safety when choosing the best chainsaw. After all, your needs always require safety. Most manufacturers now install safety features standard, but it’s worth to check before buying or to upgrade your current equipment. The following are important safety features to have on your chainsaw:
- Chain brake: This feature a) allows the operator to halt the cutting chain between cuts to prevent a freely spinning blade, and b) clamps down on the cutting chain when kickback occurs, reducing serious injuries.
- Chain catcher: If a chain breaks or becomes derailed, it may swing towards the operator while still spinning. The chain catcher does as the name implies—it catches the chain before it can reach the operator’s hand.
These qualities—engine power and type, bar length, and safety—will help when choosing the best chainsaw for your purposes. If you’re uncertain which brand to purchase, consider our selection of Husqvarna chainsaws!
American Power Equipment is proud to serve Mobile and the surrounding area for its power equipment needs. Come see us today on Willis Road in Mobile, or visit us at www.ampoeq.com!