How do I choose a chainsaw? A beginner guide


Purchasing a new chainsaw may seem like an intimidating task, especially if it is your first time. If you browse through online information, you will realize that there are so many factors to consider. The engine size, length of the chain bar, and cutting power are some of the things that can keep you reading all sorts of articles.

It doesn’t have to be that hard, and that’s why I decided to come up with this guide to help you find the right chainsaw for your work.  Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, this article will come in handy as you look to acquire the best homeowner chainsaw in the market. Let get started!

Identify the task

How do I choose a chainsaw

What do you intend to do with your new chainsaw? Every machine is built with a certain cutting objective in mind. Professionals already know that this is not a guessing game otherwise, you will end up regretting your choices. Sometimes people blame the quality of the chainsaw, yet they are using it for unintended tasks. A chainsaw that was manufactured to carry out lightweight tasks cannot and should not be used to cut down hardwoods.

Suppose you are planning to use the machine a few times every year for light cutting. Which chainsaw should you choose then? In this case, I will recommend that you go with an electric-powered one. This is perfect for light tasks that will take a few minutes or hours.

A cordless electric chainsaw is a great pick if you will be moving from one place to another. For tasks that can be done within a fixed position, you might consider a corded chainsaw. One disadvantage of a cordless one is the fact that the battery cannot sustain you for many hours while. On the other hand, corded ones are also limited by their extension cable.

If you are planning to cut a whole forest of trees, then a gasoline-powered chainsaw is your best choice. Also, pick one with an engine of at least 45cc and everything should run smoothly. With this, you will not be limited by the battery life or an extension cable. All you have to keep an eye on is the fuel level.

Which type of trees will you be dealing with? There are some woods, such as birch, beech, and dogwood, that require very high cutting power. As such, whether you’ve decided on an electric or gas-powered chainsaw, make sure to choose the most powerful. However, gas-powered are generally more powerful than their counterparts. Therefore I would recommend that you stay away from electric chainsaws if this is your intended purpose.

Are you experienced enough?

Another very important factor has to do with your prior experience. If you have never bought a chainsaw before, I would recommend the smaller ones. Remember this is the most dangerous tools available to man, and that’s why you will find movie stars using them as weapons.

The chain is not guarded; therefore, the shortest is the safest for you. A guide bar of between 12” and 18” should work just fine for you. Again, this is dependent on the task you are looking to accomplish.

Identify the frequency of your usage

Yes, this is also very significant in your hunt for an ideal chainsaw. Both categories have advantages over each other depending on how often you will be cutting down your trees.

Electric chainsaws are perfect for those chores that are far apart throughout the year. If your machine will remain unused for more than a month, then you should pick one that doesn’t require regular maintenance. Gasoline engines need more maintenance; otherwise, they will be damaged within a few months. Electric motors, on the other hand, can go a long time without maintenance even if they are unused.

As for more frequent tasks, gas-powered chainsaws are the best because of their durability. Although it might vary from one manufacturer to another, gasoline chainsaws seem to sustain tough conditions for longer periods than the electric ones.

Consider Those Around You

Consider Those Around You

Where will you be cutting your trees? Does the environment favor the sound of the engine? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before moving forward. Gasoline chainsaws are very noisy for obvious reasons. Therefore, they might not be ideal for cutting woods near your neighbors. Not everyone is comfortable with the buzz of a chainsaw at work, so don’t be inconsiderate.

What is Your Budget?

So you have already decided on which type of chainsaws you need. The next step is to narrow down to the one that meets all your needs at an affordable price. Affordability is subjective, and everyone has their range. Similarly, there is something for everyone in the chainsaw market. You need to make up your mind and do your calculations.

Chainsaws can for as low as $70, but these are mostly electric ones. If you have heavy tasks, you might want to consider high-quality gasoline chainsaws going for at least $200. As an expert, if your budget allows, why not get yourself the most powerful one available? Stihl and Husqvarna have large chainsaws retailing at about $2,000. If you need more information on the cost of chainsaws, we have an article that covers the subject in details.

Closing Remarks

In summary, the main factors you should keep in mind before buying a new chainsaw are the intended purpose, environment, and your budget. With these points checked off, you will not regret your purchase.

As I have stated in most of my guides, safety should always be the priority. The number of reported injuries due to these machines is quite high and seems to be increasing every year. So, before you start operating your chainsaw, make sure you know what you are doing. Wearing protective gear should never be optional.

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