Find out our top picks for the best chainsaws to accomplish just about any lawn or landscaping task you might come across. Oh and don't forget the right chainsaw oil to ensure your new power tools keeps humming right along!
When deciding on the best chainsaw to buy, here are some of the factors you should consider:
1. Chainsaw Size
Size is a very important aspect to consider when selecting a chainsaw.
Usually, the larger the chainsaw, the more powerful it is, which makes it better suited for larger cutting jobs.
The power of a chainsaw is usually measured in terms of the engine power or horsepower and piston displacement (cc).
2. User Experience
If you have not used a chainsaw before, then it is better to select a small-sized chainsaw that is easier to maneuver and handle.
Choosing a heavy chainsaw will tire you out easily.
The bulky size will make the chainsaw difficult to handle, will slow down your productivity and also your safety will be at risk.
3. Type of Use
You should consider buying a larger chainsaw with more power if most of your work involves cutting into hardwood or felling trees.
A smaller-sized chainsaw will be damaged in those more extreme conditions and will also cause a lot of fatigue when cutting.
If your jobs pertain to heavy-duty cutting or logging, then a gas-powered chainsaw is the best options as they are fast and powerful.
However, for light-duty jobs like clearing branches or cutting firewood, cordless and electric models are more than suitable.
4. Bar Length
The length of the bar of the chainsaw depends on your level of expertise and also the size of the tree you plan to cut.
If you have experience in using a chainsaw, then you should use at least 2 different bars of varied sizes which will allow you to vary the guide bar according to the size of the tree that you will be cutting.
A shorter bar is much lighter and is easier to handle and maneuver while you’re removing the tree limbs, while a larger bar is ideal for felling trees that are larger.
Heavy-duty chainsaws are much larger in size and the bar lengths are usually 16-18 inches.
However, a bigger chainsaw is not always better and the longer the bar, the more cumbersome it becomes to handle, while also increasing the possibility of kickbacks.
For home use, a chainsaw with a 16-inch bar works quite well.
5. Power Source
If you require a chainsaw for emergency use but don’t have a generator that can power it, then a gas-powered chainsaw is ideal.
If you put in the fuel and oil, gas chainsaws will keep running. Battery-operated chainsaws are ideal when you don’t have a power outlet or in case of a power outage.
However, you will require an electrical outlet to recharge the batteries.
The best chainsaws typically have the following features:
- Chain Brake: This stops the chain in case the front handguard is pushed to the front or the chainsaw kicks back causing the guard to bump your hand. Most electric and gas-powered chainsaw models feature a chain brake.
- Anti-Kickback Chain: This chain helps to prevent kickbacks of the chainsaw.
- Trigger Lock: This stops the cutting chain automatically when you don’t press the trigger, thus preventing any accidental starts.
- Anti-Vibration Grip: Most of the chainsaws are equipped with rubber bushes or metal springs between the handle and the bar, which shield the hand from vibrations and getting fatigued due to prolonged usage.
- Tool-Less or Side-Mounted Chain Tension System: This allows you to tighten the chain of the chainsaw very easily while working without the use of any tools.
- Easy Start System: In gas-powered chainsaws, the start system adjusts the spring mechanism and allows you to pull more easily to start. Other features such as the decompression valve that decreases the compression in the cylinder and the primer bulb that removes the bubbles of air from the gas line make the starting of the chainsaw easier.
- Automatic Oiling System: Keeping the chain and bar of the chainsaw well lubricated helps to prevent overheating and premature wear and tear. An automatic-oiling system oils the bar and keeps the chain oiled continuously so that you do not have to keep stopping your work to oil them.
- Warranty: Always look for a chainsaw that has a decent warranty, for around 2-5 years, although some models only have a 1-year warranty.