Choosing The Right Chainsaw

Can’t see the wood through the trees?  Then you need to choose the right chainsaw for the job!

Choosing a brand new chainsaw can be exciting, but are you purchasing the correct one for your needs… this all depends on what type of chainsaw user you are. Are you a complete novice or seasoned professional?

Will this be your first chainsaw purchase with limited experience or have you used chainsaws before but want to invest in one for personal use around the home? If so, there are many questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you purchase the correct one.

  • What is the chainsaw being used for? General garden maintenance removing the odd tree / limb or to cut logs as a main source of heat?
  • What type of wood and sized trees will you be cutting?
  • Which chainsaw features do you need?
  • What size bar would be beneficial?
  • Petrol, battery or electric powered?

When it comes to choosing the right chainsaw the very first bullet point is the main factor when it comes to selecting the right machine for the use you require it. For example, cutting logs will require a much better quality saw as it will be doing far more work than a chainsaw used for general garden maintenance.

If you are inexperienced when it comes to using a chainsaw then we recommend you choose one that is lightweight as they are easier to handle. You will obviously still want a saw that has enough power for the job in hand but no too much that you can’t control. A chainsaw that is well balanced with a good power to weight ratio will make the job more easy and comfortable to complete.

Stihl MS151, the lightest back handled chainsaw in the range

You may also be looking for one that has an easy to start engine and tool-less chain tensioning, additional features like this will make your saw simpler to operate. Some of the Stihl chainsaws features easy start on their C-BE models, from customer feedback many have given good feedback about this particular feature.

If you are a professional user, you probably have some idea as to what you are looking for but it is also important to bare in mind a chainsaw that has low vibrations, so there is a lower risk of damage to your hands over long periods of use. Again you will also appreciate a saw that is low weight when working full days in the forest.

Petrol or Battery – what is the best powered chainsaw for me?

Cordless products give you the freedom to build on your collection of garden tools with the interchangeable batteries which can be used on a wide range of tools for medium to large gardens. Whether this is for domestic or professional use, they are ready for any challenge.

Battery life and quality has significantly improved over the years which is important when tackling the more demanding gardening jobs. They are usually a lot quieter than their petrol counterparts which come in handy when being used in noise sensitive areas with the added benefit of emitting no emissions.

Makita cordless chainsaws are highly recommended by the World of Power team!

Stihl, Makita and Husqvarna all do a wide range of battery products which are all equally loved and recommended by our customers. The Makita LXT range has been around for a long time and is very well known within the power tool world with their LXT batteries. These batteries are compatible with both power tools and gardening tools meaning there is literally one battery which fits all! Stihl offers 2 types of battery for their products; the AK and AP range which can both be charged with a universal charger and can be used within their respective groups. The Husqvarna battery series also offers a wide range of products which can be used in conjunction with their Husqvarna Connect App “a digital tool shed for your equipment, right at your fingertips. Providing you with helpful tips, useful how to guides and real time information such as battery status and much more.” again these batteries are interchangeable between the range.

If you own a large piece of land you may need the freedom to roam, so a petrol chainsaw may be the more practical choice as electric chains saws are limited by chord length or battery life.

Petrol chainsaws are generally more powerful than electric models depending on the engine size but the cordless range is there to rival the power of a petrol machine, but as we said previously you need one that has enough power for the job but not too much that you can’t control.

Most homeowner chainsaws are mainly between 30cc and 46cc. Your ability to control a chainsaw can also depend on your personal fitness and strength levels, so it’s important that you are capable of controlling it and select the right powered model for your requirements.

Another thing to think about is, what type and maximum size wood will you be cutting. If you do not know then it would be best to measure the thickest wood you are likely to cut.  Also if you are cutting hard woods such as beech, oak or ash then you will need a slightly more powerful chainsaw.

If this is your first chainsaw purchase and you have never used one before, then we recommend the smallest that will help you the job. As you may only need a saw with a 12” bar but again this depends on your needs, anything over 20” would really only be appropriate for experienced chainsaw users.

Guide bar length is important as this is the active cutting area and advises you of the largest area the chainsaw can cut in a single pass. Even for smaller saws you can still cut large pieces of wood but this would require two passes minimum. For an example a 16” bar can cut almost twice its length so around 32” (as a one off) but you will need to consider if your engine power is enough to cope with the demand so engine size would matter in this instance.

So you’ve decided on whether you’re going for a battery or petrol powered chainsaw, you have your desired bar length you know what wood and size you are cutting but have you considered keeping yourself safe?!

Do I need additional accessories such as a spare chain or file kit?

When purchasing your chainsaw it is a good point to think about the accessories you may need to maintain or run your chainsaw to save on future postage costs. 2-Stroke oil (petrol only), chain oil, file kit to keep the chain nice and sharp for the best performance, spare chain and the correct PPE (personal protective clothing) to keep you safe during the use of the chainsaw.

We always recommend you have a spare chain and filing kit handy, as you can blunt a chain very quickly and if you’re in the middle of a job you want to make sure you can replace/sharpen your chain there and then to save time and keep you cutting. A sturdy saw horse will also come in useful for making cutting safer and easier should you be logging. We have portable, folding saw-horses to make the job easy to do anywhere. Our Saw horses have features such as spring-loaded chains to keep your log securely in place.

Personal Protective Equipment is so important and definitely something all chainsaw users should be equipped with no matter your experience. The basics required would be chainsaw gloves, helmet with visor & ear defenders and some chainsaw chaps or trousers. Husqvarna do a brilliant safety starter kit which includes everything you need to start you off.

PPE is a vital accessory for safety when using a chainsaw

And that’s it, you should be ready to go and we hope you enjoy your new chainsaw purchase!