Best Chain Saw Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Categories to Choose from
As the name suggests, these saws are powered by gasoline. They are quite versatile meaning both professional and occasional users love utilizing gas-powered saws due to their simplicity and ease of use. One of the things that make this type different is the high power-to-weight ratio. On the other hand, the biggest drawback is the weight and high levels of noise.
Units that use electricity as a source of power are usually smaller and lighter than the fuel-powered ones. One of the features they lack in comparison to fuel-powered models is – mobility. On top of that, they don’t output as much power as gas models. On the other hand, they are far easier to use and are in most situations more convenient.
Cordless models are great if you want to eliminate the hassles of refueling and servicing. However, they are foreseen for small tasks such as pruning, cutting small trees, or trimming. In other words, you cannot expect a miraculous performance when it comes to cutting large trees. One of the downsides is the fact that you need at least two batteries to be as efficient as possible.
This particular type doesn’t require any other source other than raw manual power. Therefore, as long as you can cope with intense labor – manual saws are the way to go. However, a lot of people decide not to consider investing in this type because it often gets exhausting. On the other hand, it’s an affordable substitution for other more complex saws.
When it comes to efficient trimming, pruning, and cutting small tree limbs, pole saws are the best choice. It’s a miniature version of a regular saw mounted on an extension pole so that you can reach remote areas within the treetops. The biggest advantage of these units is the fact that they can be corded, cordless, and gas-powered depending on your personal preferences.
Top-Rated Chainsaws from Each Category
Finding the Best Chainsaw – Buying Guide
Different Types of Chain Saws
Thing to Consider When Choosing the Best Product
Before you even start looking for a model, you must determine what you need it for. For example, if you have a backyard with a lot of bushes and shrubs, an electric model would most definitely fulfill the requirements, and a gas-powered one would be overkill. On the other hand, if you’re often in the woods cutting large trees, you don’t want to bring a thousand feet of extension cord. In other words, you’d be better with a gas model as far as the efficiency and hassles go.
If you’re not an experienced user, we wouldn’t recommend buying the biggest and most powerful model right away. Instead, try finding something that meets most of your requirements but is still fairly simple to use and maintain in good condition. Therefore, battery-powered and corded models would be an ideal solution for a beginner.
People usually make a pretty common mistake of thinking that if something is expensive that it’s automatically a worthy investment. However, it’s a completely wrong assumption, and you’ll feel the bitter end of it quickly. Instead of buying the most expensive thing you can stumble upon, make sure it’s actually the thing you’re looking for. The same applies to underpriced products as well. Don’t fall for cheap offers because more often than not they cause more harm than good. If you have a tight budget, try looking for an affordable electric saw as it’s one of your safest bets. However, all of that depends on your needs. As we said, if you’re all about cutting large pieces of wood, it might be a good idea to avoid underpowered corded models.
Convenience and personal preferences
The factor that most people oversee is the level of their personal comfort with a new machine. In simpler words, even if you find a great model for a good price, it might not be the most suitable one for you due to various other factors such as size, noise levels, or the amount of pollution. Therefore, it’s always a better option to check the model out in person and see if it fits you as far as the size and weight go. If you aren’t able to check it out in person, make sure you conduct research online and find some relevant data that can help you to determine whether or not you should invest in a particular model.
Important features to look for
Even though this particular element depends on your personal preferences, you should always look for a good power output whether you’re searching for gas or electric models. The number of RPM may be a significant factor for some people, but it’s usually the number that most consumers ignore. However, the more RPM, the smoother the cut.
First of all, you should always wear earplugs, regardless of the level of noise your saw makes. However, even with ear protection, a difference between 100dB and 80dB is more than noticeable. If you live in a high-populated neighborhood, it would be a good idea to go with a less-noisy machine. Everything that produces more than 95dB can be considered quite loud and can cause some hearing issues especially if you aren’t wearing any protection. Keep in mind; the operator is not the only one who’s jeopardized by high levels of noise; the bystanders are in danger too.
Every type requires different levels of maintenance. Gas models are usually the ones that need a lot of care, while corded models don’t require as much. As you can tell, it all comes down to your personal preferences. If you’re a professional, then you probably don’t have anything against regular maintenance. However, strict maintenance schedule can be a burden for an occasional user especially if they are not used to it. Corded and battery-powered models are recommended for people who don’t want to hassle much with the upkeep.
Safety is one of the key points you should prioritize when buying a saw. It doesn’t matter how expensive or well-designed a model is if it doesn’t feature a satisfactory level of safety mechanisms. For example, always look for low kickback levels. Kickback is one of the leading causes of accidents in most countries both due to user’s negligence and poor design. Furthermore, pay attention to the vibration levels. Many manufacturers decide not to declare the vibration levels for various reasons. The way you can determine it yourself is by searching for cushioned hand grips and ergonomic designs. Bear in mind, if a model is indeed cushioned and well-designed it still doesn’t mean it features low levels of vibrations.
Chainsaw Injury Prevention – Safety First
Safety is of utmost importance; there is no question about that. Therefore, you have to keep safety in mind at all times in order to prevent bad things from happening. And, you can rest assured that there is a huge potential for something going wrong, especially when dealing with high RPM, sharp blades, and electricity. Here are some of the most important elements you should pay attention to:
Steel-toed boots are a must-have for anyone who’s planning to operate a chainsaw. When you’re cutting trees, there is a high chance that some of the cut parts will fall on your feet. Work boots are incredibly efficient against such occurrences thanks to the steel plate that is built in. Make sure you wear either layered clothes or cut-resistant shields underneath your clothes. Kickback is always a possibility, even with the safest models around. The fact that you cannot entirely prevent kickbacks should be a reminder for you to wear thicker clothes and prevent small shrapnel from penetrating through your skin. Hearing protection is also a mandatory element. Even electric saws produce at least 85dB of noise which is more than enough to cause hearing issues. Gloves should be the first thing put on before turning a saw on. Never operate a chainsaw without wearing gloves, regardless of the situation. Even sawdust can be dangerous due to the high-velocity element.
Hold your grip
This advice applies to all types, but it’s incredibly important for gas saws in particular. When pull-starting a machine, make sure you’re keeping it on the ground and holding it firmly. Most models usually have a spot on the handle that allows you to secure the unit with your foot while pull-starting. Make sure you avoid using a saw while on a ladder because it’s extremely dangerous. Furthermore, never cut above your shoulder level as it can cause stability issues and thus jeopardize your safety.
Keep regular maintenance
Whether you like it or not, you must maintain your tools in good condition. That means regular lubrication, cleaning, and switching of the underperforming parts. Models that are maintained on a regular basis have far less chance of causing a kickback and other nuisances. On the other hand, if you neglect it, a chain that’s not lubricated or is loose can slip off and cause severe consequences.
Even though it might sound irrelevant, you would be surprised at the importance of your own strength when it comes to staying safe. In simpler words, if you aren’t able to lift or hold heavy objects, you might want to opt for a lighter model. Truth be told, many people can indeed hold a chainsaw, it’s not a particularly heavy object. However, prolonged use can cause fatigue and decrease your concentration levels. As soon as you lose focus, the chance of something going wrong increases significantly.
The front hand grip acts as a manual brake if something goes wrong. If the unit kicks back, the guard is designed to kick your hand and stop in that position. However, kickbacks often happen within a millisecond which is not enough time for a natural reaction. That’s why you need to look for models that feature an inertial brake. The inertial brake is designed to activate whenever it senses a misalignment in the rotation which is one of the first signs of a potential kickback. Needless to say, the reaction time is much faster than any human can pull off.
Be aware of your surroundings
Even if you feel completely safe under a layer of protective gear, that doesn’t mean everyone in your vicinity is safe as well. Therefore, make sure there is no one around you while you’re operating a saw in order to prevent hurting someone else with flying debris or reckless behavior. On top of that, never let children use a heavy-duty tool like this even if you’re right next to them. As we already said, a great deal of physical strength is needed for safe operation, and you can rest assured that children cannot handle any saw, even the lightest ones.
If you’re not sure about it – don’t do it
Last, but not least is your common sense. A lot of people think they know how to operate a heavy-duty tool because they saw someone else do it and it seemed simple enough. Make sure you understand and comprehend the basic principles of operation before you even think about using a chainsaw. Many accidents happen due to people’s negligence and wrong perspectives. As we already said, the fact that you saw someone use it doesn’t mean you’re equally experienced and ready. Read the user manual and watch a video or two on how to use a heavy-duty tool before you do it yourself.
Chainsaws are one of the most versatile tools around. You can use them for a lot of applications as long as you know what you are doing. The real danger lies in improper use. Accidents most often happen to beginners due to lack of experience. Make sure you comprehend the basic principles of your new machine before you decide to start it for the first time.
As far as the best model goes, it all depends on your needs. If you want a light and maintenance-free unit, consider checking corded models out. On the other hand, if you’re looking for raw power and durability, gas-powered ones would be a good choice. In order to use the full potential of a particular product, you must buy the right one for the right occasion.
Safety measures are extremely important. Take a moment and check our safety article out if you aren’t familiar with safety precautions. Furthermore, make sure you check the user manual and make sure everything is certified and graded as safe. On top of that, don’t ever skip on wearing full safety equipment because the more elements you ignore, the bigger the chances of injury.
We have covered a few models from each category so that you can get a good reference point of what is worth investing in. If you can’t decide which model to buy, feel free to refer to our article and see if the ones we’ve recommended fulfill your expectations. One thing is certain – we covered top-quality, affordable models so that you can opt for any of them without having to conduct extensive research and lose hours trying to find relevant and trustworthy data.