You shouldn’t rush into buying a chainsaw, though. It can be expensive, plus there’s the potential for a severe accident to happen if you haven’t done your homework. See below for the main things you should know before you pick your perfect chainsaw-
1. The difference between Cordless, Corded and Petrol Chainsaws
First, you need to know which type of chainsaw you should be looking for. Each has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s worth picking the right style for the typical tasks you want it to do.
- Petrol – Usually the fastest and most powerful type, so it is a good choice for those with lots of logs to chop, plus you don’t need a power cord. However, they’re noisy, need a lot of maintenance, and aren’t the most eco-friendly.
- Corded electric – Tend to be quieter, easier to maintain, and cheaper than other types. They can lack the power of petrol models though, you’ll need to stay close to a power socket, and there’s the risk you could accidentally cut through the power cable.
- Cordless – The portability of petrol with the convenience of electric, but there are some downsides. The battery life might not be sufficient for your needs, plus they can be pricey, and you’ll need to wait for the battery to recharge if it runs out of power.
2. You could save money on chainsaw if you already have a battery
Cordless chainsaws have powerful batteries that can cost almost as much as the appliance. The good news is that you may be able to use one battery for all your cordless tools (provided you’ve stuck to the same brand).
Check the small print when you buy to ensure you know what’s included in the price. If the chainsaw-and-battery combo is cheaper than buying each separately, it might be worth going for it. You can always use the extra battery as a backup when your main one is on charge.
3. You ‘ll have to buy safety equipment
Most chainsaws have safety features, such as chain catchers and secondary power switches, but that’s not all you’ll need to use your chainsaw safely.
4. Attend a chainsaw safety course
A chainsaw safety course is the best way to learn how to minimize the risk of accidents and keep your chainsaw in excellent working order.
5. Look for the chainsaws with an auto-oil function
This handy feature will save you a bit of time and a lot of trouble when using your chainsaw. The chain needs to stay lubricated to stop it from catching or overheating. However, this is easily achieved when you buy a chainsaw with an integrated oil chamber that supplies the oil automatically.
6. Petrol chainsaws can have vibration minimizers
Petrol chainsaws have powerful, vibrating engines that can cause tension in your arms and shoulders if you work through a massive pile of logs. If you need the strength and speed of a petrol chainsaw, look for vibration dampeners or anti-vibration mounts. Otherwise, you can choose a corded electric chainsaw for a lighter, easier-to-use option.
7. Always keep your chain sharp
Cutting with a blunt chain isn’t just ineffective; it’s also more likely to cause a severe accident. With the right tools, you can sharpen your chainsaw yourself, but if you’re uncomfortable with the idea, you can take it to a dealership.
8. Check the chain tension every time
Chainsaw chains can slacken over time and even come off during use, so make sure you’ve checked it before you start sawing. Some models make it easy to change the tension, with a wheel on the body for making adjustments. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a screwdriver or multi-tool to adjust it manually.
9. Some chainsaws are more likely to last
We survey members to determine which brands are your best bet for a reliable chainsaw and which are most likely to break down. The best brand’s corded chainsaws have a 93% reliability score, but not all electric chainsaws fare this well over time.
The difference is even starker if you pick a petrol chainsaw. The worst brand we surveyed had problems with four out of 10 chainsaws after 10 years, so you could be left with mounting piles of logs and a chainsaw you can’t use.
10. Paying more doesn’t always pay off
Spending more on a chainsaw can get you more power, a longer chain, and a well-known brand name, but it doesn’t always guarantee a quality model.
Our testing proves that it pays to read reviews before you buy, so see the best chainsaws we’ve tested to find your perfect model, whatever your budget.