A chainsaw is a must if you live in a house that has a lot of trees and bushes to decorate. Or, if you often have a local forest where you cut wood for the winter, you do need it. Sure, if you have a smaller yard with just a few bushes, you might get away with a hedge trimmer. But for anything even remotely serious, a chainsaw is the way to go. You’ll also find its incredibly useful for landscaping projects and the such, and even some wood cutting for bigger projects.
Regardless of whether you want a budget chainsaw, an electric one, or a gas powered one, there are numerous options. Just like with a lot of products nowadays, the market is more than saturated. There are also a lomt of variables to take care of when getting a chainsaw, making the decision even harder. No worries though – we’re here to help. There are many differences, the best electric chainsaw isn’t necessarily the best cordless chainsaw, for example. And the best cordless chainsaw isn’t the best battery chainsaw either.
Below you will find a list of chainsaws. And no, they aren’t just ten random chainsaws. They’re the result of us testing and reviewing many of them, to help you with your choice. There are some cheaper options, as well as some more expensive ones. Not all chainsaws will work for everybody – that’s why we have ten of them. Without wasting any more of your time, let’s take a look at the best chainsaws you can get today.
Summary of the Best Homeowner Chainsaws
|BEST HOMEOWNER CHAINSAW||QUALITY||PRICE||OUR RATING|
|Blue Max [ Amazon Link ]||A+||$|
|Husqvarna 440 [ Amazon Link ]||A||$$|
|Echo CS-400 [ Amazon Link ]||A||$$$|
|Jonsered 2245 [ Amazon Link ]||A||$$$|
|Remington Outlaw RM4620 [ Amazon Link]||B||$|
|Poulan Pro PP5020AV [ Amazon Links ]||B||$$|
|Husqvarna 450 Rancher [ Amazon Link ]||B||$$$|
|Husqvarna 435 chainsaw [ Amazon Link ]||C||$$|
|Husqvarna 240 chainsaw [ Amazon Link ]||C-||$|
|Greenworks Chainsaw 40v [ Amazon Link ]||B+||$|
Blue Max – the Crème De La Crème
When we’re talking about chainsaws, the North American Tool Industries’ Blue Max brand might not be the first name that springs to mind. However, that’s slowly changing. The Blue Max chainsaw manufacturer brand has over 50 years of experience with making tools, and besides Blue Max, they also own some other brands too. Their Blue Max chainsaw 20 inch is made for the home user and is by far the best chainsaw for home use. Let’s see why in our Blue Max chainsaw review.
To begin with, it comes at a reasonably low price, even though it offers competitive features and excellent performance. You won’t find it skimping on features by any means, and some of the things it provides you won’t find on even high-end chainsaws. The 51.5cc engine has 2.8hp and is air cooled. For a saw of this size, and for this type of use, it’s more than enough. As the name implies, there’s a 20” bar on the Blue Max chainsaw, and the maximum speed is 10,500 RPM. If you ever need a chainsaw replacement chain for the Blue Max, the one it comes with is a 0.325” pitch / 0.58” gauge anti-kickback chain, with 76 links.
When we’re talking additional features, you’ll be happy to know that the chainsaw has a chain brake, auto chain oiler, as well as an anti-vibration handle. This last one is crucial because it makes the whole user experience much smoother and less fatiguing.
Why is the Blue Max Chainsaw the Best of the Best?
When you’re looking at the best chainsaws, you are either looking for the best cheap chainsaw, or you’re looking at who makes the best chainsaw, period. And the Blue Max is right smack in the middle. It’s not dirt cheap, and it’s not as expensive as other options on the list. It’s performance, however, is stellar, and more than a home user needs. It doesn’t weight a lot at 12.3lbs and putting it together once you get it is a piece of cake if you follow the provided instructions.
To sum things up, this is the best chainsaw under 200, you get a quality product (we had no reliability issues) at a competitive price. There are features such as the brake and the automatic oiler that make this package an exciting proposition. It stands as a competitor to products that are way above its price range and manages to hold up to them well. All things considered, if you’re a home user and need a good chainsaw, you can’t go wrong with the Blue Max.
Husqvarna 440 – a Close Runner-up
As you’ll see in our Husqvarna 440 review, as well as many others online, Husqvarna is the best chainsaw brand, or at least in the top 3. Their 440 is at the bottom of their price range but is far from a lousy chainsaw. It’s just not Husqvarna’s best. However, for our Husqvarna 440 chainsaw review, and the list in general, we’re focusing on it as the best option for the home user. Let’s take a look at the “why”.
Even though you might be lead to believe otherwise, bigger doesn’t always mean better with chainsaws. If you use the wrong chainsaw for a job, things might get dangerous. For example, a large chainsaw in a small space is merely a recipe for disaster. The Husqvarna 440 chainsaw is a 2.4hp, 41cc engine beast that works wonders. If you’re looking for such a tool to add to your shed, and the Blue Max, for some reason, isn’t to your liking, the 440 is a great alternative. And there’s also the Husqvarna 440e 18 inch as well. This is pretty much the exact chainsaw, but it has a tool-free chain tensioner. The regular Husqvarna 440 chainsaw, the one we’re talking about now, requires a T-wrench.
The 440 is a medium-duty tool. The tech included is made to increase the performance and reduce fuel consumption. Even though you might find cheaper options, with the value features it adds, it’s very much worth it. The 440 X Torq engine also decreases the emission levels. This is why you can use it even in areas which have stringent environmental regulations.
Why isn’t it the best, but a runner-up instead?
One simple reason – the 440 chainsaw price. The performance and features of the Husqvarna 440 are great. You have Smart Start, where both the engine, and the starter, are made for a quick start with minimum effort. This might not be a requirement, but once you get used to it, you won’t want to go back to a regular one. The centrifugal air cleaning system will make sure no large dust and debris particles get to the air filter. In turn, you get an improved engine life, as well as reduced cleanings. And if you do need to replace the air filter, the quick release system will make sure you can do that easily.
However, compared to the Blue Max, it costs quite a bit more. Even though some of that difference in price goes towards build quality, you can’t deny that the name Husqvarna comes with a bit of a premium. For many home users, this won’t be worth it. If, however, brand recognition is essential to you, by all means, get the Husqvarna 440. It’s a beautiful tool.
Echo Cs-400 – a High Quality, Pro-grade Chainsaw
The Echo CS-400 is an excellent product. As you’ll see in our Echo chainsaw review, it doesn’t boast as a pro-only chainsaw, and it’s one of the best things about it. Just about anyone can use it, making it perfect for the homeowner who buys it as their first chainsaw. Echo themselves pitch it as a prosumer product, suitable for both regular consumers and professionals. However, even though a homeowner can easily use it, and they’ll be surprised at how good it is, it also manages to catch pros off guard with its quality and performance. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the Echo CS 400 review, and see why we put it on our list.
As mentioned, you’ll come across the Echo CS 400 as a prosumer product. However, the case with many products in that category is that they don’t work well for pros, mainly because they can’t withstand the use and abuse that takes. You’ll be pleased to know that the Echo CS 400 – 18” that isn’t the case. You won’t find any problematic features such as any excessive body moulding that, instead of making controls easily reachable, hides them further. Everything here is easy to get to and put in a logical, practical place. And, the CS 400 parts are also straightforward to reach. In case you need to do maintenance or cleaning, you won’t have any issues with this.
In the box, you’ll find the guide bar, and the chainsaw chain disassembled, and there’s also a T-wrench, the CS 400 chainsaw manual, a kick guard and a bottle of 2-stroke oil. When you take a look, you’ll immediately notice the solid feel and design. Pick it up, and the thought out balance is instantly apparent.
The Echo CS 400 performance – how does it fare?
Let’s start at the beginning – starting the chainsaw is incredibly easy. There’s an i30 starter system that’s made to reduce effort up to 30%. And yes, it does make a difference. With the choke engaged, you need around two pulls to start the engine. With it off, one or two more pulls start it immediately. Echo let you adjust the carburetor after a few tanks of gas, and when you do so, use 89 octane, or better, simply use gas.
When you begin using it, you will find that it feels just as good, if not better than competitor products that often cost a lot more. It cuts through just about anything with ease, and the debris disposal works wonderfully. Due to the sharp blade and how the Echo CS 400 works, you won’t find any issues with kickback either.
Sure, some products are great for both a homeowner and a professional user. But they often cost a lot more and don’t really justify the asking price. That isn’t the case with the Echo. If you’re after something that you can learn with and then take on more serious projects, go ahead and order it!
Jonsered 2245 – a Compact Do-it-all
What you will find in our Jonsered chainsaw review is that the CS2245 fills in a very interesting gap. When you’re buying a top-grade chainsaw, you’d expect to pay north of $400. However, the Jonsered chainsaw costs much less than that, yet manages to work admirably. You will often find a comparison that puts Jonsered chainsaws vs Husqvarna models, but is that really fair when the Husqvarna often cost a lot more? Not really. Let’s take a better look in our Jonsered 2245 review, and see whether you should order one.
We did mention Husqvarna a bit earlier, and we’ll talk about more of their saws later. What you should know is that Jonsered, as a company, is now owned by Husqvarna. This means that you can get the same dealership and service experience, and spares are commonly available wherever you need them. What’s worth mentioning in the whole debate is that Husqvarna have decided to keep their name as the premium offering, while making Jonsered chainsaw models a tad cheaper, and more suitable for budget-oriented individuals. This, however, by no means implies that Jonsered saws aren’t high quality, quite the contrary.
How Good is It?
What you’ll find is that the Jonsered CS2245 is one of the best chainsaws money can buy. And it doesn’t cost too much either, so almost any homeowner who wants a decent saw can afford it. As you might’ve figured out from the name, there’s a 45.7cc two-stroke engine, and the result of it is a power of 2.82hp. It comes with a spin start recoil starter, which ensures that starting the saw is incredibly easy. There is a fuel pump as well, making the starting even easier than with the old fuel purge bulb. The turbo air intake reminds us of the Husqvarna air injection system, and it works great when you want to remove sawdust from the carburetor. This cleaning system ensures you don’t change the air filter after every day, making for a much more pleasant experience.
When compared to their older models, the CS2245 comes with 25% less fuel consumption, as well as 75% less emissions. This, we assume, is to meet modern EPA standards, and in the owner’s manual it’s mentioned that it meets the EPA Tier III standards, which is great. Using the CS2245 is a real pleasure. No, it isn’t as smooth as the Husqvarna X Torq engine, but with the spring mountings at the handle, it absolutely vibrates much less. They act as shock absorbers, making the experience pretty pleasant.
At the end of the day, if you want Husqvarna-like performance, but don’t really want to spend that much, this is a great alternative. Performance? Check. Build quality? Check. Support and spare parts? Absolutely. If you’ve been even thinking about it, just stop, and get one. Not a decision you’ll be regretting anytime soon.
Remington Outlaw Rm4620 – a Rugged, Powerful Option
If you’re looking for a product that looks good, works admirably, and will last you for a good while, you shouldn’t skip the Remington Outlaw. Remington is a brand that has been around since 1921. They began making chainsaws in 1954, so they have over 60 years of experience. As you’ll see in this Remington chainsaw review, and many others, they have among the best chainsaws you can find. They stand behind their products, so you don’t have to worry about Remington chainsaws parts either. You either won’t need them, or you can get them easily.
The chainsaw comes at 36” long, 20” of which is the bar, 12” wide, and 12” tall. That 20” bar will let you cut down trees that are really big, and it makes it easy. The handle is also great. Yes, that ergonomic, comfortable handle. It also has a cushion wrap around it, in case you don’t find it comfortable without it. All things considered, handling is a breeze, and you won’t have any issues with it.
The 46cc gas-powered engine is powerful. It’s clear that whoever was head of the design team behind the Outlaw had some heavy-duty applications in mind. However, this shouldn’t be off putting for the regular homeowner. It starts really quickly, and as mentioned, handles beautifully. It’s light, and will give you a bit more power than you need. And no, that won’t lead to issues if you aren’t that experienced. However, having a bit of extra power at your disposal is seldom a bad thing.
A Couple of Notable Features
The first thing worth mentioning is QuickStart. As you’ll see in the manual, you can start it on the first pull. It really isn’t difficult. There’s also a five-point anti-vibration system, which reduces fatigue and increases comfort while using it. It might not stack up to some high-end spring systems, but you won’t be getting those in a package that costs this much. It’s absolutely good enough. Adjusting the chain tension is done from the side, and you can even adjust the carburetor. And, last but not least, there’s a clear primer bulb. This lets you see how much gas you have left, so you can fill up if needed.
So, would we recommend it? Yes, absolutely. If you’re having concerns about quality and durability, worry not. When using it, it feels really good, and it’s ideal for some more intense sessions that might take a while. The die-cast chassis might be to blame for this. The final verdict is that the Remington Outlaw is a great chainsaw. A powerful option that’s suitable for amateurs. It offers quite a lot of advanced features, while keeping the cost low. Maintenance is a piece of cake, and comfort is guaranteed when using it. What else can you ask for?
Poulan Pro Pp5020av – an Exceptional Option at This Price Point
Just like Jonsered, which we spoke about earlier, Poulan Pro is also owned by Husqvarna. If we were to use this Poulan Pro chainsaw review as a comparison between the PP5020AV and the Husqvarna alternative, that’d be the 440E. However, the Poulan Pro chainsaw comes at a much lower price point, while maintaining most of the functionality, a large part of the build quality, and all of the support of the Husqvarna. Let’s take a better look.
The Poulan Pro chainsaw 50cc engine is powerful enough for most of the homeowners out there. It’s a DuraLife engine, which should be more durable and last longer. Having a tougher component here and there is always welcome, considering chainsaws do take a lot of abuse. There’s a 20” bar and chain as well. The chain, however, is a 70 drive link one. If you’re looking at a chainsaw chain replacement, get a 72 drive link chain, it’s much more common. Yes, you’ll need a new chainsaw bar as well. The anti-vibration handle is something you’ll love if you use it for longer periods of time. Sure, anti-vibration gloves are recommended, as always, because more protection is always better than not enough protection.
As far as features go, you get a chrome-moly steel in the frame, for added strength and toughness. You won’t notice any chipping and wear here. The Lubri Jet oil holes will ensure that your chain is always sufficiently lubricated. This is essential if you want to keep your chainsaw running well, and running long. And there’s the Lubri Dam oil retaining system too, which doesn’t let the oil leak, and keeps it on the bar and chain.
How Does the Poulan Pro Chainsaw 20 Inch Perform?
Admirably. If you’re looking for sheer performance, and don’t want to break the bank, it’s really hard to beat it. It cuts through just about anything, using it is very easy, and requires little to no maintenance. However, it isn’t perfect, and that’s why it’s a bit lower on our list. First of all, it is heavy. You won’t be able to use it easily for extensive sessions due to the fatigue it might cause. And second, it goes through quite a bit of oil, more than other products.
Now, even though it isn’t perfect, many will see the downsides as nitpicking. And I understand. But some might be looking for a lightweight option – this isn’t it. If you can get past that, you’re getting a brilliant performer. It comes from a reputable brand, it has the support of an even more reputable brand, and it doesn’t cost a ton. All in all, an excellent medium duty chainsaw. If you want to maintain your property with ease, you should definitely give it a shot.
Husqvarna 450 Rancher Review – the Big, Bad Brother of the 440
You’ll notice the name Husqvarna all over the list. Even products that aren’t directly made by them are somehow related. There’s a good reason for that, you’ll see in this Husqvarna 450 chainsaw review, and in many others, that the brand is amazing. And it’s not just the brand, but their products too. The Husqvarna 450e chainsaw is an excellent powerful option. If you’re a homeowner who wants some extra oomph out of their tools, you’re at the right place.
First of all, there’s again the X-Torq engine. This makes the 450 Rancher chainsaw use less fuel, and create less emissions. You get a quick release air filter too, which lets you clean it easily, and even replace it if necessary. A clean air filter is essential if you want your 450 Rancher chain to continue cutting as necessary without clogging the saw. For starting the saw easily without the engine flooding, there’s a combined choke and stop control. The cylinder cover has a snap-lock, which means you can do maintenance without the need of tools to access it.
Do We Recommend It?
The goal of our Husqvarna 450 review is to let you know whether it’s a worthy investment. And, even though the Husqvarna 450 price isn’t that low, you actually get a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a powerful saw with its 3.2hp engine, and the 20 inch bar cuts through trees regardless how big they are. Support is guaranteed as well, as you can easily find Husqvarna 450 Ranger parts readily available. It is Husqvarna we’re talking about, after all. Their tools are always backed up by their name, which does mean a lot.
For professional use, you might find the 450 lacking. But if you’re a homeowner whose interest is to maintain their own landscape, it’s honestly hard to go wrong with it. The only potential downside could be the asking price. There are other products that cost less, and offer as much, or more. But if the brand and quality matter to you, by all means go for it. You won’t regret it.
Husqvarna 435 Chainsaw – a More Compact Version of the 450
The Husqvarna 450 with its 20” bar can do wonders. But the truth is that not many need a bar that big. And, as you’ll see later on, bigger doesn’t always mean better with chainsaws. Handling a large chainsaw in a confined space is a mistake. Therefore, the Husqvarna 435, as well as the 435 e series, comes with a 16” bar. It also has a 40.9cc engine, making it ideal for more lightweight tasks.
You get the Husqvarna X Torq engine, which as we mentioned, lowers fuel consumption and exhaust emission levels. It’s usable even in places that have really strict environmental laws. Just like the 450, you have the combined start/stop switch. That, and the Smart Start and fuel pump, make sure the Husqvarna 16 inch chainsaw is incredibly easy to start. And since we’re comparing it with the 450, continuously, it should also be mentioned that the Husqvarna 435 price is quite a bit lower than its bigger brother’s.
Who is It for?
So, what can we conclude from our Husqvarna 435 review? Well, the 450 was expensive, big, powerful and high quality. The 435 is the compact version of it. It has a smaller bar, it’s lighter, yet it retains a lot of the power, and all of the quality. If you only need a chainsaw for lighter tasks, and not something extremely serious, it’s great. And the fact that it’s backed up by a brand as big as Husqvarna is a nice little bonus as well.
Husqvarna 240 Chainsaw – Small and Cheap, but Still a Full-fledged Husqvarna Beast
And if the 435 is still too much for you, make sure you stick around for our Husqvarna 240 review. The 240 16 inch bar, and 38cc make the Husqvarna 240 2hp chainsaw a really compact budget offering that’s still made by Husqvarna. You might find some Husqvarna 240 vs Stihl 170 debates that suggest the Stihl is a bit better, but there’s a reason the Stihl isn’t even on our list. Them following environmental guidelines led to their reliability going downhill – while the Husqvarna is still king here.
Just like the bigger options, you have a combined choke/stop control. Starting the chainsaw is really easy, and thanks to the ergonomics, using it is just as easy too. We’re talking about the Husqvarna 240 X-Torq chainsaw, so the engine is still one of those high-fuel-economy low-emission engines.
Wrapping up our Husqvarna 240 chainsaw review – is it worth it?
Well, yes. It’s very worth it. It’s one of the cheapest Husqvarna models you can get, and yet it gets the job done. Yes, you’ll need to be realistic about your expectations, and make sure you don’t need a high powered chainsaw in the first place. But if you need a compact, lightweight solution, give it a shot. It won’t disappoint.
Greenworks Chainsaw 40v – a Mixed Bag
Wrapping up our list is the Greenworks chainsaw. Yes, we’re surprised it isn’t another Husqvarna as well. The chainsaw 16 inch bar is compact enough for some easy landscaping jobs. However, it can do some heavy lifting when required. Well, as long as you don’t push it too much. There’s a brushless motor, which results in better durability, as well as more power and torque. You’ll notice this is the only electric option on the list, but we’ll talk more about that later on.
This is a great option if you have other Greenworks tools. It uses the G-MAX 40V battery system. If you have other tools that use it, their batteries are interchangeable, meaning you might already have spares in your house. The fact that it’s electric means a few good things. First of all, you have around 30% more torque. This can come in handy if you’re after the best possible performance. And second, you get much less vibrations and ZERO emissions with a saw like this. If you’re after comfort and want to stay away from fatigue, this means a lot. If you have strict environmental laws where you live, this, again, means a lot.
What Can We Conclude From Our Greenworks Chainsaw Review?
Well, the short version would be that it’s good, but not for everybody. For people who hate vibration, kickback and emissions, it’s a godsend. However, it should be noted that a gas chainsaw, unless it’s a really bad one, will almost always be better in terms of performance. This doesn’t need to be a dealbreaker, though. If you don’t need that much power, or if you only need it for lightweight tasks, the Greenworks chainsaw will more than do the job. It will also make sure you don’t spend a lot of time on maintenance, which is great. If you’re invested in the G-MAX battery system, you can easily use those batteries as spare. This severely increases your operational time.
All things considered, it’s a great electric saw, but it’s just that. It doesn’t measure up with the gas-powered options above. There are people who will consider it to be the ideal chainsaw for them, but if you aren’t one of them, you’ll be better off looking elsewhere.
So, Which One is the Best Chainsaw?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s at the top of our list. The Blue Max 52cc chainsaw is our absolute winner. It’s an excellent pick for the home user, as it’s fast and reliable. When functionality is important to you, yet you don’t want to spend a fortune, you need this kind of product. You need something that comes with advanced features, works admirably, and won’t break the bank. The Blue Max fits that bill perfectly. The anti-vibration handle, the automatic oiler, the brake, all of those are things you wouldn’t expect on an option at this price.
And we can’t blame you for thinking that the manufacturer might’ve skimped on quality. However, we’re glad to tell you that that isn’t the case. You might be put off by the “Made in China” label, but you’ll find the same on Apple’s iPhones, and you still buy those, don’t you? Don’t let that put you off from buying one of the best performing chainsaws the market can offer now!
A Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have the basics, and the options, out of the way, let’s take a look at one more thing. Sure, we promised to help you make an informed buying decision. But, the truth is, some of you might be even more confused. We told you there are a lot of them, and narrowed the list a bit. But if you still aren’t sure what to get, you should definitely read on.
Below you will find a buyer’s guide which should answer all of your questions. No, not questions such as “Whats the best chainsaw”, “What is the best small chainsaw?”, or “What is the best professional chainsaw?”. Instead, we’ll touch on subjects such as power options, types of chainsaws, some popular features, and some safety equipment. These are all things that you should know. Because, when you know what power options and features are available, and which ones you need, picking the right chainsaw is much easier. Let’s dive in.
What kind of power option you go for depends on what kind of job you need your chainsaw for. If you need it for a smaller job, such as trimming or light cutting, go electric. However, if you need a heavy-duty chainsaw, by all means go for a gas one.
You’ll notice that all but one of the options above are gas powered chainsaws. Why? Because they’re often preferred, and have proven to withstand much more than electric ones. And, you can use them for much more difficult tasks. Some of the best rated chainsaws are gas powered, and for good reason.
A gasoline-powered chainsaw will provide the perfect balance between power and mobility. Sure, it’s heavier than an electric one, but for good reason. If you’ve ever seen those professional-grade saws that easily cut through large trees, they’re gas powered. If you need anything even remotely heavy-duty, go for it.
They start with a pull-start, and have a two-cycle engine. It operates on a mixture of oil and gasoline, which you can either mix yourself, or buy pre-mixed. As far as operating price goes, they aren’t that much cheaper or more expensive than an electric one.
Electric chainsaws are the lightweight version of chainsaws. They’re often used for smaller jobs such as pruning, light cutting and trimming. Notable things to mention are the fact that they’re usually lightweight compared to a gasoline-powered one, and they’re much quieter. This might make a difference depending on the environment you intend to use it in. They are also easier to start and require much less maintenance. You can get them in either a cordless, or a corded version.
If you’re after electric, try to get the best cordless electric chainsaw you can. You get a lot of mobility, and performance has been greatly improved in the past few years. This is mostly due to the improvements in batteries and voltage. The battery is still something that adds weight and limits how long you can use it for. Recharging it, or swapping it for a full one, may be required. Is this a worthy tradeoff, compared to having an extension cord around you all the time?
We’d say yes. Even the best chainsaw for the money, if it’s a corded one, will require you to get an extension cord. You will need to factor this in the price, especially if you’re working far from an outlet. Long extension cords aren’t just impractical, but expensive too. And you’ll also need to consider safety – you need to keep the cord out of the way when working.
What Type of Chainsaws Are There?
When you think of a chainsaw, the first type that springs to mind is the regular chainsaw. However, that’s not the only option available. You will also find pole saws, as well as some less conventional chainsaw designs. Let’s take a look.
The Standard Chainsaw
The standard, regular chainsaw is usually the first thing you think of when the word “chainsaw” is mentioned. With handles at the front and rear, located on the motor housing, it has its cutting bar extend from the housing. There are some slight variations here, but this is the most common design. If you want to do things such as cut down entire trees, or thick limbs, this is the way to go. However, even though this is the most powerful type of saw, it has a relatively short reach.
The Pole Saw
A pole saw is like a smaller regular saw, but mounted on an extension pole. When you have smaller tree limbs, bamboo, or when you need to do some trimming at height, this is the best option. You can choose between electric and gasoline options, and some will even let you attach an extender for some extra length. Others solve this issue with a telescopic pole, so versatility is guaranteed either way. Some of them can also be converted to a regular chainsaw as well, which might be useful.
Even though you won’t find too many of them, there are some other designs. For example, you’ll find ones which have a set of jaws, or an enclosure, around the cutting bar. This is to get some more protection from the cutting bar and chain. The teeth on the enclosure will add some more grip to whatever you’re cutting. There are some that even use a scissors-like mechanism to clamp the branches you’re cutting. However, none of these designs are any good when heavy duty tasks are at hand.
What Features Should You Look Out for?
To get one thing out of the way, chances are you won’t get everything. You’ll need to assess which of the features you really need, and which ones you can live without, and go from there. We’ll touch on some features that you’ll find on many popular models, and are often worth having.
One of them is the anti-vibration feature. This is more or less a must, as it will make your experience much smoother and more comfortable. It results in less fatigue, especially useful when you have a longer job. A spring-assisted starting with a gas saw will make sure it starts much easier, requiring less pulling force. You could even get one with an automatic oiler. This lubricates the chain as you cut, and you no longer have to do this manually. A properly lubricated chain is essential for efficient cutting.
A chain brake will stop the chain when there’s a sudden movement, or an impact. You can also often activate it manually if necessary. Some saws will let you adjust the cutting chain tension without any tools, which might come in handy in certain situations. A low-kickback chain and bar will reduce how much the saw is forced up and down, another factor if you’re after comfortable usage.
A Couple of Operating Tips
It’s not just about buying a chainsaw – you’ll need to use it too. Even the best homeowner chainsaw, or the best battery powered chainsaw, and even the best gas powered chainsaw won’t do much if you don’t use them properly. They’re also very dangerous, and being safe while you’re operating them is key.
To begin with, get snug-fitting clothes and work boots. Your legs should be shielded with cut-resistant pieces, and you should always wear protective gloves. A helmet with a face shield is another recommended item, as well as hearing protection. Everything from the best small gas chainsaw, to the best lightweight chainsaw, is loud. Don’t damage your hearing.
Next, make sure you get a grip. When you’re pull-starting a gas saw, hold it firmly and keep it on the ground. Most handles will let you hold it with one foot when you’re pulling the starter cord. Also, stay on the ground – sawing on a ladder, or lifting the saw above your head and shoulders is a dangerous thing to do. And know that sawing with the tip of the chain results in a lot of kickback, so avoid it at all costs.
Last but not least, make sure you maintain your saw. If you want to stay safe, you’ll want your chain to be properly sharpened and tensioned. It should also be properly lubricated to reduce kickback, and decrease the amount of wear on both the chain and the bar. Know that if your chain is too loose, it might slip off the bar and towards you, and you don’t want that happening.
Wrapping Things Up
Choosing a chainsaw is by no means an easy task. With all the options and things to be careful about, buying the best chainsaws can be tricky. However, we hope that we gave you a decent amount of options, as well as a buyers guide to make things even easier. What’s left is for you to choose, order, and get to work! Oh, and be safe, of course. Always be safe, especially with tools this dangerous.