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Chainsaw Buying Guide for Smart Consumers

Updated on July 13, 2016

A chainsaw, much like a lot of other tools, is something every homeowner need to have. Sure, the image of chainsaws in the media is mostly zombie protection, but real-world uses of these tools are much wider. Cleaning up after a storm, cutting a fallen tree into pieces, clearing out some brush and more are just some of the ways you could use a chainsaw on your property.

With so many uses for a chainsaw and so many chainsaw options on the market, it’s hard to know which one to buy. That’s why we’ve put together this chainsaw buying guide in order to help you decide which chainsaw is the right solution for your needs.

What Will You Use it For?

The first question you need to ask is “What will I be using this chainsaw for?” The reason this question is important is that it makes choosing your saw much easier.

Here are some basic uses for chainsaws. See if any fit what you’d be doing with yours:

  1. Clearing light brush
  2. Trimming shrubs
  3. Cutting down medium-sized trees
  4. Cutting large trees and branches
  5. Clearing land and cutting down multiple trees

If you’re only going to be doing items 1 through 3, you’ll only need a light chainsaw with moderate cutting power. If you’re going to be doing mostly 3 through 5, you’ll need something with a lot more power behind it.

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Gas or Electric?

The next question to ask yourself when buying a chainsaw is whether to go electric or gas. this is often as simple as figuring out how much power you need in your chainsaw. If you don’t need a lot of power, you’ll probably be good with an electric saw. If you’re going to be cutting larger logs, branches or trees, you’ll want to go with gas because it’s got more punch behind its cuts.

Of course, there are upsides and downsides to both gas and electric. Electric chainsaws don’t need as much maintenance and are much lighter and easier to handle, but they are also much less powerful and require a power cord to be used.

Gas chainsaws are more mobile and powerful but require a lot more maintenance. They are also usually heavier and more difficult to handle. Take these into consideration when you are choosing between electric and gas.

Engine Size

If you’re choosing a gasoline engine, you’ll want to take care to pick the right engine size. For consumer-grade chainsaws, you can expect an engine size between 35cc and 50cc. (You may be able to find a smaller engine sometimes.) The bigger the engine, the more powerful the saw will be. This will be very useful if you are cutting a lot of wood or chopping up big trees.

Along with engine size, you’ll also want to make sure your engine has enough horsepower. If you can handle the machine, bigger will usually mean better.

Of course, if you are only using your chainsaw for light applications, you may want to choose an electric chainsaw with a decent sized engine for your cutting needs.

Length

Finally, you’ll want to consider chainsaw length when making your purchase. Chainsaw blades usually come in 14” to 20” in length. While many chainsaw blades can be changed for longer or shorter versions, you’ll want to go with a blade at first that will be of most use to you. The blade size depends on what you’ll be using it for. Again, use the list of potential chainsaw uses to determine which chainsaw you need. In general, bigger jobs need bigger blades (and bigger engines).

Choosing Your Saw

By going through these different criteria, you can determine which chainsaw is the right chainsaw for your needs. Find a model that fits your requirements, check user reviews, and make a decision on buying a chainsaw today. If you’re looking for a site that lets you follow all of the above steps easily, Amazon is your best bet. Head over there to start browsing chainsaws today.

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