Chainsaw Buying Guide Tips

Considering how you Intend to use a Chainsaw before Buying One

By Mark J. Donovan

A chainsaw is an extremely useful, but dangerous tool. Before buying a chainsaw to cut down the backyard tree, make sure you do your homework first before buying and using one. Not all chainsaws are created equal and there are different sizes for different types of tree cutting applications.

Recently I bought a new chainsaw after spending some time researching the latest models and talking with some people who had a lot of experience using chainsaws.

In decades past I had spent a fair amount of time around chainsaws, however in recent years I had not owned or operated one.

After spending some time on the internet and visiting a few tool stores I wound up buying a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss chainsaw. It had the power and bar size that satisfied my particular tree cutting needs, was reasonably light weight, and had many positive reviews.

When in the market for buying a chainsaw it is important to consider how you plan on using it. If your chainsaw plans are simply to cut down a few small trees then you may be able to get away with an electric chainsaw or a small gas powered one. To be honest I prefer the gas powered chainsaws due to the fact that I do not need to be near an electrical outlet. For example, we lost power for 10 days last year due to a major ice storm. Trees and tree limbs were down everywhere. An electric chainsaw would have been no help in this situation.

There are two major factors when considering buying a gas powered chain saw, the size of the engine and the length of the bar. For small tree cutting projects a 30cc engine is probably adequate. However if you plan on felling larger trees then you will probably need a chainsaw with at least a 40cc size engine.

When it comes to chainsaw bar length, a general rule of thumb is to buy a chainsaw with a bar that is longer than the diameter of the largest tree you plan to cut down. Using a chainsaw that has a blade that is smaller than the diameter of the tree is possible; however there are some significantly increased risks.

In addition to buying the chainsaw it is also important to buy the appropriate safety equipment. Standard chainsaw safety equipment includes a full face shield, gloves, ear protection, chaps, and a helmet.

Also, when buying a chainsaw it is important to note that chainsaws use two stroke engines and thus need to use a gas/oil mixture for fuel. In addition, a chainsaw bar gets very hot when cutting through a tree, and thus it requires lubrication. Consequently make sure you pick up the appropriate chainsaw bar oil when buying your chainsaw. Whenever filling your chainsaw with fuel, make sure you also add chainsaw bar oil as well.

Before operating a chainsaw make sure you carefully read the operators manual. In addition, you may want to ask the chainsaw supplier to give you a demonstration on how properly use it. Alternatively you may want to ask an experienced chainsaw operator to show you how to operate the chainsaw safely.

When using a chainsaw, never let the chainsaw blade hit the ground as this will very quickly dull the blade. Sharpening a chainsaw blade requires precise angled filing and is time consuming. You can purchase chainsaw files and jigs for properly sharpening your chainsaw, however in some cases it makes more sense to have a professional chainsaw servicing company sharpen the blade.

Chainsaw buying tips

Chainsaw maintenance is another important aspect to consider when deciding to buy a chainsaw. If used and then immediately left on a shelf for a year, don’t expect it to operate well when you use it again. It is important to read the maintenance manual on a chainsaw and follow the steps for properly maintaining and storing it.

So before buying a chainsaw, do your homeowner and consider how you intend to use it. And finally, recognize the fact that a chainsaw is a very dangerous piece of equipment and should only be used after you have been fully trained in its use and are wearing the appropriate safety equipment.

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