Last Updated on June 18, 2020 by MakeThingsReal
What is a Chainsaw?
A chainsaw is a mechanical saw that’s portable and usually carried by hand. It can be powered by electricity, hydraulic power, compressed air or a gas-powered engine. It is commonly used to cut trees or lumberjacking. It’s used for things like tree felling, pruning, bucking, cutting and assisting in providing firebreaks in cases of wildfire, harvesting firewood and utilization by tree surgeons for a variety of reasons. Chainsaws that are specifically designed are also used for aesthetic purposes called chainsaw art. Other special chainsaws are also used for other jobs like cutting concrete or stone. Chainsaws are also used in cutting ice for occupational and sports reasons.
What are the Difference Between Gas-Powered Chainsaws and Electric-Powered Chainsaws?
There are 2 main types of chainsaws out in the market, the electric chainsaws and the gas chainsaws. It was way back several years ago when the ordinary gas-powered chainsaw required, not one, but two people to use it. Compared to the lightweight version of gas chainsaws now, it was a lot heavier and inefficient. But comparing the two has just proved that the chainsaw and how it evolved has come a very long way.
Choosing between these two (2) types of chainsaws, you need to know the specific details on each chainsaw and their uses. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. What are their advantages and disadvantages? Knowing more of them will definitely help you decide on choosing which chainsaw is the best for you.
How To Find The Best Electric Chainsaw
An electric chainsaw is a great choice when it comes to accomplishing tasks in a smaller yard. Chores that need less power like pruning, light cutting of trees and wood and trimming are the ideal activities for the electric chainsaw. Compared to the gas-powered chainsaws, electric chainsaws produce much lesser noise, weigh lighter, require less maintenance and are easy to start.
Electric chainsaws come in two (2) varieties, those with cords and those which are cordless. Of course, the cordless ones have an increased convenience when it comes to work; however, batteries that power these chainsaws aren’t infinite. Those with cords have a long lasting power but can risk the cord getting cut by the chainsaw if you’re not careful.
When it comes to power, electrical chainsaws are not as powerful as gas chainsaws. They also have smaller bars, the part from the tip of the chain up to the end at the case of the body. Usually, an electric chainsaw has a bar size of only eight (8) up to fifteen (15) inches in length. Because of its lesser power, electric chainsaws have a reduced risk when it comes to kick back. Kick back is when the end of the chainsaw’s bar hits something. When a chainsaw becomes too powerful for you, it can risk you safety by causing the bar to kick back in your direction.
The biggest disadvantage of electric chainsaws is probably its power cord. Though there are cordless ones, the ones with power cords provide a more secure amount of power. The power cord is attached to the chainsaw’s body and if you don’t watch it, you can accidentally cut the cord in half or rip it to shreds. This accident can cause electrical dangers so you should always be careful in using electric chainsaws. But because of its steady power source from electricity, you won’t have to worry about running out of gasoline or engine oil. The ones with cords can easily be plugged in an outlet and you can work away without worrying about the chainsaw dying out on you.
Another advantage that electric chainsaws have is that they produce lesser noise. Compared to the gas chainsaw, an electric chainsaw is much quieter since it doesn’t have a two-cycle engine roaring. This makes an excellent choice between the two if you’re living in a peaceful community and you don’t want to disturb your neighbors. Electric chainsaws also need less maintenance compared to gas chainsaws.
When it comes to storing, the electric chainsaw is easier and way more convenient. All you need to do is unplug the cord of the electric chainsaw from the outlet. You can then replace the guard of the bar and then wrap the cord in a coil. Once done, you can now store it anywhere you want. What’s even better is that some brands of electric chainsaws have their own cases for storing. You don’t have to wait for it to cool down and you don’t have to worry about the kind of gasoline that you’ll be using.
A gas chainsaw utilizes a two-cycle engine which is fueled by a mix of oil and gasoline. This type of chainsaw exercises its strength in terms of greater power and mobility. When it comes to cutting down trees, trimming branches or even cut down thick bushes and shrubs, the gas chainsaws are the right ones for the job.
Gas chainsaw is more powerful when compared to electric chainsaws. In this regard, they can do more demanding jobs like cutting down trees. A gas chainsaw is equipped with a two-cycle engine which is powered by a combination of gasoline and oil. A gas powered chainsaw can also have a forty two inch bar length.
A gas chainsaw’s main concern is safety. In that regard, you need to shut it off first and allow it to cool down before refilling the fuel tank. The fuel is another issue as if you don’t get the right mix of gasoline and oil; the gas chainsaw might cough it all out and sputter when you try to start it.
Storage is another thing to watch out for in gas chainsaws. In exchange for its power, you need to take proper steps for safety reasons. You first need to cool it down before putting it away. After that, you can now put its bar and tuck it safely. Then, you need to drain all the gasoline and oil from the chainsaw’s tank. Lastly, you need to keep it in an area where it’s well-ventilated and put it in an upright position.
No one between the two is better than the other. Both the electric and gas chainsaws have their own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing a bit more about them can shed light on what you should pick out when choosing the right kind of chainsaw for you.
Chainsaw Buyers Guide Video
Best Chainsaw Reviews
When it comes to buying a chainsaw, you only want the best. In the market right now, there are a lot of brands of chainsaws and you just can’t help but doubt of their qualities. How can I be convinced of their quality? Here are just some of the best chainsaws, which may even be already familiar to you, along with what the customers have said about them.
The GreenWorks G-MAX 40V 16-inch DigiPro Brushless Chainsaw features a powerful capability when it comes to cutting up as much as the cord of a wood all in one go. Because the brushless motor allows it to deliver 30% more torque, it increases its cutting power while offering 70% lesser amount of vibration which brings a more comfortable handling while working with it. Additional support is provided by the chain brake, hand guard and a quick release trigger, also adding to its safety features. This heavy duty gas-comparable chainsaw is a powerful tool to use that exercises power while still maintaining a good amount of handling.
“Like many homeowners with a suburban-sized yard, a gas-powered chainsaw is overkill. It comes in handy when you need it, but it’s unlikely to see much use during the year. That complicates maintenance, since gas equipment does not like to sit idle unless it has been properly prepped to do so. The alternative has typically been a corded electric chainsaw. A good quality electric will give you much of the performance of a gas model without any of the gas engine maintenance issues. But, you’re tied to an outlet or a generator. This chainsaw takes it a step further, and is the first cordless chainsaw that is a “real” chainsaw. Up until now, the cordless models have been limited use tools, such as the line made by Black and Decker. I have three different B&D cordless chainsaws and they work well, but are limited to branch trimming. I think of them as pruners more so than chainsaws. The power this puts out is simply amazing, and equals that of my favorite electric chain saw, the WORX WG300.”
The Hitachi CS33EB16 16-Inch 32cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered Top Handle Chain Saw is one of the most powerful chainsaws in the market but still maintain an excellent amount of handling compared to the other chainsaws in its line. It features an auto choke design which makes start up a simple process. The S-Start feature reduces the required amount of pull of the chainsaw by as much as 50%. Because of its compact design, the Hitachi does a great job when it comes to pruning or limbing. You can even access the tensioner easily on its side for a quick adjustment when necessary.
“Holy smack, this chain saw is great. Hitachi did it right with this model. It is easy to handle, powerful and no-nonsense “get-r-done” on the job site. I’m no lumber jack, just a home owner that’s not too big in stature and enjoys woodworking. I like a tool that does what it was designed to do without bells and whistles. This is it. I’ve owned a couple other brands and neither come close to this saw. I start it (after it’s warmed up) standing up with the bar break on. I love it. No more having to put one foot on the handle on the ground and pull forever to start like the other units I’ve owned including a Husquvarna. I think the handle is great- not like conventional design so you can actually have more control and ease of use especially if you’re trimming trees from an extension ladder. On the ground clean up is a snap. This eager beaver is powerful and light weight enough to get the job done with less fatigue & frustration. One downer- the chain bar oil leaks.”
The Echo Chainsaw CS-310 with 14 Bar is one of the best chainsaws when you want to do jobs like cutting through large tree limbs and branches without any hassle. It features a top handle design which adds more flexibility if you want to make cuts requiring particularly difficult angles. Its 32.6 cc engine provides a great amount of power to the 14 inch bar and chain which makes cutting smooth work. It also has a G-Force Engine Air Pre-cleaner which preserves the longevity of the engine and extends time between maintenance sessions. It also features an easy access side chain tensioner that can be reached conveniently and a lanyard ring.
“I bought this after the last storm, used into cut up a very, very, large fallen pine tree. It worked really well. I put it away for at least a year, put in oil and gas and it works great. Fair warning; read the manual how to cut trees if you do it wrong the blade will get caught in the tree. That applies to any saw. If you have a really thick tree or trees to cut, I would say 22 inches or thicker I would seriously consider a longer blade. Still for me, it worked wonders.”
The Remington RM5118R Rodeo 18-Inch 51cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw is one of the many chainsaws meant for heavy duty. It’s equipped with a QuickStart technology, making it easier to start just by pilling. Its 51cc engine exercises its power through the 18 inch bar chain, easily cutting through wood. A handy feature that the Remington has is its anti-vibration handles which promote a comfortable handling when you use it. Being a heavy duty chainsaw is no easy task that’s why the Remington also comes equipped with a die-cast chassis and pro-grade crankcase and sprocket which adds to its durability.
“Saw comes with case that encloses the chainsaw body and a separate cover to enclose the chain bar. I followed the starting procedure that’s printed in the instructions and on the saw’s chain stop guard and it started the first time out. I’ve used the saw multiple times. Sometimes I’ve started it cold, requiring the full starting procedure; other times I’ve started it hot, where all I needed to do was pull the cord. A lot of people have reported not being able to get the saw running. I suspect a few simple problems: incorrect oil/gas mix, failing to follow the EXACT starting procedure (which is different from most saws) and leaving the start switch in the OFF position. Note that the saw comes with chain bar oil and fuel oil so all you need to do is supply the gas.”
The Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw is one of those powerhouses when it comes to chainsaws. It’s equipped with a powerful gas-powered chainsaw that measure at 18 inches which is just right for those who cut lesser than a regular basis. Since it’s a gas-powered chainsaw, its 3.2 HP X-Torq engine helps in reducing the harmful emissions while promoting efficiency. Its LowVib vibration dampening helps in reducing vibration which improves handling by a lot. You won’t have trouble with starting it with the Smart Start feature which comes with a choke/stop control.
“In my humble homeowner opinion, there are two good chain saws on the market today. Stihl and Husqvarna. The Husky 450 is an excellent medium size saw for the homeowner like me. I like the saw because it is easy to start, quiet and powerful. I would recommend it to anyone. The 18 inch bar works for the size tree I typically cut. I keep the chains sharp and have several on hand to change in the field. The bar tool comes with the saw for easy chain changeout. My two sons also use the saw and rate it as highly as I do!”
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