When it comes to getting work done in your backyard, you are only as effective as your tools.
The modern chainsaw has proven to be one of the must have tools for gardeners, DIY landscapers, and professional lumberjacks.
Chainsaws are handy in pruning branches, slicing off dangerous broken tree limbs, dicing stumps into firewood, and felling trees that threaten your roof.
Their rugged design and powerful motors pack enormous cutting power to quickly and effectively chew through wood.
Indeed, these powerful tools can save you countless hours of manual labor.
If you’re in the market looking for a chainsaw for around the house tasks, you will find so many options to choose from.
With power tools becoming a DIYer’s best friend, it is imperative to ensure you buy the most reliable chainsaws.
In this post, you will learn more about the various manufactured home chainsaw options to help you choose the perfect tool for your needs. Read on!
The Three Types of Chainsaws
Purchasing a chainsaw can present a significant challenge for a homeowner.
Even though they all do the same job, there is one way to drastically cut down your choices.
Choosing how you want your chainsaws powered is an important decision that will leave you with a few options to choose from.
Chainsaws are divided into three types depending on power options, each with its perks and shortcomings. Here are the various types.
1. Gas powered chainsaw
Gas powered chainsaws are the most popular options, but for a reason they are the most powerful.
If strength is your priority, a gas powered model is the best option.
The chainsaws come with gas engines that give them the power to produce more cutting power.
Gas powered chainsaws can drive a longer bar length, meaning they can bring down larger trees and work faster with less significant wear on the chain. They are also portable and versatile.
As for gas powered chainsaws, the most significant downside is that they are heavier and noisier than electric models.
Their engine also requires regular maintenance to keep the machine working correctly.
2. Cordless electric chainsaw
They are an excellent choice for homeowners who crave portable power tools but don’t want to deal with gas.
Another impressive thing about cordless electric chainsaws is that they operate quietly and are eco friendly with zero emissions.
The battery is charged upfront, and total runtime depends on voltage plus the battery’s amp hour rating.
Because of the low cutting power, battery powered saws excel in pruning, trimming, and cutting small trees.
Even though they don’t pack the same amount of cutting power as other types, they are the most expensive.
Even so, the latest models are designed to be more powerful.
3. Corded electric chainsaw
If you are willing to sacrifice portability for an endless source of power, this is the way to go.
As the name suggests, they come with a plug in power cord.
Corded chainsaws are quiet, lightweight, and cheaper than other options simply because they don’t need gas or rechargeable batteries.
Although they are considered immobile, you will be able to use them outside your home with a portable generator.
All in all, they are weaker than gas models and not suitable for most tasks like felling trees.
What can a chainsaw be used for?
A quality chainsaw can be indispensable labor safer.
It is a powerful tool that you can use to cut time and effort in most landscaping needs.
Regardless of where you live, you will likely benefit from a chainsaw for one of the following tasks.
1. Cutting down trees and branches
This is perhaps the most common and obvious use of chainsaws.
With the help of a sizable chainsaw that provides decent power, you can hack down trees of various sizes.
Chainsaws are also mobile, allowing savvy DIYers to carefully take them up and take away bothering branches.
Make sure to cut down trees that pose no harm to you, your family, your home, and your neighbors should they fall wrong.
2. Turning logs into lumber
After felling trees, you can convert them into something useful.
With your chainsaw, you can easily turn the logs into uniform lumber that you can use in other projects.
3. Chopping firewood
If you have a wood fireplace, you don’t need to pull out the ax anymore.
A chainsaw can save your effort and time by splitting wood faster.
4. Sculpting foliage
If you’re a savvy landscaper, there is no reason enough to pay a personal landscaper.
You can use a small chainsaw to design the bushes around your manufactured home and achieve the desired results.
By doing it yourself, you save yourself more cash and time than if you were using shears.
5. Wood carving
Although it might not be the best for the task, a chainsaw can be used to meticulously create a beautiful focal piece for your home.
Five Chainsaw Shopping Factors
Chainsaw is as dangerous as it is powerful. You want to buy one that perfectly suits your landscaping needs without posing any dangers.
Here are some of the factors that will help you pick a perfect tool.
1. Intended use
Chainsaws come in different sizes suited for different uses.
Heavy duty gas powered chainsaws are designed for logging, while lightweight electric models excel in pruning, removing small limbs, or chopping firewood.
If you will be using your saw occasionally and for lighter tasks, you don’t need to invest in a cost prohibitive heavy duty chainsaw.
2. Blade length
Also known as guide bar, this is the part that spins in order to chop the woods.
Chainsaws come with varying guide bars.
If you’re a casual lumberjack or are buying a chainsaw for around the house tasks, a 12 20 inches chainsaw will do the job.
It should help with trimming, pruning, limbing, felling small to medium trees, and cutting firewood.
Chainsaws are powerful tools, meaning they can cause serious harm, particularly when mishandled.
If you’ve never used a chain saw before, you will be better with a small one, preferably electric options.
Small chainsaws are safer to use and will get most of the job done.
As an ordinary homeowner, you can expect to spend anywhere between $100 and $500 to get a quality chainsaw.
As for electric tools, you get what you pay for.
The price for gas powered models can vary significantly.
Of course, you don’t need high end models for around the house tasks, meaning you can get a quality saw even on a budget.
Before making a purchase, make sure to check what customers say about the product.
5. Safety features
As with any tool, there is a risk involved in using chainsaws.
Even though manufacturers design the tools while mitigating risk, you still need to consider the safety features(discussed in detail below).
Ten Desirable Chainsaw Safety Features
When buying a chainsaw, you should be very keen to inspect for safety features.
The more safety features a chainsaw has, the better it is. Here are some of the features you need to inspect or assess.
1. Chain brake
The greatest hazard when working with a chainsaw is the possible kickback.
Even the most experienced lumberjacks or landscapers may experience some kickback.
Essentially, kickback is the sudden rotational thrust of the chainsaw blade towards the user.
A kickback usually happens when the chain catches with a hard object or when something contacts the upper quadrant of the tip of the bar.
The chain break wards off potential injuries by preventing the chain from spinning when a kickback occurs. It can stop the chain in a fraction of a second.
When buying, make sure to check if the saw has a chain break it is a must have safety feature.
You can buy a model featuring a manual model or pick a high end chainsaw featuring an inertia activated chain brake.
They all enhance safety.
2. Chain catcher
Chainsaws handle demanding tasks, meaning the chain is prone to stretching. Although every chainsaw includes a way to adjust itself to the tension, improper tensioning and poor maintenance may cause the saw chain to jump off or break. In such cases, the chain catcher protects the user by stopping the chain from flying backward.
A chain catcher is a metal extension beneath the guide bar.
3. Throttle lock (trigger lockout)
A throttle lock is an additional safety feature that prevents unintentional operation. Most chainsaws will include this palm switch that must be pressed (activated) to engage the throttle.
4. Right hand guard
These are guards designed to protect the user’s fingers should the chain jump off or break.
5. Oiler type
Lubrication keeps the chain and the blade workable by preventing the chain and bar from overheating or getting damaged. Although different chainsaws come with varying oiling processes, no method is specifically better than the other. It all depends on what style you’re comfortable with because the purpose is the same.
You will find chainsaws with manual or automatic oilers.
Most recent models come with an automatic chain oiler. The automatic oiler allows the user to keep cutting without stopping and pumping the plunger to lubricate the cutting bar: a well lubricated bar and chain wards off premature wearing and overheating.
6. Bucking spikes
These are sharp spikes connecting the chainsaw body at the blade base. The tips help the user to pivot the bar and chain downward while chopping. Although it is a simple feature, it makes cutting easier and results in straight cuts. Busking spikes also protect against kickback.
7. Chain tensioner
Chain adjuster or tensioner lets you unlock and lock the chain bar as well as adjust the chain tension. Your cutting machine can have a tool less chain tensioner or scrench chain tensioner. For tool less options, you adjust the chain tension with a knob, while the other option requires you to use a screwdriver.
8. Anti vibration
Nothing could be further than the truth: Gas powered chainsaws produce vibrations more than other models. To reduce discomfort and minimize numbness experienced when operating chainsaws, manufacturers include anti vibration features.
You will be better with a chainsaw featuring rubber bushing or metal springs between the engine, bar, and chains. Without these features, sawing becomes fatiguing and uncomfortable.
9. Stop button
This is a must include feature. All the same, make sure to check if the stop button is conveniently positioned so you can stop the engine quickly.
10. Case or sheath
Most chainsaws are portable. A cover helps protect against accidental cuts when carrying or storing your machine. A full cover will also take care of oil leaks.
How do you use a chainsaw safely?
Operating a chainsaw is a dangerous task that is potentially fatal, particularly if the user overlooks safety precautions.
All chainsaws, regardless of their size, require substantial control by the user to be operated safely.
Even with the best deal of safety features, make sure to observe the following.
- Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s manual instructions and understand your saw safety features.
- Protect yourself by wearing chainsaw protective gear. At the very minimum, you need safety glasses, cut resistant clothes, cut proof gloves, a helmet, and special boots that resist blades.
- Perform a startup inspection.
- Make sure your working area is safe and clear. Also, plan an escape route.
- When operating the chainsaws, beware of your skill levels, limits, balance, and footing. Even slight slips or missteps can be fatal.
- Have a first aid kit on hand.
- Engage chain break when the chainsaw is on and not cutting
- Take good care and maintenance of the machine between uses. This keeps the chainsaws safe while reassuring durability and longevity.
Six Chainsaw Maintenance Tips
Constantly cutting through materials can take a toll on your tool.
With proper maintenance, you will be able to prolong the life of your tool while making it safer for use.
1. Sharpen the teeth
A dull chainsaw is an unsafe chainsaw.
If you want to cut through wood easily, you must keep the teeth of your chainsaw sharp.
With sharp chainsaw teeth, you’re less likely to run into kickbacks or slip, which makes the tool safer.
You will need a chainsaw filing kit that comes complete with a sharpener and deep gauge tool.
2. Clear debris
After every use, make sure to clear all the sawdust and debris accumulated on the chain, bar, oil ports, and around the power sprocket.
Keeping the chain and bar clean makes them less prone to wear down.
Cleaning eliminates substances that could result in rusting and metal damage.
3. Ensure proper chain tension
Your chainsaw needs about 1⁄8th inch of giving when you tug the chain.
Ideally, you don’t want to make the chain too tight or too loose.
A tight chain will make the blade stall. When too loose, it can fall off or break on impact.
4. Monitor chain oil
Without proper lubrication, you run the risk of damaging or overheating your chain.
To avoid these frustrations, make sure to grease the chain whenever it looks a little dry.
5. Sheath it
The last thing you want is to expose your chainsaw to elements.
To ensure your machine lasts longer and performs properly, make sure to protect it from elements and bad weather.
If your chainsaw doesn’t come with a sheath, you can buy an aftermarket cover to keep it safe.
6. Clean gas tank and filters
For gas powered models, the gas inside the equipment can begin to break into sludge when the chainsaw sits around idly.
This sludge will jam the fuel intake, plug the carburetor, and degrade performance.
To avoid these issues, use fresh fuel if the chainsaw has been sitting around.
You will need to clean the tank if you notice performance issues.
The filter also stops dirt, dust, and other contaminants.
To ensure smooth performance, it is good to clean or replace the filters when you notice some dirt.
A chainsaw is a powerful tool useful for those looking to maintain the outlook of their property.
When used properly, it can help you save time, effort, and money on manual labor.
With the help of this article, you will be able to buy a perfect chainsaw and use it rightly.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can you use a chainsaw without a license?
Yes, you don’t need a license to use a chainsaw.
Although most people can operate a chainsaw without a license, you may need to enroll in a training course.
That way, you will be able to prove that you’re trained and competent to handle the tool.
Q: Do you need the training to use a chainsaw?
Chainsaws are dangerous tools that can cause serious injuries or, at worst, death.
It is essential for anyone who uses the machines to receive proper training and be competent.
Q: Is it worth sharpening a chainsaw blade?
Yes, it is, well, worth it to sharpen chainsaw blades.
Keeping the blades sharp makes cutting easier, which also minimizes the risk of experiencing kickback.
Q: Is it bad to use a chainsaw in the rain?
For electric chainsaws, a big NO.
If you have a gas powered chainsaw, you can continue using it in the rain, even if it is pouring.
Just make sure you don’t submerge its engine underwater.
Q: Is it safe to run a chainsaw without the chain?
Safety wise, running a chainsaw without the chain is still very dangerous.
It will run faster because there is no resistance. All the same, there is no problem at all as long as you observe safety measures.