Home Lawn & Garden The Chainsaw Buying Guide for Home DIY

The Chainsaw Buying Guide for Home DIY

by Kellen Greene

Chain saws can be an intimidating purchase due to the sheer power of the tool, but also the wide range of options and features out there making it difficult to decipher which chain saw is the right one for you. If you are doing DIY at home, you may even be questioning if you need a chain saw in the first place, as they are very large and very powerful.  However, if you are serious about your home based DIY projects, you won’t be sorry that you decided to go purchase a chain saw as it will be a valuable addition to your tool kit. If you are trying to get through the wealth of information out there on chain saws and which one might be the best one for you, Surf’n’Buy would like to help you find the right chain saw for your individual need.

Power Options

There are a few different chain saw power options out there and each has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to know what is available to know which option may suit you the best.

  • Gas

Gas powered chain saws are the best in terms of power. If you are looking for the most power for the toughest of materials, a gas powered chain saw is the right option for you. Gas engines are  available between 24cc to 46cc and are able to cut through pretty much anything. These options are great for professionals and the serious DIY enthusiast.  The only drawback is that gas may cost a little extra and the fumes these chain saws emit mean they can only be used outdoors.

  • Electric

Electric powered chain saws are highly powerful and much cleaner in terms of energy. They simply plug into an outlet to get going, so there’s no need to purchase gas at an additional cost. These chain saws are not as strong as gas versions, but are still capable of cutting through most materials. They can be used both indoors and outdoors because there are no annoying fumes, so they are great for a wide variety of projects. However, they require a mains outlet and cables, which can be a health hazard and may be a little irritating to work around, especially on busy sites.

  • Battery Powered

Battery powered chain saws are incredibly portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors without the need for cables and outlets. Simply switch them on and off you go. If you need your chain saw for a particularly long project, you can purchase extra batteries so you don’t need to wait for the one you have to charge. The only downside to this option is that it is the weakest power type and may not be able to cut through all the different materials you want to work with.

Guide Bar Lengths

The guide bar shows the active cutting area and the largest width of material that the chain saw can cut through in a single swoop. What is important to note is that you do not need a larger chain saw for larger materials, you can simply cut through it in multiple swoops. A guide bar can range from anywhere between 12” and 32” but these larger sizes are really meant for professionals and experienced users. Beginners can get just as much done with a smaller guide bar whilst they build up their experience and practice. This will allow you to maintain full control over the chain saw and reduce the risk of injury or accident.

Your Physicality

Personal strength is not always something one things about when making a purchase, however when buying a chain saw, it’s one of the most important considerations. Chain saws come in many different weights and whilst heavier options will generally be able to cut through tougher materials, they can be difficult to manage if you are a smaller or weaker person. The longer you use the chain saw, the more you will become tired and the less control you will have over the machine. This is dangerous as a chain saw is an incredibly powerful tool.

If you are a beginner, try going for a lighter option and perhaps build your way up to heavier models.  This will decrease your risk of injury and ensure your safety as you go through your project.

Safety Features

As a non-professional, safety considerations are paramount when buying your new chain saw. The first feature you should most definitely look for is an anti-kickback chain which is available in almost all consumer options. This will minimise the force of the kickback when using the chainsaw, keeping you safe during use. Kickback occurs when the teeth of the chain saw first meet the material it’s cutting and the chain goes from rotating away from you to towards you. This can cause the chain saw to stop entirely, or simply cause the chain saw to jump backwards toward you, which may shock the beginner user. It is important to have this anti-kickback chain to minimise the chance of that happening and maintain full control over the chain saw while it is in use.

You should also look to buy some safety accessories and clothes for yourself while you’re using the chainsaw, such as specialised pants or chaps, gloves, safety boots, and head and eye protection. If you are going for a gas chain saw, you should also look into buying protective ear covers to muffle the volume coming from the chain saw and the material being cut.

If you’re considering whether a chain saw is actually a good purchase for you, we here at Surf’n’Buy are here to help. If you are an avid DIY enthusiast, you can’t get a more helpful tool than a chain saw to help you with all of your manual labour needs. They make cutting wood and other materials much easier so you don’t always have to call a professional and you can build up your experience to complete the projects you’ve always wanted to.

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