Don't Miss

What to Consider When Buying a Chainsaw

By on Last modified: July 26, 2017

The chainsaw. I used to fear this mighty tool and avoided getting one for years, but somehow it made its way into my DIY hobby. And after discovering how packed with potential it is, I’m totally mad I didn’t get one earlier. Although mostly considered a heavy duty tool for jobs like cutting down tree trunks and slicing metal in half, a chainsaw can be great for many entry level projects as well. And if you know how to use it and put on the proper protection gear, it’s safe for everyone – from lumberjacks to regular Joes.

Of course, not all chainsaws are made the same and you have plenty of options that differ according to size, features, torque, ergonomic design and motor power source. What this means is that purchasing a chainsaw is no easy task. What should ultimately determine what kind you get is how you plan to use this tool.


If you’re needing an instrument to take care of some simple home landscaping, trim shrubs or cut dry branches, an electric saw packs all the power you need. Electric saws are cheaper and require less maintenance, but cannot deal with anything besides regular garden work. Sure, you can manage to chop some firewood with an electric saw, but expect it to be done in more than a few minutes. If you are considering to purchase such a saw, know that it can be used within the reach its power cord allows you to. That makes it unsuitable for use in areas far from a power outlet.

The other option you have is a gas saw. This is the favourite among DIY and professional handymen and woodworkers solely due to its power. With a gas powered chainsaw expect to be done chopping wood in seconds, not minutes. From other people’s experience and mine, I’ve found that for some reason these saws are built with better quality than electrical saws. They might be a little heavy to carry around, but hey – at least they’re not restricted by an electrical cord and you can carry them whenever needed.

But besides the motor power source, the additional features can also make a real difference in a saw. A tool-free tensioning system will tension the chain on the saw correctly without the need of a additional tools. And when a chain is too loose or too tight it can present a safety hazard. Another nice feature is an anti-vibration design. This is achieved by rubber bushings that separate the saw from the handle assembly to reduce the amount of vibration that you experience. If you’ve decided to get a gas saw, than look for one with an easy-access air filter that will allow you to clean up the filter easier.