The most appropriate chainsaw for you will depend upon the kind of work you will be using it for. Are you going to be felling trees? Will you be using it to cut down and reduce the size of branches in your back garden etc? Is the chainsaw mainly for domestic use that will be used only now and again or is it for commercial use and therefore constantly being used? Are you going to be using it to create wood carvings?
A question of power
Both the electric chainsaw and Gas-powered chainsaw have their own advantages and disadvantages, but generally speaking Gas-powered is more powerful than the electric chainsaw. Loggers who need to clear large areas of land prefer using the Gas-powered version as it offers faster and more powerful cutting. This in the same way is a good investment commercially. Less time spent on any one job or task will obviously mean a saving in money terms as well.
Do you need portability?
The biggest advantage of the Gas-powered chainsaw is its portability. You will not have to worry about finding a plug point to start your chainsaw, you can use it just about anywhere. Staff especially will not by restricted by how far they travel if they are working on an especially large project.
The fact that there is no cord attached to a Gas-powered chainsaw also makes the appliance safer. With all gardening equipment such as lawn mowers and strimmers we all have to be conscious of that trailing wire. It could not only be a danger for the user but a trip hazard for those around. The chainsaw is classed as the most potentially dangerous piece of gardening equipment available, so any measures that can be put in place to make it safer for the operator are welcomed.
The lead again can create restrictions with how the machine itself is maneuvered during the cutting procedure. This is most clearly seen when you have to work at heights. Professional tree surgeons and tree fellers more often than not have to climb trees or use ladders in their work. A trailing cord would not only be annoying, the problems around safety would make it unmanageable and therefore redundant.
Chainsaws in a domestic environment
Gas-powered chainsaws however do come in various sizes and are regularly used in the domestic situation. A 15-inch guide bar (the bar is measured form the nose or tip of the blade to where it ends in the casing) is appropriate for simple trimming and shaping and for occasional light weight working in a domestic environment.
However because electric chainsaws have less power they are more likely to suffer from kickback. This makes them a little safer and more appropriate for the amateur and domestic user. Another advantage of the electric model is you do not have to worry about running out of fuel or oil. This can be problematic for the Gas-powered chainsaw owner who has not prepared for this eventuality as he/she will have to wait for the machine to cool down before replacing the fuel.
Ease of Action
An electric chainsaw is a lot easier and safer to start than its Gas-powered cousin. All you have to do is flick a switch or push a button. The Gas-powered model by comparison is triggered into action by the starting rope. This can be frustrating, annoying and, worst still, time-wasting if it does not flare into action first time. Perhaps more importantly it is this action of starting a chainsaw improperly or in a slovenly manner which reports suggest cause the most injuries.
Because the electric chainsaw is less powerful by default it is also a great deal quieter. If you live in a close neighbourhood this can be a godsend for Sunday mornings. It also will not need as much maintenance as the Gas-powered model. This is due to the fact that you are not constantly checking fuel levels and the spark plug. And because on the whole electric chainsaws are less powerful and therefore being constantly confronted by a lot of vibration, there isn’t the need to continuously check that the casing and nuts and bolts are still tight and secure.
Which chainsaw is easiest to store?
The electric chainsaw is much easier to store. In fact all you have to do is put it away. However the Gas-powered model has to be emptied of all its fuel otherwise the fuel will deteriorate and leave deposits in the carburettor and fuel lines. A compromise is to add a fuel preservative to the fuel if you are going to store it for a long period. You must never store it away if it is still hot and when you do it should be stored upright in a well-ventilated environment.
When it comes down to being eco-friendly the electric model wins simply because it is not powered by fuel, so really think hard about the type of your work before buying a chainsaw – if its going to be small domestic jobs – buy a small electric chainsaw.
If you have light work but have to travel a distance, consider the battery operated chainsaw. The great advantage of these models is they are cordless. They are also light and as powerful as the electric chainsaws. However the disadvantage with cordless chainsaws is the battery life is quite short. Also, once they need recharging this could at least take an hour to do.
If you are going to be persuaded of the merits of a mains-powered electric chain saw, you need to believe that it has the necessary power to get the job done. The fact that many big manufacturers now offer models with the same chain size as in Gas-powered-engine form should be a clue that they are able to compete.
They offer these main benefits –
- Cleaner: no messy fuel
- Non-polluting (at the point of use)
- Less vibration
- Easy to start
- Less maintenance
This doesn’t by any means imply that they are totally green or indeed silent: they have big motors (whose electricity is generated largely by fossil fuels) and they and their chains still make a fair amount of noise, while the lubricating oil is still present even though you do not have deal with 2-stroke mix combining with wood dust to clog up the intake filters…
However you will appreciate their ease of starting and the fact that maintenance is confined largely to keeping the motor clean and the chain tight, oiled and sharpened. At some point you will need to replace the motor brushes: treat your machine well and you can put off the day, but it will come and when it does it is not a big job. Most makers will helpfully supply a replacement pair of brushes so guard them well.
Machines that will not make you yearn for your old Gas-powered machine are those with 1800W or more under the casing. You have a wide choice of these in 14 or 16 inch chain bar lengths. Bosch offers a particularly high-torque 1900W motor.
Several manufacturers use the Oregon Company to make their anti-vibration bars and chains: they were pioneers of the chain saw who are still very well-respected for their engineering today.
Chainsaws for wood carving
Wood carving using a chainsaw is becoming evermore popular. If you are going to be buying Chainsaws for wood carving task, a lead will not be too much of a problem as you will be in one place rather than wondering over a large area however it may interfere with flexibility of movement. This artistry calls for detailed work so a light easy to manoeuvre Gas-powered chainsaw is probably more preferable.