Chainsaw Buying Guide

A chainsaw can be a useful tool to have in your kit. But you have to be aware that not all chainsaws are made to handle every job. You wouldn’t use a pole saw to cut firewood for example. Nor would you want to reach above your head with a full sized gas tree cutting saw to trim small branches.

So, choose the right tool for the job. Let’s take a look at the different types of chainsaws you may be in the market for.


  • GAS: This is going to be your go-to if you have a lot of cutting to do. Gas powered saws run faster than your average electric saw. That means you’ll need less pressure on the blade to get a quick, clean cut. These are the workhorses of chainsaw world. Great for felling large trees, cutting lots of firewood or clearing away storm debris. You’ll need good arm strength to use the pull starter as well as hefting this type of chainsaw for long periods. They are loud and heavy. Their gas engines require refueling as well as careful maintenance.
  • ELECTRIC (CORDED): A little lighter in weight, the corded electric chainsaw is good for lighter duty jobs. Mid-size trees and small amounts of firewood. Their slower chain speeds limit the types of work you can easily do with them. But for light yard work, they’re hard to beat. Just be sure to take extra care with the cord, (they can get in the way and be a bit limiting).
  • ELECTRIC (BATTERY): All the benefits of electric without the limitations of a cord. These will get the smaller jobs done admirably and will operate as long as you have charged batteries on hand. These units tend to be as expensive as a basic gas powered chainsaw, but the mobility and lack of exhaust fumes can be a real plus.
  • POLE SAWS: These can be a real help in pruning trees and  trimming low hanging branches. No need for a ladder, the pole saw has all the reach you need to safely take care of keeping your trees in good shape. These can be gas or electric and although they are really useful, they are not meant for the big jobs.


Now that you have a gauge of what type of chainsaw you’ll need to do the kinds of jobs that you may come up against, let’s look at some features that will improve your chainsaw experience.


    • CHAIN BRAKE: This is an important feature to look for. This will automatically stop the chain if it encounters a problem. It can also be manually operated.
    • AUTOMATIC OILER: To make sure that you are getting the best cut and the safest operation, you need to keep the chain oiled. This feature does the job for you, so you can keep your mind on the job at hand.
    • ANTI-VIBRATION: If you’re going to be doing a lot of cutting, this is going to be something you’ll want. Less vibration equals better control, less fatigue and the ability to work longer.
    • TRIGGER LOCKOUT: This safety feature will not allow the throttle to engage if the palm switch in not held down. This way, if you were to lose control of the saw the switch would release and stop the chain.
    • LOW KICKBACK BARS/CHAIN: reduces the danger of kickback due to binding or other problems.
    • BUCKING SPIKES: Allow you to get a stable bite on your log for safer, more efficient cutting.
    • SPRING ASSISTED START: For gas powered chainsaws, this feature helps to reduce the effort needed to pull start your motor.
    • EASY CHAIN ADJUST: Without the need of tools you can safely adjust the tension on your saw.
  • CARRY CASE: Protect your investment from damage in transport and store your saw in a sheath or hard case.


Getting the right chainsaw is just part of the equation. Making sure that you are safe when you operate it is just as important. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and invest in good safety gear that will ensure that you have years of safe operation.

Safety glasses (with side shields), leather boots with non-slip treads and steel toes are a must. Gloves that have excellent grip and are cut proof will help to keep mishaps to a minimum. A hardhat and ear protection should always be used and cut resistant chaps will help to protect you from damage to your legs. Keeping safe while doing your work is paramount.