Chainsaws

Chainsaw selection criteria

Winter brings with it higher fuel bills and many people are today starting to switch to wood-burning stoves and fires simply to cut expenditure. Using a manual log saw to cut firewood may well keep you warm but is slow and eventually many people begin to think of using a chainsaw to make things quicker and easier. So what factors should you consider when selecting your first/replacement chainsaw?

Chainsaws used to be heavy, have few safety devices, generally unreliable and expensive to run. They used to vibrate a lot and were tiring to use especially on the ears.

Modern chainsaws are:

  • lighter
  • more fuel efficient
  • quieter
  • safer
  • more comfortable to use
  • easier to maintain

Small saws have some very real advantages. They cost less than professional saws and they’re much lighter than full size models designed for either professional or home use.

Reliability

As long as you stay with a major brand, reliability is not usually a problem. I’ve owned saws made by Mitox, Stihl, Efco and Husquavarna. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, even lower priced saws tend to last a long time with careful use and maintenance. Professional saws are built with better materials and engineering, but the difference is not usually going to be a factor for the homeowner cutting his own firewood.

Regular maintenance goes a long way to keep your saw fit for duty. Clean or replace the air filter frequently. Replace the spark plug annually or according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Use a high quality two cycle oil for the gasoline mixture, and a good bar and chain oil to get the longest life out of your bar and chain. Lube the roller sprocket often.

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