Try to find a good combination of size and power. Power matters most if you’ll be cutting hardwood (oak, maple, etc.) rather than softwood (pine, fir, etc.).
Remember that with power comes weight. A large saw can get pretty heavy after a long session of cutting. Larger saws also create more vibration.
What may look like a lot of bells and whistles are really some very smart features. Look for these comfort and convenience add-ons:
Antivibration — buffers the shock of the impact on the blade and the chain on wood (especially handy if you’ll be cutting for an extended period of time)
Quick-Start Electronic Ignition — reduces the pulling force needed for starting (available on some gas models)
Automatic Chain Oiler — lubricates for safe and efficient cutting
Quick-Adjust Chain — allows the user to change the cutting chain tension easily
Exhaust/Muffler — reduces noise
Exhaust Air-Cleaning System — cleans the air before it gets to the air filter to help extend filter life
Carrying Case — provides convenience and helps protect the saw
You need more than just a saw. Protective clothing is an essential part of the woodcutter’s toolbox. ALWAYS wear protective clothing, including:
- Leg protection, such as chaps, leggings or cut-resistant trousers.
- Hard hat if there’s any material overhead.
- Gloves or mittens with an enhanced gripping surface
- Eye protection with side shields
- Hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs
- Boots or shoes with steel toes and nonskid soles