Chainsaws—A Buying Guide

As extremely versatile power tools, chainsaws should be treated with respect. Simply purchasing the most powerful model is not advisable, especially if you are not well-versed in their various uses. On the other hand, selecting the right sort of chainsaw for the jobs you intend using it for can mean that you get years of hassle-free output from the tool. What do you need to know when selecting the right chainsaw for your purposes?

Blade Length

Chainsaws come in various sizes. The length of the cutting blade is most important and is generally given by manufacturers in centimetres. Longer chainsaw blades will obviously afford you a greater depth of cut but are that much harder to control. Remember that the cutting ability of a chainsaw is almost two times the length of its blade. When cutting a log with a diameter of half a metre, for example, a 30cm blade is perfectly adequate.

Power-to-Weight Ratio

If you choose a powerful chainsaw, then using it for prolonged periods can lead to fatigue due to its greater weight. Conversely, under-powered chainsaws take longer to do their cutting, and you will end up holding them for more time. Seek professional advice from the likes of a Husqvarna dealer who will be able to advise you of the best power-to-weight ratio for your intended needs. Only professionals who will need to use a chainsaw for the entire day ought to seek the lightest models.


As well as personal protection equipment, like ear defenders, good chainsaws should come with their own safety features. Always check that the model you are considering buying has some of the common safety functions, such as an inertia chain brake. In addition, a side-chain tensioning mechanism can help to prevent accidents. Finally, a chain catcher is another good safety feature to look out for, and that can be important if the chain derails for some reason.

User Operations

Not all chainsaws are as easy to use as each other. For experienced operators, this is not so much of an issue, but newcomers to the world of power saws can benefit from easy-to-understand controls and mechanisms. Look at the starting controls to begin with and ask yourself whether they will be easy to operate with one hand whilst holding the chainsaw in the other. Does the chainsaw have a cut-off feature that can be reached easily should you get into difficulties? In addition, it is advisable to opt for a model with an anti-vibration system because these make using a chainsaw much more comfortable.