Everyone loves a good power tool, and when it comes to bulking up your toolset, you want the best selection available. Sometimes, that means bulking up with multiple types of the same tool for different purposes. However, it’s essential to start by acquiring the best tool for the most immediate needs you have on a regular basis. That’s definitely true of chainsaws, and in order to fulfill that need, you’ll want to shop for the best chainsaw deals available, affording you the opportunity to meet your needs at the best cost.
But how do you begin buying the chainsaw that fits your requirements? You need to know the difference between chainsaws available before you go to search for the best chainsaw deals that work for you. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to the best place to buy a chainsaw, as well as an idea of the best values on the market.
Power Types for Chainsaws
You’ll find two basic kinds of chainsaws available to you – gas-powered and electric – and electric chainsaw models may be battery powered or corded.
Gas-powered chainsaws use a blend of gasoline and oil to run the two-cycle engine, which is typically cranked to a start with a pull chain. While you can find light duty gas-powered chainsaws, most of these are meant for heavier duty jobs. Many professional grade chainsaws are powered by gas, and you can either mix it with the oil yourself or find a premixed fuel for purchase.
Corded Electric Chainsaw
Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Electric chainsaws come in two styles. Corded saws plug into a power source, which usually requires a pretty lengthy extension cord to reach the areas where you need the chainsaw. These are usually not as powerful as gas-powered versions and are lighter, with no need for a fuel tank or battery. A cordless chainsaw includes a battery that you can plug into recharge when power is drained. These, too, are lighter than chainsaws that run on gas, but they do have the weight of the battery to contend with. While advances have been made in the technology to improve power capabilities, these are often used for lighter duty than gas-powered units.
Power is measured by cubic centimeters – which is determined based on the engine size and power. Of course, the higher the number, the more powerful the unit. This can help you determine if you have enough to accomplish the – or even too much to handle – coming from the unit you’re considering for purchase. Remember, always start smaller because you’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish with a little less machine, simply because it’s easier to maneuver.
Standard Vs Specialized Chainsaws
The typical chainsaw you see on the market has two handles – one in the front and one in the rear of the motor housing unit – for balance and control. The chained blade protrudes from the front of the housing. These are the most commonly used chainsaws and work best for a number of applications, including chopping through thick tree limbs. In fact, these are often best for heavier work, such as cutting down an entire tree. However, you can also perform lighter jobs with this tool. Perhaps the biggest problem with a standard chainsaw is the limited reach capability, which means you’ll need to climb if you want to reach higher branches.
There are, however, other designs available in chainsaws. For example, a pole chainsaw utilizes an extension pole – usually adjustable or with straight pieces you can add for greater reach – and a small saw blade at the end. These chainsaws are most often used for applications such as pruning trees and large bushes where it’s impractical to try to reach the area of concern with a standard chainsaw. Pole saws can be found powered with gas or electricity (with or without a cord).
Another chainsaw style you may find includes a set of jaws that wrap protectively around the blade. This affords added protection to the user, as well as a means of gripping the material (for example, a branch) you’re cutting, using the teeth to hold closely so that the item doesn’t shift. Most of these units are electric, and they’re best suited for trimming and other light work.
Best Time to Buy a Chainsaw
When it comes to matching the chainsaw options with your needs so you can seek out the best chainsaw deals, you should consider what you’ll be doing with the tool on a regular basis. If you’re aren’t the type to cut your own firewood, and you don’t regularly have storms that cause a mess of large branches and limbs to fall that need cleanup, an electric chainsaw might work best for you. Likely, the extent of your use of the chainsaw will be light duty, such as trimming small limbs from trees or pruning bushes, hedges, and other greenery in your yard. If you prefer a gas-powered unit for these particular applications, you don’t need a large chainsaw, either, and can likely get by with a light duty version, using a blade bar that is no more than 8 to 16 inches.
If you find that you do need to do more cleanup work after heavy storms and are more often working with medium-sized branches that need to be trimmed, you might want to opt for a slightly larger, medium duty gas-powered chainsaw with a blade that extends at least 16 inches. However, unless you’re going to start cutting firewood, you don’t necessarily need anything more powerful.
If you’re a real go-getter and like to take care of your own firewood and other heavier duty applications, such as fully trimming and pruning your trees, you’ll want a heavy-duty gas-powered model. Consider purchasing a larger tool with a blade of closer to 20 inches in length. There are also professional grade models with blades of between 20 and 24 inches that are ideal for chopping wood, while still performing well in all other areas.
Considerations and Comparisons
The larger the chainsaw, the louder and heavier it’s going to be. If you’re a novice user, it might be good to start small, get the hang of it, and work up to a larger model if so desired. Also, electric chainsaws are much quieter to operate than gas-powered ones.
However, you’ll find that electric chainsaws are limited by comparison to gas-powered units. With a corded chainsaw, you have to concern yourself with not only a limited distance, depending on the length of extension cord you have available, but you have to practice additional safety precautions, as you can easily catch the cord when you’re cutting. For cordless models, you’ll find that you run out of charge faster than you run out of fuel on a gas-powered model most of the time. You have the added weight of the battery, and if you forget to charge it between uses, you might be out of luck the next time you get ready to work on the yard.
A gas-powered chainsaw may take on heftier jobs and last longer, but the need for fuel adds cost to the operation, and the fuel tank – especially when full – adds a great deal of weight. These also tend to be larger from the start, making them bulkier and heavier automatically. If you’re new to using a chainsaw and want a gas-powered version, you should start with a small, light duty model that helps you learn the agility and precision of using such a tool.
One thing to keep in mind is how diligent you are in maintaining your tools. Gas-powered mowers require proper care and maintenance, which can be a problem if you’re the type of person to forget to have the oil changed or tires rotated on your car. By contrast, an electric chainsaw requires very little maintenance and can be much easier to work with.
In addition, your experience with chainsaws is quite relevant to your purchasing options. Because chainsaws are complex power tools with inherent dangers in the sharpness and power of the tool, you need to purchase based on your experience. If you’re just obtaining your first chainsaw and have never handled one before, you should be careful to choose the smallest saw that will accomplish your task so that you don’t find yourself struggling with the weight or too much power as you’re just learning to wield the chainsaw.
Features to Consider
Finding the best chainsaw deals means looking at more than just the size and price of the unit. In fact, a number of features could add value to the tool you hadn’t previously considered. Before dismissing a particular model based on a slightly higher price, ask yourself if the tools you’re comparing both offer these particular aenities.
the pull chain on a gas-powered unit can be difficult to use sometimes, and a spring-assist start minimizes the effort you have to put into starting the tool.
No tools required chain adjustment
the tension of the chain can be compromised from time to time, and it’s important to be able to easily adjust it; many chainsaws have the availability of a way to change the tension on the chain without ever picking up another tool.
while most chainsaws do have a manually operated brake these days, some don’t, and others have an additional bonus that actually automatically brakes if the chain abruptly stops moving due to getting stuck or is impacted in any way, avoiding more of the blowback of wood shavings at you.
because it’s necessary to lubricate the chain to avoid any malfunctions, you could avoid having to self-oil the device by choosing a model that offers a way for the chain to oil itself as you run it, which also keeps it safer and more efficient as a tool.
some saws, when encountering a difficult spot, will kick back at you abruptly, a motion that’s quite dangerous; however, some chainsaws are rated for lower kickback, making the occurrence less likely as well as lower impact when it does happen.
especially if you do large jobs frequently, you’ll find the constant vibration of the chainsaw to be jarring and fatiguing, which makes systems that reduce the amount of vibration while you work essential to endurance while on the job, as well as avoiding soreness afterward.
the filter can easily get clogged with dust and debris from constant use, but with this feature, many large pieces of debris that can readily damage the filter are removed before ever getting that far.
Easy access controls
a chainsaw is safer when it’s more comfortable to use, so making sure that all controls are easily accessible for you is essential to assuring you can complete your job in a safe manner.
not only does this add ease of transportation from one place to another; it also helps protect the blade from damage, as well as providing additional safety for you, ensuring that you don’t accidentally cut yourself on the sharp edges of the blade.
No one should operate a chainsaw without certain safety equipment, so be sure to calculate these costs into your decision when searching for the best chainsaw deals. Perhaps the most important safety tool you can have when working with a chainsaw is eye protection, preferably with added shields on the side.
In addition, you should consider wearing either a pair of pants that are cut resistant or chaps of some kind to avoid catastrophic injury in case of an accident. A hard hat can protect you from falling logs as well as a kickback, and gloves can protect your hands not only from potential injury but also from getting blisters, which can be the case after handling the vibrating power tool for long hours, especially if you’re not conditioned to the work.
Earplugs are a good idea, especially with heavy-duty gas-powered chainsaws, as the constant loud noise from the tool can eventually lead to permanent hearing damage. Because you’re working outdoors and run the risk of having something heavy land on your feet, you should consider wearing steel-toed boots that are also equipped with non-skid soles.
Make sure the clothes you wear while working with your chainsaw fit snugly and don’t bag out unnecessarily, as this could create cause for concern. You wouldn’t want a bit of material getting caught by the blade, ruining your clothes or worse, causing bodily harm.
Most importantly, learn about the maintenance required on your particular chainsaw model, and always assure it’s in prime working condition before putting it to use, especially if it’s been sitting around for a while. That includes cleaning, oiling, and sharpening the blade for best performance.
Making the Decision
There are hundreds of power tools on the market, and the variety of style, brand, and price of chainsaw doesn’t break from that formula. However, you can start narrowing down your options by trusting certain brands known for reliability. For example, you may be able to save some money on a little-known brand, but how much do you really know about that brand’s operation and longevity? With name brands that are widely known in the power tool business, you have a historical performance to track, which gives you peace of mind that your chainsaw is reliable and long-lasting. Isn’t that worth the potential few dollars you might have otherwise saved?
Echo CS-310-14 Chainsaw
- 14-inch bar
- Automatic chain oiler
- Anti-vibration handle
- 8.5 ounces fuel tank
- 30.5 CC engine displacement
- Replacement chain available from the manufacturer
This fuel efficient gas-powered chainsaw is small enough to handle easily with enough power to get through a medium sized job. The 30.5 CC two-stroke engine utilizes fuel from an 8.5-ounce tank. The bar is 14 inches, making it just the right size for small tree trimming jobs and pruning, while still packing enough power to get through a larger amount of work. The body keeps it light, made of aluminum and plastic, but if handled too roughly, you could damage the design. The starting system is preferable to many on the market, allowing for fewer attempts needed to start the engine with the fuel chain. The fuel efficiency also assures that you won’t likely run out of gas in the middle of your work. The unit weighs about 8 pounds, and perhaps the only concern is the noise level, reaching 90 decibels, but ear protection can help reduce this burden easily. The Echo CS-310-14 gas-powered chainsaw usually retails for less than $200.
Remington RM1425 Electric Chainsaw
- Corded electric power
- 14-inch bar
- Push button chain oiler
- Low kickback bar
- 8 Amp power source
- External chain tension adjuster
- Fully assembled
This Remington model is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and it’s perfect for all your small limb pruning and trimming needs. The 14-inch bar can cut through a great deal of wood but doesn’t pack so much power that you have trouble wielding it, even as a novice. The 8 Amp corded chainsaw has trigger operation and push-button oiling, making it a breeze to start and maintain. It comes fully assembled, meaning no extra work to get started on your cutting and trimming needs. It’s equipped with a wraparound hand guard for added protection against flying debris, though you should still wear gloves when operating for safety purposes. You avoid the heat and odor of a gas-powered chainsaw with a smaller, more compact and efficient model that is also perhaps the best value on the market. The Remington RM1425 retails under $50 at most retailers.
Black & Decker CS1216
- Corded electric power
- 16-inch bar
- Automatic chain oiler with a monitoring window
- Low kickback bar
- 12 Amp power source
- Tool-free chain tension adjustment
- 2-year full home use warranty
If you’re looking for an all around the middle of the road type of chainsaw that packs some power without getting too hard to maneuver, this model may be your best option. The 12 Amp motor is powered by an electrical cord, and it offers several amenities that make operation simpler. You avoid the hassle and smell of fuel, including having to mix oil and gas, and you can assure you never run out of power while working on jobs that may take a little extra time and effort. The unit has a 16-inch bar, giving you greater chopping capacity, and there’s a viewing window where you can easily monitor the level of chain oil so that you don’t need to worry too much about maintenance. The Black & Decker CS1216 electric chainsaw can be found for $80-$100 at most locations.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20 Inch Chainsaw
- 20-inch bar
- Fuel efficient, low emission technology
- Low vibration
- Centrifugal air cleaning system
- 50.1 CC engine displacement
- 2.8 hp power output
If you need a heavier duty machine for tree and debris removal and to cut firewood but don’t want to spend a fortune, check out this model. Husqvarna caters to those needs with this gas-powered 2-stroke tool, which incorporates technology to reduce fuel consumption and aids in overall efficiency. The air filter is easy to clean and replace, making maintenance a breeze, and the start system negates the concern of flooding the engine during the pull start process. The 20-inch bar makes for excellent operation in even tough jobs, with the ability to power through cutting wood for the fire. Best of all, for such a hefty machine, this particular chainsaw isn’t extremely heavy, only weighing 12.8 pounds (prior to adding fuel). This saw is lightning fast and quite a powerful model for usually less than $500.
Makita EA4300F40B Chain Saw
- 16-inch bar
- Spring assist starter
- Tool-free filter removal
- Vibration dampening system
- 16.2 oz fuel tank, 9.5 oz oil tank
- 42 CC engine displacement
If you need something with a little less power and size because you’re newer to the game, but you still need something that will do a tough, hefty job, consider this option. The 16-inch bar is more manageable due to the smaller size, and the overall compact design can help you wield the bulk much more easily. While the weight is a little greater, you’ll find this gas-powered model is worth the extra shoulder strength, with tons of extra amenities, including a larger fuel tank (and oil tank) than average, a lot of horsepower for a smaller saw and partial metal construction that makes it extremely durable while you learn to operate the tool carefully. The Makita EA4300F40B is a great compromise for those who want incredible power without the difficult learning curve of operating too large of a machine and retails anywhere from $400-$500.
When it comes to picking the best chainsaw deals, the answer is clearly based on your actual needs. What are you planning to use the chainsaw for, and how often will you be taking it out to do the work? Choosing a model that meets your requirements is essential to getting the performance you want, and just because a chainsaw is more powerful doesn’t mean it’s better for your particular application. For example, the Remington electric chainsaw is a bargain, packing great value for anyone who only does light yard work with a chainsaw, whereas the benefits of the Husqvarna 455 chainsaw and its gas engine can weather any storm, whether cleaning up the debris or preparing for the worst by chopping firewood.
If you’re looking for a great value all around, though, and you don’t have a lot of experience with chainsaws, you might consider something like the Echo CS-310-14, which gives you all the benefits of a gas-powered model without the added hiccup of too much size or power. It’s simple to use, with external controls and adjustments, as well as extremely fuel efficient operation for a gas model. With the automatic oiler and an anti-vibration handle, there’s little to worry about, aside from regular safety precautions.
Do your research and take into consideration your experience using chainsaws, if any. Only then can you use the information provided here to help you make an informed decision about the best chainsaw deals available to you.