- The Best Chainsaw Brands
- Chainsaw safety tips for beginners
- How to choose a good chainsaw for home use?
- Chainsaws for the Task
Chainsaws are helpful tools that make cutting large chunks of wood easier, faster, and more convenient. It is a portable mechanical power tool that utilizes a set of teeth on a rotating chain that moves rapidly to cut thick or large pieces of wood, or at times, ice.
In order to find the best chainsaw, you need to check the different manufacturer’s that produce them. In this article, we’ll list down the best chainsaw brands that produce reliable and functional power tools, all of which are sure to produce the results that you need.
The Best Chainsaw Brands
Backed up with 90 years of experience in the field, Stihl is a company that has mainly produced chainsaws with the core principle of ‘easing peoples’ work with and in nature’. Since its owner, Andreas Stihl, made his first chainsaw in 1926, his company has grown into a recognizable brand, known to professionals and amateur chainsaw users alike worldwide.
As a company well-versed with chainsaws, it made great strides with various innovations that helped their products grow more popular and reliable. Some impressive advancement on chainsaw technology include the centrifugal clutch, anti-vibration system, chain braking system, comfort saw chain technology, and long life air filter system. All of these made their chainsaws stronger, more durable, functional, and safer.
Notable chainsaws from Stihl include the Stihl MS 250 which fits best for homeowners due to its doable power and versatility in usage, and the Stihl MS 271 for professionals with its great power and ease of use in the field.
As one of the foundations of modern power tool manufacturing, Husqvarna is undoubtedly a recommended powerhouse when it comes to chainsaw production. It boasts 329 years of outdoor equipment manufacturing, gradually building its name into a reliable household product that takes pride in its wide array of products aside from chainsaws.
Three centuries of research, development, and customer satisfaction has made Husqvarna a force to be reckoned with for all power tools. Chainsaws, as part of the brand’s arsenal, is also given the same treatment and development with its other counterparts. Some notable innovations for them include Low-Vib dampeners, Air Injection centrifugal air cleaning system, and TrioBrake all help with the functionality, comfortability, and safety of the chainsaws.
The most notable tools for Husqvarna include the 455 Rancher for homeonwers wanting strong-powered and responsive equipment, the 536Li XP for its high-performance and long-lasting output, and the 550 XP for professionals who want specialized performance, efficiency, and high power.
|Husqvarna 460 Rancher||View on Amazon|
|Husqvarna 966997234 X-Torq||View on Amazon|
With over 100 years into the business of power tools, Black+Decker is also backed up with a century of wisdom for outdoor equipment. Since the company’s creation in 1910, it has continued its legacy, innovating and creating various power tools including chainsaws along its roster of developing products.
As the company has partnered up with Stanley, it has produced greater numbers of products every year. They boast 1000 variations of their products every year with more than 40 that they pride in as the world’s firsts. Some notable features of their saws include tool-less chain tensioning, easy oiling system, and its long-life lithium battery system, all of which offering productivity and efficiency.
The most popular chainsaw products from Black+Decker include the GK1000 for its innovative and unique design that offers immense power and safety while being used, the GKC3630L20 that offers long-lasting power which can be tasked for long periods of use, and their LCS1020 for its affordable yet reliable functionality.
|BLACK+DECKER LCS1240||View on Amazon|
|BLACK+DECKER CS1518||View on Amazon|
Tracing its roots back in the 1920s, Craftsman started out with several power tools, branching out to the first wrenches ever made. Since its creation, it has been used by technicians and engineers alike in the US, boosting production and recognizing the quality of their products. Since then, it has become a global producer of various types of tools, both electrical and not.
Branching out to varying types of power tools, Craftsman has also made great strides in the development of chainsaws. Some of the best features provided include a low-kickback chain, a chain catcher, spark arrestor screen, and a tool-free chain tensioner. These features cover more on the user’s safety and their comfort when using the chainsaw, assuring smooth operation.
With its progress on chainsaw design, development, and innovation, Craftsman has a lot of products to offer. They have the 35170, a popular and affordable option for their products, the 41BY429S799, which offers more on user safety and comfort while using the chainsaw, and the 35098, and the 38018 which features ease of use and comfortability.
Founded in 1946, Poulan Pro is a company that traces its roots through chainsaws. They produced their first two-man chainsaw in their early years and have continued to pursue its development through appealing to the public by its reputable and functional chainsaws. Over 70 years into the market, Poulan Pro continues to manufacture world-class chainsaws that meet customer needs and satisfaction at an affordable price and high quality.
As it has always been passionate with chainsaw development, Poulan Pro takes pride in its achievements in the tools’ innovative evolution. It has several features including Oxypower, ion-battery power, electronic brake chain motor, and its advanced anti-vibration system, all of which are sure to provide efficiency, ease of use, and a long-lasting usage when it comes to their chainsaws.
There are several Poulan Pro chainsaws that are definitely worth your consideration. Some of their best tools include the PPB4014, a quiet and strong chainsaw that is ideal for light-duty cutting, the PR5020 is a powerful and durable option which is ideal for medium-duty cutting and is best for homeowners, and the PP4218 excels for its strength and reliability.
|Poulan Pro PR5020||View on Amazon|
|Poulan PL1416||View on Amazon|
Established in 1921, Remington was a small power tool company that grew significantly by word of mouth along with reliable products. The brand survived a lot of challenges including the war, keeping up with durable, efficient, and innovative products. In 1954, their first chainsaw was introduced. Through the years, they have developed a wider range of products with more power and higher quality than ever.
Due to their passion for growing, Remington has produced various innovations for their products. Some of their technologies for chainsaws include tool-free chain tensioning, automatic chain oiler, and a mechanical chain brake. All of these help make Remington chainsaws functional and reliable.
With almost 100 years into the global front, Remington continues to produce quality chainsaws for its users. Some notable ones include the RM4040 for its powerful yet lightweight capacity, the RM1425 as a lightweight and affordable option for their chainsaws, and the RM4620 for heavy-duty jobs requiring power and durability.
|Remington RM4214||View on Amazon|
|Remington RM1425||View on Amazon|
Chainsaw safety tips for beginners
Inspect the Chainsaw & Your Working Area
Before beginning to work with a chainsaw, you must check if:
- No loose bolts or parts – Take it to a skillful repair technician in case any parts are incorrectly adjusted or missing.
- The chain in the correct tension
- The depth gauge settings are right
- Every part is lubricated
- All safety devices are in the right place and working well
- Cutting edges or teeth are sharp
Also, check your workspace as well:
- Nothing in high places that might fall on you during your woodworking
- Get rid of anything that could make you strip up
- No children in your working area
It’s worth spending a few extra bucks on safety gear and also, remember to use it. If you’re in a tight budget, consider which gears are really in need in your case. Here are some suggestions from me:
- Long sleeved shirt
- Safety glasses
- Chainsaw Chaps
- Solid boots
- Class 5 or grade 4 headphone
Be alert of kickback
When you cut something, the last end of the guide bar can be gone off and thrown back towards you in an uncontrolled arc, which is called kickback.
Luckily, you can prevent this by using a chainsaw with a protective leather mitt. If yours has this safety function, find it in the front handle and use it correctly (read the manual).
Or some other ways to avoid kickback while using a chainsaw:
|Use extreme caution re-entering a cut||Over-file the depth gauge|
|Firmly hold the chainsaw with both hands||Let the chainsaw touch anything|
|Check if the chain brake is working well||Cut something above your shoulder height|
Keep your balance when cutting
Before cutting something with a chainsaw, plant your feet slightly apart for better balance and avoid adjusting them once the engine is operated.
Always use both hands to hold a chainsaw close to your body while the saw’s body is close to what you are cutting.
Maintain your chainsaw frequently
After any projects with your chainsaw, don’t forget to:
- Oil the holes and check if all parts are in place
- Oil the chain and check if it’s properly tensioned
- No sawdust in the chain brake, air filters, and sprocket cover
- Clean the guide bar groove
- Keep the chain sharp and ensure if the cutter angles are all correct
How to choose a good chainsaw for home use?
Engine power type
Two typical types of engine power are:
- Electric chainsaws: Measuring unit is Amps (A) or Amperage
- Gas chainsaws: Measuring unit is cubic inches (cu.in.) or cubic centimeters (cc)
|Electric chainsaws||Gas Chainsaws|
|Pros||· Lightweight & portable|
· Easy to start, use, & maintain
· No fuel or oil to mix -> More economical
· No fumes or exhaust to inhale
|· Powerful & versatile -> fast cutting speed|
· Mobility (no cord needed)
· Superior bar oiling system
|Cons||· Less powerful -> Can’t handle large cutting tasks|
· Can’t work in wet condition
· If corded, it’s limited mobility
· No chain brake
· Limited bar length range
|· Noisy & heavy|
· Fuel cost
· High maintenance
|Best for||· Cutting or pruning small trees|
· If you live near the hospital, golf courses, churches, or school.
|· If you’re working in the forest|
· Suited for heavy-duty usages, like serious wood cutting
There’s one optional engine type is the battery powered that’s referred to Volts (V) or Voltage with two common battery types: NiCad (nickel-cadmium) and Li-ion (lithium-ion).
While NiCad is cheaper and more suitable for small cutting projects, the Li-ion is preferred by its lightweight, quick charging, and longevity.
The higher the number, the more powerful the chainsaw.
Guide bar length
This factor represents two things:
- The largest size length of the wood log that your chainsaw can cut in a single pass
- The active cutting area
For safety, a guide bar length should be at least 2 inches longer than the wood’s you intend to cut. But don’t go for a too large bar length since it will be very unbalanced and fatigue, which riskily leads to some accidents like a kickback.
Here are some common bar length ranges with corresponding chainsaw tasks:
|Bar Length Range||Common Chainsaw Tasks||Best for|
|<12 inches||Pruning, trimming||For doing light cutting|
(Perfect choice if you’re a typical homeowner)
|12 – 14 inches||Felling small tree, climbing, trimming|
|14 – 16 inches||Light firewood cutting, trimming|
|16 – 18 inches||Medium firewood cutting, felling medium tree||For medium-duty cutting|
|>18 inches||Bucking||For heavy-duty cutting|
(Perfect choice if you are in a professional territory)
Unlike buying other consumer products, protective gear isn’t optional with chainsaws. You should equip yourself enough equipment to optimize safety. They are:
- Safety glasses
- Safety chaps or pants
- Cut-resistant safety boots
- Head protection
Are Stihl chainsaws better than Husqvarna?
Since everybody will have their specific demands and needs, considering each chainsaw brand will help you figure out which is better for your case:
- Work well on tough cutting tasks, suited for homeowners more
- Less costly
- Low maintenance
- Lightweight and portable
- Work well on faster speed of cutting, suited for professionals
- More fuel-efficient
- Longer operating time
- Easy to buy online
What do you wear when using a chainsaw?
Whenever using a chainsaw, I usually wear these safety gear:
- Long sleeved shirt
- Protective headphone
- Working glasses
- Safety Chaps
What causes chainsaw kickback?
Take note that kickback might happen any time for many reasons:
- The depth gauge settings are too low
- Too loose chain
- It’s pinched while working
- The bar nose’s upper part hits a light material or solid object
Do you start a chainsaw with the brake on?
Yes, I do. Without the brake engaged, the chain won’t move so, for a good running condition, you should start it with the brake on.
Is it safe to use a chainsaw on a ladder?
No, it isn’t.
A combination of chainsaws and ladders is really dangerous so it requires you to exercise more whenever utilizing in two.
What is the anti-kickback chain?
A chain that’s considered anti-kickback must meet ANSI standard B175.1. It is particularly designated to limit kickback as much as possible.
What is the choke on a chainsaw?
The choke is usually in use to start the chainsaw whenever its engine is cold. In Stihl models, this button is often utilized as the cold start position.
Chainsaws for the Task
All of the chainsaws mentioned above are definitely powerful tools in their own respect. Take note that not all chainsaws are alike, as some specialize in light-duty jobs that take care of small tasks efficiently, while there are those that can take on very heavy-duty tasks that will definitely test the capabilities of your equipment.
When choosing, always consider where you will mostly use your equipment, your applicable budget, and the type that you want to invest in, all of which will lead to the perfect chainsaw for you and your tasks.