How to Choose a Chainsaw

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How to Choose a Chainsaw

For many people, chainsaws are only associated with gruff, tough, and rugged North American lumberjacks, but the truth is, chainsaws are used everyday in tasks around the yard at home. In some cases, they are used for harvesting firewood, in others they are used as a tool for landscaping and a means of controlling trees and other plants that might be unsightly or dangerous.

When it comes time to buying a chainsaw, be it in a hardware store or online via websites like eBay, it can be difficult to determine which chainsaw is the best fit. For this reason, it is helpful to be aware of some of the factors that make one chainsaw different from another. It is also important to evaluate why a chainsaw might be needed and how it might be used. Understanding this takes much of the guesswork out of buying a chainsaw, making it a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one.

Determine How the Chainsaw Might be Used

Chainsaws can be quite expensive, so buying a costly, heavy-duty chainsaw for minor trimming and cutting might be a waste of money. Before buying a chainsaw, it is important to know what it is to be used for. Those who have a lot of land to cover, and who may be using their chainsaws frequently, want chainsaws that are reliable and powerful. Those who may be doing some slight trimming here and there may prefer an inexpensive chainsaw that lacks some of the features found in more expensive saws.

Decide What Type of Chainsaw is Needed

Many types of chainsaws are available in the market. For the most part, however, companies make chainsaws that conform to certain types. Each type is designed to work in certain conditions and with certain types of cutting.

Pole Saws

Pole saws are characterised by having a small blade at the end of a long pole. This pole can be extended or retracted as needed for distant limbs or for easier storage. These saws are much safer than other types of chainsaws and weigh far less than other types as well. They are typically long enough that it is usually not necessary to stand on a ladder, which makes using them much safer as well. Pole saws are primarily used for light trimming, particularly on branches that are somewhat slim. They are helpful for cutting larger trees or even thick branches of larger trees.

Electric Chainsaws

Electric chainsaws are becoming more popular, especially for smaller trees and medium trimming jobs. Electric chainsaws have a lot of benefits, including the fact that they do not use gasoline. This saves on expenses, but it also means that there is less potential for accidents and fire. Additionally, there is no gasoline smell with the chainsaw, allowing it to be stored easily inside a home or in a garage.

Gasoline Chainsaws

Chainsaws powered by gasoline are common and are more powerful. For medium to difficult cutting, a gasoline chainsaw is ideal. These saws are a good deal heavier than electric chainsaws. This means that they are more difficult to manage and could potentially cause the user to become tired faster. This has implications in terms of how long they can be used and how safe they are in general.

Decide on a Chainsaw Size

Different sizes are available within the various types of chainsaws. This is more common with gasoline chainsaws, but there are size variations within electric chainsaws as well. When selecting a chainsaw for purchase, it is important to know if it is the right size in order to be handled properly by the user. Weight is one of the key factors that determines if a chainsaw is being used properly, and those who cannot lift a heavier chainsaw should not use it. Chainsaws, when used for cutting trees, tend to jump and jerk about. For this reason, it is important to be able to control a chainsaw at all times.


Holding a chainsaw is more than just controlling the weight. The handles should allow the user to grip the chainsaw firmly with no chance of slipping. In many cases, users of a chainsaw use gloves. With gloves, the grip may shift somewhat. Before buying a chainsaw, it is important to determine if one's hands can wrap completely around the handles. Then, it should be possible to shut down the power to the chainsaw without removing one's hand from the handle. With the handles held comfortably, the chainsaw should be in front, with the blade facing outward. If this is not possible, a smaller chainsaw may be needed.

Understand Safety Features in a Chainsaw

Most chainsaws are equipped with a number of safety features designed to keep people from serious accidents or injury. Some of these features are relatively new, so it is helpful to determine if a chainsaw has the appropriate safety features prior to purchasing it.

Chain Brake

The chain brake is a significant safety feature found on modern chainsaws. A chain brake is basically a bar that is situated on the front of the handle. If the chainsaw experiences any kickback, the user's hand is driven forward into the chain brake bar. This causes the chainsaw to stop functioning immediately.

Vibration Dampers

Older chainsaws tend to vibrate quite a bit. This can be unpleasant for the user, especially after an extended period of time with the chainsaw. Newer chainsaws usually have vibration dampers, which are springs attached to the handles that take some of the vibration out of the saw. This has the added benefit of making the chainsaw safer, as vibrations can cause a numb-handed user to drop the chainsaw or to become injured in another way.

How to Buy a Chainsaw on eBay

Sellers on eBay offer a number of options for chainsaws. Some of the chainsaws may be brand new, others may be used. After determining what type and size of chainsaw is the best fit for you, the next step is to search for it. The search bar on every eBay web page offers an easy and simple way to locate a specific item. You can use a narrow search term that includes brand name or other specifics, or it can be more general, like 'chainsaw'. If one search does not provide good options for chainsaws, different search terms may be more productive, or simply look through current deals on tools.

When buying anything on eBay, it is helpful to be thorough in reading the product description. This description usually details a product's history and mentions significant problems or flaws. If there are any concerns or questions, you can check with the seller via email.


A good chainsaw can be a surprisingly handy tool. With a good chainsaw, brushes, trees, and tree limbs can be removed easily. Choosing the right chainsaw for a particular situation is important, especially since chainsaws are potentially very dangerous if misused.

Before buying a chainsaw, it is important to evaluate how a chainsaw might be used, what kind of chainsaw would be the right fit, the size of chainsaw, and the safety features it offers. In this way, a chainsaw can be tailored to fit the needs of an individual, and a potential buyer does not need to spend more money than is necessary. With the right information, buying a chainsaw can be a rewarding experience. Whether purchasing used or new chainsaws, an online retailer such as eBay can help greatly in the process. The website's search functionalities and large network of buyers ensure that the search for a chainsaw is successful.

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