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A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Chain Saw

A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Chain Saw


Chain saw cutting through a log

Chopping wood or trimming branches can be a long, daunting task with manual tools. Fortunately, a chain saw can save you time and energy when cutting wood or pruning tree branches. There are different models designed for many projects so it's important to consider the type of the work you plan to complete. Before buying a chain saw, consider the different types and features and how they apply to your yard care tasks.

Types of Chain Saws

Gas Chain Saws

Gas chain saws deliver the greatest amount of power and mobility. The gas-powered engine provides the strength to cut through thick trees and branches quickly.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Heavy-duty work - Whether you're a professional contractor or homeowner removing a large tree, this large-scale task requires a high-powered device. A gas-powered chain saw provides ample power and blade length to handle any major project.
  • Mobility - This model is ideal when handling day-long tasks that away from a power source. If you can't plug in a power tool or recharge a battery at the jobsite, a gas-powered model comes in handy because it just requires more fuel to keep running.
  • Durability - A gas chain saw is built out of strong materials to handle professional-grade work on a regular basis.

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Gas chain saw

Corded chain saw

Corded Chain Saws

A corded chain saw needs to be plugged into an outlet. With a consistent stream of power, this electric option helps deliver consistent cutting power during any yard task.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Best for moderate yard work - When you need significant power, a corded device will help you tackle small and medium jobs. Just make sure the project is near an outlet or to use a proper extension cord.
  • More consistent power - Unlike gas models that run out of fuel or cordless options with low battery power, corded varities receive steady power when plugged in.
  • Easy starts - Many models use a switch or push button for a simple startup.

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Cordless Chain Saws

A cordless chain saw delivers the portability of a gas model while retaining the eco-friendliness of a corded saw. This option is typically powered using a battery.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Reduced noise - Since most gas models and some corded chain saws can be loud, this option is ideal when you're looking to keep the noise down while working.
  • Enhanced maneuverability -  A cordless model is easy to operate because it's lightweight and doesn't have a cord that can sometimes get in the way of your task.

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Cordless chain saw

Pole saw

Pole Saws

A pole saw is a long pole with a chain saw blade at the top. This tool allows you to trim branches on tall trees that are hard or impossible to reach.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Ideal for pruning - If you have to prune unkempt hedge or tree branches that are out of reach, a pole saw lets you trim quickly with no hassle.
  • Safe options for tall trees - Instead of pulling out the ladder to access tall trees, this device allows you to cut safely at ground level.

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Features of Chain Saws


  • Interchangeable chains - Some high-grade models use interchangeable chain blades to handle more projects.
  • Automatic oiler - An automatic oiler improves performance and prevents overheating by lubricating the chain lubrication while in use.
  • Tool-less chain adjuster - A tool-less chain adjuster allows a user to easily adjust the chain bar's tension.
  • Spring starter - A spring starting cord helps eliminate excessive pulling during startup.
  • Air filtering - An air cleaning system keeps large saw dust particles from reaching the air filter, which cuts down on filter maintenance and improves performance.
Chain saw conveniences

Safety Options

  • Reduced vibration - The reduced vibration feature provides a manageable grip while cutting wood for a long period of time.
  • Low kickback - A low-kickback chain helps prevent excess motion during deep cuts.
  • Chain brakes - The chain brake stops a chain saw when a sudden movement occurs on the front hand guard.