A chainsaw can be used in a variety of contexts. Whether you are a homeowner wanting to cut down some blocking trees, manage branches, sell firewood or if you are a professional tree surgeon who has a business of maintaining gardens and open green spaces, a chainsaw is likely to be an item that you will need to quickly and efficiently cut wood over different situation. But what is the best chainsaw for cutting firewood?
In this review and buying guide, we focus on particular aspects that we find important when looking to purchase a chainsaw for firewood. These include the fuel type, bar length, speed and power, weight, environmental-friendliness, and warranty. It is very important that you consider these aspects in combination with knowing exactly what you wish to use a chainsaw for. There is no point spending a significant amount of money on a chainsaw that you may only use once a year.
This article uses a variety of online sources and customer reviews to present nine in-depth product reviews of chainsaws currently available to purchase online. The reviews contain product description, pros/cons, key features, and a comparison table. The buying guide then provides you with all the essential information you need to know before purchasing the best chainsaw for your firewood needs. If you are new to the world of chainsaws, the process can be confusing. Before you commit to purchasing one, take your time and do as much research as possible—or just read this article.
Benefits of Owning a Chainsaw for Firewood
- It is costly and tedious to buy firewood throughout the year, especially during summer and winter. Having a chainsaw reduces costs.
- It is better to own a chainsaw to avoid being snowed down during winter as well as the distance to a firewood store.
- Owning a chainsaw for business purposes of slicing and selling trees can bring good profits throughout the year.
- A chainsaw is important especially during Christmas season when you want to cut the perfect tree for decoration and it is cold and snowing outside.
Safety Tips for Cutting Firewood
Here are a few tips for you to cut firewood safely and avoid injuries with a chainsaw:
- If you are carrying a running chainsaw, make sure that you are wearing chaps or pants for chainsaws to avoid a cut on your thigh.
- Use the front handle to carry a chainsaw for less than 10 feet to avoid cutting your thigh in case you accidentally trip. If you are moving more than 10 feet, always turn off the engine.
- The concentration needed to work on the chainsaw and the noise it produces can make the operator be unaware of who might be approaching them, therefore, it is important not to sneak on them blindly.
- Always have someone who can do first aid and give medical assistance with you while cutting the trees, to be of help in case of an accident.
- Have your cell phone on in case you need to call someone for emergencies.
- Always cut below your shoulder height and not above.
- Cut the trees on the uphill side so that they fall on the other side and not on you.
- If you are not cutting trees, always make use of the chain brake, which should always be on or locked position.
- When starting any cuts, use a full throttle before you can touch the wood.
- Never operate a chainsaw when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or any drugs.
- When you are moving logs, seek help or use a lever to avoid injuring your back.
- Do not let the cutting teeth of your chainsaw touch the ground, it can easily get dull.
- Always keep your chainsaw teeth sharp, as a dull one is hard and unsafe, it can also overwork you and the saw.
Chainsaws come with different prices, ranging from more affordable to more premium products depending on your budget and how often you want to use it. A rough indication of chainsaw’s prices varies from $160 to $800.
Features of a chainsaw to consider when choosing the perfect one
The following features will help you choose the perfect chainsaw for cutting your firewood:
Choosing the perfect size for a chainsaw will depend on a number of factors including the size of logs and trees that you want to cut as well as the biggest size you can handle by yourself.
Different sizes affect the different parts of the chainsaw. For example, the handle size will decide the part of the body that the weight of the chainsaw will rest. To have full control of the chainsaw, a narrower handle is preferred as it puts the weight on the palm, while a wider handle puts the weight on the wrists. The bar size is also important to consider. It should at least 2 inches longer than the tree you are cutting, to be able to achieve the safest rhythms and the best cuts.
The heaviest or the lightest chainsaw is not necessarily the best one you can get. You need to ask yourself whether you or any other operator will be able to use the chainsaw on their own. This is because if the chainsaw is not properly held, it will lead to jagged cuts which can be dangerous to the operator and also it can damage the chainsaw.
Most lighter chainsaws are electric models, but also the oil-powered Husqvarna 455 is the lightest saw.
Even for those experienced with using them, chainsaws are the most dangerous and powerful tools you can use. However, it can be really easy, simple and efficient to use. In order to be comfortable using them and enjoy all its benefits, it is important to familiarize yourself with the various types of saws and how they work.
The power of the engine
This is the most important feature to consider before purchasing a chainsaw because the engine is the part of a chainsaw that does most of the work. Find an engine that is suitable for your needs as a stubborn log will need the right engine.
Logs which are 12 inches and below, need an engine which is between 30cc and 45 cc. To cut logs of up to 16 inches, you will require an engine of around 50cc. you will need a more powerful engine to cut bigger logs. Logs between 16 inches and 22 inches will need an engine which is at least 60cc while any log above 22 inches will require a 70cc engine.
The safety is the handle-like part which is round on the top of the saw. Its main purpose is to give extra grip while preventing your hand from touching the spinning blade. Most chainsaws have double safeties and some can also be used as a push-down brake for the chains.
Consider the Husqvarna 455 because it has two safeties and stop-function that slows the blade rhythm in case you drop the chainsaw.
The ability to use a chainsaw is mainly affected by your size, age and craft as well as your overall ability. The process of slicing down trees and then cutting them into logs can be time consuming. In the beginning, it may take longer to cut down firewood, but with time you learn how to use the tool well and the process will be much quicker. However, if it is taking too long, chances are you are using the wrong chainsaw for the trees or some parts of the tool is damaged.
Using a chainsaw means easy set-up, handling and general use for a longer period of time without any problems. If issues occur, that should a manufacturing defect or the chainsaw has just worn down.
Corded or not
A corded chainsaw is useful if you are cutting logs in your property on your weekends, but not in the woods as there is nowhere that you can plug it in. corded-electric chainsaws are lightweight, quiet, dependable and less expensive than the gas-powered chainsaws. In as much as the corded-chainsaws are smoother and do not make noise, their gas-powered counterparts produce more power.
If you an experienced chainsaw operator, you will know that applying oil takes time and is an art in its own, but if you are new, chances are you would not know where and when to put the oil.
Automatic oilers save you a lot of work and time as you just need to fill the reservoir before starting the chainsaw. It will detect when the saw needs oiling then it automatically oils it. You will spend less time worrying about the oil situation and more time cutting the trees.
Chain-tooth durability and quantify
Different types of chains fit different types of tool, there is no one specific chain for all machines. Always replace your chain with one recommended by the manufacturer.
The easier chains to remove, remount and clean are the ones with side-mounting, as seen in the Milwaukee 2727-21HD in order to increase the grip between the chain and the bar, it is important to find a tool which has less chain tensioning. A good option for this is the Oregon CS300-R7. It is also important to purchase a chainsaw sharpener in order to increase the lifespan of your chainsaw.
When purchasing a chainsaw, it is important to consider its reliability and the type of warranty it has. Most of the chainsaws reviewed above have their warranties ranging from one year up to four years. Whether you are using the chainsaw for commercial purposes or consumer purpose, make sure that you contact your manufacturer to know the type of warranty that they give.
Helpful Advice for Cutting Firewood with a Chainsaw
The following video will show you how to cut firewood with a chainsaw in a safer way:
Chains and guide bars can be changed as long as the parts are meant for the machine. Different designs are meant for different chainsaws, therefore, it is important to switch a chain and a guide designed by the manufacturer for your chainsaw. However, most chainsaws are designed to power specific chains and guides, hence, size doesn’t really matter as smaller saw motors may not be able to power a large bar. To obtain better use of your machine, ensure that you check its specific capabilities when you choose to change the blade.
Before starting to use a chainsaw, it is necessary to check the chain tension. After an hour or so of using the saw, recheck the tension and adjust if needed. New chains tend to stretch, therefore, you need to check after 20 minutes of usage. Loose chains cause serious injuries and damage to the driver’s bar, preventing it from fitting into the groove.
To adjust it, you first need to loosen the nuts holding the bar. Then, while tightening the adjusting screw, lift the bar until the chain is against it. You will know that the tension is right when you can easily drag the chains around the bar without lifting the chain drivers out of the bar grooves. Finally, retighten the nuts of the bar.
Buying and wearing safety gear is very important. Wear a shirt that is long-sleeved and steel-toed boots that is resistant to cuts to protect yourself from scratches that are inevitable. In order to protect your eye, head and ear, wear a helmet which has a comfortable package including ear protection and face screen. In order to save your thigh from a moving chain, wear special chaps. You will find this gear at most chainsaw dealers.
An axe will come in handy when your chainsaw breaks down. You can also use an axe to cut the logs into smaller pieces which are portable. Besides, using an axe is a great workout for your biceps. However, using an axe for a longer period of time will cause blisters that can be so painful.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with all the essential information you need to know to guide you in selecting the best chainsaw to suit your firewood.
Our verdict on the top three chainsaws currently available to purchase are:
Makita EA7301PRZ takes top prize for superior strength compared to all other chainsaw products. Although a premium range product, it guarantees strong and reliable performance.
Echo CS-600P comes second in our ranking because of its relevance to professionals. Backed up by strong warranty agreements, any professional will see this chainsaw as a good business investment.
Makita DCS6421RFG finishes third in the ranking due to its versatility in coping with a variety of wood types as well as the low vibration technology which improves overall control.
Take time researching before you settle on a specific chainsaw. As this will likely be a long-term investment, give yourself every chance of making a successful choice.