Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Chainsaw

When it comes to chainsaws, bigger isn’t always better, so choose a tool that’s geared for the tasks at hand.

Man using chainsaw.
A chainsaw is an amazingly useful tool, but it can also be dangerous, so it’s important to take every safety precaution.Husqvarna

It’s a simple fact that some guys’ man cards come equipped with a chainsaw. And since having a man card, amazingly, isn’t always synonymous with high intelligence, it’s important to consider some key factors when deciding on what saw is best for you (hint: the biggest and loudest isn’t usually the best choice). Chainsaws have come a long way in the last 20 years when it comes to safety, efficiency, and weight reduction, so consider these factors as you shop.

Weight & Bar Size

DEWALT DCCS620B 20V MAX XR Compact 12 in. Cordless Chainsaw
This popular model is cordless, battery powered, weighs less than ten pounds, and is equipped with a 12-inch bar.DEWALT

Nothing is more accident-prone than a heavy chainsaw and a tired sawyer. Related to saw weight is the length of the bar which, unless felling trees is a regular thing, doesn’t need to be more than 16-inches long. If most of your work is brush clean-up or cutting lengths of firewood, choose the lightest saw with the shortest bar possible.


Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16 in. Gas Chainsaws, Orange/Gray
This saw features a 38cc gas engine and weighs in at just under 10 pounds.Husqvarna

Typically, gas-powered saws will generate more power than electric models, which are usually lighter, quieter, easier to start and maintain, and often less expensive than a gas counterpart.


Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw, 4.0 AH Battery Included
This battery-powered chainsaw features a chain brake and is equipped with a low kick-back chainGreenWorks

Chainsaws are not forgiving of operator error, and the results can be costly, or even tragic. Choose a saw with safety features that include an automatic chain brake as well as a chain catch for when the chain jumps the bar. Wearing personal protective gear (boots, chaps, helmet with a visor, and eye and ear protection) is more than a good idea.