Chainsaws buying guide

When you need a chainsaw, nothing else will really do. They have the power to tackle tough timber cutting jobs such as chopping down trees and sawing logs. Tesco stocks a range of chainsaws from Black & Decker, Power Devil, JCB and other leading brands.

Which type of chainsaw is right for me?

The types of woodcutting projects you'll be doing and the frequency will determine which chainsaw is right for you. If you want to cut the occasional overhanging tree branch, then you won't require a more expensive professional quality saw. If you want to regularly chop firewood, or use your saw on a daily basis, a more reliable higher quality saw is a good idea and worth the extra money. The type of wood you cut is also important. Hardwoods will require a more powerful saw than comparable sized softwoods.

Power

There are two types of chainsaws: petrol and electric. Your access to a power source helps determine which type you need, so think about where your woodcutting projects are going to be.

  • Petrol saws are a must if you're out and about in woods, farms and gardens, as they don't need mains electricity and can be used anywhere. However, they do need regular topping up so you'll need to have a supply of petrol readily available.
  • Electric saws are great for smaller projects and less experienced users. They're quieter than petrol models, are lightweight, easy to start and require less maintenance. However, they have less power than petrol saws and you have the inconvenience and added safety issue of a trailing cord.

Size

Chainsaws come in many sizes and are measured by engine size and bar length.

  • Engine size (displacement) is the measurement used for the size of a petrol engine measured in cubic centimeters (cc). The higher the number, the more power and the tougher jobs your chainsaw can tackle.
  • Bar length refers to the active cutting area and the largest size wood the saw will cut in a single pass. When determining the size you need remember the saw's actual safe cutting ability is twice the bar's length, eg. a saw with a 14" bar can cut through a 28" log. Tesco stocks 14", 16", 18" and 20" bar lengths. Although these are only two inch increments, each larger size brings increased weight and power.

Weight

The weight of a chainsaw is very important. If you need a big displacement saw for one job, move to a smaller saw for lighter duty jobs as you will tire easy and sawing can become dangerous.

Using a chainsaw safely

  • Always read the manufacturer's instructions before use.
  • Keep all people and animals well away from where you are working.
  • Hold the chainsaw firmly with two hands.
  • Position the saw so your body is clear of the line of cut to avoid injury from kickback.
  • Only accelerate the engine while cutting.
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