What Size Chainsaw Should I Buy? Essential Guide to Choice



what size chainsaw should i buy

Whether you’re trimming branches, felling trees, or splitting firewood, choosing the right size chainsaw is crucial for efficiency, safety, and comfort. With the vast selection available at your local hardware store or online, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the factors to consider when purchasing a chainsaw, ensuring you make a well-informed decision. Let’s cut to the chase!

Understanding Chainsaw Sizes

Chainsaws come in various sizes which are primarily determined by the length of the chainsaw bar—the component that guides the chain. The size you’ll need is inherently linked to the type of work you plan to do. Below, we categorize the primary uses to help you identify your category:

Bar Length (inches)Typical Use
6″–14″Pruning, trimming, and cutting small branches
16″–20″General homeowner use, medium tree felling, firewood cutting
22″+Large tree felling, bucking, heavy-duty logging activities

Keep in mind that the bar length also affects the chainsaw’s weight and maneuverability. A longer bar will typically result in a heavier and more powerful saw.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Chainsaw

1. Type Of Tasks

Determine what you’ll mainly use the chainsaw for. Light-duty tasks such as trimming and pruning can be done with smaller chainsaws, whereas felling trees will require a larger one.

2. Frequency Of Use

If you’re planning to use the chainsaw frequently, investing in a slightly larger and more durable model may be a wise choice.

3. Experience Level

For beginners, a chainsaw with a smaller bar may be more manageable and safer to handle until they gain more experience.

4. Safety Features

Do not overlook safety features such as kickback prevention and emergency shut-offs, especially if you’re new to using chainsaws.

5. Comfort And Ergonomics

Handle the chainsaw before purchasing to ensure it feels comfortable and balanced in your hands.

6. Power Source

  • Gas-Powered: Great for heavy-duty tasks, not restricted by cord length, but requires regular maintenance.
  • Electric (Corded): Ideal for small to medium tasks, lightweight, and requires an outlet.
  • Battery (Cordless): Offers mobility like gas models, relatively quiet, and best for light-duty tasks.

7. Personal Physical Limitations

If you have any back issues or other physical constraints, consider a lighter model to prevent strain.

Read more: How Big of a Tree Can an 18 Inch Chainsaw Cut

Selecting a chainsaw that matches the common tasks you’ll be performing is essential. Here’s a quick reference guide:

  • Pruning and Trimming: 6″–14″ bar length chainsaws will suffice for maintaining small branches and shrubberies.
  • Medium Tree Felling and Firewood Cutting: A chainsaw with 16″–20″ bar length strikes a balance between power and manageability.
  • Large Tree Felling and Logging: Opt for a chainsaw with a 22″ bar length or more to handle the size and density of larger trees and logs.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to purchasing a chainsaw, size does matter. The right chainsaw will help you work efficiently and safely. Take the time to consider the factors we’ve outlined and choose a chainsaw that aligns with your specific requirements. With the right tool in hand, you’ll be ready to tackle your wood cutting tasks with confidence and ease.

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