How to Pick the Right Chainsaw

Ace Hardware Logo

How to choose a chain saw.

The late spring snow came. Heavy, wet snow on the branches, and now you’ve got some trees to trim and storm damage to cut up and haul off.  You may even have a tree or two to take out entirely. You want to do the work yourself, but you don’t own a chainsaw. How are you going to choose which saw to get?

Have no fear, the Ace Hardware helpful folks are here!

Ace Hardware has many chain saws to choose from and one or more will fit you right.

First of all, let’s look at electric saws. What? Come on, I want a real chain saw. Be that as it may, don’t say no to electric chain saws too quickly. I have used an electric saw for years. They actually cut very well and are excellent options for the guy who just needs to trim a branch every so often. I have pruned more trees than I can count with my electric chain saw. Yes, there is the cord to deal with, and no, they aren’t any good for taking in to the forest, but beyond that, they work great. In fact, if you just have the occasional branch to prune, think about getting a reciprocating saw and using a pruning blade. It’s a great option that gives you a saw to use on construction projects as well.

Gas saws are, of course, much more portable. It used to be that you’d spend as much time starting a saw as cutting with it. Not now. I have used Stihl gas chain saws and wow, they start and run super well. Nothing particularly against other brands, and I’ve used them all, but there’s no doubt that the Stihl saw is superior. They should be. After all, it was Andreas Stihl from Stuttgart Germany who invented the modern chain saw in the late 1920’s. There were other saws using cutting chains before this, but none were really the portable, usable saw that we would call a chain saw today.

Flash forward to today and Stihl now has their new Lightning line of chains saws and outdoor power equipment. Battery powered, these are awesome saws that work incredibly well. Stihl’s lightning line of saws cut really well, have a long run time and the portability of a gas saw. They’re quieter than gas saws, and have many features that make them easy to use.

Don’t think you need a huge saw either. If you’ve ever rented a chain saw, you cannot find one with a bar length over 20 inches. There’s a reason for this. If you’re not a professional lumberjack, or arborist, you should not be using a saw larger than that. In fact, a 16-inch bar is about what most people should stop at. Think safety here. If you’re not well trained, well equipped with safety gear and you’re trying to handle a really large saw you could end up in a world of trouble. Stick with a manageable size saw, and always, always think safety first. There’s a lot more on safety than I have time to go in to here, but it should always be your first thought when using any powered saw.

Stop in to your local Ace Hardware store for more help choosing the right chain saw. We also have replacement chains, bars, bar oil and more to keep you cutting.