man holding chainsaw and standing on wood log

Qualities to Look Out For When Buying a Chainsaw

A chainsaw is one of the most useful power tools as there are so many different applications. From chopping down trees to cutting pipes, there is very little that a chainsaw can’t do if set up and used properly. With so many different chainsaws available on the market, it can be difficult to know which model is most suitable for your needs. You may be tempted to just go for the most expensive one or for a brand that you are familiar with, but this may result in you ending up with a saw that is unsuitable for you. It is very important that you carefully research all the chainsaws available on the market to choose the best one for you.

To help you make the right decision, here are the main qualities to look for when buying a chainsaw:


The Length of the Guide Bar

The length of the guide bar is the most important feature to think about when buying a chainsaw. This is the part of the saw which guides the chain so that it cuts accurately. The experts at Backyard Mike explain that with a longer bar, you can cut thicker trees and wood but the longer the guide bar, the more heavy and difficult it to hold the chainsaw will be. The weight of the chainsaw is a very important factor as you need to be able to hold and use the saw comfortably. If it is too big or heavy for you, you could end up dropping it or losing control which can be very dangerous. For most people, a guide bar of one to one and a half feet should be sufficient, but if you are a professional lumberjack or tree feller, you will most likely need a longer one. 

Fuel Source

The next decision you will need to make is what fuel source you want for your saw. Like most large-sized power tools, chainsaws can be bought which are powered by either electricity or with a petrol engine. Electric chainsaws can either have cords or are powered by a battery and they are lighter than petrol-fueled chainsaws. Furthermore, electric chainsaws don’t need fueling, don’t produce any exhaust fumes, and are overall far easier to maintain. The downside to electric chainsaws is that they are far less powerful than petrol saws and most of them only have enough power to saw through relatively thin tree trunks and branches. Think about what you will be using your chainsaw for to help you make the right choice.

person using chainsaw in front of tree log

Safety Features

Safety should always be a priority when purchasing and operating any power tool, particularly one as dangerous as a chainsaw, so never get complacent when you are using one. Make sure you know what you are doing before you try operating a chainsaw and always stay 100% focused on the job. In addition to safe practices, various safety features can help protect you while using your chainsaw. Some of the most useful are:

Multiple Throttle Triggers

To operate some models of chainsaws you need to simultaneously press two throttle triggers to turn on the engine and get the saw blade rotating. This is very useful as it stops you from accidents pressing the throttle and turning the chainsaw on when you don’t intend to.

Vibration Dampening 

Heavy, cumbersome chainsaws can be extremely difficult to handle, particularly if they are vibrating a lot. This can cause the chainsaw to slip in your hands which will make you drop the saw or cut something you didn’t mean to cut. Vibration dampening technology reduces the handle vibrations so that the chainsaw is far easier to handle.

A Tapered Guide Bar 

Using the very end of the guide bar to saw can cause it to bend and then snap back right at you. This is known as a “kickback” and is extremely dangerous. A guide bar that is tapered so that the end is narrower is less likely to spring back making the chainsaw much safer to use.

A Low-Kickback Chain 

If you are still having issues with kickbacks, there are some chains that are specifically designed to prevent kickbacks from occurring.


Ensuring that you purchase the right chainsaw to fit your requirements is very important as otherwise you could be left with an expensive piece of kit that you never use. Make sure that you buy a chainsaw with the right length guide bar for whatever you intend to cut and that it has the power capability to do the job. Check the safety features, price, and customer testimonials and you will be able to make a fully informed decision.