How to choose a good chainsaw for gardening: advice from competent experts
Saw is a necessary tool for every summer resident and owner of a private house. Even for the preparation of firewood in the barbecue, her help is needed, not to mention pruning trees and erecting arbors, verandas, etc. And if previously used hand tools and hacksaws, then, thanks to progress, today there is an opportunity to purchase automation. The only question is which one, because a model that is suitable for periodic work is unlikely to withstand the whole process of erecting a log house or wooden bath. Consider how to choose a chainsaw, taking into account the intensity of its use and ease of maintenance.
Classification of chainsaws by field of use
Amateur level: for small work in the garden and at home
The least powerful class is amateur. It presents models that can withstand only periodic use no more than 40-45 minutes per day. As a rule, the power of household chainsaws does not exceed 2 kW. They have low-profile circuits that reduce vibration during operation. True, the performance of such circuits is weak.
To maintain order in the garden and periodically prepare firewood for the fireplace, it is enough to buy a low-power household chainsaw
They are lightweight, comfortable, do not give a heavy load on the hands and are quite suitable for country needs: harvesting firewood, pruning trees, small construction work. For a fully built private house or cottage, where repair work is carried out only occasionally, and also to maintain order in the garden of this class is quite enough.
Semi-professional: withstand construction
This class includes models that have sufficient capacity and are able to work both on felling and construction. The only negative is that they are not designed for long-term use, i.e. if you saw 10 hours in a row daily, this tool will not last long. The power of semi-professional units varies from 2 to 3 kW, although mainly 2.5 kW. The diameter of the trunk is up to 40 cm. Similar chainsaws weigh 5-6 kg.
Ideal for a person starting to build his own house, where a lot of woodwork is required: creating a roofing frame, laying floors, etc. And even after the construction is completed, they will be indispensable assistants in the garden and on the site.
A semi-professional chainsaw will help a novice builder in building a house
Professional-grade chainsaws: for felling
The most “strong” class is professional models with high power (2.7-6 kW) and capable of many hours of daily load. It is unlikely that the choice of an instrument of this class is justified for personal needs, unless the owner plans to build a log house, and after that - the same bathhouse, and even he procures firewood for the house for the whole winter. Typically, professional models are bought by organizations involved in felling, because these saws are very durable, withstand about 2 thousand hours and are designed to work with thick trees.
The power of a professional chainsaw for a regular summer resident
At home, without professional skills, dealing with such a beast is not easy: it has a high level of vibration (therefore, productivity is high!) And considerable weight - more than 6 kg. This is a noticeable burden on the hands, especially for those who do not have experience with such a tool.
Chainsaw selection by power
Power is the main factor affecting the ability of the tool to drive a heavy tree, the speed of cutting and the possible depth. To understand your needs, sort out the expected loads on the tool in your head. If you do not plan to cut thick logs, operate the tool daily, and choose an assistant for gardening needs, then power up to 2 kW will be more than enough for you. For personal construction, power from 2 to 2.6 kW is suitable. Remember: the more power the unit has, the heavier it is. And managing it will not be easy.
Learning a headset
Now consider the nuances of choosing an aggregate based on the capabilities of the headset.
Analysis of tire length and type
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- Narrow flat. They are placed on household chainsaws that non-professionals will use. The narrow tire is paired with a low-profile circuit and almost does not have such a drawback as a backward strike (we will talk about it later). This is done to minimize the risk of injury when working with the tool.
- Lightweight. Such tires are made of steel and are two plates between which polyamide is packed. This design was created specifically to reduce the total weight of the unit, which very significantly affects the quality of some work. For example, to cut at a height with such a tool is much easier than ordinary.
- With interchangeable heads. This is a professional-grade tire designed for high power chainsaws that work for many hours daily.
Long tires are convenient for cutting large trees, while short tires work at a faster speed.
In addition to the type of tire, pay attention to its length. It must be consistent with engine power. Long tires are more convenient to work with a thick tree, because you can make the cut deeper. But if it is equipped with a low-power mechanism, then its strength will not be enough for quick sawing, because you will have to expend energy and rotate the crankshaft. You will cut slowly, and gasoline will go more than usual, and the engine will instantly wear out. The instructions should indicate the recommended tire length parameter. It can not be exceeded. Smaller size is allowed. By the way, if there is a choice between two models of the same power, then for small trees or boards it is better to take the one with a smaller tire, because it has a higher sawing speed.
The chain pitch also affects the cutting speed and ability to handle heavy wood. To determine which chainsaw is best, you should know that there are three chain steps: 0.325 inches, 3/8 inches, and 0.404 inches. This is a single notation system for all manufacturers, therefore, we will analyze the features of the circuit with each of these parameters.
The chain pitch is selected taking into account the power of the chainsaw
0.325-inch pitch household low-profile chains. This is the optimal size for short-term sawing, because it is characterized by weak vibration. Such a circuit will not withstand prolonged loads and will instantly become dull.
In powerful units there are chains in increments of 3/8 or 0.404. They are able to work for a long time and cut thick trees. But even they are not designed to work with a frozen or dirty tree. For such purposes, chains having carbide brazing are produced.
When replacing any part of the saw set, you must look for a part from the same manufacturer
It should be borne in mind that when you buy a saw, you automatically become a “fan” of this brand, because the headset components from different manufacturers do not fit together. Those. the sprocket, sprocket, tire and chain must be released by the same factory, and in case of breakage you need to look for a part of the same brand, otherwise you simply will not assemble them into a kit.
Back kick protection
In the process of working with an instrument, the so-called “backstroke” phenomenon is the most dangerous, i.e. a rebound of the tool towards the person who works with it. A kickback can occur when the very end of the tire hits the tree. And when choosing a tool, it’s better to clarify whether there is protection against this phenomenon in the model you are interested in.
Back kick protection helps inexperienced operators avoid injuries
There are two types of protection: using a special brake or an additional shield. The brake is more common. It looks like a flap lever that can switch to 2 positions. When the tool is launched, the lever becomes in the “closer to the hand” position, and when the “back strike” occurs, the hand automatically presses the lever, and that lever is put into a position that instantly stops the chain movement.
An additional shield is created so that the operator’s hands do not come into contact with the dangerous mechanism when she is working. It is placed at the end of the headset and is called the protective sector. You will not find such protection in Swedish models, as in this country, lumberjacks use the end of the tire when sawing wood. And it is officially authorized.
Features of anti-vibration protection
When selecting a tool, be sure to ask the seller to turn it on and hold it in your hands. Lightweight household models do not vibrate much, but if they have rubber gaskets, then this positively affects the quality of work. These gaskets are located between the handles and the unit body. In powerful models, the engine and fuel tank must be separated from each other so that the mass of the unit is distributed evenly over the entire structure.
Chainsaws without protection are suitable only for those who work rarely and not for long. The longer the instrument is in the hands, the stronger the vibration affects the hands, which ultimately leads to joint diseases.
Unit for female hands
It happens that women have to do some work on the site. And if you analyze which chainsaw is the best for women's hands, then, of course, you need to choose only from the group of low-power amateur units, because they weigh a little and vibrate weakly. For powerful models, the strength of female hands is not enough.
For weak female hands, only low-power household chainsaw models are suitable
But if there are no problems with electricity, then it is worth giving preference to an electric saw. It’s easier to manage and maintain: it’s not necessary to change the oil, add gasoline, etc. Even a thin lady can handle such a unit.