What Size Chainsaw Do I Need? Our Detailed Guide to Pick the Right One
Deciding on the chainsaw size to buy can be quite overwhelming given the many options available. It does not have to be if you know what the different sizes are for and are clear on how you intend to use the chainsaw. This article looks at some of the critical things you need to understand when sizing up your chainsaw.
How do I Measure the Size of a Chainsaw?
While most manufacturers will provide all the essential measurements for their chainsaws, sometimes you may still need to measure the saw to decide what to buy. When determining the size of a chainsaw, the bar length is one of the crucial measurements.
The bar is the section of the chainsaw that spins around the blade as it cuts, and its length is measured from its top to where it meets the tool's body. Bars on chainsaws meant for home users are between 10 and 20 inches long, but commercial ones can be larger than this.
Another crucial measurement not to overlook is the chainsaw's engine size, typically indicated in cc (cubic centimeters). Chainsaws for home use have engines that are anywhere between 30 and 55cc. Here the larger the number, the more powerful the chainsaw.
What Size Chainsaw do I Need?
If you use chainsaws for different applications a lot, you need to have several sizes. However, if you want one, you need to consider the following important points to ensure you pick the correct size.
1. Type of Work
How you intend to use the chainsaws is the main factor that determines the right size for you. What works well for light-duty jobs like pruning will not be enough for more demanding medium and heavy-duty tasks such as felling large trees.
- Light-Duty Jobs: For light-duty jobs such as general pruning tasks or cutting small branches, the shorter bar and less powerful chainsaws like the 14 and 16-inch ones are often more than enough. These are the best chainsaws for casual home users as they are also ideal for everyday tasks around the home, such as splitting firewood.
- Medium-Duty Jobs: If most of your chainsaw jobs entail medium-duty tasks such as cutting small trees, you need something a little more powerful and larger, like the 16 to 20-inch long chainsaws. These chainsaws are powerful enough to fell these large trees even in just one pass.
- Heavy-Duty Jobs: Heavy-duty jobs such as felling massive trees is a job that is often best left to the professionals. However, if doing it on your own or feel you have the necessary experience, it is vital to make sure your chainsaw is powerful enough and has the right bar length to go through the enormous trees. Here you require something with a guide bar over 20 inches long.
2. Your Chainsaw Experience
When it comes to handling chainsaws, your level of experience is also a huge determinant of the right size for you.
Highly experienced users are often okay with almost any size. But for beginners, it is always better to start with something smaller and less powerful such as the 14 and 16-inch models with an engine not exceeding 55cc.
Chainsaws are one of the most dangerous power tools, and so if what you have is too large and powerful, handling it can be pretty hectic, and it increases the risk of accidents.
3. Physical Strength
Besides your level of experience, you also need to consider your physical strength. Remember, this is a handheld tool that often requires some muscle to wield. Therefore, if you do not have enough muscle strength, a larger and hence heavier chainsaw will give you a hard time.
It is essential always to choose a chainsaw you can hold and use for long periods with minimal hand fatigue. If you do not have enough physical strength, a 30cc chainsaws with a 14-inch bar should be ideal as it takes less effort to use. But, large ones with over 20 inches long guide bars and large engines upwards of 60cc are still easy to handle for users with enough muscle power.
Can I Customize a Chainsaw?
Most chainsaw brands make products that can be customized to suit the user's preferences. However, the level of customization varies from one model to the other. For most models, the following are the common customizations you can make.
Change the Bar Size: Instead of buying two different chainsaws, sometimes you can just get another bar size. Some models accommodate 14 to 40 inches long bars. Therefore, you can customize them by varying the bar size.
However, it is essential to note that changing a bar is not a straightforward task as it requires some skill. Also, as you customize the chainsaw with a bar change, it is crucial to change the chain as the old one will no longer fit. Additionally, you need to make sure the new bar aligns well with the oiler.
Note: Impromptu changes, upgrades, or customization to your chainsaws can be pretty dangerous when not done correctly. Therefore, to ensure maximum safety, you must follow the manufacturer's directions in the tool's manual.