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Chainsaw Buying Guide

The prospect of buying your first chainsaw can be extremely daunting, it’s a very serious tool and has a reputation for being dangerous too – and quite rightly so.

It would be irresponsible of us to not point out that these machines have the potential to cause serious harm if not handled with care and respect and without a doubt, all the correct safety-wear must be used at all times when in control of a chainsaw.

battery powered chainsaw

Battery powered

If you have only a relatively small amount of wood cutting to do then these battery powered chainsaws are lightweight, easy to use and just as effective as their large counterparts. For example, one machine can make approximately 100 cuts through a 10cm (4”) log. They are particularly handy for pruning garden trees and lopping off branches very quickly indeed.

Mains Electricity powered

These machines all have powerful electrical motors driving the chain; they are incredibly useful around the garden and will prune branches from trees as well as being perfect for chopping up firewood. Electric chainsaws are very easy to use and require very little maintenance, a simple plug in and go will get you underway.

As well as the standard configuration for a chainsaw, electric chainsaws can also come in a slightly different format; these are “long reach” chainsaws. Often telescopic too, these are the safest way to remove branches from higher up a tree as it can all be done from the ground or possibly a stable platform, well worth considering if you have several trees that require regular pruning in your garden.

mains electricity powered chainsaw
petrol chainsaw

Petrol Chainsaws

The original machines that all the others are based upon; Petrol chainsaws are the most powerful machines by far. Usually running on 2-stroke petrol mix these machines have varying engine sizes and bar length – the bar being the piece of the chainsaw that the actual chain runs around – the length of the bar can also help determine the size of the engine, a longer bar will work more efficiently with a more powerful engine. These chainsaws are usually heavier too, so check the weight before buying as if you intend to do large amounts of tree work, or logging, bear in mind that you will be using a heavy machine to do it with (typically 5 – 6 kgs). Completely portable, these chainsaws can be used literally anywhere, making them particularly useful in more remote places or larger gardens where electric wires won’t reach and extended use is intended.


Vital and cannot be stressed enough how important this is. At the very least, stout gloves and eye and ear protection MUST be worn; a lax approach to chainsaws can result in serious injury! Ideally, chain proof trousers, proper helmet with visor, ear defenders and chainsaw gloves should be worn, suitable footwear is also important to protect your feet and also to make sure you can stand and grip safely when you are using these machines.

chainsaws safety wear
view our full range of chainsaws here

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Written by: Graham Ward

I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, my first earliest memory being planting Graham Ward
seeds in my Grandfather’s prestige flower bed and having a prize lettuce growing there, which he proudly left to show everyone.

Since then, gaining knowledge and experience from both my Grandfather and my Father, I’ve continued to garden, both as a hobby and later on as a professional gardener and landscaper for 12 years. I love all aspects of it, from the design and build, to the planting out of summer borders with plants you’ve either grown from seed or raised from plugs. Unusual varieties always catch my eye and I’m keen to try growing them, even if sometimes it means learning from my mistakes.