Who should buy a petrol chainsaw?
Petrol powered chainsaws are the ultimate portable power tool – they allow you to do an enormous amount of work, and deliver an incredibly powerful package in a compact size. Using a petrol chainsaw is not much more or less dangerous than using an electric one, and before you pick up a saw and begin using it, make sure you are confident enough to do so. Some folks assume that because a gas powered saw is loud and rips through heavy timber easily it is more dangerous…this is not really true when you consider that most accidents happen when a chainsaw bar gets jammed or the chain catches. With a bigger more powerful chainsaw, you are actually less likely to experience jams and stops – rather the bigger chain will just rip through tough patches like knots and the like.
If you live in the country, are doing construction work, or plan to cut your own firewood, I would say a petrol powered chainsaw is generally the best choice. It’s not that Electric chainsaws are ineffective, it’s just that they simply don’t pack the same kind of power that the gasoline engine does. Then you need to consider the portability aspect. Electric chainsaws are also fairly limited in their maximum size, not just for power, but also the for length of the blade, or bar, and therefore maximum cut depth.
A petrol chainsaw is essential to cut large quantities of firewood
There might be any number of reasons for needing more than just a compact electric saw.
You can generally use a larger chainsaw to do the same work that a small saw can do – in fact some people would say that it is safer to use a saw that is too big, than a saw that is too small. I will talk more about that later on. Generally speaking, you’re better off getting a petrol chainsaw which can handle things that are a bit larger than necessary. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a caveman, using a big chainsaw gives you an incredible feeling of power too!
Of course the other reason to get a petrol driven it chainsaw is if you’re not going to be near a power point. That sounds pretty obvious, and something you need to consider. But even if you are going to buy a small chainsaw to use around the home, what are you going to do if you need to use it when the weather is wet? It’s no good using extension cords and mains voltage electricity in the rain, and is not much use if the power goes off in an emergency. I myself have been in the situation where trees have come down in storms, blocking our road. I would have been in serious trouble if I had only had an electric chainsaw!
If you think that a petrol powered chainsaw is going to be too big for you, think again. It’s amazing how small some of these tools are, the smallest of the Stihl chainsaws weigh only about 5 kg (that’s about 10lbs) which means that really anybody, including women and fairly young children could potentially use them.
Portability is a great advantage with a petrol powered chainsaw
I guess one of the only factors against a gasoline powered chainsaw is the noise output, and perhaps the emissions. This is really only a problem if you live in an environment where noise pollution is a problem, such as in the city somewhere. It’s a shame that we have to run our lives according to other people, but you have to show respect to your neighbours. You probably wouldn’t like it either, if your next door neighbor started jack-hammering or revving a car engine during the daytime, so if you live in a densely populated area an electric chainsaw might be a better option.
In my experience, petrol powered chainsaws are no more dangerous than electric ones. People tend to be more intimidated by noisy petrol driven engines, and tend to assume that these are the saws that are going to cause the bad accidents. However, there is nothing to say that you won’t slip, or get a kick back with an electric saw – if you are careful, and observe safe practices, a petrol powered chainsaw is relatively safe to use. Having said that, you should always make sure that you wear the best protective clothing you can get. This includes good chainsaw trousers, as well as chainsaw gloves and a helmet.