Chainsaws are extremely handy and can be used for much more than simply cutting firewood. They can also be used to quickly cut through tough things such as bricks or metal piping, and they are incredibly useful for tasks where speed is a benefit.
#1 Chainsaws Cut Very Fast
It takes less than one minute to cut through a 12 inch log with a chainsaw.
Of course, cutting speed depends on the size of the object, the size of the chainsaw and the sharpness of the chain.
As the chain dulls, the time it takes to cut through lumber will increase to the point where it could stop cutting altogether. Black color will form on the cut and smoke may start to billow, which smells like burning wood when the chain gets too dull. This shows the chain is mostly only grinding against the wood instead of cutting it.
#2 Chainsaws Are Versatile
Chainsaws can be used to cut different types of materials, not just wood, including metal and concrete. Large and small chainsaws, depending on their chain type, can be used to cut a large variety of materials.
With the right chain and safety gear, the operator has the freedom to cut what’s needed when the situation calls for it. They can also be handled well by both genders of a wide age range. Being easy to transport, carry, and refuel, makes a chainsaw a versatile and powerful cutting tool.
#3 Chainsaws Are Simple To Use
Chainsaws are easy to learn to use safely and require little practice to use correctly. What the operator needs to keep in mind is safety and wearing proper PPE to stay protected from debris and potential kickback.
The most difficult part of owning and operating a chainsaw may simply be the maintenance and changing out the chain, and not the actual cutting.
#4 Chainsaws Take Up Very Little Space
Chainsaws also come in sizes up to 100 cc powered gas engines and 30 inch bar lengths. Small chainsaws are typically less than 24 inches long and can fit easily inside a truck cab or bed. They be easily carried with one hand from place to place. Even a good-sized chainsaw can fit easily in small storage spaces without blocking access to your other stuff.
#5 Chainsaws Are Easy To Refuel / Recharge
Filling up a chainsaw with the gas mixture is very simple, and is just like refilling the tank on a gas-powered lawnmower.
Using the right gas and oil mixture is key along with keeping the bar oil filled up. Chainsaws are 2 cycle engines and do not have separate oil and gas compartments. Be sure to check what the specific gas-to-oil ratio specified is in the owner’s manual. For most chainsaws, this is usually either 50:1 or 40:1, with the larger number representing gasoline.
For electric chainsaws, no re-fueling is needed. Just exchange a spent battery with a fully charged one and continue your cutting task. Recharging an electric chainsaw battery may take as little as 30 minutes and you can have multiple charged batteries waiting and ready to go when needed.
#6 Chainsaws Are Easy To Start
Gas-powered chainsaws are easy to start if you follow the right procedure. Give a few pumps of the fuel bulb, flip on the switch, and pull the cord. This should be enough to get it started. Squeezing the trigger will help to get fuel in the engine and get it going once the motor turns over and it is primed. However, gas-powered chainsaw carburetors can be flooded with fuel which will prevent the engine from starting, so you have to keep this in mind.
Electric chainsaws start automatically with a switch. Since they require no fuel other than battery or plug power, they are fast and convenient to get going. Just flip the on switch and squeeze the trigger to start cutting.
#7 Chainsaws Will Cut a Variety Of Materials
Chainsaws can cut more than just wood or tree branches. They can cut shrubs, scrap wood, plastics, concrete, and metal pipe, along with large and small trees. As for cutting wood, chainsaws can cut all types of woods including the hardwoods such as apple, almond, hard maple, hickory, birch, beech, oak, and ash.
For more information, see our post What Materials Can Chainsaws Cut Safely?
Reasons to Use a Chainsaw
1. Chainsaws Have Specific Cutting Uses
Certain cutting jobs need a chainsaw. This includes felling trees, removing debris, cutting concrete and rebar, and any other loose ends around your property that another saw just can’t cut effectively.
2. Chainsaws Get The Job Done
Chainsaws are powerful and cut very fast. If you are struggling to cut wood with a hand saw, a chainsaw will very much shorten the time and energy you are spending. They may be a little loud, but then they only need to run for a short time because they are so efficient at cutting. Just make sure to wear earplugs or muffs, safety eyewear, and gloves.
3. Chainsaws Are Great for Emergencies
Chainsaws can save the day if you are ever in an emergency or time – constrained situation where removing a fallen tree or cutting up useless plastic just needs to get done so you can move on, out, or into a property.
4. Chainsaws Take Up Little Space
This is especially true of non-professional home chainsaws which can sit well in the corner of your garage or in the back of your pickup or vehicle trunk. For their size, chainsaws pack quite a punch in terms of how much power they have and how well they cut. Keeping a chainsaw around your home can help you maintain your property and remove debris when needed while storing them takes up relatively little space.
But although chainsaws have their benefits, there are a few disadvantages as well. Chainsaws are relatively loud as they use a chain saw motor to cut through the wood which could hurt your ears and annoy your neighbors. They can also be dangerous in terms of cutting the operator or causing a fire from a fuel spill. If a chain saw cuts the wrong material, the blade can catch on things and cause kickback. This is why it is important to always consider safety when handling or operating a chainsaw and wearing the right safety gear.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.