A petrol chainsaw is a powerful and effective piece of machinery, a tool that’s sure to cut time to tasks in the garden.
Petrol chainsaws are the most powerful of the three models; petrol, corded and cordless, which is why it’s essential that you purchase a model which is both high quality and safe.
Not sure what to look for when it comes to the best petrol chainsaw? Check out this buyer’s guide.
Benefits of a Petrol Chainsaw
A petrol powered chainsaw has a range of benefits over corded or cordless models.
- You are not limited to only certain areas. Unlike mains powered machines, you can move around the garden freely
- There’s no chance you’ll accidentally slice through the cord – which happens a lot to those with mains powered chainsaws!
- Your chainsaw can be used until the petrol runs out – which will be a lot longer than battery powered machines! You’ll be able to any task with no worries of the battery draining part way through
- More power and speed than other models. Petrol powered chainsaws are the most powerful of the 3 types, which makes them perfect for heavy duty tasks
- Easy to use. Once you’ve mastered starting your chainsaw, you should find it relatively easy to use
- Durable. Petrol chainsaws are designed with durability in mind. They tend to be very long lasting provided they are properly maintained and cleaned.
Selecting the Right Bar Length for Your Needs
The length of the bar will determine the size of the log or branch which can be cut in any one movement. Chainsaws with a shorter bar can be used to cut large pieces of wood, but it’ll take more than one pass to get through it.
So, for large pieces of wood, a chainsaw with a longer bar is more efficient.
However, petrol powered chainsaws are extremely powerful machines, and those with little experience may find a chainsaw with a long bar harder to control. Petrol bars do tend to have longer bars than corded or cordless types, with the length up to 40cm.
The chain speed is measured in metres per second and dictates how quickly you can cut through the material.
Petrol models usually have a higher chain speed than corded and cordless models, often up to 20m/s.
The chain tensioning is also important. Some models will come with a tensioning tool included, while others have a dial on the side that allows you to adjust the tension without the worry of losing a tool.
Weight Directly Impacts Ease of Use
The weight of your chainsaw will be measured in kilograms, and this will directly impact the ease of use.
Petrol powered chainsaws are usually the heaviest of the 3 types, but this doesn’t mean they need to be hard to use. A shoulder strap will help to lighten the load while you work, and the right handle can also make a huge difference.
Handle Comfort and Ergonomics
It’s essential that you’re as comfortable as possible when using your chainsaw, to prevent accidents caused by fatigue.
Most petrol chainsaws will be designed with a comfortable, grippy handle. You should also look for anti vibration to minimise discomfort.
Fitness to Operate a Petrol Chainsaw
When working with powerful petrol powered machines, it’s essential that you’re fit enough to operate them.
To use a chainsaw safely, you’ll need to be both mentally and physically fit. You should be mobile, alert, physically strong, have good vision, good balance and a strong grip.
Operating your Chainsaw Safely
Petrol powered chainsaws aren’t for the faint hearted! Before making a purchase it’s important that you know how to handle these powerful machines.
The first step is to ensure you’re wearing the right clothing. Protective clothing such as ear defenders and a helmet are essential. Petrol powered models are very loud and can damage your hearing if used for too long.
Sturdy boots are a must, and you should avoid wearing loose trailing clothing which could get caught on something.
The working environment can also have a big impact on your safety. Ensure you have a clear working space, and if you’re chopping logs they should be held in place.
You should never attempt to use a chainsaw while balanced up a tree, or even if you are stretching from a ladder. You should be fully balanced at all times, with space around you for the wood to fall.
Kickback can cause injuries, but this is avoidable. Try not to let the upper lip of the bar anything, and keep a firm grip with both hands. Don’t cut with your arms outstretched. Many chainsaws have a kickback brake or anti kickback function. This will automatically force the chainsaw to stop if kickback occurs.
Finally, ensure your chainsaw is well maintained. Check the brake every time you use the saw, and keep the chain sharp.
Where possible, I always recommend having someone with you to ensure the cutting area is safe.
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