Understanding Different Types of Chainsaws | Small to Large, Battery to Petrol
In the past, chainsaws were only available in petrol-powered two-stroke models. Today's advancements in battery technology and brushless motors have seen a rise in the availability of battery-powered models. With so many options available, there's no reason why you can't find the perfect saw for your needs.
To help lift the lid on the different types of chainsaws out there, we asked Chris Maatta from Ascent Arbor to give his professional perspective. As an arborist with more than 12 years of hands-on experience in the industry, he knows his saws. From front handle to rear handle and battery to petrol, here's his take on the different types of chainsaws for home owners and professionals.
"The battery chainsaw is the most popular choice for many people because of its portability, light weight and fast charge time."
Battery chainsaw benefits
Battery powered chainsaws are becoming a more popular option among home-owners looking for reliable power and performance, however, their appeal is now extending beyond private use. More and more professionals are turning to battery power for ease of use while not having to sacrifice power for even the toughest jobs.
"I own both the T540i and 540i and these chainsaws have changed the whole game for me. It makes it so much easier at the end of the day to just swap out a battery, not having to worry about fuel or starting a saw and dealing with carburettor issues."
Small Battery chainsaws are also perfect for taking with you on your next camping trip or even to use around the garden for small projects at home. Another bonus is that they're much lighter than petrol-powered saws, making them easier to use for extended periods. Additionally, there's no need to worry about fumes or emissions, making them a better choice for people who want an environmentally-friendly option.
Finally, they're much quieter than petrol-powered saws, making them ideal for residential areas, near schools, or anywhere you need to be considerate of your fellow neighbours.
"The BLi300 battery has been fantastic, I can be working on & off for hours without even having to worry about swapping out for a new battery."
Petrol chainsaw benefits
When looking at petrol chainsaws, Chris says, "As a professional, I have a use for both battery and petrol saws. While I can now use a battery saw for the majority of jobs, when cutting larger wood and felling large trees, there's something that gives petrol saws a slight leading edge."
He follows on with, "For petrol saws, the 550XP has been my all-time favourite saw. I've used this up until the wood is almost too big for the bar. It just keeps on giving. For someone looking for just one saw, this is one I'd highly recommend."
Of course, battery chainsaws are known for having zero direct emissions, being much quieter, and having low vibrations. "When using battery saws the vibration is so minimal, but even in petrol saws, Husqvarna has really nailed the anti-vibration technology."
Best chainsaws for home-owners
When it comes to choosing the best saw to use around the home and garden for the everyday consumer, there are a few things to consider before making your mind up. "Some people would love to swing around the biggest saw possible, but it is a bit of overkill for most jobs", mentions Chris.
It's really about using smaller and lighter models. Having the correct sized saw for the job you are doing is essential, especially when you are doing 10 hour days. As an example, Chris notes, "Cutting firewood can be a difficult job when you factor in the fatigue continual cutting causes. You want something that you feel comfortable cutting with and that is not too big."
When it comes to everyday consumers, Chris recommends using a rear handle chainsaw as they are safer to use from his professional point of view. However, "When climbing a tree for a job, I always reach for the top handle battery T540i. It has been great for more confined spaces and is great for more experienced users."
The right PPE for chainsaw use
When it comes to chainsaw PPE, there are a few key things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you're wearing the appropriate clothing. This includes protective trousers, boots, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves with saw protection. You should also wear a helmet, earmuffs and eye protection.
Another thing to keep in mind is the chainsaw itself. Make sure that you are using the correct chain for the job, and that it is properly sharpened. You should also check the tension of the chain regularly, and make sure that it is properly lubricated.
Finally, be aware of your surroundings when using a chainsaw. Make sure that there is plenty of space to work, and keep bystanders away from the saw. Never cut towards yourself or someone else, and always be aware of the direction the chain is moving.
When using a chainsaw, always remember to:
- Wear appropriate PPE.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Never cut above shoulder height.
- Cut at a controlled speed.
- Keep the chain sharp and undertake regular maintenance of the chainsaw to keep it in good working condition.
Battery vs petrol saws
So which is the right type of chainsaw for you? It depends on what you will be using it for. A battery-powered saw is a great choice if you are mostly doing smaller jobs around the home, such as cutting smaller firewood, felling small branches and general trimming. If you'll be using it for larger jobs, need more power, and work away from home often, then a petrol-powered saw could be the better option.
Chris mentions, "There are no limits when working with power tools in general. But if we're talking about just one tool, I think everybody would agree that these days nothing beats having both strengths covered by being able to switch between them easily as needed. "
"Whether cutting through tough branches without compromising on efficiency when using an electric motor, getting great results right out-of-the-box, or optimising performance even more effectively on the go - the range of Husqvarna battery series chainsaws is hard to beat."
Find your perfect saw with Husqvarna
With a huge selection of quality battery and petrol chainsaws made to tackle everyday cutting tasks with ease, finding your perfect saw is simple.
Whether it's a cutting edge compact saw that uses the most advanced lithium battery technology, a larger petrol chainsaw that offers raw power and manoeuvrability on the job, or something in between; browse the full range online or visit your local Husqvarna dealer for more.