Editor Mark Johnson recently traveled to Sweden for the 325th anniversary celebration of the Husqvarna Group, a company known in the U.S. primarily for its chain saws. He came away with great tips and information to share with you here.
By Mark R. Johnson
CHOICES – Christian Johnsson, Husqvarna’s product specialist for XP chain saws, explains the difference between various models to the media at a press event. The article below advises that there are three key factors to consider when choosing the right saw for your cabin needs.
Modern chain saws are adapted to suit specific working conditions and users. If you’re in the market for a saw, the first question you need to answer is: What kind of work do you need the chain saw for? Manufacturers from Husqvarna to ECHO to STIHL have extensive model lineups ranging from full-time professional saws for arborists to homeowner saws with various sizes and bar lengths. Professional chain saws are designed for skilled operators and heavy-duty jobs, while homeowner/cabin owner saws are designed for those who use the saw occasionally, and who prioritize ease-of-use rather than extreme performance. Gent Simmons, product manager of handheld tools for the Husqvarna company, offers cabin owners the following tips when buying a chain saw. Before you talk to a salesperson, be prepared to answer the following questions:
- How often will the saw be used? Once or twice a year for clean up or for heavy usage on a large property? The issue here is quality. The more you use the saw, the more you should invest in quality for years of productive use.
- How large is the wood you’ll be cutting? The size of the wood determines the size of the cutting bar, which will require different levels of power to turn more or less chain. The size of the cutting bar must be properly paired with the engine’s power. That’s a great reason to buy your saw from a knowledgeable dealer who can advise you well.
- What features are important to you? Saws have many features that will assist you in making your project more enjoyable. Want an easy-to-start saw? Buy a saw with features like spring-assisted starting and a purge primer that removes air from the carburetor. Looking for easy maintenance? Check out a saw with tool-less chain adjustment. Have you noticed that when you use your old chain saw, you feel worn out afterward? You may want to consider an electric/battery-powered saw for its light weight and lack of vibration.
Once you get to the store, be sure to pick up a variety of different saws so you can get a feel for comparative ergonomics, balance and weight.
Popular saw manufacturers include: • Craftsman, prices range from $80–$280, www.craftsman.com • ECHO, $199–$399, www.echo-usa.com • Husqvarna, $199–$499, www.husqvarna.com/us • Poulan, $60–$676, www.poulan.com • STIHL, $179–$669, www.stihlusa.com NOTE
: Prices are for homeowner saws, but pro models are also available.