Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The Versatile Chainsaw

Chainsaws are one of the most versatile and useful pieces of garden equipment you can own. Whether it be to prune the trees in your garden, gathering firewood or commercially felling trees - a good dependable chainsaw can handle the job. Chainsaws are power tools and despite safety improvements, can be dangerous, and injuries can and do happen from improper use. Therefore, operators should be properly instructed and wear all the necessary safety gear while executing the job.

Chainsaws can be labor saving devices, but they also have great potential for causing severe injury and death if not used properly. Chainsaws are heavy and awkwardly balanced so if you're working on unstable ground, be aware of that and wear solid, dependable shoes.

Chainsaws are highly portable, relatively cheap to buy, very efficient, and can be used by a single man to fell, crosscut and mill a large tree in a relatively short period of time. When you think about it, that fact alone is really amazing. If you have ever looked at old logging pictures you realize how labor intensive cutting down and preparing just one single tree can be.

Once considered the primary tool of professional loggers, ranchers and farmers, chainsaws became a popular homeowner tool. Chainsaws are still used for harvesting smaller trees in smaller parcels or large valuable hardwoods. Improvements mean that chainsaws are far safer than they once were but they are still potentially very dangerous tools in the wrong hands. Essentially they are a power tool that is both effective and yet dangerous; put it this way, basically they are the grunt workers among the world's power tools.

Chainsaws can make quick work of cutting firewood, cleaning up fallen limbs and trees, cutting framing timbers or carving wood. Gas chainsaws continue to take the lion's share of the market, but as recent reviews demonstrate, electric chainsaws keep winning converts.

On a personal note, I have found that chainsaws never start the first time I pull the starter chord. Maybe it's just me but I always have that happen. In addition they are very LOUD and are hard on the back when using in a wooded cutting situation. Other than that, they sure make short work of bringing down and cleaning up trees and firewood. Improvements mean that chainsaws are far safer than they once were.

Finally, gas chainsaws are also more powerful than electric chainsaws but also heavier, require more maintenance and upkeep and are more expensive. A true loggers chainsaw is too large, heavy and expensive for most people.