All-year profit – why to invest in a firewood cutting chainsaw
Not only can it become tedious buying firewood throughout the winter and even summer months, but it can also become quite costly. For some, purchasing wood at a store or gas station just isn’t an option, and this just might be because of distance from a nearby store or even just frequently being snowed in on your property. In the long run then, especially for those who making their living by felling and slicing trees, purchasing the perfect chainsaw can make for all-year profit which easily outweighs the initial cost of the chainsaw. Especially during the Christmas season where snow starts falling, temperatures drop, and trees must be cut and decorated, the right saw is a necessity.
How to cut wood properly?
There actually is a proper way to use and chainsaw for cutting firewood, and not only does this method create the best results – logs which burn longer, look better and sell better – it also creates the safest environment for cutting wood. To begin, you’ll need to determine the diameter of the tree you’re cutting – over time this is something which will become easier to eyeball.
Wood sizes vary, not only depending on the species of the tree but also upon the age and amount of growth it’s had. A general rule of thumb will follow: the thicker your wood the higher the power requirement of your chainsaw; under-powered chainsaws will create really shallow cuts and take forever to finish a job.
Additionally, weaker powered chainsaws on dense wood can lead to chain-breakage and dangerous accidents. As a convenient scale to measure against, the best chainsaw for a 22-inch log is anything with a 50cc engine and higher.
If you’re having a hard time measuring your wood size against your chainsaw, keep in mind that the chainsaw bar should generally be 2 inches longer than the tree you are cutting. An extended chainsaw bar with prevent kickback and increase overall productivity. Another suggestion is to invest in two chainsaws; many experts do this because they quickly realize they want a smaller tool for limbing and a larger tool for cutting trees. Why do they do this? Well, a heavier chainsaw can damage your back and make your muscles ache when you’re only using it on limbing branches one at a time.
Finally, you may actually want to cut a wedge into the tree with a blunt instrument – like an ax – before making any cuts. A wedge is a deep angled cut which ensures your tree falls a certain direction and for safety reasons many professional lumberjacks prefer to make that first cut with a felling ax rather than their chainsaw.
What type of chainsaw should you choose?
Corded chainsaws are really just for the garage and general maintenance around a small yard, otherwise the cord dragging along behind you can quickly become annoying and unrealistic – after all, are you just going to keep adding more extension cords the further out into the forest you go? Portability requirements at least call for a battery-operated chainsaw, although the best wood-cutting chainsaws are those which are gas operated. A unique choice, however, might be a hybrid design somewhere in between such as the DEWALT DCCS690X1.
Put simply, however, corded chainsaws are great for pre-cut wood which is already in your house, battery operated chainsaws are best for trimming and cleaning up a medium yard or property, and gas-powered chainsaws have the best power output of them all and are quite ideal for going deep into the forest and gathering firewood.
Safety tips for firewood cutters
Simple precautions can keep you, your workers, and your loved ones from getting injured while cutting wood. Most injuries can be avoided by wearing proper clothing and proper protection; hard hats, eye protection (goggles, sunglasses), ear plugs, safety boots, and leather gloves can greatly reduce your chances of being hurt. Other items of concern are loose clothing – because it can snag on branches and bushes and also in the chainsaw itself – and shoes with slippery soles.
Beyond what you can wear to protect yourself from injury, it’s also wise to always have a first-aid kit on hand and even a fire hydrant in case of gasoline ignition. Keeping your saw and chain brake well maintained is also a great way to ensure your safety, yet many saws come with the tools-free tensioning system. Having someone with the proper training at handling a saw, as well as first aid training, is always a plus and will come in handy. Rule of thumb: be prepared. You can avoid most accidents, but sometimes there are complications and dangers you can’t predict.
Features to consider while buying the best chainsaw for firewood
You have seen many of the below features listed in the detailed reviews of our products. In this section, we take a hard look at different features and how they work to improve the usability of your chainsaw. Ideal examples are also included and given to help you make the best purchase for your needs.
Size is a very important factor and the best-sized chainsaw depends both on the size of the trees and logs you’re cutting, as well as the largest size you’re capable of handling on your own. Weight is part of this decision and also listed below. Different size choices are involved in all aspects of the chainsaw, for instance, the size of the handle will alter where the weight of the chainsaw rests on your body. For optimal control you want a narrower handle because this will place weight in the palm of your hand; wider handles place all the weight on your wrist. Another size consideration is the size of your bar – for the best cuts and safest rhythm, the bar should at least extend 2-inches longer than the tree you’re cutting.
The lightest chainsaw isn’t necessarily the best chainsaw, however, neither is the heaviest. First, you want to pick a chainsaw which meets all other requirements, then finally ask yourself if you (and others using the tool) will be able to handle the weight on their own. Adjust accordingly, and consider that those who can’t properly hold a chainsaw will create wobbly jagged cuts which will not only endanger the user but also damage the tool. Typically the lightest chainsaws are fully electric models, however, our lightest saw is the oil-powered Jonsered CS2245.
Put very simply, a decent engine is crucial and will do the most work. Example: a 35cc engine isn’t going to be able to cut through a 22-inch thick wood, or at least it will take a long time to do so and do extensive damage to the chain and other aspects of the tool. Even a 50cc engine will take a while to saw through a 22-inch thick log, though it can do so with some patience and a few double cuts. Pick the right engine for the job, a log that thick around really requires a gas-powered chainsaw with a 60-70cc engine. The Makita EA7900PRZ1 is easily the best professional chainsaw for thick logs and heavy firewood. Adjust accordingly for your cut size.
Horsepower is very similar to engine capability and can generally be explained by the rhythms per minute of the chain along the chainsaw bar. Typically, the higher those rhythms are the deeper and easier your cuts will be – though much of this depends on the person doing the sawing.
The size of your bar is very important and should generally be extended two inches beyond the length of the log or tree diameter you’re intending to cut. Middle ground bar length is around 16 to 18 inches and saws of this length can typically handle most woods and don’t come that expensive. However, the thicker the wood you saw the higher the purchase price will go. The Echo CS-600P is a beast with a 20-inch bar size, it’s a chainsaw capable of handling anything you throw at it, however, it is pricier.
Is it easy to use?
Ease of use is greatly a matter of opinion and may, in fact, have more to do with your age, size, craft, and overall ability. Cutting firewood can be time-consuming and it’s often hard to gauge just how long the process of felling one tree then slicing logs should take. As you’re first learning the process will take much longer, especially if you’re constantly fiddling with the tool and figuring out your cuts, however as you learn this process should quicken greatly.
If it does not! Odds are you’re using the wrong tool for the job or that some aspect of your chainsaw is damaged and needs replacing. Ease of use should mean a chainsaw is simple to set up, handle, and generally easy to use for an extended period of time. Additionally, if you’re using a chainsaw properly the tool shouldn’t bring up any major safety concerns while in use, if it does and is handling strangely you can pretty much guarantee there is something flimsy about the design or that your chainsaw has worn down/been affected by a manufacturing defect.
The safety is that rounded handle-like segment on the top of your chainsaw which gives you extra grip while also protecting your free hand from coming in contact with the spinning blade. Many chainsaws now have double safeties and these are preferred, some double safeties even have a dual purpose of being a push-down brake for the chain. Consider the HUSQVARNA 460 Rancher which has two safeties and a great built in stop-function which slows the rhythm of the blade in case of any inertia (dropping the chainsaw, etcetera).
There are different chains and ways to mount them on your tool so remember to shop for replacements according to the manufacturer’s specifications; there is no ‘one chain fits all’ solution. The easiest chains to take off, clean, remount, etcetera, are those which are side mounted, you can see this with the HUSQVARNA 460 Rancher. Another great chain function to have is a tool-less chain tensioning dial to increase the grip of the chain around the bar; the Poulan Pro 967061501 has this option. Also you might want to purchase a chainsaw sharpener to prolong your device’s life.
For the safety of your purchase against damage during handling and possible manufacturing errors, consider a warranty at least two years in length. You want enough time to review your chainsaw and test it in different environments and on different log sizes and types of wood. Proper care should keep your chainsaw in prime condition, however faulty chainsaws will quickly degrade in value and reveal their flaws and defects, these low-rate chainsaws can also prove dangerous to use.